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Last Updated: Friday, 6 April 2007, 06:06 GMT 07:06 UK
More Thai king videos on YouTube

Man watching YouTube
The site will be banned in Thailand until offending clips are removed
Two more clips mocking Thailand's revered king have appeared on the video-sharing website YouTube.

The site is already blocked in Thailand, since a film showing graffiti on images of the king's face was posted on Thursday.

That clip has now been withdrawn, but the government insists it will continue to block access to the site until all offending films are removed.

Criticising or offending the monarchy is a serious crime in Thailand.

The world's longest-reigning monarch, 79-year-old King Bhumibol Adulyadej, is revered across the nation, with some people even seeing him as a virtual god.

Last week, a Swiss man was jailed for 10 years for vandalising portraits of the king.

Censorship fears

The original video which sparked the row featured images of King Bhumibol covered with graffiti, and juxtaposed pictures of feet over his face - an offensive act to Thais, who consider feet the dirtiest part of the body.

This film now appears to have been withdrawn by its creator, with a notice on the YouTube website saying it had been "removed by the user".

But two more clips on a similar theme have now surfaced.

Communications Minister Sitthichai Pookaiyaudom said he would continue to block access to YouTube "until all the offensive clips have gone".

On Thursday, when the first clip appeared and Thailand decided to block the video-sharing site, YouTube said it was disappointed by the ban and asked the government to lift it.

But Mr Sitthichai branded YouTube heartless and culturally insensitive.

"We have told them how deeply offended Thais were by the clip, but they said there was much worse ridicule of President Bush on the site and they kept that there," he told Reuters news agency.

Thailand's decision to block the YouTube site has drawn sharp criticism from media rights groups, who say it highlights an increasing amount of censorship by the military-backed government which came to power after September's coup.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
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SEE ALSO
Thailand blocks access to YouTube
04 Apr 07 |  Asia-Pacific
Swiss man jailed for Thai insult
29 Mar 07 |  Asia-Pacific
Sensitive heads of state
29 Mar 07 |  Special Reports
Life in pictures: Thailand's king
08 Jun 06 |  In Pictures
Thai king remains centre stage
21 Sep 06 |  Asia-Pacific

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