Red Publications – January 2010

Red publications - January 2010
Red publications index

From Voice of Taksin, January 12, 2010
The headline reads: The wheel [of karma] of history [the wheel or the cycle of events/the cycle of historical events] - Taksin returns
The sub-headline reads: Celebrating the new year - Thai economy damaged by 800 billion baht

[This is one of the most controversial of the Voice of Taksin magazine covers. Voice of Taksin has been one of the most provocative of the Red publications with each issue pushing the boundaries of anti-aristocracy rhetoric.
Here, in a issue widely discussed in the Thai-language press, Thaksin Shinawatra is equated to King Taksin (something already apparent from the spelling of the title of the magazine) who threatens a return.
The "wheel of history" refers to the revenge that the reincarnated King will be taking on the present people in power (as the historical King Taksin was executed). The idea of cyclical lives and cyclical historical narratives is a common way to view events by Thai Buddhists. Also note the smiley face moon from 2008 in the background of the photo.]

From Voice of Taksin, January 12, 2010
This is the back cover of the magazine. The words read: On occasion of the New Year coming, I would like to thank every red shirt who gives me mental support. I would like to give my support in return to everyone as well, however, I am waiting for the day that I can serve the nation and the people. I want to give back to express my appreciation for your mercy in the year 2010 and hope that everyone will be happy, every one of your wishes is fulfilled forever. Sincere thanks (Lieutenant Pol. Thaksin Shinawatra) January 1, 2010 from Dubai

From Voice of Taksin, January 12, 2010  Author: Suthachai Yimprasert
The headline reads: 100 years of the Phupan warlord - Tieng Sirikhan - the leader of Seri Thai [Free Thai movement] from the Northeast

[The article is about the 100-year anniversary of Tieng Sirikhan, who was leading member of the Free Thai Movement or Seri Thai and a heroic figure who played important role in the movement against the dictatorial government of Field Marshal Plaek Pibulsongkram.
Tieng led the movement during the time that the ruling government of Field Marshal P. Pibulsongkram fought against communists, many of whom were intellectuals who turned to support the communism principle as a way to oppose the government.
This article is another attempt to claim earlier pro-people and pro-democratic movements in Thailand are the same thing as the pro-Thaksin cause. From time to time the Red Shirt movement has either claimed student activists supported Thaksin or openly complained that students were not marching for the cause as they did for democracy movements in the 1970s.]

From Truth Today, January 29-31, 2009
The cartoon title is: Mr. Completely Red by Squadron Chief J.
Left: Mark [PM Abhisit] should dissolve parliament before April 2010
Because… ??
Middle: ...not able to administrate and is pressured by the people, is that right?
Right: Because there is no budget to spend any longer!!
Ah.. blow all and then fleeing away
[Meaning the government has spent all the money and now must flee.]

From Truth Today, January 1-7, 2010
The headline reads: Year 2010 RED in the land

From Truth Today, January 1-7, 2010
The title reads: Greetings [Sawasdee] the year of victory 2010, altogether asking for the return of democracy for our future next generations.
The girl says: Thank you
[We assume the man is Thaksin Shinawatra.]

From Truth Today, January 8-11, 2010
The headlines reads: Disregarding the law - Two standards for the high mountain land’s disgrace
[This is in reference to the Red Shirt protest at Gen. Surayud's mountain-top residence. All of this refers to the right of poor locals to claim and use protected state land in forested areas. Since this right was created in the 1970s, it has led to a land rush with many influential families obtaining prime land that only the poor are entitled to. Any time you hear about "land improperly transferred," it usually refers to this. Typically the land goes through a series of transfers and sales--all of which are illegal--to end up in the name of rich and influential figures who are able to effect the transfer and hold the land by virtue of their power and unwillingness of government officials to refuse them.]

From Truth Today, Column: Want to have something to ponder, Author: Nuttawut Saikua, January 8-11, 2010
The headline reads: Unless [you] walk into the tiger’s cave, how one can get the ‘Prem’s kid’  [tiger’s kid]
[This refers to the protest at Prem's house at Khao Yai Thieng as well as the overall admonishments to Red Shirt crowds to take action.]

From Truth Today, January 12-14, 2010
The headline reads: The handsome [person] of no standing - without leadership!

Repositioning the message - January 15, 2010
There have been several articles in the foreign press lately that quote UDD sources and a few academics for their analysis of the situation. The articles uniformly stress the message of how serious the UDD are and how the movement is really about poverty and justice and not only about Thaksin.
Whatever the reality is, the recent quotes in the international media are part of an effort to get the pro-Thaksin movement repositioned after two months of government success in painting it as stage-managed for Thaksin's personal benefit.
It is also a change from most of last year which stressed the Thaksin-centric essence of the movement--including a Red Shirt petition to the King for Thaksin and promises that the Red Shirt movement would stop if Thaksin's demands were met.
This probably represents preparations for further agitation as expectation of a behind-the-scenes deal with Thaksin has completely evaporated and the mainstream Pheu Thai Party is looking forward to inclusion in a future new government and is less likely to desire a people's revolution that Thaksin desires to overturn the system. This is stretching the movement in a way that is hard to manage.
(The Voice of Taksin is oddly out of sync with this Red Shirt message change so far and have published their most provocative issue recently.)

Thailand: Faded smiles - Financial Times, January 13, 2010
...True, the economy has regained a modicum of traction since the Asian financial crisis of 1997 slashed 15 per cent off its gross domestic product in 18 disastrous months. But even before last year's global crisis lopped off a further 3.5 per cent, it had been struggling to grow above 4-5 per cent a year. That puts it towards the bottom of regional league tables, outstripped by countries such as Vietnam and Singapore, let alone China. Thai GDP per capita, at some $3,850 (£2,360, €2,640), remains less than one-quarter of that of Taiwan, an economy with which not long ago it was being compared.
...The reasons for Thailand's disappointing performance go deeper than that. Stimulated by US capital inflows during the Korean and Vietnam wars and, in the 1980s, by a wave of foreign investment from Japan, Thailand’s economy grew beyond the tourism and agriculture on which it had traditionally relied. But it never fully developed an indigenous capitalist class able to compete internationally. Instead, local entrepreneurs – of whom Mr Thaksin was one – prospered by forging close relationships with politicians, carving out monopolies in service industries such as telecommunications and construction...

From Truth Today, January 8-11, 2010
The headline reads: Justice must belong to the people
[The photo shows Red Shirts carrying petitions to be presented to the King in a show of force to pardon Thaksin. It is interesting how quickly the petition issue has been downplayed as the movement has been moving very deliberately over the past month to claim they are true royalists and are not principally acting for Thaksin's benefit.]

From Thai Red News, January 15-21, 2010
Column: Red news watches Thailand and overseas, Author: Dr. Wit Chaemchuen
The headline reads: Freedom in expressing opinion - Libel, King’s lese majeste case and worldwide lese majeste cases

From Thai Red News, January 15-21, 2010
Author: Jakapob Penkiar
The headline reads: The Khao Yai Thieng land - with the 76 billion baht
[referring to both the Surayud land scandal and Thaksin's assets ruling case]

From Thai Red News, January 15-21, 2010
The headline reads: In-depth - behind the cancellation of the lotto vending machines

From Truth Today, January 15-18, 2010
The headline reads: Economic policy of Thailand’s aristocracy - How does it effect the strategy of globalization capitalism

From Truth Today, January 15-18, 2010
The headline reads:Forest eating aristocrat - from ‘Khao Yai Thieng’ to ‘Phu Soydao” - Is the law able to approach? [meaning are "aristocrats" immune to the law]

From Thai Red News, January 8-14, 2010
The headline reads: Old soldier never dies- [their] wilted skin is flabby, but [they] insistently fight and aim for another coup

[This is basically saying something like "why won't Prem die - he is old and stays past his welcome, but keeps wanting a coup."
"Skin is flabby" is a saying that refers to old people who appear old and stay in power for a long time. Old Thai politicians are sometimes referred to in this way.
“Aim for another coup” refers to the claim that aristocrat backed-soldiers wish another coup so the military can rule. This is despite all evidence that the army has bent over backwards since the 2006 coup to avoid both bloodshed and provocations for more open intervention--precisely because this plays into the hands of pro-Thaksin groups. The pro-Thaksin groups have aimed for a coup or crackdown as a way to insist for pardons or the formation of a national unity government.]

Thaksin's message at the bottom: Greetings New Year 2010 - For every Thai Red News reader, a wish for the return of democracy to Thailand. May the kindness be with the society likewise justice to be returned for Thailand to be in unity. Happiness will be returned to every Thai - With love and concern from far away, Thaksin, December 31, 2009

From Truth Today, January 19-21, 2010
The headline reads:Truth - is the weapon - [to] break - the aristocrat

From Voice of Taksin, January 13, 2010
The headline reads: Lanna defies the malignancy! From Kruba Srivichai to Thaksin

[This means that the historical northern kingdom--Lanna--and its supposed heroes--the revered monk Kruba and Thaksin--have stood up to the supposed decadent rule of Bangkok. The headline attempts to draw parallels between the monk and Thaksin's actions.
Modern Thailand is a conglomerate of historical regional kingdoms and ethnic groups. Over the last 100 years there has been a push to create a single "Thai" national identity. At one time it was feared Kruba would lead a northern state in opposition to Bangkok rule.
For many years it has been rumored (or threatened) that Thaksin and his family would attempt to set up such a northern state if they lost out in Bangkok power battles. The retreat of the Somchai government to Chiang Mai in December 2008 to escape pressure from the PAD protests and the military was seen as an attempt to re-seat government in a more friendly and defensible location.
Like the King Taksin/Thaksin revenge fantasies openly outlined in the previous issue of Voice of Taksin, it seems that nearly provocative rumor one has ever heard about Thaksin and his ambitions in time has turned out to be true--or at least eventually used to provoke the authorities.
It is being reported in the Thai-language press that this issue is already being investigated for lese majeste content.]

Other headlines read: 2010, the year of old tiger to bid farewell to the stage [this probably refers to Prem]
Invading the Khao Yai Thieng - Hit the cow to bump the tiger [this refers to the protest at Surayud's estate that occurred at the end of 2009 (the year of the cow) and comes to a conclusion in 2010 (the year of the tiger).]

From Truth Today, January 22-25, 2010
The big word is read “delaying the petition - blocking ‘the royal authority'

From Truth Today, January 22-25, 2010
The headline reads: Preserve the petition [don't hold up the petition for an unnecessarily long time]
At the top: The Red Shirt General p.12
Southerners indicate it is wrong for the Privy Councilor "Khao Yai Thieng" p.26 [Here the Reds claim Southerners are criticizing Surayud. The south is a Democrat stronghold and typically displays extreme respect for Privy Councilor Prem.]

From Truth Today, January 22-25, 2010
The title of the headline: Haiti tragedy
The man says: Oh God... we beg for your kindness to deliver the things to release our sufferings to extend our lives, but why you send the fish can from Thailand’s government to us?
The other man is saying: We’d better die.
[This refers to the canned fish scandal that saw rotten fish distributed to flood victims early in 2009.]

[For some reason an older edition of Red News from January has appeared on newsstands recently.]

Above: From Red News, January 8, 2010
The headlines reads: Together mourning for Samak Sundaravej - Democracy hero of ‘the red shirt’ and many other far away people despite they passed away, their merits still last!!
Full with pictures from countdown event of ‘the red shirt’ at The Chiangmai’s 700 year stadium and the pictures of the gathering of ‘the red shirt’ at Khao Yai Thieng

From Red News, Column: Read for fun, January 8, 2010
The headline reads: Collecting superb speeches from Som Dej Hun Sen [Prime Minister of Cambodia]

From Red News, Column: Son of the farmers’ bemoaning, January 8, 2010
The headline reads: The bemoaning... on D-day before the big war of the Reds vs Aristocrats

From Red News, Column: The man of democracy, January 8, 2010
The headline reads: Samak Sundaravej, who protected Democracy until the last day of his position, the 25th Prime Minister

More from the Red Shirt publications

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