Media mayhem in Thailand includes assault on Thaicom groundstation.

Posted: 11 Apr 2010   Print   Send a link
"Thai protesters claimed victory and vowed to step up their monthlong push for fresh elections after defying an emergency decree and forcing authorities to restore the signal of their satellite television station. About 15 people were injured yesterday as demonstrators pushed past security forces into the compound of Thaicom Pcl, the satellite monopoly that transmits the station’s signal. The government later agreed to let the station resume broadcasting, after shutting it down for inciting hatred." Bloomberg, 10 April 2010.
     "Protesters in Thailand overran a satellite TV station Friday and muscled their anti-government TV channel back on the air in a sign of rising defiance two days after authorities declared a state of emergency in Bangkok, the capital. Thousands of protesters, known as 'Red Shirts,' dodged water cannons and tear gas as they scrambled over barbed wire to open the gates of the secure site. Most troops quickly dropped their bid to defend the Thaicom satellite station, about 35 miles north of Bangkok, allowing the People's Channel to resume transmissions to about 10 million viewers." Patrick Winn, Los Angeles Times, 10 April 2010.
     "After scattered hand to hand scuffles, the troops retreated in disarray, some taking positions inside the main Thaicom building. After talks were held between protest leaders and the authorities, agreement was reached to allow People Channel to resume broadcasting, and protesters and soldiers left the site. But several hours later, more than 4,000 army troops retook the transmission complex and cut off the People Channel's signal again." Grant Peck, AP, 10 April 2010.
     "Some 200 red shirts gathered at the Thaicom station after the government unplugged their mouthpiece People Channel satellite television, taking it go off the air for the first time. Before the screen went static, red-shirt leaders had told viewers: 'If you no longer see us, if your screen goes dark, come to Bangkok and join us immediately.'" The Nation (Bangkok), 9 April 2010.
     "People Channel of red shirts protesters is on-air again on Sunday afternoon, TPBS Channel reported. The broadcast this time is transmitted on a C band transponder of another satellite, not ThaiCom." The Nation, 11 April 2010.
     "Thaicom Plc, the country's sole satellite service provider, said the government's blocking of the red shirts' People Channel television station (PTV) had severely damaged its international reputation. The company said foreign customers using the same transponder as PTV were threatening to sue Thaicom for their losses. An executive expressed concern that interference with the station's signals could damage the satellite's transponder. 'Despite the fact that signal jamming violates our contract and causes severe damage to our reputation, we must follow the order,' the executive said. ... The executive said Thaicom could not directly shut down PTV because the station broadcasts via the Israeli firm's uplink facility. Thaicom could only block the signal being beamed from the Thaicom 5 satellite by jamming the C-band frequency. The signal jamming not only caused PTV to be taken off the air but also interrupted five other channels on the same transponder. The satellite's transponder was also damaged, the source said. The Israeli firm eventually decided to shut down PTV to avoid other channels being affected." Komsan Tortermvasana and Srisamorn Phoosuphanusorn, Bangkok Post, 9 April 2010.
     "The Asian Human Rights Commission joins other concerned groups and individuals around the world to condemn the blocking in Thailand of 36 websites. The websites were blocked under a state of emergency that the unelected Prime Minister, Abhisit Vejjajiva, declared on 7 April 2010 in response to continued protests in Bangkok." Press release via Scoop, 10 April 2010.