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Tesco in Thailand is suing a columnist for suggesting the supermarket chain "doesn't love Thais".

Tesco Lotus, as it trades in Thailand, is demanding £1.6 million for the "blatantly untrue" comments.

Nongnart Harnvilai, tongue in cheek business gossip writer for Bangkok Business News, is the third person to be sued for such "blatantly untrue" comments in recent months. The vice-general secretary of the Thai Chamber of Commerce also faces paying £16.6 million, and two years in prison, after similar criticism. Campaigners fear that this is an attempt by Tesco Lotus to crush criticism of its rapid expansion. The editor of Bangkok Business News said that the column, which ran to just several sentences, was "supposed to be funny".

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