ASTV loses signal after soldiers' protest

national January 12, 2013 00:00

By The Nation

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The ASTV satellite television station lost its broadcast signal for more than an hour yesterday evening, reportedly due to technical problems.

However, people are starting to get suspicious because the problems reportedly began just hours after more than 50 soldiers showed up at the headquarters of the ASTV newspaper demanding that it stop using rude words against Army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha.

“Abusive words used against the Army chief have hurt our feelings. He is at the heart of the Royal Thai Army,” Master Sergeant First Class Anuchit Sinlapawatee said yesterday. “If the ASTV newspaper does not stop using verbal abuse, we will consider further action.” Anuchit works in a psychological operation unit of the 1st Army Area. 
ASTV host Kamonporn Romthongkham heard the soldiers’ complaint yesterday. 
ASTV outlets are under the control of Sondhi Limthongkul, a co-leader of the yellow-shirt People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD). 
Meanwhile, the Army’s deputy chief, General Dapong Rattanasuwan, called on the soldiers to be patient and not react carelessly. Army spokesman Colonel Sansern Kaewkamnerd said Prayuth had told his subordinates to be calm and refrain from violating any laws.