Artist: Thai Television Stations|
Confronting Bodies: Thai Government
Date of Action: June, 1989
Specific Location: Thailand
Description of Artwork: Television stations prohibited by Thai government to cover the arrest of Phra Bodhirak, leader of Santi Asoke religious centre. Bodhirak was penalised by the Buddhist hierarchy for his "unorthodox religious teachings and other activities."
Description of Incident: Although the election of Prime Minister Chatichai, in March 1988, was expected to be the "new era of democracy," the media soon found it was under more pressure from the government than in the previous administration. The Thai government operates all five of the countries television stations, and therefore was able to strictly control the coverage of Phra Bodhirak's trial. " ...The television channels were told by the authorities not to cover the arrest of Bodhirak, and the Interior Ministry issued a warning to the media to refrain from casting the Santi Asoke centre in favorable light. Bodhirak (was) due to go on trial in early September (1989)... "
Results of Incident: As of September 1989 the media was anticipating more restrictions.
Source: Rodney Tasker, "Turning the Screws," Far Eastern Economic Review, September 14, 1989, Pg. 35
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