Thai Government Censors Ramayana Opera

November 18, 2006


Source: The Times-Picayune

Wire Service: AP

Thailand's new military-appointed government has threatened to shut down an operatic version of the Hindu epic Ramayana, ostensibly over fears one of its scenes may bring bad luck.

"Ayodhya" premiered Thursday night and is scheduled for repeat performances on Saturday and Sunday, albeit with the 'offensive' scene toned down under pressure from Culture Ministry officials.

The matter is sensitive because Thailand's interim government faces criticism for not lifting curbs on freedom of the press and other civil liberties.

Composer Somtow Sucharitkul said Friday that ministry officials approached him a few days before the show's opening to complain about a scene involving the on-stage death of a key character, the demon-king, Thotsakan.