Thai Media Project – December 2008

More: Unlocking the Thai world: Thai-language newspaper headlines

Goodbye the Year of the Rat - Thai Rath , December 31, 2008
It’s enough for the fierce year of the rat [the previous year's Chinese animal designation]
The nation has grumbled
For those who are keen things even turned to losses in business
By the impact of the hamburger crisis [a reference to the U.S. economic troubles]
It is the humorous year in that Thailand had many PMs [Samak, Somchai, and Abhisit]
And the year that Thais kill each other just because of the claim that they wear different shirt colors [referring to the PAD yellow shirts and the pro-Thaksin red shirts]
[It is the year] that those who are fond of flattery receive promotion
May it be time to bid farewell to the year of ghost rat.
["Those who are fond of flattery receive promotion” is related to the lower left drawing of animals in front of parliament. The drawing represents the idiom “Kang Kok Khuen Wor” that refers to the action or behavior of those who are poorly accepted in society but become rich or high-ranked and react as if they are noble. Those who are fond of flattery refers to political officials who are influential and their habits show that they long for flattery of their work with greatly concern for the rank or promotion they receive.]

The gang of 4 “Ps”- The new influential base of the Democrat-led government protectors? - translated and edited from Matichon, December 24, 2008

The 4 men whose their initial letters begin with “P” and are influential as Army high-ranked officers and police in the time of the Democrat-led government are Defense Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan, Army Commander in Chief General Anupong Paojinda [initial letter of his nickname-“Pok”], Region 1 Army Commander Lieutenant-General Prayuth Janocha and re-appointed National Police Chief General Patcharawat Wongsuwan [nickname Pod].
The 4 men are now playing important roles in maintaining the stability of the Democrat-led government criticized as being backed by the Army. The 4 “Ps” men are known comrades who shared friendship and kinship. This made the 4 are to be under close watch as their roles and power in Army and National Police headquarter involves greatly with the soundness of the ruling Democrat Party.

Dream selling policy - Ban Muang, Cartoon Tasana, Big Baang by Tid Num, December 16, 2008
"Dream selling policy"
Left: Past: Love to sell dream
Middle: Present: He is still hooked up to it
Right: It’s no need to sell the future

[This is a hard one to explain. If you can come up with a better explanation, please post on the 2B Forum.
The "dream selling policy" refers to a government policy that is announced, but the government does not seriously follow through on.
In the first frame, it is said that, in the past, Abhisit likes promoting his dream policies. The second frame, it says he still addicted to selling these dream policies.
The third frame warns that Abhisit will be thrown out of the hot seat of being PM if he is not able to deliver on these dreams.]

Switching political sides - public or self interest? - translated and summarized from Matichon; December 12, 2008
If the conclusion of Thai political crisis is to switch political sides by letting the opposition party rule and keeping the ‘old kind’ of political officials in place, the nature of Thai politics might not have really changed. 
The forces that rule over all the Thai political parties are power and money. In today's political situation it is also confirmed the nonexistence of the ‘true friend’ and ‘permanent rival.’ We see that the turmoil too can be easily dissolved when the profit is equally shared.  
Unfortunately, the image of the expected PM, Abhisit Vejjajiva, needs to be seriously looked at. There is strong demand to form a government, but the normal political situation distort Abhisit's image as a new generation of political officials who will make a change in Thai politics.
While repeating the same procedures as the older generation of politicians, Abhisit may earn a chance to hold the position of PM and gain interest from public on his policy. However, he might be influenced by Newin and other political friends who are very talented in political plans. Whether Abhisit is strong enough to stay independent from the supporters who betrayed their ex-boss [ex-PPP allies who have abandoned Thaksin] for their better interest has to be closely examined.
If Abhisit is willing to forgo justice in court cases related to corrupt political officials who support him, his morality and the morality of his government may not differ from the PPP one.
The public should learn a lesson on how the personalities of the political officials are. They are the same [self-serving] regardless of the amount the public sacrifice expended to lift up political situation. No matter how many generations of political officials pass, the public is always deceived.

Red-shirted rally gets angry with Newin's group for supporting the Democrat Party - translated and summarized from Matichon; December 10, 2008
Many terrible events happen during election periods. The red-shirts are dissatisfied that Newin's group changed their minds to support the Democrat Party to be the new head of government. Their protestations of dissatisfaction led to throwing a bomb, M26 type, into Bunjong's home [Nakhon Ratchasrima MP Bunjong Wongtrairat is a member of Newin's group]. No one was at home during that time and the bomb caused little damage. On the same day, members of the Korat People Love Democracy Group put two caskets with the message "Unideological MPs" in front of his home.
Also, 30 red-shirted supporters gathered in front of Prajak's home at Khon Khaen [Khon Khaen MP Prajak Khaewklaharn is a member of Newin's group]. The supporters left his home after they found out no one was there.
At 11:30am on that day, while Democrat Party core leaders including Abhisit Vejjajiva and Suthep Thaugsuban were consulting at Spacafé, a man honked his car horn making a loud sound in the area. After all Democrat Party leaders had looked at him, he showed them his middle finger.
It should also be noted that, Abhisit Vejjajiva has not been avoiding the draft as Jatuporn Prompan alleges. Apisit has an official document showing that he already registered as a a draftee before going into teaching at Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy.

This is the reason why Newin changes his mind - Supporting Democrat Party - translated and summarized from Krungthep Turakij; Column: Trace of politics; Author: Chalao Karnchana; December 10, 2008
There is a change in the political situation at this time. The ex-coalition government parties changed their mind to support the Democrats because someone forcefully asked them to make a change of politics in order to get rid of Thaksin’s nominees known as the Party of Phue Thai. Using the political strategy of “disunity” to stop the Thaksin system by leading Newin Chidchop, who is now ex-Thaksin’s ally, to change his mind to choose the opposite party to be a new governing party.
Precisely, he accepted for the persuasion easily because there has been a conflict between him and his ex-big boss Thaksin Shinawatra since he supported Samak Sundaravej to be prime minister for the second time. His big boss opposed supporting Samak to return to be prime minister. He had tried to persuade Newin and his group to support his brother-in-law Somchai Wongsawat, but he did not accept and stayed away from him.
Incredibly, Newin is the core leader to make the governing parties change their minds to support the Democrats. Although his big boss had tried to call him for more than 20 times, he ignored the calls.

Damage to the government - translated and summarized from Matichon; Column: The Editorial; December 11, 2008 
The Office of the National Security Council in the office of the Prime Minister is one of the offices that suffered damage and loss after the parliament house been occupied. 
The investigation found the visible cameras in the office entry were sacked and damaged, automatic fence signals were cut off, lots of cars tire were flattened, not to mention 
official rooms which were violated. 
The shocking report even mentioned the trespass to the main offices and the loss of six vital hard disks which contained terabytes of fundamental information essential to the country's stability.
Terdthai Sriuppara, Director of IT and Infrastructure, claimed that the damage on only hardware and software cost around 40 million baht excluding the lost of essential information on crisis control, terrorism and others that has been kept from 2004. This information is surely priceless.
The action of PAD in occupying Government House is unexpected and never happened before in Thai political history. The occupation left no chance for the officials to take their personal belongings and official documents and is too surprising for the public to accept. 
PAD irresponsibility is shown when there is no practical policy to prohibit the pilferer, which would damage the country's continuity and cause the damage to the offices in Government House.  
PAD should take responsibility for the lost that occurred or criticism from the public might occur. It should also be the reason for PAD and any party not to occupy any official offices again.
Thais as well as the other countries should have the best security to cover the effective officials and the secure documents that they keep. The pilferer of PAD should receive proper investigation and the information found should be announced to the public to confirm the country's stability. Police officials should find the felons and pilferer of the country's official office. THis should not be taken lightly and Thais should not let it go easily.

The law of the Kingdom of Thailand - translated and summarized from Thai Rath; Column: The Editorial; December 5, 2008
The constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand belongs to the population. Precisely, everybody is able to give his opinion and participate in a constitutional amendment. When someone wants to amend the constitution, it is acceptable that the population have to agree on it. However, the Samak government and the Somchai government hardly ask for the public opinion. They mentioned that the latest constitution of Thailand, which they want to amend, was written by the Council of National Security (CNS) and said that it is a dictatorial constitution which should be amended immediately.
In fact, amending the constitution by both the Samak and Somchai governments is for their own advantage. Hence, the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) decided to protest against the unfair amendment of Thai constitution. The protest grew more violent until the constitutional court decided to dissolve the coalition government party. Nevertheless, the violent political situation will be in crisis again if the Power People Party (PPP) and five political parties collaborates on organizing a new government. Maybe the country will completely be in political crisis.

PAD Party - translated and summarized from Phujatkan; Author: Chaianan Samutthawanit; December 8, 2008
After the PAD gathering and the case of "new politics," the PAD has two missions to continue. The first is to play an important roles in providing news on politics to the public and pressure against the power abuse of the government power if it occurs.
The second thing should be the PAD’s long term mission to be involved in politics by establishing a political party and field candidates for election. The PAD party is at an advantageous state compared to other political parties as it will be the popular political party, having members who are experienced in politics.
Furthermore, the PAD party leaders have close relationships with supporters. The PAD runs their own newspaper, radio and TV to communicate to the public. I suggest that the PAD party should hold about 50 to 80 MPs in parliament and should field candidates for the constituency area 1 in the central region, the East, and Bangkok. The PAD party and the Democrat Party should be able to hold enough MPs votes to form the government. As long as the election is our democratically held, the PAD might not have other choices, but to follow the rules.

More: Unlocking the Thai world: Thai-language newspaper headlines

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