Thai military junta starts screwing down on journalists, North Korea style

Vanchai Tantivitayapitak

A news director at PPTV was reportedly pressured to resign after repeatedly criticising the deputy junta head over his undeclared luxury watches.

Various media reported late last week that Vanchai Tantivitayapitak, a PPTV news director, resigned after the station received pressure from the National Council for Peace and Orders (NCPO).

According to sources, the resignation is related to the fact that PPTV has consistently criticised the NCPO, especially on the corruption scandal of Gen Prawit Wongsuwan and his many high-priced watches.

The NCPO believed that Vanchai was responsible for those criticisms and pressured the PPTV to dismiss him.

On 30 March, Vanchai posted on Facebook confirming the rumour about his resignation.

“A new journey is going to start. Looking back on the past two years, I’m proud to have helped build a team, proud to have made people happy in their jobs, and proud to have made my colleagues feel proud of their profession,”

Vanchai posted. “Being a journalist, sometimes, one has to push the limit.”

Since the beginning of the 2014 coup, the NCPO has closely monitored Vanchai. At the time he was a deputy director at Thai PBS, and his reporting on political events on the day of the coup constituted a violation of the junta’s orders.

The NCPO also detained Vanchai in a military camp for two hours after the coup occurred. – PrachataiEnglish

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