Redshirts Channel Host Rejects 'Censorship' Allegation

Mr. Nattawut Saikua (left) and Mr. Jatupon Prompan (right)

(4 November) Many supporters of the Redshirts have been stunned by the announcement that four core leaders of the movements had been suspended from a cable TV channel long known for its alliance to the Redshirts.

Three of them are leading figures of the National United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD): Ms. Thida Tojirakarn, Mr. Nattawut Saikua, and Mr. Jatupon Prompan while the other suspended host is Mr. Sombat Boon-ngarmanong, the coordinator of Red Sunday group.

Although the channel, called Asia Update, has made no statement explaining its abrupt decision, many are convinced it is due to the opposition of the four figures against the ?amnesty for all? plan supported by Pheu Thai Party and the government.

Ms. Thida and Mr. Sombat have previously argued that it is unacceptable that the bill would grant amnesty to the former authorities who launched the crackdown on the Redshirts protests in the 2010 crackdown, while Mr. Nattawut and Mr. Jatupon were a part of a handful Pheu Thai MPs who refused to vote for the bill in Parliament last week.

The revelation that the four familiar faces of the Redshirts movement have lost their shows on Asia Update came at a time when the Redshirts appear to be more deeply divided than ever, pitching Pheu Thai hardline supports who agree with the ?blanket amnesty? against the Redshirts who demand legal prosecution of those involved in 2010 crackdown.

However, Mr. Adisorn Piangked, another host at Asia Update, said today that there is no conflict among the Redshirts leaders, and suggested that the suspension could be "temporary".

He insisted it is normal for channel executives to have contradicting opinions. "I believe they have thought it well before pulling the shows off from the program," Mr. Adisorn said, adding that he had not talked to the executives personally about the matter.

"I understand that emotions can get in the way, but we are all true friends," Mr. Adisorn continued, "They just have to understand that if they still maintain their stance, the country won?t find any solution to problems".

"I beg them to please not create further conflict among the people"

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