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Thailand: Liberal Thai blocked by MICT!

Categories: Advocacy, Thailand

Freedom Against Censorship Thailand (FACT) [1].

We have just discovered free Thai language news site Liberal Thai [2] blocked by a transparent proxy redirecting users to Thailand's ICT ministry.

Liberal Thai [2] is a new websites which has been translating news articles in English into Thai making them accessible to Thai readers, particularly those from Political Prisoners in Thailand [3].

The only news article which might be suspect is LT's Thai translation of “Thailand's Political Muddle [4]” from October 28's Asia Sentinel. PPT's coverage of this article and, indeed the article itself in English, are not blocked.

Might such banal commentary as “feckless heir” (รัชทายาทที่อ่อนแอ) now constitute lèse majesté?

Incidentally, dictionary definitions for “feckless” from Scots Gaelic are weak, feeble, ineffective, incompetent, futile, worthless, careless, irresponsible, indifferent, lazy, having no purpose or worth, unlikely to be successful.

We hardly think that any of these definitions can be applied to Thailand's succession. The truth is, we simply don't know because Thailand's next king has not been tried.

However, suppressing the news by blocking websites does not make the news just go away. Thailand has much to learn in its domestic policies (we have a foreign head of state advising us on the Patani insurgency) and its international relations. No matter how deep Thai government tries to bury our heads in the sand, what others think of us matters.

Liberal Thai is one of the few websites trying to allow Thais access to all opinions so that we can make responsible decisions for ourselves, as a community of peers.

We call on the ICT ministry to justify such censorship and demand the court order blocking Liberal Thai as required under Thai law.

The Thai translation and article in English are still accessible by anonymous proxy & VPN:

เอเซียเซนทิเนล: การเมืองอันยุ่งเหยิงของประเทศไทย [5]