Police Warn Press

Irritation Ensues

Bangkok Post, August 8, 2001

Thaksin trial article earns derision
Censure 'worth less than toilet paper'

Bangkok Post - The Thai Journalists Association has slammed a written warning issued by Special Branch Police against Krungthep Thurakij newspaper's translation of an article on the premier's fate in the wealth concealment trial-as being worth less than "toilet paper."

The association said the warning released prior to the Constitutional Court's acquittal of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra was too insignificant to warrant a formal protest. The SBP was reacting to Krungthep Thurakij's published translation of a Reuter article predicting Mr Thaksin would be found guilty. The police agency deemed the publication as an affront to the prime minister's image and detrimental to government stability under the 1941 Publishing Act.

Mr Thaksin was reportedly upset by the article, which appeared in the newspaper's Aug 1 edition. The court's verdict on the premier was known on Friday. The association said it was either a case of the SBP fawning on the government, or a politician ordering the warning, thus abusing the constitution.

"The SBP's warning was meaningless and worth less than toilet paper," said Prasong Lertrattanavisut, the association's vice chairman, adding it would be "far more irritating to use than toilet paper."

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