Journalism: VOA Under Pressure to Cut True Cable TV Link


Why on earth does the VOA want to get involved with dirty Siamese cats

By Tammy, this blog humanity journalist

The Red Shirt told this blog that they are following the relationship between CP and the Voice of America.

“It is one of the most ugly marriages that I have every seen and it is hurting the fundamental principle of VOA as the voice of freedom and liberty,” said the head of the Red Shirt.

The Voice of America and Thailand’s True Cable TV have joined in a cooperation agreement that earlier saw similar cooperation by True with the BBC terminated, under pressure from the Thai Red Shirt.

“We are working with Voice of America to train our journalist how to be better reporters,” said True Cable TV.

True Cable is owned by the Thai CP Group.

The Thai election commission reported that in the last election True donated about US$1 million to the Democrat Party of the current Thai Prime Minister Abhisit. The donation was the largest the party received and it was the only political donation CP made.

Successive human rights organization have criticized the Thai government of gross violation of human rights and for blocking an estimated 15,000 websites for national security grounds.

Under US president Obama, it is a major policy statement of the government to help keep internet free, and in fact the US congress have allocated about US$100 million to keep the internet free.

The Red Shirt, a popular political movement in Thailand supported by Taksin, earlier called for a boycott of CP’s internet service provider for blocking all websites that supports Taksin and the Red Shirt.

CP also has telecom interest and its CEO came out to criticize the Thai telecom commission in its plan for the 3G mobile phone system as hurting Thai telecom interest. CP was competing head-on with AIS belonging to Singapore’s government investing arm Temasak. The Thai Prime Minister later said Thai telecom interest must be protected. The Thai telecom commission later changed its bidding structure.

CP telecom units also the exclusive seller of Apple’s iPhine in Thailand, and the Red Shirt said they will hold an iPhone “Trashing Event” in protest of CP.

CP is also a major seller of chickens to European super markets. In Europe, human rights is a major issue. And the Thai Red Shirt have also threatened to stage protect against those super-markets that sells CP chicken in Europe.

Last year the BBC terminated its long relationship with True, as several head of the Red Shirt, particularly Jai Ungpakorn who is a Thai/British mixed race in exile from Thai prosecution in the UK, raised the issue to British politicians in the UK.

True is considered a propaganda arm of the government, by many Thais. While CP has many office towers scattered across Bangkok, TNN news office is within walking distance from the Democrat Party headquarter, and social exchanges between the two occurs on regular basis.

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