Only NBTC can suspend TV channels, regulator says

national January 22, 2014 00:00

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The power to suspend television channels belongs to the broadcasting regulators, a commissioner said Wednesday.

If the Centre for Maintaining Peace and Order (CMPO) wants to suspend any media operation.  especially authorised television channels, the decision must be taken and the order given by the National Broadcast and Telecommunication Commission (NBTC.

NBTC Commissioner Supinya Klangnarong wrote on her Facebook page that the Democrat-affiliated BlueSky channel, which broadcasts the anti-government protest activities, has just renewed its license for two years.

The Emergency Decree invoked today will not overrule NBTC's authorities to regulate licensed broadcasters, she said. Your [operator] license now is your defence for press freedom. However, a license comes with responsibility to all citizens. Let's work together to uphold press freedom and the code of ethics,” Supinya wrote.

The government has enforced the state of emergency in the capital and outskirts to deal with the protests that was led by former Democrat MP Suthep Thaugsuban. The invocation of the decree sparked fears that it will exploit the legislation to suspend the BlueSky Channel in order to stop the ongoing anti-government protests.