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NBTC suspends red-shirt Peace TV’s broadcasting licence 30 days

The national broadcasting regulator yesterday (Aug 9) ordered the suspension of the red-shirt satellite-based Peace TV broadcasting for 30 days reasoning it's recent programmes were detrimental to national security.

National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) secretary-general Takorn Tantasith said the suspension was ordered because two programmes aired by the station, on July 4 and 9, were deemed detrimental to national security, disturb public order and morals.

The two programmes are Khao Jai Trong Kan Na news talk show hosted by a red shirt leader Nattawut Saikuar, and Hong Khao Lao Ruang Sud Supda (Weekend Newsroom).

Peace TV broke conditions earlier agreed with the NBTC, Mr Takorn said, adding that the station would be notified of the suspension order immediately.

Earlier the NBTC told the station to suspend the programmes voluntarily reasoning that it violated Article 37 of the Broadcasting and Television Businesses Act.

The order will be enforced as soon as it is handed to the TV station, Mr Takorn said.

Currently Peace TV is temporarily protected by an Administrative Court injunction order issued last year after it petitioned the regulator's revocation of its operation licence.

In April 2015, the NBTC ordered revocation of Peace TV's operating licence, causing the station to seek court protection.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said today (Aug 10) that the suspension of Peace TV broadcast has nothing to do with the Government's attempt to block the people from coming to give morale support to former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra on the Aug 25 judgement day.

Instead, he said, the suspension stemmed from the station breaking the regulation and condition set by the NBTC.

It had nothing to do with the Aug 25 judgement day, he said.

The Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions set Aug 25 at 9.30am as judgement date for the rice-pledging scheme case.

He said further that if the NBTC's order had connection with the judgement day, then it was not only Peace TV, but all would be shut down and all journalists would be left jobless.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)