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On May 29, veteran award-winning writer Wat Wallayangkur, speaking in a public forum on poetry and freedom held at the Oct 14 Memorial, said that he had been informally asked to resign from the Nai Intr Award Committee after many years of doing the job.


He said that earlier it had been just hearsay that he was boycotted by Amarin Printing and Publishing until a close associate who worked for the company wrote a letter asking him to resign, citing a reason of political conflicts.


Wat thought the breaking point probably was when he and his fellow writers released a press statement on April 1 in support of the red-shirt movement.


He said he did not speak out on this issue out of personal rage or grievance, but he saw this as reflecting a Thai society that did not accept differing views.  And such incidents have happened with no one saying anything, as in the case of Matichon editors.


‘If we don’t speak, and do nothing, this dictatorship in disguise will threaten us more and more,’ said Wat.


In light of the incident, Wat also decided to quit from Parliament’s Committee for the Phan Wan Fah Book Award, saying that it was out of his own free will, and that after being a committee member for 6-7 years he had failed in his mission to fight for democracy.  Although the award was created for the purpose of promoting democracy, most of the winning literary works speak about just half the truth—the wickedness of politicians, which is true and obvious—but it is forbidden to speak about the other kind of politician who pulls strings behind the scene, he criticized.


‘Writers and poets can never touch them.  They’ll never win any awards if they do.  Writers are still detained in a cage of illusion.  The narrative of cursing evil politicians and stupid peasants has been established by the Amart [elite] for 30-40 years already.  I want to urge poets and writers to break the mindset.  Grassroots people already see it, while poets still don’t,’ said Wat.


Wat and fellow writers, calling themselves People’s Writer and Artist Democracy Network (PWAD), have set up D-Publishing to publish ‘red’ literature, and D-Magazine, which will be launched on June 24.  The group will hold public forums with the red masses in the provinces. 

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