Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The next wave of censorship

From The Nation....

Starting this May, film-rating system will come into effect in the country for the first time.

The Cabinet Tuesday approved four draft regulations on the system.

"We should be able to enforce the regulations from May onward," Culture Minister Teera Slukpetch said.

Already this is disappointing. Thailand has managed to go this long without film ratings without disaster. I have very occasionally seen young kids going to watch nasty horror films, but this was very rare. Here comes the really worrying part though.....

Instead of having five categories for films, Thailand's system will classify films into seven groups.

"The two extra groups are for films that should be promoted on merits of cultures, arts or traditions, and films that should be banned for containing inappropriate content," Teera said.

Anybody who knows my blog or the Thai political systems will know why this statement - though it may seem innocuous at first - is very worrying. Here we have yet another unelected bureaucrat deciding what is "inappropriate". In Thailand, inappropriate can mean many things. Most often it means criticism of the ruling party, criticism of the military and the amount of money they claim or criticism of people who are above criticism.

It seems that now the foreign media have been bullied and intimidated into silence, movie makers are next.

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