Opinion: We all knew this day would come

Last night, the Prayut Chan-ocha administration passed a new law which forbade media from sharing news or editorials that could jeopardize national security even if the news may be true.

An Orwellian step that was expected but one that was nevertheless disappointing.

As journalists, my colleagues and I have been anticipating this decree for some time and many of us have agreed on a code of conduct in light of the new prohibitions.

We draw our inspiration from heroes like Vaclav Havel, a Czech dissident who refused to be silenced by the censors and the propaganda machine of the communist government.

Havel and his dissidents chose to live as if they were in a free and fair society and dared the authorities to come for them when they staged plays and wrote lengthy essays that were critical of the state.

He would go on to serve as the first president of Czechoslovakia after the fall of the communist regime.

We, likewise, will live our lives as if we are in a free and fair society.

The current regime likes to pretend that Thailand is a democratic system with nothing wrong with the governing structure so we will carry out our duty and our reporting in the same manner.

Because what we are doing, we believe, is important.

When we shed light on the abuses and the suffering that we have had to endure because of bad governance and unaccountable despots, we chip away at the aura of invincibility that this regime possesses. In essence, we believe our reporting shows the world that this regime can be brought down by the people despite the odds stacked in their favour, despite the crooked senate, despite the tanks and guns they have at their disposal.

This government has the temerity to think that they can keep passing decrees and laws that infringe on our freedom without consequences.

They are wrong.

So we are letting you know at Thai Enquirer that nothing will change, that we will continue to hold power to account. Though this new law was designed to target us and our colleagues who do a thankless job everyday, we will not be scared into biting our tongue or holding in our critiques.

We believe that in a just society, the first line of defense against the encroachment of totality and despotism is a free and fair press. We will work and act accordingly.


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