Sunday, February 26, 2006

crowd counting at anti-Thaksin rally, ITV told to go home

from The Nation's 'live' covergage of the Feb 26 anti-Thaksin rally

6:50 pm: The number of demonstrators is estimated at over 50,000, occupying about half of 68-rai area of Sanam Luang.

7:30 pm: Some demonstrators surround a TV crew from iTV station after the reporter announces on its Camera that there are only 6,000 demonstrators. Samran Rodphet, a spokesman, asks the crowds to be calm so the demonstrators allow the iTV crew to retreat from its coverage area in front of the Emerald Buddha Temple and asks the station not to cover the rally.

No surprise as Thailand's government controlled television stations continue to ignore or downplay the massive anti-government protest here in Bangkok, execpt when something negative happens (asin the case of a small electrical fire) then they tune in and give it coverage beyond all belief:

8:20 pm:
A power generator of the protest organiser catches fire. The fire is broadcast live on Channel 9 and 7. The fire is brought under control quickly.

Voter education in Thailand must continue so that the people (esp. the rural population) are no longer simple-minded enough to fall for these tactics.