ASTV Manager takes a break

ASTV-Manager Weekly Magazine says it will temporarily stop publishing for three weeks as a response to the junta's intimidation.

The announcement was made on Friday in an edition that bore a black cover. It said the suspension was intended to "ease pressure" during an investigation by the Press Council of Thailand, Thai PBS reported.

The controversy began when the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) last week issued Order No. 108 stating that issue 253 of the magazine, published on July 23, contained "several issues" based on "false information with dishonest intention" to "destroy the credibility of the NCPO".

If the magazine repeated the offence, the NCPO said it would prosecute the editor under martial law. The NCPO also ordered media professionals to investigate the issue and report the results to the junta.  According to ASTV-Manager Online, an official letter from the junta to the publisher said three items on three pages upset the military rulers.  One of the headlines read "Prayuth's charter: NCPO is dad of all institutions". "The message parodies [the NCPO] and may cause misunderstanding that the NCPO is above the higher institution," the letter said.  "Dad of all institutions" is an expression used by vocational students to insult vocational students from other schools.   The ASTV-Manager media group is owned by Sondhi Limthongkul, a former leader of the now-defunct yellow-shirt People’s Alliance for Democracy.

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