Dhammakaya-linked TV station has its license scrapped

The board of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has decided on Monday to revoke the operating license of DMC TV station, the mouthpiece of Wat Dhammakaya.

The board also agreed to suspend the licenses of Khon Klong Sam radio station operating at 102.5 megahertz and Kla Tawan radio station operating at 96.25 megahertz for their alleged connections with Wat Dhammakaya.

Colonel Nathee Sakulrat, vice chairman of the board, said the board found that DMC TV was closely connected with Mr Ong-art Thamnitha, spokesman of Wat Dhammakaya and Wat Dhammakaya Foundation.

Mr Ong-art, according to the colonel, is facing arrest for allegedly distorting computerized data of the other people and for allegedly stiring dissent among followers of the Dhammakaya cult toward the state.

DMC TV was also alleged to disseminating information to Dhammakaya followers in a way that has incited them to gather at the temple to resist officials in the performance of their duty.

Colonel Nathee said the board concluded that DMC TV had defied Order 97/2557 of the National Council for Peace and Order regarding broadcasting which is deemed to incite unrest and public conflict.

Earlier, the NBTC suspended the operations of DMC TV for 30 days starting on December 8.