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Jonathan Head and the BBC are not okay

Re: "Who is biased, the BBC or the viewers?" Letters, July 3.

Robin Grant's opinion concerning BBC correspondent Jonathan Head compelled me to react with this letter.

There is strong evidence that Head is a close friend of red-shirt leader Jakrapob Penkair.

In August 2007, Mr Head, who was also president of the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand, invited Jakrapob as guest speaker at the club. Jakrapob allegedly committed lese majeste during that speech, without Head cutting in to warn his friend of the possible consequences.

Jakrapob participated in the early activities of the United Front of Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), and later formed a splinter wing known as Red Siam with former communist Surachai Danwattananusorn.

Surachai was sentenced to 7½ years for lese majeste in 2012, but was pardoned by His Majesty in 2013. Accused of the same offence, Jakrapob ran away instead of fighting the case.

Since then, Head seems to have used every which way to belittle Thailand as a backward and uncivilised country - via the BBC.

The FCCT should conduct a poll asking Thais living in Thailand what opinions they have concerning Jonathan Head and the BBC. As the old saying goes: If two out of 10 people dislike you, it's okay. If eight out of 10 people dislike you, it's not okay.

Vint Chavala

Bangkok


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