Sarocha Pornudomsak has issued a strongly-worded denial of red-shirted leader Jatuporn Phrompan’s allegation that TAN Network had received some Bt300 million from the Abhisit government.
Here is her statement of disappointment over Jatuporn in particular and the press in general:
On September 28, 2009, the Matichon Online agency printed a comment made by a prominent leader of the Democratic Alliance Against Dictatorship, Jatuporn Phrompan, which cited false information about how the Office of the Prime Minister had allocated funds of around 300 million baht (Three hundred million baht) to the TAN Network.
After being informed of the report, Sarosha Pornudomsak, TAN’s Network Director immediately came out to deny the allegations, both on-air on TAN Network and on ASTV. However, Jatuporn chose to ignore those rebuttals and continued to defame the network further the next day with continued media reports suggesting that the government had given the TAN Network sponsorship of 300 million baht.
Jatuporn also attempted to link the TAN Network with the Democrat Party by citing the appearance of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and other members of his Cabinet at the official launch of the Thai-ASEAN News Network on August 26, 2009. On this issue, we would like to say that the Prime Minister indeed appeared as our guest of honor for the event. Many ministers from his administration did attend the event as well. However, this does not in any way suggest “irregular relations” between the network and the government. All our guests attended for one reason, and one reason only, and that is that they all had a mutual belief that Thailand, as an emerging market in the global economy, must have a viable alternative for the foreign community when it comes to English broadcast news. It did not, under any circumstance, imply that the government was ready to “sponsor” the network in financial terms.
What Jatuporn has suggested is completely inaccurate and is malicious in its intention to discredit this government and the TAN Network.
This press release is to, once again reiterate, that the Thai-ASEAN News (TAN) Network has never received any amount of sponsorship from this government or any other government in the past. We are a privately owned, independent news station that offers accurate and unbiased news to our viewers, both foreign and Thai. Our news reports are factual and are presented in a straightforward manner. Our commentaries are clearly distinguished apart from our news segments and reflect the views and opinions of guest speakers and senior journalists who appear on our shows.
We are disappointed that Jatuporn, as a Member of Parliament under the Phue Thai banner, chose to target our news organization to further his political gains. Surprisingly, under the current political climate, news agencies throughout Thailand chose to run the story without having even checked with the TAN Network as to whether the allegations had any truth. This is yet another disappointing factor.
The Thai-ASEAN News Network, once again, insists that it has never received any sponsorship, financial or otherwise, from the Thai government. We continue to report the news with integrity and accountability and because of that, our legal teams are preparing to press charges of defamation against Jatuporn Phrompan and all media organizations which chose to report the story without any attempts to ask involved parties.
The Thai-ASEAN News (TAN) Network
October 1, 2009