Thai media and the different truth – The unreported riot

From the Thai-language press: Thai media and the different truth - The unreported riot - editorial translated from Prachachat, September 27, 2005

The cruel event when two marines were killed in Ban Tanyonglimor, Amphur Rangae, Narathiwat was a sad event that happened again in Thai society. This was the same as an event that happened a few hours earlier when unknown thieves shot villagers at a tea shop in Ban Tan Yonglimor causing three innocent people to die. Whatever the complex knot is, we want to condemn those who conduct both events and we ask the justice process to work accurately and not to discriminate whether people are in in uniform, part of the government or a normal villager.

We ask all media to revise the role of presentation of news to question and find the cause of why Ban Tanyonglimor villagers do not trust. This should be without prejudice or try to explain for the hypothesis of the that villagers tie the event to be an international issue.

The villagers are afraid of threats from officers especially Ban Tanyonglimor and they assume that the officers are part of the shooting event at the tea shop. This caused a riot, but this was not mentioned in mass media--especially television. Although villagers are afraid of threats, the threat may be a rumor or it may be true.

We see that the Thai media loses the villagers’ trust because media avoids the true presentation of the villagers’ view. So it is not surprising that some villagers give interviews that say that the Thai mass media friend of the military and may participate in the events of shooting in the village or join to hector the village for a long time. This is in line with the base ways of Thai security unit that called this village a “red village.” [Reference to a plan proposed by Thaksin earlier this year to color code villages depending on how they are cooperating with the authorities and deny state aid based on the rating. Although public criticism made the government officially drop the plan, many believe--including Southerners--it was secretly implemented anyway.]

"This truth” which is different will be gone if every side reveals the truth and proves it. Do not conceal the truth or give importance to only one view.

Otherwise, both events (shooting people in the tea shop and the siege that killed two marines) is just the beginning again of the long violence.
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