Thailand:Media Freedom ??

Free Speech Radio News

This month marks the one year anniversary of protests in Thailand that brought Bangkok to a standstill in 2010. Some 88 people were killed and 1800 injured in the violence. The country still remains in a transition, with Red Shirt protesters taking to the streets and the current government of Abhisit Vejjajiva preparing for an election this year. Following last April’s protests, the government quickly began cracking down on media and FSRN has been following the case of Chiranuch Premchaiporn, an editor with the news website Prachatai. She faces up to 20 years in prison for her role as a journalist and is accused of publishing comments considered offensive to the monarchy. Her case is being seen as a test of whether or not democracy is returning to Thailand.   FSRN’s Dorian Merina sat down with Premchaiporn in Bangkok for an extensive interview. Today, we bring you the first part, where she discusses her case and the role of media in Thai society. Tune in tomorrow, for the second part of this interview, when Premchaiporn discusses the investigations into last year’s crackdown and the future of political reform in Thailand. You can also see photos and a video of the interview here on our website.

Derek Mitchell, Nominee for Special Representative and Policy Coordinator for Burma, with the rank of Ambassador, Department of State

Derek Mitchell, Nominee for Special Representative and Policy Coordinator for Burma, with the rank of Ambassador, Department of State
Derek Mitchell is currently Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs at the Department of Defense (DOD). Until April 2009, Mr. Mitchell served as senior fellow and director for Asia in the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), having joined the Center in January 2001. Beginning in January 2008, he concurrently served as director of CSIS’s Southeast Asia Initiative. Mr. Mitchell was special assistant for Asian and Pacific affairs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense from 1997 to 2001, when he received the Office of the Secretary of Defense Award for Exceptional Public Service.  He was the principal author of the Department of Defense 1998 East Asia Strategy Report. Prior to joining DOD, Mr. Mitchell served as senior program officer for Asia and the former Soviet Union at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs in Washington, D.C.  In 1989, Mr. Mitchell worked as an editor and reporter at the China Post (Taiwan). From 1986 to 1988, Mr. Mitchell served as assistant to the senior foreign policy adviser to Senator Edward M. Kennedy. Mr. Mitchell received an M.A. in law and diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in 1991, and a B.A. from the University of Virginia in 1986.