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McDonalds in Thailand

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Somsak faces the
same accusation

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End of the Absolute Monarchy

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Nancy Chandler 1938-2015

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How many died in Thai drug purges?

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Changing the Diapers of Politics

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The arrest of Kamronwit in Japan

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Junta gives up on reform of the police

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5 Years Ago: Thaksin kids withdraw billions

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Dig happiness out of the poor

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10 Years Ago: Thailand’s age of libel

T is for trouble in the age of libel
After Picnic Corporation filed lawsuits seeking damages of Bt15 billion from newspapers it accuses of libel, experts and the media seem a little less inclined to even mention the names of companies mired in controversy.
…One of the hottest topics was Thai Film Industries Plc, which is also embroiled in a scandal. To keep their feet out of hot water, panellists dubbed the company “T Packaging”. TFI is owned by the politically connected Mahagitsiri family, which also owns the controversial Thainox Stainless Plc.
As the seminar continued, however, the use of pseudonyms started confusing the audience and many looked like they were trying to solve riddles in the dark trying to deduce which companies the speakers were talking about.
…And the more explaining he did, the more bewildered the audience grew. Finally, Chalee Chantanayingyong, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s assistant secretary-general and one of the speakers, couldn’t take it anymore.
Said Chalee curtly: “Let’s knock it off. Just say the full name of the company for the sake of understanding.”

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Bad luck for Thai people, just like the Uighurs

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From Thairath, by Sia, July 15, 2015
Title: Nationality “Ui… ui… (hapless/bad-luck again) … ghur” in Thailand
[The writer uses the word “Uighur” as an exclamation which means “oh man… I have hapless/bad-luck again”]
Above left, man wearing sunglasses in military uniforms and man next to him, on their armbands: Good man
On the bag they are putting over the head of the men: National Government
Above center, on man’s sash: The national reform council
On the bag he is putting over the head of the man: Senate Elections
On shirt of the man with bag on his head in the middle: Thai people
Above right, on button the man wears: The national reform council
On the bag he is putting over the head of the man: OUTSIDER Prime Minister
On shirt of the man with bag on his head on the right: Citizens
Mouse man nuling: Self-government arrangement rules.
Mouse: Not coming from the power of Thai citizens.
[When the Thai government repatriated the Uighur refugees to China, it stoked international outrages as photos surfaced of the refugees being returned with black bags over their heads.
The cartoonist uses these events to contend that the Thai people face the same treatment under a new charter which allows an partially appointed senate and non-elected prime minister.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Thairath - Sia | Leave a comment

Thailand and the 9/11 Commission Report

Thailand and the 9/11 Commission Report – July 30, 2004
Thailand does figure prominently in the recently released 9/11 Commission Report–principally as a meeting point for the terrorists because of lax visa rules and the ability of watched persons to "disappear into the streets of Bangkok." Thai officials have already responded to the report noting that the days of cursory or nonexistent visa rules are long over. On this page are all the passages with references to Thailand.

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The Uighur Problem

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From Komchadleuk, July 13, 2015
The Uighur Problem
[Here Lady Liberty (the U.S. government) is “blowing smoke” about the Uighur problem. This means that it is agitating other countries attack Thailand over the problem.
This is part of a common feeling in Thailand since the coup both among both pro- and anti-Thaksin groups.
Since the U.S. pressure for quick elections is read as a desire for a return to Thaksin to power, attacks on the junta and its polices are seen as part of a U.S. plot.]

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4 years ago: Are secret trials compatible with Liberties and Rights?

Are secret trials compatible with Liberties and Rights?

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11 years ago: Thailand figures prominently in the 9/11 report–mainly as a meeting point for terrorists

Thailand figures prominently in the 9/11 report–mainly as a meeting point for terrorists

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2 years ago: Thai editorial cartoon: The farmer’s happiness is the Democrat Party’s hardship

Thai editorial cartoon: The farmer’s happiness is the Democrat Party’s hardship

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Cutting the budget for bike lanes?

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From an image circulated on social media:
Cutting the budget for bike lanes.
Increasing the budget for Public Relations.
And they still say, they are supporting BIKE LANES?
Sign in the photo: Construction zone. Danger do not enter this area.
2014 Fiscal Year when the Department of Drainage and Sewerage received a government budget of 29.5 million baht in order to build pavements and bike lanes from Soi 39 to Asoke Bridge.
[Meanwhile] The Department of Deputy BMA received a government budget of 275 million baht for Public Relations.
2015 Fiscal Year
The Department of Drainage and Sewerage has not received any government budget. BUT
the Department of Deputy BMA has received the government budget for the Public Relation in the amount of 377 million baht.

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When AIS was majority owned by Thaksin’s wife, children, cook and driver

Thai 900-MHz auction thrown into doubt – telecomasia.net, July 28, 2015
…Key issues include the supreme court conviction of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra on conflict of interest charges when his government amended the concession reducing prepaid revenue share to be paid to the state under the concession. At the time, AIS was majority owned by Thaksin’s wife, children, cook and driver…

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3 years ago: Fury over the return of Chalerm’s son to police service

Fury over the return of Chalerm’s son to police service

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Thailand’s economy isn’t a Land of Smiles

Thailand’s economy isn’t a Land of Smiles – CNBC, July 26, 2015
…”Rural households are hit by a perfect storm in agriculture, drying up their cash flows when the debt burden remains elevated,” said Credit Suisse’s Santitarn, referring to the nine consecutive months of declines in international rice prices and the ruling military-backed government’s efforts to halt subsidies.
“Although the government has stepped up to provide $1.8 billion worth of soft loans to support farmers, we suspect the damage has been done. We expect this to act as further headwinds to consumption going forward,” Santitarn said…

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Improving the government

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From Thairath, by Chai Ratchawat, July 12, 2015
President Obama: In order to show our kind hospitality to you, we offer you our official staff to come to Thailand to improve some of your government sectors… so that those sectors could have the same standards as the U.S.
PM Prayuth: What sector are you talking about?
President Obama: Immigration division.
[Refers to the shock repatriation of Uighar migrants to Chain. This move cause international condemnation of the Thai government.]

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Coming soon: Ministry of Information and Communication Technology teaches you about democracy

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Coming soon: Ministry of information and Communication Technology teaches you about democracy: Is Thai democracy different than “foreigner’s democracy?”

Earlier from MICT: Why do we have to love Thai culture?

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Packing a Future Senate

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From Thairath, July 14, 2015
Title: Finding the way for people to extend their power
Paper held by PM Prayuth: Senators appointed by an order
A man with glasses’ suite: ECT [Election Commission of Thailand]
On fortune telling stick holder: Lucky-draw senators
On the tie: NCPO [National Council for Peace and Order, the junta]
Under the jar: Selected senators
Phi Nooring: Having a fate or already been chosen. [meaning those who will be chosen as senators will be those known to support the military]
A mouse: It’s not democratic.

[This illustrates the retrograde constitution which will feature a portion of appointed senators that will ultimately be appointed by the military. This means the appointed senators will be people who support the junta in their efforts to dull the powers of an elected government.
An unelected senate dominated by the military has long been a feature of Thai constitutions and have allowed the military to be involved in politics without being elected.
The 1997 constitution provided for a fully elected senate that ended up being composed of the spouses of Thai Rak Thai MPs. In 2014, the Pheu Thai Party’s attempt to amend the constitution to provide for a fully elected senate again was one of the factors (along with Thaksin’s amnesty) that eventually led to a coup.
More from 2013: The prime minister should step down? An unelected senate?]

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On Thaksin’s Birthday

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Above: 2012: The hearts of Thai grassroots people are broken
The world is shaken by the fate that unfairly destined
The land becomes cracked after the drought
Lacking of the leader who really cares,
Hearts of Thai grassroots people are broken.
Thaksin is the skillful leader
This is known nationwide
On his birthday, if he stays here, it will be lively celebrated
Everyone will be blissful.
On the occasion of Thaksin’s birthday, 26 July 2012

Birthdays of Thai “big men” are always occasions of day-long celebrations when allies, friends, and cronies showing their fealty with congratulatory messages and gifts.
Important undertakings and events also sync up around birthdays such as the first Red Shirt mass action in 2007. Below are some of the events and incidents in past years on Thaksin’s birthday (July 26).

2015: Yingluck sends birthday best to Thaksin, 66

2014: Predicting that Thaksin is coming back

2012: Former Thai Prime Minister Throws Lavish Birthday Dinner

2012: The hearts of Thai grassroots people are broken

2011: Thaksin Promises He’ll Forgive Everybody

2011: Thaksin reigns in Red Shirts who insinuate Thaksin’s royal status

2011: Pheu Thai MPs to attend Thaksin’s birthday party in Bali

2009: Wear black on Thaksin’s birthday

2008: Pro-government groups attempt to stop PAD rally in Udon Thani

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2007: Thaksin debuts website “the truth will set you free”

2007: First Red Shirt action: Surprise Raid on Privy Council President’s House

Editorial cartoons
2014: Happiness and Thaksin
2014: For Thaksin’s birthday
2013: Death Day

Also from 2014: Understanding the Roots of the Thai Political Crisis: Thaksin as Prime Minister

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How to resist the junta

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From Manager, I knew it by Buncha/Karmin, July 13, 2015
Wissanu: Khun Somyot… if I file a civil suit over the rice pledging scheme, Khun Thaksin would be really angry. How can I get myself away from this?
Pol. Gen. Somyot: Why don’t you try the casino?… I think it’d work.
Caption: Khun Wissanu (Krea-ngam) should consult with this person
[This shows The Deputy PM Wissanu, who is still though to be under the influence of Thaksin, hesitating in carrying out junta orders to bring yet more charges against previous Pheu Thai government figures.
Police Chief Somyot faced a similar situation when he was ordered to strip Thaksin of his police rank. Somyot successfully resisted the junta order by distracting the public with a sudden bid to legalize casinos in Thailand.]

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Let Them Eat Submarines

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From Manager, July 6, 2015
On a sign: 36,000 million baht per basket
Caption: Yeah… now seafood is very expensive!!!

[Refers to the navy’s plan to spend 36 billion baht to purchase submarines from China. This plan was been criticized by the public as the massive budget could be spent on helping the poor and other country’s development projects. Red Shirt spread the rumor that the junta would be canceling the popular national healthcare plan to pay for the submarines. Amid this controversy, the army put the plan to purchase its submarine fleet from China on hold.]

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From Thairath, July 7, 2015
Title: If seafood is expensive, then let the rich eat it.
On the submarine: 36,000 million baht
PM Prayuth in the foreground: If you want to eat it, you have to work hard to get a lot of money.
Sign in front of the rice basket: Agricultural products are very cheap. Drought
Paper held by man in the middle: Rubber price declines.
Paper held by man in the back: Labor wage is low.
Phi Nooring: They can’t eat it for their whole life.
Mouse: The poor can’t eat it.

[The title of the cartoon refers to PM Prayuth’s quote during his TV programme ‘Returning Happiness to the People.’ Amid the increase of seafood prices, he urged the people who do not have much money to avoid eating seafood.
In contrast, the junta supports the navy’s plan to buy submarines from China for a cost of 36 billion baht.]

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5 Years Ago: Red Shirt Museum: 7 Days, 7 Pains of the People

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Red Shirt Museum: 7 Days, 7 Pains of the People

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Weekly News Magazines, July 17-24, 2015

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From Nation Weekend, July 17, 2015
Main cover reads: In a middle of buffalo’s horns
A man on a cover: PM Prayuth
[Refers to the Thai proverb “in a middle of buffalo’s horns” meaning to be in a middle of a conflict. This implies that Thailand is in the middle of a conflict between China and the ethnic minority group Uighurs after the junta repatriated over 100 Uighur people to China.]
On the left side: Open a house of “[yellow] Kru Noi:” tragedy of children’s life
[The photo is of a teacher named “Noi.” Refers to the closure of the children’s home ‘Baan Kru Noi’ because the owner, Noi, cannot afford the expenses. In Thai, Kru means teacher in English.]

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From Manager Weekly, July 18-24, 2015
Main headline reads: Where is a buffalo
The man on a the cover is actor Peter Corp Dyrendal
[Refers to the scandal of actor and singer Peter Corp Dyrendal who is accused of having an affair with other girls and leaving his wife to take care their kids on her own. This cover refers to his famous song “Where is a buffalo” as his wife posted on her Intragram to find her husband who had not come back home in a long time. In Thai, to call someone as a buffalo is an insult meaning as very silly.]

Top right: When “[red] Burapha Payak” tests the water through “[green] Big Dong” to “[orange] Big Yem”
[The man in a suit is Gen. Thawachai Samutsakhon, a member of the National Legislative Assembly. His nickname is Yem.
The army name is Thai Army Chief and Deputy Defence Minister Udomdej Sitabutr. His nickname is Dong.
This refers to the latest actions of Yem and Dong who are known to have close ties with the army’s Burapha Payak unit in order to test the public’s view on the stability of the junta led by PM Prayuth who is also a member of the Burapha Payak.]

Bottom-left: ‘Weight loss due to the red card.’ An XXL-size conscript loses his weigh and become popular.
[Refers to the news of a teenager who lost his weight due to being drafted into the army. Photos of his post-weight loss made him an internet heartthrob. When being drafted, those who draw a red card are selected while the yellow card are not.]

Bottom-right: Disclose a patron-client system ‘helping Jack’ from being in prison from the upstream to downstream.
[Refers to the release of Pol. Lt. Gen. Kamronwit Thoopkrachang (whose nickname is Jack) from Japanese prison after being detained the Japanese police on having a gun at the airport. The article explains the negotiations to have him released and not charged.]

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From Lokwannee, July 17, 2015
Main cover reads: Ui… (shouldn’t do this) Gru
[This cover uses the sounds of “Uighurs” in English. In Thai, “gru” is an impolite word meaning “I” while “ui” is an interjection. It implies that Thailand shouldn’t repatriate over 100 Uighur people to China because this caused Thailand to be criticized by the international community on human rights matters.]

matichon_17-23 july

From Matichon Weekly, July 17-23, 2015
Main cover reads:  How can we come this far?
The man on the cover is famous rapper “Joey Boy.”
[This cover refers to Joey Boy’s famous phrase “How can we come this far?” to illustrate Thailand’s political situation right now as the junta is facing political, economic and social challenges.]
Top-left: Why me?
The man is Thai Army Chief and Deputy Defence Minister Udomdej Sitabutr
[Refers to a rumor about an idea to support Thai Army Chief and Deputy Defence Minister Udomdej Sitabutr to become PM for the interim government established during the transitional period from the junta to the elected government. Later, Udomdej denied the news.]

Posted in Thai Newspapers and Magazines | 1 Comment

Please help inspire millions of people to overthrow the junta like on 14 October

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From Manager, July 7, 2015
Man: Dear God of Democracy… I provide you with our 14 students as an offering to you… Please help inspire millions of people to overthrow the junta like on 14 October, please.
Caption: Old professors still believe in destiny?
[This cartoon contends that academics are using students as the tool to overthrow the junta. The 14 political students were arrested because they conducted a protest that was prohibited by the junta.
Anti-junta protests have been trying to invoke the memory of the October 1973 student protests in the hopes public reaction will lead to the uprising of the people as it did in the 1973 popular uprising.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Manager | 1 Comment

Arbuckle Brothers Coffee card, Number 91, 1889

Arbuckle Brothers Coffee card, Number 91, 1889

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Boys are the primary cause of unplanned pregnancy in teenage girls

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Left: Better think twice before doing “it”
Caption: Boy [or man] is the primary cause of unplanned pregnancy in teenage girls; an average of 15 infants born from adolescent mothers per hour.
– Teenage pregnancy problem
– The nation’s problem
– Help sort out problem
This campaign is an effort to reduce disease, earn more happiness in Thai teenagers for honoring His Majesty the King of Thailand (Rama IX).
**From statistics in 2011: Thai teenagers ages 10-19 years old giving birth to 131,400 infants at an average of 15 infants born per hour.

Right: Better think twice, before doing “it”
Caption: 5 sticks of pregnancy tests; the result of teenagers who want to know how popular they are by engaging in premature sexual intercourse. This leads to an average of 15 infants born from adolescent mothers per hour. [“5 sticks” implies that a girl is determining her popularity by how many boys she had sex with]
– Teenage pregnancy problem
– The nation’s problem
– Help sort out problem
This campaign is an effort to reduce disease, earn more happiness in Thai teenagers for honoring His Majesty the King of Thailand (Rama IX).
**From statistics in 2011: Thai teenagers ages 10-19 years old giving birth to 131,400 infants at an average of 15 infants born per hour.

Posted in Culture and Society | 1 Comment

Chinese Uighars “now regretted their decision as it has caused major problems for many countries”

Chinese Uighars “now regretted their decision as it has caused major problems for many countries” – July 10, 2015
…He stated that he had met with a senior Chinese official who reassured him that the Uighur migrant were being cared for and he was also allowed to speak to them personally.
At present, Mr Anusit reports that they are being housed at recuperation center in Xinjiang province.
He also reports that leaders of the migrants had informed him that they were misled by international human traffickers into travelling to other countries and now regretted their decision as it has caused major problems for many countries…

Earlier: UN press release accusing Thailand of “flagrant violation of international law” vanishes quickly after being posted

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Prayuth won’t give up easily

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From an image on social media:
“I don’t give up easily. Once I intend to do something, I will accomplish it.”
Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha
Prime Minister
4 June 58
Inside box: Thailand’s excellence quote
[PM Prayuth made this statement in a government’s newsletter concerning his program “Returning Happiness to the People.” He said he will listen to all the comments from the population and hope people will understand and trust that the junta will reform the country.]

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Red and Yellow cartoonists agree on the submarine issue

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From Manager, July 9, 2015
Title: I knew it. By Buncha/Karmin
Small red words: Thailand needs
Big red word crossed out by suffering farmers: Submarines
[The word “submarine” is made up of the root word “water” so by crossing out the first part, it leaves the word “water.” This changes the phrase “Thailand needs submarines” to “Thailand needs water.”]
The farmers say: This is what we need, Chief Prayuth!

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From Thairath, July 10, 2015
Title: Being respectful to us first.
On the submarine: 36,000 million baht.
Papers in front of the sumarine: Farmers grows crickets; should better grow cowage [a local plant known as mah mui in Thai that has a medicinal value. PM Prayuth urged farmers to diversity their planting from rice to more lucrative crops.]
Prayuth says: We did not have an intention to make war with any other countries, we only want our neighbor countries to be more respectful to us. [A quote from PM Prayuth to justify the creation of a Thai submarine fleet. The title of the cartoon says the PM should be respectful to the people of Thailand first.]
From up right: Low income; Agriculturist poverty; Drought; Economic recession
Mouse: Treat the poor first.
Mouse man: Please respect Thai people first.

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No longer painting Hitler

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The infamous video featuring Thai children bettering themselves by painting Hitler has been fixed.

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7 Years Ago: “Thailand United Southern Underground” ceasefire


“Thailand United Southern Underground” ceasefire
[This was a weird one…]

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Weekly News Magazines, July 10-17, 2015

10 July nationweekend

From Nation Weekend, July 10, 2015
Main cover reads: The story of the star
[Refers to a brokenhearted story of an actress Tangmo, a lady on the cover, and her boyfriend Tono. This became a talk of the town after she tried to commit suicide.]
On the left side: The NCPO changes the game by releasing 14 students.
[The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) decided to release the 14 political activist students after being pressure by local and international communities. They will still face trial though.]

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From Matichon Weekly, July 10-16, 2015
Main cover reads:  Being caught in a trap (can’t move)
People on the cover are protesters who called on the junta to release 14 political activist students.
In a box at the top-right: Wannasingh Prasertkul #You’ve got a friend.

[It illustrates the junta government has been caught in a trap by its arrest of 14 students. After being pressured by the local and international communities, the junta decided to release those students pending trial.
Many well-known writers, such as Roundfinger and Wannasingh, academics, and the younger generation have been made aware of this issue and the arbitrary power of the junta.
“#You’ve got a friend” is a campaign started by famous writer Roundfingers to call for the release of 14 students.]

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From Manager Weekly, June 11-17, 2015
Main cover reads [red] #End of the story
Left: Tono’s Instagram
Right: Tangmo’s Instagram
[Refer to a breakup of actress Tangmo and her boyfriend Tono and her suicide attempt. This is the same story as in Nation Weekend above.]
At the top right: Explore the drama of ‘submarine’ and the ‘mysterious man’ behind the scene.
Man: Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan
[Refers to Navy’s plan to purchase submarines from China using a massive budget.]
At the bottom left: [orange circle] Special
[red circle] Free
[red] A secret of ‘sex’
[green] and coconut oil]
At the bottom right: Should we do a referendum, Yes-No [refers to the constitution referendum]
Hidden petroleum bill

Lokwannee_10 July 2015

From Lokwannee, July 10, 2015
Main cover reads: External factors threats the government’s security
Turkish people stormed Thailand’s consulate in Istanbul to protest Thailand on sending ethnic Uighurs back to China. This will be a new issue which leads to a relationship between the junta and the Chinese government. And if we consider about slow economic growth and a bubble in the Chinese stock market, this will raise concern because China is known as a main supporter of the junta. Therefore, the security of the junta does not depend on the internal movement, but the external factor especially when the security is linked with the economy.

Lookwannee_6 july 2015

From Lokwannee, July 4-10, 2015
Because our country has law [with the last letter of the word fading out]
Words on the right with the fists: Democracy, Human rights, Justice, Participation, Peace [Refers to the political activities demanded by protesters.]
[กฎ=Rule, กฎหมาย=Law หมา=dog
Therefore, กฎหมาย=law, กฎหมา=dog’s rule
This cover implies that the rules enforced by the junta sometimes do not adhere to the law.]

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Change of telephone numbers in 1969

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Does Thailand need submarines?

Tom notes: You just posted about the Thai submarine purchase.
The following website lists number of submarines by country:
China 67
India 15
Singapore 6
Vietnam 3 (a more recent source lists 4 + 2 under construction)
Indonesia 2 (+3 under construction)
Malaysia 2
Thailand 0
While Thailand has zero submarines, Thailand’s neighbors all have submarines. The military’s acquisition should be seen in this context, which, to my knowledge, no one has raised in Thailand’s foreign language press.

Posted in Thai Military | 3 Comments