Street riots in Bangkok have seen the government respond by issuing an emergency decree that could allow it to shut down certain TV channels. However, the National Broadcasting & Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) regulator says this is not the case.
According to BBC Monitoring, NBTC committee member Mrs Supinya Klangnarong addressing growing concerns about actions from the recently established Centre for Maintaining Peace and Order, and which is enforcing the decree, could claim it also has to control media outlets. Local 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 already allows the broadcasting and telecommunication regulator to exercise its power independently from the government, she said.