Government 'cannot close TV stations'

The caretaker government is not authorised to shut down legal satellite television stations under the emergency decree, according to the National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission (NBTC).

NBTC committee member Supinya Klangnarong was responding to growing concerns the recently established Centre for Maintaining Peace and Order, which is enforcing the decree, could claim it also has to control media outlets.

Protesters are worried the authorities will use the emergency decree as a tool to shut down BlueSky TV, the satellite channel that is the mouthpiece of the protesters.

Only the NBTC has power to act against unlicensed satellite TV, Ms Supinya said.

The centre may ask the NBTC to shut down satellite TV channels, but the NBTC would have to make the decision, she said.

A law allows the broadcasting and telecommunication regulator to exercise its power independently from the government, she said.

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