Thailand Moves Against Fugitive Billionaire’s VoiceTV and US-funded Prachatai

Media funded by the US government to divide and destroy Thailand faces temporary restrictions. Other media funded and run by fugitive billionaire Thaksin Shinawatra and his political machine also face temporary restrictions. 

Thai Summary: รัฐบาลไทยเดินหน้าปิดสื่อเเละองค์กรเสี้ยมม้อปที่สนับสนุนโดยชาติตะวันตก เป็นการชั่วคราว   ในขณะที่สื่อตะวันตกเเละฝ่ายผู้ประท้วง ออกมาเคลื่อนไหวโจมตีกระทำของรัฐบาลว่าเป็นการคุกคามเสรีภาพในการพูด และปฏิเสธว่า US ไม่ได้อยู่เบื้องหลังหรือเป็นท่อน้ำเลี้ยงการประท้วง เเต่ถ้าดู background ของสื่อมันขัดกับที่ออกมาเเก้ตัว   Voice TV.  – เจ้าของคือคนไกลในดูใบ   ประชาไท – อ้างว่าตนเป็นสื่อไม่เเสวงหาผลกำไร แต่ประชาไทมีรายชื่ออยู่บนเว็บไซต์อย่างเป็นทางการของ US NED ในฐานะ “มูลนิธิสื่อเพื่อการศึกษาชุมชน” ,และ”กรรมการบริหาร” ของประชาไท จิรนุช เปรมชัยพร ยังเป็นสมาชิก NED ของสหรัฐด้วย

October 19, 2020 (Tony Cartalucci – LD) – The Thai government has announced it is moving against media organizations promoting unrest in Thailand including fugitive billionaire Thaksin Shinawatra’s VoiceTV and US government-funded Prachatai. 

While the Western media and opposition groups in Thailand are decrying the move as an attack on “free speech” – they fail to mention that VoiceTV is owned and operated by billionaire fugitive Thaksin Shinawatra who is currently hiding abroad from multiple jail sentences, arrest warrants, and a list of additional, mounting legal cases. 

READ MORE: The Complete Guide: US Government Role in Thailand’s “Student Protests”

Thaksin Shinawatra is also guilty of having killed thousands of innocent people in 2003 during a politically-motivated “war on drugs,” making him and his political supporters the worst human rights violators in Thailand’s history. 

Even Human Rights Watch – now an apologist for Thaksin Shinawatra and his crimes – would at the time admit in their 2004 report “Not Enough Graves” (PDF, page 1) that (emphasis added): 

Thaksin government instructed police and local officials that persons charged with drug offenses should be considered “security threats” and dealt with in a “ruthless” and “severe” manner. The result of the initial three-month phase of this campaign was some 2,275 extrajudicial killings, which the government blamed largely on gangs involved in the drug trade; arbitrary inclusion of drug suspects on poorly prepared government “blacklists” or “watchlists;” intimidation of human rights defenders; violence, arbitrary arrest, and other breaches of due process by Thai police; and coerced or mandatory drug treatment.

Since being removed from power Thaksin Shinawatra has attempted to seize back power several times including through the use of armed violence in 2009 and again in 2010 in mobs and riots similar to those today. 

2010 unrest backed by Thaksin Shinawatra financially and through his media and political networks led to the deaths of over 100 people and rioting, looting, and arson across Bangkok. 

In addition to his use of his “red shirt” mobs now present once again on Bangkok’s streets – he also deployed hundreds of heavily armed militants who fought Thai security forces in gun battles stretching weeks.  It is no mystery as to why the current Thai government is interested in preventing yet another episode like this from happening again.   

Prachatai is Funded by the US government, Its Director a Member of the US NED   

Also facing closure is Prachatai. 

Despite claiming to be “an independent, non-profit, daily web newspaper,” it is in fact funded entirely by the US government through its notorious regime change arm the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), USAID, and convicted financial criminal George Soros’ Open Society. It also receives money from the German government through the Heinrich Böll Foundation. 

Prachatai is listed on the official US NED website as the “Foundation for Community Educational Media,” a dual naming scheme meant to make it more difficult to link NED’s funding to the actual fronts in Thailand taking and using US funding to divide and destroy Thai society. 

Not only is Prachatai funded by the US government – the US being a nation responsible for the worst crimes against humanity of the 21st century including the invasion and destruction of Iraq in 2003 – but Prachatai’s “executive director” Chiranuch Premchaiporn is also a US NED Fellow – listed as such on the US NED’s own official website here

Image: The US does not “promote democracy” around the world, it hides military aggression and foreign interference behind it. 

On the official US NED webpage providing Chiranuch’s biography – Prachatai and the “Foundation for Community Educational Media” are both used interchangeably. 

Until 2011 – Prachatai attempted to hide its US funding until this blog launched a 6 month-long campaign to pressure them for a full disclosure revealing the “independent” organization was actually entirely dependent on US government funding. While Prachatai lists its US government funding on its English language website – it has never made a full financial disclosure to its Thai audience. 

The closure of US funded disinformation and media organizations operated by convicted criminals hiding overseas is not “censorship” of any kind. It is in direct line with international law and practices around the world including the UN Charter which forbids other nations from interfering in another nation’s internal political affairs.

The West’s Hypocritical Double Standards 

In contrast – the US and US-based social media platforms including YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter – ban organizations – not for dishonestly taking foreign money and engaging in sedition – but simply for being based in nations the US does not like. 

Russian-based organizations – for example – who openly disclose their funding and affiliations with the Russian government – are banned from US social media networks. It is similar to how Thailand is now banning state-funded media from the UK (BBC) and Qatar (Al Jazeera) – a banning the West is now hypocritically complaining about. 

If the West can ban media it wants anytime and for any reason – it is creating an “international norm” it cannot complain about when others follow suite. For Thailand – confronting disinformation designed solely to divide and destroy Thai society and encourage unrest is truly is a matter of national security. 

Considering the damage and death already caused by Thaksin Shinawatra in the past – and the damage, death, and destruction the US and its proxies are still causing worldwide in places like Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Belarus, Venezuela, and beyond – Thailand’s government has every right – even a duty – to protect its population and information space from both dangers.