He accused them of violating Section 37 of the Broadcasting Act.
Premsak said he wanted the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) to investigate the roles of the reporters, who work for five media outlets. He alleged they intruded into his mayoral office and pressured him to provide information. He also also claimed they had published a news story that violated his rights.
He urged the NBTC to revoke the licences of the five media outlets, or close them, if their reporters were found to have committed the alleged offences.
Mr Premsak said he wanted the NBTC to follow guidelines given by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) chief, as stated in an order issued under Section 44 of the interim constitution.
The order covers false information, material potentially defamatory to the monarchy, news that could harm national security, dishonest criticism of the NCPO, confidential state information, information causing incitement and division, calls for an assembly to oppose state authorities, and threats against individuals.
Mr Premsak, who was a Khon Kaen MP before entering local-level politics, took his case to the telecoms regulator after he was accused of ordering four municipal officials to strip the pants off Korsit Kongchum, a reporter for the Daily News, in front of four other Khon Kaen-based reporters, in a locked room at his office on July 26. The five reporters later filed a police complaint against him.
The mayor was reportedly angry over a news story on the front page of the Daily News on Tuesday (July 26) that featured him beside a Mathayom Suksa 5 student with 400,000 baht in cash in front of them at the girl’s house in what looked like a Thai engagement ceremony. The picture went viral online. Mr Premsak is a married man.
NBTC Secretary-General Thakorn Tantasith said on Friday that he would forward Mr Premsak’s complaint to a sub-committee tasked with news content and news programmes, which would decide whether to accept the case for investigation.
He insisted the NCPO’s order had not given additional power to the telecoms regulator. The NBTC may invite those involved in the dispute to give details regarding the news story, he said.
Mr Premsak also submitted a petition to Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-ocha via the public complaints centre, asking for media reform over the news story about him and the girl.
The mayor also said it was not true that he ordered his men to strip the pants of the 64-year-old Daily News reporter.
He said he would give the details to a Khon Kaen provincial investigation panel. He claimed to have evidence to prove his innocence.
Mr Premsak refused to answer when asked by reporters about the photographs of him and the girl. He had previously said it was a personal matter and that he was helping her family.
On Thursday, a civil group petitioned the Office of the Ombudsman to investigate the conduct of the Ban Phai mayor over his harassment of the Daily News reporter.
Srisuwan Janya, Secretary-General of the Association of Organisations Protecting the Thai Constitution, said Mr Premsak should have acted more maturely, given his education and career in politics.
He denounced the treatment of the reporter as “illegal”.
The activist said Mr Premsak should be a role model for society and youth.
“Dr Premsak is a public figure and it is normal that he is under public scrutiny. The media were not wrong to report the news about him,” Mr Srisuwan said.
Deputy Secretary-General Thawin Inthachamong said his office will look into Mr Premsak’s treatment of the reporter and whether he is engaged to a young girl.
Parents and alumni of Ban Phai Suksa School on Thursday called for Mr Premsak’s removal from the school’s education committee, where he serves as chairman, over his alleged involvement with the teenage student.
The National Legislative Assembly also cancelled the planned presentation to him of an award for community service.
Read original story here.