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'Government paranoia behind decision to halt Nakhon Ratchasima music festival'


The government's move to shutter the Big Mountain Music Festival 2020 in Nakhon Ratchasima was unfair and motivated by the government’s fear of people expressing their opinions, the Move Forward Party said on Monday.

Party spokesperson Thanwarin Sukkhapisit said that the government’s order to the Nakhon Ratchasima governor to stop the event stank of double standards.

On Sunday, Nakhon Ratchasima’s governor told the organisers to call off the festival, citing lax Covid-19 preventive measures after thousands attended the festival on Saturday.

Wichian Chantaranothai said organisers had failed to limit the number of festival-goers or enforce mask-wearing, leading to shouting and singing among crowds which could transmit the virus.

“There are clearly double standards in enforcing Covid-19 prevention measures,” he said.

“There were Red Cross fairs held in several provinces in the past months with no strict preventive measures enforced. In Nakhon Ratchasima there is also the Pak Chong Winter Festival being held from December 13-24, which also has music performances on stage. After this decision, would the government shut that down as well?” he asked.

“The government should stop using fear as a compass in handling the Covid-19 situation,” he said.

“Thailand should move forward with hope. In the past year, we have learned to live with Covid-19 while our public health system is strong enough.

“Everybody can see that the festival was cancelled not because of fear of the outbreak, but because the government is afraid of the expression of opinion by the pro-democracy new generation,” he added.

Related Story: Netizens say music festival shut down for pro-democracy content, not Covid

Published : December 15, 2020

By : THE NATION