THAILAND: To make something popular, just ban it

Respected American judge Potter Stewart once observed: “Censorship reflects a society’s lack of confidence in itself.” That appears to be what we are experiencing with the Ministry of Culture’s ban on the film Arbat, concerning a novice monk who misbehaves. While the film does enter sensitive territory, newspapers in Thailand have regularly carried reports about monks who have gone off the rails. That is the reality and the public is aware of it. Not for the first time the authorities seem to think the Thai public is incapable of making its own decisions on what films are worth watching.

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