Thailand

Enemy of the State

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Though we’ve really enjoyed our previous posts, we find ourselves blessed to be in a city where there is so much to do.

From popular concerts, to physical activities. The Cordon Bleu cooking school offers cooking classes. There are any number of art classes, boxing classes or music lessons. Around the corner, there is private film club. Open for cine-philes, screening indie films and classics several times per week.

The Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand (FCCT) has a pretty active club downtown. They host lectures, screen films or documentaries. They also have a warm and convivial bar and restaurant with reasonably priced food and beer. A number of media outlets are housed nearby.

I think I mentioned that Thailand is under military rule. Myanmar was, until recently, also under a military dictatorship. Three weeks back the FCCT hosted a lecture entitled “Will Myanmar’s General Every see Justice for International Crimes?”

Apparently there were only about 15 people in attendance. But, just before the lecture started, the police walked in with a letter ordering them to cancel the event.  They cited the potential that third parties could use this lecture to foment unrest, which seemed rather ridiculous given that the audience was small and expats.

So, cancelled the event they did, and of course, the story went crazy around the world. This group isn’t even a media outlet, it’s just a group of journalists and, in fact, most of the members are non-journalists. But, the mere hint that media could be being hindered was a concern.  

Since 2014, this has been the 6th event of this type closed down, so it’s been going on a while, but I wonder as world leaders makes noises about the media being enemies of state, if this will be a more regular occurrence.

The following week, at a lecture on Plastics and Pollution, the crowd was nearly standing room only. Hopefully, they wanted to hear about pollution, but there must have been some who came along just because of the story the week before.

They’re not a very exclusive club. They accepted S.A.M as a member.

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Categories: Thailand

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