Australian documentary on Thai royals sparks outrage

Last Updated: Friday, April 16, 2010 - 15:03

Sydney: Thailand has protested to the Australian government over the airing of a documentary critical of the Thai royal family and warned that the broadcast could affect ties between the nations.

A senior representative from the Thai embassy met with officials from Australia`s Department of Foreign Affairs yesterday to express his concern at the programme aired by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

"The concern is that it might affect the good relations between Thailand and Australia, especially the people to people relations," Saksee Phromyothi, minister-counsellor at the Royal Thai Embassy, said.

"We consider this an issue matter of national security... because the royal family, the monarchy, in our constitution is above politics."

Thailand`s ambassador designate Kriangsak Kittichaisaree has also written to ABC managing director Mark Scott to complain about the programme which could breach Thailand`s lèse majesté law, which prohibit criticism of the royals.

"I regret that an organisation of the ABC`s stature has lowered its own standard by airing the said documentary which is presented in a manner no different from tabloid journalism," he wrote.

The programme, which aired late Tuesday, was broadcast on the state-funded station only in Australia and cannot be viewed over the Internet outside the country.


First Published: Friday, April 16, 2010 - 15:03
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