Work with us, don't fear us, Thai junta tells media

Work with us, don't fear us, Thai junta tells media
File photo of Thai Army soldiers

The director of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO)'s Centre for Reconciliation, Lt General Kampanat Ruddit has asked the media to help the junta "create an atmosphere for reconciliation" - while stressing that the NCPO has no intention of intimidating the press.

The NCPO organised a seminar on press relations attended by around 250 members of the media.

Kampanat said the junta had two key policies towards news organisations. The first was to establish good understanding between the junta and reporters so they can accurately convey information to the people.

Secondly, in regard to regulation of the press, junta chief Prayut Chan-o-cha wanted the media to regulate itself.

"The junta leader does not want to impose power over the media - therefore press relations events are organised in order to establish a collective understanding as to the reasons the NCPO had to take over the country's administration.

"We ask the press to help promote an atmosphere of reconciliation," Kampanat said.

Members of the press at the seminar raised concerns about government and the NCPO, and particularly press obstacles emanating from the NCPO.

For example, local radio hosts complained their channels had been suspended since the coup while the Office of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission (NBTC) claimed they were preparing to lay out new rules and regulations.

Kampanat said the system was being reorganised to prevent radio signals from disrupting one another. He said the NBTC was working to urgently solve the problem and was aware this suspension of local radio signals had caused hardship to broadcast businesses.

The director of the NCPO's Centre for Reconciliation also expressed concern about the post-junta era when an elected administration is reinstalled.

He said he was worried whether the next government would follow the reform plan that |had been drafted under the |junta's administration, because the NCPO wanted to lay the |foundation and continuity for national development for years to come.

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