Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sunday, May 25, 2014
It had to happen, but the first foreign online newspaper has now been blocked from Thailand.

Not unsurprisingly it is Mailonline - the website of the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday, although it could also have been a foreign western newspaper or magazine.

A story printed early today was ruled to have broken the rules laid down by the military.

An online notice states:

'Url has been suspended by martial law. If you have any questions please contact me at Army. Sorry At this occasion."

The material was not sourced from any journalist in Thailand and had been previously been printed and broadcast in Australia, where Mailonline has opened a large office.

Some twenty years ago the Daily Express was banned from Thailand for reporting on a story involving the Thai monarchy. NO COMMENTS

Foreign correspondents, translators, and fixers have been ordered to register with the military tomorrow at the Army Club.

Few foreign newspapers have staff correspondents in Bangkok nowadays and they many are unlikely to take heed of warnings even if they get them which most don't.

Mailonline is now running a 'We have been gagged story'. Commercially however they could lose a lot of local and Thai related advertising particularly in the holiday sector.


  1. Australia's ABC ran a piece about Thaksin setting up a government in exile. It said Thais would have a choice between going back to the old system or enshrining laws to empower the poor as if Thaksin was Thailand's Gandhi trying to free the poorer Thais from the jackboot of army tyranny.

    I find it incredibly insidious the way Thaksin is portrayed as a democracy loving freedom fighter by certain sections of the western media. I feel sorry for the poor who pin their hopes on that guy.

    1. I feel sorry for the rich who think what they've bought is going to be fun.
      Khmer Jaune, anyone?
      PS they are already rounding up the academics, going for the lawyers next?
      GTFO while the getting is good

  2. I agree Weapon. On both sides, there are media who are not reporting honestly. Are facts that hard to come by? Can the media not check sources and the accuracy of statements.

    Most of the media run responsible pieces without too much speculation and spin. I have not seen the Daily Mail and mail on Sunday pieces so my comments are general. I have seen articles and comments on New Mandela, one of which was blatantly lese majeste. There are one or two guys there, living outside Thailand, who regularly incite. Comments pointing out the incitement and lack of reasoned argument (whether one agrees or not) are more often than not censored by the two academics who run the site.

    I hate, I detest, the concept of gagging the press. But if some of them continue to deliberately misinterpret what is actually happening and insist on putting their own unanalysed spin on events, I have to accept that tough regulation must be enforced.

    Drummond needs to be cloned.

    And the clones made to clean up the way some of the media operate to keep them to more professional standards.

    That does not mean suppression of news or comment. AD allows posters to express their views (within the law and provided that they are not flames), whether he personally agrees or not.

    If he can do it, so can others.

  3. Professor Andrew Walker who is co-editor of New Mandela had his article "Democracy hits a dead end" published on the ABC's website. I suspect this is the article you mean. It was published under "Thailand's invitation to violence" on the New Mandela site.

  4. They did go a bit over the top and went run with a very cheap shot! They shouldn't be surprised they are blocked in Thailand.. and to be honest if it was a similar situation even in the UK they could expect the same, probably a D.A. notice!

  5. They aren't blocked in Thailand, though personally I think they should be.

    I an against press censorship in principle and have made that clear. But making lese majeste comments is not only incitement it is against the law. Walker and Farrelly are not true academics. They suppress views that are not in line with their radical views and much of what thy write is speculative, rumour, or downright misinformation. In the internet age, that can easily be checked. If they suppress comment from posters, I can not support a case for disageeing with any authority that suppresses them. Though as I say that has not happened.

    I'm not against radical comment either. I'm all for it. But they don't conduct debate fairly, showing only their side of the argument (or rather their view of that argument). They have little respect from academics, authors and commentaors. Maybe the reason the authorities aren't wasting time blocking them. Best to compare their views with others and make up your own mind. You'll find their arguments are neither logical nor convincing.

    And like most of what Marshall writes, is not sourced reliably

    Incidentally, although Marshall says he is banned in Thailand, he is not. (And I have checked that) He probably thinks it gives him credibility. He could face LM charges if he came to thailand but the authorities may not bother. the danger would be more the fact that he would face civil actions for libel. With no jury ststem in thaialnd, I don't think a judge would take much time dealing with him

    1. Those comments presented as opinions are not against the law in Australia. And those comments should not be against the law in any civilized country with pretensions of democracy- of which freedom of speech is a tenet.
      Obviously, you do support press censorship.

      Frankly, since we in Thailand are not allowed to make social media criticisms on the latest power grab, I'd say the new Prime Minister is the party using unfair debating tactics.

    2. Not a true academic?

      Andrew Walker
      BA (Hons)
      (Sydney), PhD (ANU)


      Associate Dean (Education)
      and Senior Fellow, Department of Political & Social Change, School of International, Political & Strategic Studies

      Biographical statement

      Andrew has been working in mainland Southeast Asia since 1993 when he conducted PhD research on cross-border trading links between northern Thailand, northern Laos and southern China. For the past 10 years he has been working on issues of rural development, resource management and modernisation in northern Thailand. He is currently undertaking ongoing ethnographic fieldwork in Baan Tiam, a northern Thai village in Chiang Mai province.

    3. Argumentative as ever, I did not say he had no BA, PhD or any other degree and I do not dispute the self-serving CV you posted. I did say he is not a true academic. Because he and his co-editor and Andrew McGregor Marshall censor out opinions contrary to THEIR own. I have posted on that site under another name and the post is approved. Under my name it gets blocked. PMs from posters support my contention. Perhaps you should use your venom to complain about their lack of support for free speech

      I do NOT in principle support press censorship. But in circumsatnces where misinformation and flaming is applied the authorities have to act. And they acted by firing a warning shot yesterday against the bows. The UK did the same during WW2 with Lord Haw Haw and others.

      Thaivisa censors with Miss Whiplash leading the strategy To be fair, Teakdoor allows anything to be said incluing flames and incitement. It is a difficult balance as AD refers elsewhere to allow free speech but cut out misinformation and incitement. I think he has the balance right. He needs to watch posters don't get involved in LM, don't make totally speculative and rumour-like remarks, and behave civilly; but he allows opinions which he may not agree with himself. As i said before we need clones of Andrew running the media.

      "those comments should not be against the law" That's your view and you are entitled to it, but the fact is they are against the law. Perhaps you should think about allowing other people to have a view too, in which case you would not be supporting Walker and Marshall

      I have been to Baan Tiam and your information is not correct

  6. Well that's strange a British right wing newspaper gets banned in Thailand.How amazing.