Over 130 trade unionists, social activists, students and academics have put their names to an open letter condemning the behaviour of The Manager media group.
Those signing the letter include many academics at Chulalongkorn and Thammasart Universities, including the Dean of the faculty of Political Science at Chulalongkorn University. Former Senator Jon Ungpakorn and Rawadee Prasertcharoensuk from the N.G.O. Coordinating Committee, Professor Niti Eawsriwong, Textile trade union leaders, worker activists and an academic from the Midnight University are among the signatures.
The letter is in response to the actions of Mr Sonti Limtongkul’s Manager group in promoting violence against a young student activist Chotisak Oonsung, who is being accused of lèse majesté because he refused to stand up for the King’s Anthem at the cinema. Both Manager group websites and its radio station, Metro Life, have encouraged Ultra-Rightwing Royalists to attack Mr Chotisak. Ms Jitra Kotchadej, Chairwoman of the Triumph workers union has also been made a target for violence by The Manager media. Ms Jitra was singled out because she wore a T-shirt supporting the right to different views in society, including not standing up at the cinema. Both Mr Chotisak and Ms Jitra’s photographs and home addresses were published alongside urges to attack them. The Manager media also encouraged people to attack and break up a meeting on Human Rights at Thammasart University recently.
Those signing the open letter compare the behaviour of The Manager with the past behaviour of Rightwing media such as Dao Sayam newspaper and the Tank Corps radio station in inciting violence that led to the 6th October 1976 blood bath.
The letter calls on people to boycott The Manager media group for abusing basic human rights. The letter also calls on P.A.D. leaders Somsak Kosaisuk, Pipop Thongchai and Somkiat Pongpaiboon to come out and officially condemn The Manager.
Associate Professor Giles Ji Ungpakorn
Open Letter Coordinator
The full text of the open letter and the list of those who have signed it is available here.