Media groups call for talks

Media organisations Thursday issued a statement suggesting the Feb 2 national election is unlikely to go smoothly unless common ground is reached by all groups of the political divide and pleaded for Thais to be patient and avoid confrontation that would worsen the situation.

The statement was issued by the Thai Journalists Association, Thai Broadcast Journalists Association and the News Broadcasting Council of Thailand. It has four points: 1. The planned Feb 2, 2014 general election is likely to be dominated by conflict situations, widespread social divisions and political pressure which may affect voters’ decisions. The media associations are concerned that holding an election under such an atmosphere may not bring the country out of the crisis as most Thais desire, but instead create an endless cycle of crises and intensified conflicts among differing groups. To use the election as a way out of the conflict, a process to build mutual understanding among all parties through talks and shared decision making, in order to create conditions and rules for the poll that can be accepted by them, was necessary. All groups must have the same goal, which is to find a way out of the problem and move the country forward, ensuring that violent conflicts will not be repeated. 2. The caretaker government is duty-bound to maintain peace and order by enforcing the law fairly, not to indiscriminately enforce laws against its opposition and refrain from using state mechanisms to aggravate the situation. Authorities must not take any action for fear of causing loss of life, both directly and indirectly, especially sending a pro-government group to confront an anti-government group.        

3. The anti-government People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) must continue to adhere to peaceful rallies. Although the group has the right to mobilise masses of people to pressure the caretaker government and achieve its political purposes, the media organisations believe holding talks with groups from all sides of the divide to find common ground is an alternative which should be taken into account. 4. Workers in all media organisations including state-run outlets must adhere to journalistic ethics and perform their duties with honesty and courage. Power holders must not intervene in editorial decision making while media entrepreneurs must respect the people’s right to receive information and put the nation’s interest before their business interests. Media personal must not be targeted, threatened or pressured by any groups.The statement called on all groups to be patient and avoid confrontation to help generate an atmosphere conducive to reconciliation and national reform.

Share your thoughts

Discussion 1 : 20/12/2013 at 01:44 AM
To 1+3: Even media groups understand that Suthep is never able to do that or reach a hand because it is totally against his real intentions.To 4 People's right for information (and informative objective journalism): Why does the media not do fact representing articles about the last 25 years of Thai politicians/govenments e.g.:a) The history and last 25 years of Suthep, Thaksin,Abhisit, etc b) All the governments that failed finishing a full term and for what reasons and who caused them. c )A history of corruption by former politicians/governments incl. 97/98 currency fraud-No editorials just facts - that would be quite some real journalism
Discussion 2 : 20/12/2013 at 12:06 AM
TJA, TBJA & NBC are toothless. Talks–behind the scenes, led to the original amnesty bill changed to a blanket one & the charter amendment were exploited by unscrupulous people/parties for their self-interests. When the Judiciary is entangled with politics & show conflict of interests, the people can no longer trust that it is independent. Judicial corruption & extra-constitutional activities interfering & infringing the legislature & executive branch of a democratic system led to the lawlessness calling the law. IMO, the media groups should call for the rule of law according to the book. If we don’t we are going to experience more bloodsh
Discussion 3 : 19/12/2013 at 09:24 PM
Welcome to the scrum known as democracy. If you fear violence then why not bring the election FORWARD? Surely the less build up, the less tension, so an earlier date is a less violent date.

Back to top

More From Bangkokpost.com