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Norway minister defends Telenor's Thai apology

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Norway minister defends Telenor's Thai apology
DTAC's offices in Thailand. Photo: Telenor
14:14 CEST+02:00
Norway's Industry Minister Monica Maeland has defended the embarrassing apology forced on state-owned phone company Telenor by Thailand's military junta, saying the situation for the company is "very challenging".
On Tuesday, Telenor issued a lengthy apology to the junta, saying it "regretted" that it had “damaged the public image” of the junta by disclosing its request to block access to Facebook at the time of the country's military coup in May. 
 
“Thailand requires unity among its people and its many foreign friends who are operating in the country,” the company said. “We will continue to strengthen our dialogue with the people of Thailand for the betterment of the country.”
 
The abject apology was not enough to stop the country's new military rulers from abruptly shelved a planned auction of 4G capacity on Wednesday, in a blow to Telenor's subsidiary DTAC, which unlike its rival True Corporation, cannot yet offer 4G services. 
 
Maeland conceded that it was "natural to be critical" of the way Telenor had handled the situation. 
 
"It is unusual that a company is asked to apologise for the fact that they have acted with transparency," she said. "But this is a difficult situation that the company's management and board must deal with."
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