FCCT ‘ordered by NCPO’ to cancel panel discussion on missing plaque
The Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand (FCCT) has cancelled its panel discussion titled “Memories of 1932: The Mystery of Thailand’s Missing Plaque”, scheduled for Wednesday night, “on the orders of the National Council for Peace and Order”.
The FCCT posted on its website and Facebook on Wednesday morning that the decision to cancel the discussion was made after it received a letter from Lumpini Police asking it to call off the event scheduled for 7pm this evening. According to the letter, the police said they had been contacted by “relevant officials”.
“In the letter, the police said these officials believed that the event posed a threat to national security, and that it could be used by unscrupulous individuals to stir up disorder,” the FCCT announcement stated.
The FCCT said it disagreed with this assessment, arguing, “Our events are always well-moderated and allow for constructive and civilised discussions. This particular event was on a topic of great historic and contemporary relevance, with a panel of distinguished speakers. However, the FCCT has been given to understand that this cancellation is on the orders of the National Council for Peace and Order, and we have no choice but to comply,” it said.
Instead, the FCCT said it would mark World Press Freedom Day with an alternative panel of speakers, to be confirmed later, who would discuss the state of media freedom in Thailand at a time when Thai journalists face new regulations which would impede their ability to scrutinise those in power.