Philippe Latour, Southeast Asia representative of the Paris-based Reporters without Borders (RSF), said he was deeply concerned about the lost of freedom in the Thai media, which had ranked as one of the most independent in the region.
RSF had observed that several sectors, such as the judicial system and civil society, had been more active in protecting freedom of expression.
But the Thaksin government had yet to show it was willing to support media freedom, and was often criticised for suppressing it, Mr Latour
Majesty the King's
birthday speech in December last year, where he
was happy to be criticised in a constructive fashion, had also led to a sharp drop in criminal charges against media activists and newspapers, which was a good thing. Mr Latour
said Burma was one country in this region with "absolutely no press freedom," which forced Burmese journalists to flee to refugee camps and work illegally in neighbouring countries. He
also urged the Thai government and Unesco to consider giving special status and official press cards to more than 100 Burmese journalists living in Thailand.
"They deserve protection and respect.No dictatorship is eternal; nobody can kill the messenger forever," he
According to RSF's report, 63 journalists and five media assistants were killed worldwide last year.