Talk Show, Leftist Magazine Discontinued Due to 'Political Climate'

An anti-coup activist flashes the forbidden "three-finger salute" before turning herself into the military in compliance with a summons order, 10 June 2014.

BANGKOK — The host of a popular new talk show and publishers of leftist magazine have announced a sudden end to their operations, citing political tension in the post-coup environment.

Pinyo Trisuriyadhamma said in a Facebook post that he decided to discontinue Amarin Newsnight after its first week on air due to "a change in the situation outside and inside the [Amarin TV] station" following the military coup on 22 May.

"To maintain my stance and ethical principle, I hereby announce the end to Amarin Newsnight," Mr. Pinyo wrote. "My staff and I are proud to have created a new form of nighttime news show to be aired with magnificence.”

He added, "Although today the clouds are covering the sky, I believe that all of my young staff will be shining stars when the sky is clear again."

The nascent talk show, whose guests this week included former Prime Minister and Democrat Party chairman Abhisit Vejjajiva, won praises for its articulate and relatively impartial approach.

Meanwhile, the publishers of a progressive political magazine, Fah Diew Gun (Same Sky), also announced today that they have indefinitely suspended publication until further notice. The statement, posted on Facebook, explained that their operation has come under intense scrutiny by the military after the army imposed martial law on 20 May and staged a coup two days later.

"The coup junta has extensively closed down and monitored the media. Under this condition, Same Sky Publishing has been inevitably affected," the statement reads. "Same Sky Magazine, in particular, has come under scrutiny, causing fears to every involved in its publication."

"Therefore, the editorial team has concluded that, for the safety of everyone involved, we will suspend the production of new magazines for the time being."

Founded in 2003, Same Sky Magazine has served as platform for alternative and left-leaning interpretations of domestic and international politics. 

Same Sky is also well-known for frequently publishing articles critical of the Thai monarchy — a rare feat in Thailand where comments deemed insulting to the Royal Family are punishable by up to 15 years in prison. The March 2006 issue, "The Monarchy and Thai Society," received particular attention and was banned from distribution by the police. 

The magazine's editor, Thanapol Eiewsakul, was detained for several days by the military last month for participating in an anti-coup protest. 

Since seizing power in a coup d'etat on 22 May, the military's National Council of Peace and Order (NCPO) has outlawed public demonstrations, detained scores of anti-coup protesters and activists, and instructed the media not to air any criticism against the NCPO or its missions. 

 

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