CAPO warns Constitutional Court and NACC not to rule against the prime minister

Capo has overstepped its authority, shunned its real job – Bangkok Post, April 18, 2014
…In the statement, Capo warned the Constitutional Court not to cross the line by making a judgement on the status of the caretaker cabinet if it faults caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra for the removal of National Security Council (NSC) secretary-general Thawil Pliensri two years ago and rules that she must give up the premiership…

CAPO under fire for statement ‘pressuring’ top court and anti-corruption agency – The Nation, April 19, 2014
…”Also, we work without any bias although we have been threatened and intimidated by some groups of people. NACC commissioners have not been discouraged and we will never abandon the rule of law,” the NACC spokesman said.
Red-shirt supporters of the government have denounced the NACC for legal moves against Yingluck, and its office has come under several grenade attacks.
The NACC is investigating an allegation of neglect against the PM over the government’s loss-making and allegedly corruption-plagued rice price-pledging scheme. Meanwhile the Constitutional Court is hearing a case in which she is accused of malfeasance for removing National Security Council secretary-general Thawil Pliensri.
CAPO, in its “statement No 1″ on Thursday, expressed concern there could be bias and “double standards” by the court and the NACC against the prime minister. It warned that such practices could lead to violence…

CAPO’s warnings to Constitutional Court are a Pheu Thai move aimed at a coalition govt, sources say -The Nation, April 19, 2014
…government sources said the move was aimed at forcing the formation of a coalition government, with the Pheu Thai Party nominating the next prime minister and ensuring that no sides achieve a decisive victory. The sources claimed that if the move “failed”, violence might be inevitable.

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Domino’s Pizza coming to Thailand

Domino’s Pizza Hits Thailand – guardianlv.com, April 17, 2014
…For Fico, their entrance into the fast food market in Thailand is part of the implementation of a $6-8 million company expansion plan…

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Thais are the world’s fourth biggest liquor drinkers

South Koreans drink twice as much liquor as Russians and more than four times as much as Americans – qz.com, February 2, 2014

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Sign from a protest

Sign at Silom and Rama 4 Road

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How did foreign cuisine become Thailand’s national dish?

The Non-Thai Origins of Pad Thai – How did foreign cuisine become Thailand’s national dish? – The Atlantic, April 17, 2014
…The popularization of the noodle dish, as it turns out, was but one of several measures taken by Thai authorities in the 1930s and 1940s to both Westernize and modernize the country. The others, as The New York Times noted over the weekend, included changing the country’s name from Siam to Thailand, banning local languages and dialects from the nation’s schools, and promoting the word sawasdee as a means of greeting…

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Tragedy on this land

From Thairath, April 3, 2014
Cartoon title: Tragedy on this land
Words on the ground: Justice
Top left: Resisting the traitors ["traitors" here refers to anti-government protesters]
Top right: Believe in democracy
Bottom left: UDD [United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship, the Red Shirts]
Bottom right: Sau [Meaning "Saudi Arabia." Reference is to the Blue Diamond Affair.]

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Sign from a protest

Sign at Silom and Rama 4 Road

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Life of Thai

From Arun, April 7, 2014
On the tigers: Politicians
[This cartoon uses the imagery from the movie "Life of Pi" implying that conflicts among politicians will bring Thailand down.]

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Bagan denied “world heritage” designation over the army building faux-historic pagodas to earn merit

What’s the future for Myanmar’s architectural past? – PBS, April 15, 2014

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Thai Diners Emerge as Asia’s Top Tippers

Thai Diners Emerge as Asia’s Top Tippers – WSJ, April 16, 2014
…Based on a survey by MasterCard of nearly 8,000 respondents in the Asia-Pacific region between October and November, 84% of Thai diners said they left a tip after a good meal. Bangladesh (80%) and India (78%) ranked second and third, followed by the Philippines (73%). Japan (4%) was reported as the least generous, with Indonesia (33%), Malaysia (31%) and Singapore (20%) falling somewhere in the middle…

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Guardian: Australian journalist accused of defaming Thai navy set to face court

Australian journalist accused of defaming Thai navy set to face court – The Guardian, April 17, 2014
…The charges, brought by the Royal Thai Navy, follow Phuketwan’s republishing of a Reuters news agency report last year that alleged Thai security forces, including navy and police personnel, were linked in the smuggling of Muslim Rohingya from Burma.
The Reuters reporters, Jason Szep and Andrew Marshall, were this week awarded the Pulitzer prize for international reporting over their coverage of the Rohingya trafficking…

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Thai anti-govt groups have bullet-proof vests, but journalists & medics forced to break the law if they want them

Thai anti-govt groups have bullet-proof vests, but journalists & medics forced to break the law if they want them – establishmentpost.com, April 17, 2014
Something is lost in translation in Thailand where armed anti-government protesters are able to readily access bullet-proof vests and other ballistic and protective wear in addition to guns, yet journalists and volunteer medical personnel are forced to break the law if they want to work with increased safety…

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Who can fire the government?

From Manager, April 3, 2014
Thaksin Shinawatra to his sister, Yingluck: See… I really trust in Ai Tou.
The guard: I’m an employee of his company. How can I fire the company’s owner? I have to protect my own status.
On the guard’s left arm: Security
Sign on the building: the Shinawatra Co., Ltd.
Caption: You heard the company’s guard… Is it clear now?
[The words spoken by Thaksin here refer to an audio clip of a conversation between Thaksin and Gen Yutthasak Sasiprapha, former defense minister in Yingluck cabinet. In the clip they talked about ways the government could enable a Thaksin return to Thailand and Thaksin expressed confidence in Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, Commander in Chief of the Royal Thai Army. This led to rumors that the clip meant that Thaksin had reached an agreement with the army chief not to block his return to Thailand and to political power.
The guard is Gen. Prayuth. The words he says refer to an interview when he stated that he cannot deny the government's authority which is the same as an employee who cannot fire the owner of the company he/she works for. This led to disappointment from many who wished the army would exercise its traditional self-proclaimed role as a power that can remove a government that becomes too corrupt, greedy, or otherwise upsets the balance of power in the Thai system.
Since the present government has attempted a broad rewriting of the constitution, used state funds in populism schemes narrowly designed to benefit its party supporters, denied court oversight of its actions, forced Shinawatra family relatives into key roles again (like the chief of police), and attempted to give Thaksin a pardon, anti-government groups think it is acceptable for the army to step in. The carton expresses disappointment that the army chief is not willing to take action against Thaksin and the government.]

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Sign from a protest

Sign at Silom and Rama 4 Road

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Tourists from the Lanna Republic


From Thairath, April 2, 2014
Left, Foreign Minister Surapong Tovijakchaikul: I have to ask military officers to move bunkers back to the camps because these bunkers frighten foreign tourists!
Middle, Soldier: Tourists from which country, sir? Why are they so panicky?
Right, Surapong: They are from PRC Lanna who’re going to visit on the 5th.
[This refers to Red Shirt protest outside of Bangkok on April 5. Over the past months calls from Red Shirt supporters have grown for a new state to be formed in the north to protect the Yingluck government.
The joke is that the army checkpoints in Bangkok really scare the separatist Red Shirts who wish to occupy Bangkok like they did in 2009 and 2010.]

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Thailand second deadliest nation in Asia for environmental activists

More Than 900 Environmental Advocates Slain In A Decade As Concern For The Planet Grows – AP, April 14, 2014
[Thanks to Tom for pointing this out.]
…As head of his village, Prajob Naowa-opas battled to save his community in central Thailand from the illegal dumping of toxic waste by filing petitions and leading villagers to block trucks carrying the stuff — until a gunman in broad daylight fired four shots into him.
A year later, his three alleged killers, including a senior government official, are on trial for murder. The dumping has been halted and villagers are erecting a statue to their slain hero…

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Hezbollah members arrested in Thailand

Hezbollah members arrested in Thailand: report – The Daily Star, April 14, 2014
…The Thai website dedicated to gathering intelligence reports identified the three arrested suspects as a Thai citizen, Y. Ayyad, who was described as a member of a foreign operations unit of Hezbollah working out of East Asia…

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Thai tourism ministry ordered to help cheated tourists

Thai tourism ministry ordered to help cheated tourists – eturbonews.com, April 13, 2014
…Yukhon, who looks after the ministry, has ordered its permanent secretary Suwat Sidthilaw to make a list of the deceived victims. The names will be sorted into groups to lodge complaints against wrongdoers, making clear the problems from case to case…

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Dream a sweet dream together

From Thairath, April 1, 2014
Cartoon title: Dream a sweet dream together
Suthep Thuagsuban’s thought balloon: Declaring a sovereign state; Cases on ordering to kill the Red Shirt dismissed; Case on occupying land at Khao Phaeng dismissed; the Insurrection case dismissed [Suthep is secretary-general of the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC). These thoughts indicate the legal cases and charges that have been leveled against him over the years.]
Masked man’s thought balloon: (Forcefully) appointed Premier
On masked man’s shirt: A decent person [meaning the person who might be appointed as the next PM]
On money bag in masked man’s hand: Autocratic dictatorship
Phi Nooring: Will be Thai people’s nightmare
Mouse: Who’s the masked man?
[Holding the leash of the masked future PM is an arm with a quilted sleeve indicating it is Privy Councillor Prem and, by extension, the monarchy which the Privy Council represents. These coded references have often been used in pro-Thaksin cartoons and publications to indicate who they they think their real opponents are.]

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A loan from Tan

From Komchadluek, March 26, 2014
Yingluck Shinawatra: Uh!! The thing is the government is broke. So I’d like to ask Khun Tan for 3,800 million to organize another election.
[Tan is Tan Passakornnatee, best known as the founder of the Oishi Group of Japanese restaurants. This cartoon refers to a recent incident when a student marching band essentially extorted 3.1 million baht from him to sponsor their overseas trip.
In the carton, PM Yingluck asks Tan for money to organize another election. The attempts of the government to call another election have been ridiculed by opponents who claim that the current government is saddled with legal cases they cannot be rid of by calling another election.]

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Thaksin’s Songkran message: Let’s forgive and forget

Thaksin: Let’s forgive and forget – Bangkok Post, April 12, 2014
…”Let’s make April 13 the day we put everything behind us and be generous to one another like when disasters struck, whether it was the tsunami or the great floods, during which Thais lent a hand to one another.
“I love, respect and care for all Thais but you don’t have to worry about me. I’m in good health. My only concern is for Thailand to be peaceful and Thais to love another once again…”

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In Picturesque Thailand, Coal Plant Draws Protests

In Picturesque Thailand, Coal Plant Draws Protests – VOA, April 11, 2014
Environmental activists in Thailand are protesting plans to reopen an 800-megawatt coal plant in a coastal region, Krabi, that is popular with eco-tourists. The controversy pits Thailand’s growing energy needs against its image as a seaside paradise…

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Weekly News Magazines, April 4, 2014

Nation Weekend_4 April 2014

From Nation Weekend, April 4, 2014
Cover reads: The national neutral man
[Reference is to Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha's role amid political conflict. He maintains that the armed forces must remain neutral.]

Matichon Weekly_4 April 2014
From Matichon Weekly, April 4, 2014
Cover reads: Keep smiling though being aware of the defeat
[Reference is to the current situation of the caretaker premier Yingluck Shinawatra who has been saddled with numerous legal cases. It is assumed that she will be forced from office due to these cases.]

ASTV Manager Weekly_5 April 2014

From ASTV Manager Weekly, April 5,2014
Cover reads: Love, kiss kiss
[The woman is Anchalee Paireerak, one of the key leaders of the anti-Thaksin protesters.
In top-left heart is Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, the Commander in Chief of the Royal Thai Army. In the top-right one is Suthep Thuagsuban, key leader of the anti-government protesters. In the small heart shape is Kanok Ratwongsakul, famous new anchor and supporter of the anti-Thaksin groups.
The article suggests that these three men are deemed as idols of the anti-Thaksin movement.]

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One family’s fight against Cambodia land grabs

One family’s fight against Cambodia land grabs – ucanews.com, April 10, 2014
…Mak Siv Hong, 51, lives in the shack with her family of three. The past year has been a nightmare of repeated intimidation and attacks by thugs she claims were hired by the Khun Sear Import and Export Company to try and push them off the land…

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Kim Kardashian’s ‘extreme Thai treatments’: butt slapping

Kim K’s ‘extreme Thai treatments’ – belfasttelegraph.co.uk, April 9, 2014
…Included in these supposed treatments was the ancient procedure of butt, face and breast slapping. Costing £200 for a 15-minute session, fans of the treatment says wrinkles are erased, pores are shrunk and skin feels tightened…

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Phuket police ‘too busy’ to extradite man accused of killing girlfriend in Thailand

Police ‘too busy’ to extradite Hull man Mick ‘the Pom’ Taylor accused of killing girlfriend in Thailand – hulldailymail.co.uk, April 10, 2014
…Mr Taylor denied the charge, claiming he had been having sex on a beach with a ladyboy at the time Miss Weangta, 27, was killed…

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Reuters: Flaws found in Thailand’s human-trafficking crackdown

Flaws found in Thailand’s human-trafficking crackdown – Reuters, April 10, 2014
…A two-part Reuters investigation in three countries, based on interviews with people smugglers, human traffickers and Rohingya who survived boat voyages from Myanmar, last year showed how the treatment of Rohingya often constituted trafficking. Reporters found that hundreds were held against their will in brutal trafficking camps in the Thai wilderness…

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Cambodia cyber law to penalize any website that “generates insecurity, instability, and political cohesiveness”

Cambodia’s Draft Cyber Law Threatens Free Speech – thediplomat.com, April 10, 2014
…But activists have highlighted article 28 of the bill as a concern. The provision would criminalize web content that “hinders the sovereignty and integrity of the Kingdom of Cambodia.” If this is not vague enough, the same provision penalizes any online publication that “generates insecurity, instability, and political cohesiveness.” What exactly is the crime of “political cohesiveness?”
Another criminal offense is the publication of Internet material that is deemed to be “non-factual which slanders or undermines the integrity of governmental agencies, ministries, not limited to departments, federal or local levels.” This would clearly discourage criticism of government officials.
As expected, publishing something that is deemed “damaging to the moral and cultural values of society” is prohibited. The bill even specified these harmful values: “Writings or pixilation that display inappropriate activities of persons, copulations between humans or animals; or devalue the moral of family values and pixilation that displays domestic violence…”

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Iraq lifts ban on Thai rice imports after suspension for “low quality”

Thai Rice Welcomed Back to Iraq After Months of Suspension – WSJ, April 10, 2014
…Prior to the ban in August, Iraq had imported 500,000 to 600,000 metric tons of Thai rice each year, making it one of the country’s major clients. The biggest importer of Thai rice is Nigeria, which brings in an average volume of 1.1 million tons per year…

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Waiting for the mango today…

From Manager, March 20, 2014
Left, caption: Waiting for the mango today…
[Referring to a theory of Dr. Theerayuth Boonmee on the current political situation. Dr. said that situation of the anti-government protesters, led by Suthep, is like waiting for a mango (or the caretaker government led by Yingluck Shinawatra) to be ripe and fall from its tree. This is because the Yingluck government is under threat from a long list of corruption scandals.]
Suthep Thuagsuban: When will it fall!?
Right, caption: …tomorrow may have to wait for Ma Ug! [Ma Ug, or Bolo Maka, is a kind of Thai fruit. The human head on the tree is Surapong Towichakchaikul, the caretaker foreign minister. He is nicknamed Ma Ug for his bald head. And the demonstrators may have to wait for him to fall next because he recently said that he's ready to replace Yingluck as premier.]
Suthep: When will it fall!?

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