The junta chief denied last night that the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) was planning to exercise its power to control media, saying it needed cooperation from the media to help maintain peace and order in the country.
“We are just asking the media to be careful when they report news. They [media professional organisations] should help regulate each other and not allow any reports that can be deemed as ill-intentioned, or false and that violate others’ rights, or defame them,” NCPO chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha said in his weekly TV address.
The previous Friday, the NCPO said it would shut down any media outlets – print, television, radio or online – if they disseminated information that was considered as threatening to the monarchy or national security, incited violence, or created rifts in society, or was critical of the NCPO’s work.
The NCPO later issued an amendment, saying it would not ban media outlets for making critical comments, but would prohibit ill-intentioned comments that aim to discredit the NCPO by using false information. Instead of imposing an immediate ban, the NCPO would allow professional media agencies to investigate the outlet/s behind the violation.
“If you [the media] have no bad intentions against us or if you are not excessively critical, then nobody can harm you. I need your cooperation because you have the power to bring about or destroy peace and order,” Prayuth said last night.
He also called on media professionals to help reform media as part of the national reform agenda.