Peace TV in plea for UN help

Pheu Thai Party's Weng Tojirakarn yesterday called on the United Nations to help save the politically-oriented Peace TV station.

"We call on the UN secretary-general to urge the Thai government to strictly abide by the treaty in order to ensure justice for Peace TV," said the open letter submitted by Weng, also a red-shirt leader, and five news anchorsto a representative from the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (Escap) at its office in Bangkok.

In the letter, they want forwarded to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, they urged the UN to ensure that the government follows an international treaty guaranteeing the rights and freedom of media.

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission recently cancelled Peace TV's broadcasting licence for repeatedly airing content it deemed divisive.

Arunothai Siributr, one of the anchors, read out the open letter.

The letter said the forced closure of Peace TV was an affront to Thai law and the UN's universal declaration on human rights. It demanded an end to the "restriction" of the media's rights and liberties.

The Democrat Party's Watchara Phetthong lashed out against the move by Peace TV to seek UN intervention.

The former Democrat MP said he would ask the UN in writing to carefully ferret out the facts behind this letter and not believe all that was said.

Peace TV was acting as the "mouthpiece of the Thaksin regime", he claimed.