Thai govt is trying to prevent its distribution, says paper

  • Nation
  • Monday, 06 Dec 2004

THE Thai government is preventing the distribution of VCDs showing security forces striking Muslim demonstrators in Tak Bai, said Mingguan Malaysia in its Analisis Massa section.  

The report said that the VCD entitled “Gambaran Sebenar Tragedi Tak Bai, Kekejaman Tentera Thai Terhadap Umat Islam” (The real scenes of the Tak Bai tragedy, the Thai military's cruelty towards Muslims) clearly depicted what happened on Oct 25. 

Writer Zulkifli Bakar said the VCD began with footage of Muslims gathering followed by the sound of gunshots and the violent action of the military against demonstrators.  

They were arrested, handcuffed and beaten. 

There were also scenes of the demonstrators being piled onto trucks before being taken to the Inkayut Bonikan camp in Pattani.  

“Even though this VCD has footages shown by television stations, it is enough to incur the anger of Muslims in other areas,” said one resident who lived near the Tak Bai police station. 

The Thai government knows the effects of distributing the video, what more it being distributed outside Thailand, especially in Kelantan, Zulkifli wrote. 

“They are worried that if this video was seen by Thai Muslims living in Kelantan, it would expose the facts of what happened on Oct 25,” he added. 

However, Zulkifli also wrote that so far efforts to halt the distribution of the VCD could be considered to have failed as it was being widely circulated.  

The report said that the VCD was available in southern Thailand and was also widely sold in Kelantan, especially in districts near the Thai-Malaysia border. 

Berita Minggu in its Sang Lamri column said that the Restricted Residence Act 1933 was already obsolete. 

“Compared to other Acts which are older than 71 years but still relevant to current times, there are opinions questioning the suitability of the Restricted Residence Act. 

“It is probable that during pre-Iidependence days or the early years after independence, it was effective in teaching a lesson, what with the many interior areas which were not populated or small towns which could not be reached by roads,” wrote the columnist. 

Today, he added, with the network of highways, first class transportation and communication, restricted residence under police supervision was no longer a punishment.  

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