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Thailand seeks control over movies about cave ordeal

BANGKOK (AP) – Thailand’s military government wants to control how movies portray the ordeal of the young soccer players and their heroic rescue from a flooded cave that drew worldwide interest and the attention of foreign filmmakers.

Culture Minister Vira Rojpochanarat said he will propose at next week’s Cabinet meeting that a special committee be established to oversee the production of films, documentaries and videos related to the experiences of the 12 boys and their coach who were trapped in a cave for almost three weeks before being rescued.

With the boys returned home, attention has turned to how the media is handling the post-rescue story. There has been criticism of several news outlets, mostly foreign, who are considered to have ignored official advice to leave the boys alone for at least a month to try to avoid psychological stress that recounting their ordeal might trigger.

Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said Friday he had instructed officials from the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security to make sure the young soccer players and those associated with them are not bothered while they are going through a period of mental rehabilitation.

He said the foreign media “may not know the consequences of our child protections laws. Even if unintentional, but if guilty, we can conduct legal proceedings against foreigners.” Wissanu, who is considered the top legal expert for Thailand’s ruling junta, said the boys are protected by child protection laws and information protection laws.

The rescue, carried out successfully against high odds, was a rare bit of feel-good news from Thailand, which has been mired in political conflict and heavy-handed military rule for more than a decade. Even as the world watched the cave

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