Thailand offers ‘attitude adjustment’ programmes for dissidents

Bangkok, March 3 (IANS) Thailand’s ruling military junta has introduced “attitude adjustment” programmes for those who critique government policies, the media reported on Thursday.

Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon said a course “can last three to seven days if their remarks damage the nation and cause conflicts. Laws must be enforced”, EFE news reported.

The junta, led by Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, has tried to control the media since usurping power on May 22, 2014.

In February, the Committee to Protect Journalists had expressed concern about restrictions introduced by the Thai government over the issue of visas to foreign journalists, alleging the new norms seek to create a vacuum in international media coverage of the country and silence criticism of the military regime.

Meanwhile, social networks have emerged as a hub for cartoonists, comedians and activists seeking to dodge state censorship, which can sometimes reach fever pitch in the country, and criticise various issues, including the involvement of the military in notorious corruption cases, the junta’s tribulations in drafting the new Constitution, economic fiascos as well as the continued arrests of opponents.

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