Thailand ‘apology’ advertisement banned
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Thailand ‘apology’ advertisement banned

By Madmue Bitbaak,

A public ruckus has erupted after an advertisement focusing on the national political crisis has been banned. The Nation reports,

The ban of a television commercial entitled “Kor Thod Pra Thet Thai” (Apologise Thailand) from free television has caused a flood of criticism in social media and web-boards. But there was still no explanation from the television station joint censorship committee which ordered the ban. The advertisement was created by the “Positive Network”, a new initiative by many major communication groups in Thailand. The network consists of people from advertising, public relations, media agencies, and cable and TV associations.

As to the reason why the censorship board has banned the controversial advertisement, The Nation says,

“According to Kom Chad Luek newspaper, the committee ordered the ban because they thought the message and pictures used in the ad were too extreme and risked defamation. The paper quoted Bhanu Inkawat, one of the ad’s creators and founder of the network as saying the panel told him they were concerned about the way the story was told and the order of the pictures.

What is so deeply controversial and threatening to national security that the government doesn’t want you to see it? Well ironically the video is getting over one-hundered thousand hits on YouTube and has been uploaded on to numerous Thai websites, even CRES has joined in! In case you haven’t seen it, here it is with English translation below it (c/o The Nation):

 “Did we do anything wrong? Did we handle anything too harshly? Did we listen to only one side of the story? Did we perform our duties? Did we really think of people? Were we corrupt? Did we take too much? Did the media make people better informed? Did our society deteriorate? Did we love money more than the rightness? And did we only wait for help? If there was anyone to blame, it would be all of us. Apologise Thailand. And if there was anyone who can fix the problems, it would be all Thais. Keep the loss in mind and turn it into our force.”

The government’s “growing authoritarian image” received an additional boost over the weekend when police arrested Natee an attendee at a Ratchaprasong commemoration/re-enactment ceremony. Natee’s arrest comes on the heels of last week’s political arrest of Mirror founder Sombat  Boonngamanong for tying a ribbon at Ratchaprasong in violation of the emergency decree. Not much yet in the press (Sunday?) on Natee, but Twitter has taken care of that with @terryfrd (BKK Post) and illustrious Thai tweetaholic @on_off_course. Natee reportedly is free on bail. Sombat has also reemerged at Ratchaprasong (YouTube video)  Natee’s “antics”–shouting he is here alone and not in defiance of the emergency law–is below: