Thai Media Project – January 2009

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

Greetings New Year 2009" - translated and summarized from Daily News, Column: Kha Prajam Wan Arthit (Sunday’s article) by Khuad, January 4, 2009

Top right: The oil price goes down [the driver says] "and the traffic jam is intensified”

Top left: The phone network companies gain great amount of income from new year SMS service- [on the phone screen]“May Daily News fanes become prosperous, healthy, cutie in year 2009”

Top right: The fire burns down the jet set’s well-known night pub

Middle left: [The Prime Minister] was reminded about the budget for plane-buying project [on the arm is Air Force Chief - this alludes to the recent large aircraft purchases by the military that some believe are part of the collusion that brought the Democrats to power and keep them in power and making the PM a puppet of larger forces]

Middle right: [The PM and government was blamed [by the UDD] for holding the policy delivering session at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs - [The PM says] “but no bloodshed”]

Bottom left: [The PM] faces the fleet clappers and the threatening phone calls - [The PM says] “ Allow me to be the PM of every region to perform the work.”

Bottom right: The news about the attempt to reconcile [the picture shows Deputy PM Suthep and Thaksin talking on the phone] Suthep says “Hello”

Thaksin moves on the plan to eliminate the aristocracy - Democrats to resist with strategy to promote national agenda on national institutes - translated and summarized from Phujatkarn, January 8, 2009

It is an issue to be watched regarding Thaksin Shinawatra moving ahead on his policy to rely on foreign hands to blockade Thailand in an effort to eliminate Thailand’s upper-class. Meanwhile, the Democrat-led government of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva is preparing to issue the Education Ministry’s policy to protect national institutes and to promote the national agenda on national institutes [national institutes here meaning something like "nation and religion" and by extension, the monarchy].
The Democrat-led government of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva is facing many problems including economic sluggishness and the unstable political turmoil with pressure against by the protesting United Front of Democracy against Dictatorship. At the same time there is a movement to besiege Thailand with foreign lobbyists such as the Elderman Company, Baber Griffith & Rogers, Bell Pottinger North and Baker Botts via some people such as former advisor to the Prime Minister Pansak Winyarat, former Secretary to the Prime Minister Dr. Prommin Lertsuriyadet and former Deputy Secretary to the Prime Minister Poomtham Vechayachai. They are involved as the middlemen who play leading roles in the game.

Two targets to eliminate aristocracy and to promote Thaksin as hero
“The lobbyists whose names have been revealed dare to do things that Thailand's press fears to do and the issue should be raised as it is of interest to the public,” said the lecturer of Thammasat University’s Faculty of Journalism and Mass Communication Professor Dr. Surapong Sothanasathien. According to the professor, deposed Premier Thaksin Shinawatra’s movement to lobby foreign media is aimed at degrading the government’s stability and the upper-class and also bringing him back to a powerful stance.
The first step of the policy requires the service of foreign media as the incumbent government has little proved weaknesses, and he, hence has to target at lowering the government’s stability by linking the story of its rise to the upper class institutes and the Privy Council President.
The internal [Thai language] media has limited numbers and are normally overlooked so instead, Thaksin turns to rely on hiring foreign lobbyists that are able to do what the internal media of the country cannot [presumably comment on the monarchy].
Secondly, the target to make Thaksin to become a hero is a move to destroy the image of the Democrat-led government and promote the good image of Thaksin himself. Obviously, there is the attempt to promote Thaksin as a capable man and accepted by foreigners. This is carried out by Thaksin’s Foundation for a Better Life before the re-election of the MPs in January, 2009.
“The strategies used in the political fight are normal, but it is a matter of concern on the attempt to separate politics from the state’s security, especially on some cases that are considered sensitive matters [presumably attacks on the monarchy]. These might possibly impact the nation’s stability even if, basically, the intention is to assault the political party opponents or influential persons. The result of the operation might unexpectedly destroy the nation.”

Three points of assaulting the government - Righteousness - Lese majeste cases - Jurisdiction
According to the statement of Democrat Songkhla MP Sirichoke Sopha evaluating Thaksin’s strategy on the move to besiege the country, he believes that the plan is to continue, but with less focus regarding the case related to the interview of former PM’s Office Minister Jakkapob Penkiar [that resulted in lese majeste charges].
“The names of the foreign lobbyists are potent [worrying] to some extent, but this should not be worrying as the media has exposed this matter. The government has declared the issue will be attended to attentively, especially on the case on the watch of the foreign media reports on the aristocracy. They are attempting to link the matter to the fight between the upper-class and the poor as well as the legal issues and the country’s justice process. This includes the lawsuits involving the lese majeste case that has been torturous and have to be explained righteously. However, this is not considered as too much of a burden as other countries understand the system of constitution monarchy.
“Regarding the lese majeste cases being questioned, we have to bear in mind that our country holds the monarchy institute separate from politics and apart from the lawsuits. This is, therefore, the case to be protected,” added the Democrat MP.
Furthermore, for the cases involving arguments between Thailand and neighboring countries such as Myanmar and Cambodia, the government has prepared for the solutions such as bilateral talks with the team established to look over the matter.”

On the move to explain to the public - Economic revival - Boost-up confidence
The foreign lobbyists' scheme is mixed with the inner movement by the opposition Phea Thai MPs presenting the issue to embassies to pressure the government. Along with this is the movement of the protesting UDD, it will finally come out the time for the government to speak in explanation to the foreign media and on stage of the World Economic Forum (WEF) to be hosted in Switzerland and at the Asean summit.
“The Prime Minister’s role is to explain the doubts and boost up the foreign confidence and there are many chances on the world stage. The scheme to lobby foreign media is not worrying and the government targets more on solving the national economic crisis. The political problem is not the top priority.”
According to Sirichoke, despite the movement has ongoing for some time, the Democrat-led government has prepared to handle the case as Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has explained to both Thailand and foreign press since he stepped to the PM post, especially to the CNN, Reuters, and the AFP.

Push on the agenda to protect national institutes - National agenda
On concerns about the sensitive case of foreign media assault [foreign media criticism of the King], the strong policy is to be issued with serious concern. This is reflected in Prime Minister Abhisit declaring government policy to protect institutes from threats [that is, for the government to once again aggressively pursue lese majeste cases]. The government still has the full authority to consider the case and it will strongly promote patriotism and loyalty to the nation, monarchy and religion.
Strict measures are to be launched especially for the case related to lese majeste. As for the long term policy, the responsible agency is the Education Ministry which will work on promoting the public awareness and the case is to become the national agenda with coordination of the Culture Ministry and the Information Communication and Technology.

PM should be more strong - translated and summarized from Komchadluek; Column: The Editorial, January 12, 2009
During a month of Apisit's work, we are seeing that he has been agreeing on all projects of the coalition government parties. That is because he lets himself go with what the governing parties do and has always behaved courteously toward them.
If he is still afraid of them, Thai people will have no faith in him. It can impact Thailand's view as an "insecure country" and can make governing and developing the country by PM Apisit Wejchacheewa run into trouble. Because of lessons from successful and failed administrations, he should be strong and brave and should look forward before making decisions and acquiescing to all the political parties.

The "Disclosed secret" - Special - translated and summarized from Matichon; Column: “Pid mai lab - Special,” January 10, 2009

* It becomes the talk of the town when the opposition parties assault the Army continuously. Parliamentary committee Chief on Army affairs Police Lieutenant Colonel  Somchai Petprasert is on the move to check the Army residency privileges of the retired high-ranking officials who were former influential figures of the Council of National Security.



(Photo: Matichon)
The privilege of special residence at the 11th Infantry Army Department (King’s Guards) for retired and honored army officers, built under the governmental budget, is now revealed to belong to Privy Council President Gen. Prem Tinasulanonda, former Army Chief Gen. Issarapong Numphakdee, former National Security Council Chief and former CNS Chief Gen Sonthi Boonyaratkalin, who led the CNS during the September 19, 2007 coup. This is the real assault targeted to scare the army and high-ranking officers who still rely on the governmental residence, including former Army Commander-in-Chief Gen Chaiyasith Shinawatra, who was Thaksin’s cousin.

It is know that unofficially the housing refers to the possibility and prospect or to join and influence politics and the military after retirement.
The Privy Council President’s residence is the See Sao Thewas (Theves) which was once used as the residence of the Army Commander-in-Chief.
Members of the high-ranks who stay at governmental residences at the Army’s Department after their retirement includes –“Big Poey”-Gen. Saprang Ganlayanamitr who was former Deputy Defense Ministry Permanent-Secretary and “Big Tui” Gen Chaiyasit Shinawatra who was former Army Commander-in-Chief.


* PM’s Office Minister Weerachai Weeramethakul makes his progressive leap right at the start. He is former son-in law of Chareon Pokaphand Group (CP) executive who is criticized as taking a ministerial post in the Abhisit-led government because of this money. Weerachai attempted to clear away the negative rumors involving his new position by giving interviews to the press and also denying his role to promote the CP Group. However, the PM’s Office Minister’s great leap now brings the underhand order: “new ministerial post holders should not make remarks [to the press about their post]."

(Photo: Matichon)


(Photo: Matichon)
* Former Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej is going to undergo the operation on his liver cancer in the USA. Former PM secretary Teerapon Noprampa flies to visit Samak in the States. If Samak’s health condition soon improves, it is expected that he will plan to return to Thailand to write books telling his political background and opinions, as he planned to do after stepping down as Thailand’s 25th PM. [Samak returned to Thailand on January 21.]


Politics to be applied to ease southern unrest
- translated and summarized from Thai Rath; Column: Editorial; January 20, 2009
During his first visit to the southern border provinces, Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said that the southern unrest was not only the matter of the security units only, but the government must also get involved in the development in the area. He added that the government would try to solve the problem without depending on the forces and the special laws. He added that those who breached human rights would be punished under the legal process.
The unrest in the three southern border provinces becomes more intense day by day. The unrest has begun since 2004 and becomes a national threat. Over 3,000 officials and citizens have been killed. All [Thai] governments said that they went in a right direction and the problem would end soon. However, the violence still goes on and people are killed almost every day.
Prime Minister Abhisit could be the first government leader to say that the unrest is not only the problem about security--the military or the police. He said that the problem has several dimensions and is related to politics, economy, society, history, race and religion. Therefore, it cannot be solved only by one measure as it is not about "inexperienced criminals." [Earlier governments has contended that the troublemakers were merely bandits and not separatists.]
The first problem that must be solved is the unity for the processes of easing the unrest in the South. The government has set up a new Cabinet for the development of five southern border provinces, chaired by the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister's idea saying that he would not always depend on the security forces and special laws [such as emergency decrees] is correct.



"Suthin Wannaboworn" dissects foreign media - "Farang" hired by "Maew" to destroy Thailand - translated and summarized from Phujatkan, January 12, 2009
Former reporter of the foreign press AP Suthin Wannabovorn reveals to Phujatkan media the influence of Thaksin over the foreign media and the impact on the country and the royal institution. The former AP reporter adds that his resignation from the AP press was due to his being upset over the foreign press’s bias that is impacted by Thaksin’s money which is spent to lobby the press. He believes that the good image of the royal institution is being tortured by the pro-Thaksin-foreign press.
According to Suthin, famous world press such as the AFP, the AP and the Reuters are the three leading organizations that provide news to other worldwide press. However, his past experiences as AP reporter were not impressive as he had to work under pressure as he believes that the foreign press is hired to present a good image of deposed Premier Thaksin Shinawatra.
He says that the magazine readers like those who read the Economist are reading material created by the pro-Thaksin group.
Regarding the September 19 coup aimed at dethroning Thaksin from his corrupted power, the foreign media and lobbyists presented issues by focusing on points that torture the image of the royal institution instead of mentioning Thaksin’s corruption.
Suthin reveals that the foreign media rarely has awareness that they are under the financial influence of Thaksin's lobbyists.
Suthin said that the foreign media rarely bears in mind having respect for Thai royal institution and those who are Thaksin promoters usually input data that are positive to Thaksin. This includes the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand.
As claimed by Suthin, The Economist publishes the column about Thailand’s PAD protest against Thaksin’s government with the cover printed “ A Blow to Thai Democracy”. The Economist’s recent magazine is also printed with the article headline “ The King and them”, which Suthin says it has psychological impact to Thailand’s institution. Suthin adds that many foreign press choose to have interview with the pro-Thaksin academics and bring their point of view to their readers.
Overall, the situation like this will promote Thaksin’s press lobbying scheme and his intention to pressure the government. Suthin believes that the bias among the foreign press over news presentation about Thai institutions exists and this is the result of Thaksin’s influence over the media.
[More about Suthin: Suthin resigned from the AP after he was called to the AP’s PR Director in New York to explain his improper words used to express his political bias during the interview of Army Commander-in-Chief Gen Anupong Paojinda. After the October 6-7, 2008 clash at parliament, it was claimed that he used the AP produce news that was not based on fact and that he was also a PAD supporter.]

Fund raised for DTV by selling the “Truth Today” energy beverage - Denial over “Maew”’s support, Maew’s simply phones in - D-Day on January 19 opposing the government - translated and summarized from Matichon, January 16, 2009
(Pro-Thaksin) Red shirt team introduces the “D-station”
The pro-Thaksin red shirt team led by former Thai Rak Thai Party executive member Adisorn Piengket introduces the D-station [DTV] for Democracy to oppose the government and broadcast through the Thaikom Five satellite cable network. “Maew” [Thaksin] is to phone in to during the program. Earlier, Adisorn revealed that a fund of about 1 million baht to promote the TV station was delivered from many friends without the involvement of deposed Premier Thaksin, who was claimed to allocate his money to the station.
Program introduced - Confirmed nothing behind
According to Mr. Adisorn, the D-station’s TV programs are aimed at opposing the administration of the Abhisit-led government with nothing to do with a political ploy [of Thaksin]. Many including former Spokesperson to the PM’s Office Suparat Nakaboonam, former PM’s office minister Jakkapob Penkiar and famous monk Payom Kanlayano participate as hosts of the TV programs to begin on January19, 2009 (claimed as D-Day of the station).
ASTV fans can watch for free
Former government spokesperson Nattawut Saikua reveals that the ASTV watchers can receive the D-station signal for free. The special program of the TV program is on Sunday after the government’s program “Abhisit Meets the People” [the Prime Minister's weekly television program]. He adds that Thaksin’s phone-in during the program will be for clarifying issues doubted by the public.
Lieutenant Jeab believes allowance is to be given from supervisor
Famous Thaksin, where are you? writer--Lieutenant Sunisa Lertpakawat--states that if she was allowed by her supervisor [in the military] she would host the D-station program as MC. [Lt. Sunisan, better know as Lt. Jeab, has repeatedly embarrassed the military by traveling overseas to interview Thaksin. She wrote a plaintive book entitled Thaksin, where are you?] Core member of the opposition Phea Thai Party, Jatuporn Prompan says that the hosts of Truth Today will run the three programs: Truth Today, Mahaprachachon and Puan Pong Nong Pee for the D-station.
Interior Ministry launches watchdog center
Interior Minister Chawarat Charnweerakul states that the center monitoring the broadcast of the D-station is launched by the Interior Ministry, but is concerned with rights [of speech] and related laws as priority [as opposed to harassing DTV].
Two ways for possible changes for the NBT
Regarding the policy of the Prime Minister Abhisit-led government on reforming the National Broadcasting Television or former the channel 11, there are two choices on consideration--either running under a public organization management or otherwise running as an independent station like the Thai-PBS.
Red-shirt clad in 30 provinces urge the government to consider five issues
The Udon Thani Patriot group under the leadership of Kwanchai Praipana declares manifestos urging the government of PM Abhisit Vejjajiva to consider five issues: the constitution revision progress, the PAD lawsuit investigation, the depromotion of Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya, the financial policy, and the loss of 52 billion baht loss in trade balance during the first quarter of the year. 
Mark [PM Abhisit] insists not worried by government house protest
Meanwhile Abhisit Vejjajiva states that a protest at Government House by the red shirt people is not worrying and he will continue, but continues his work at the Government House compound.


(Photo: Matichon)
Left: Opening ceremony of DTV - Former Thai Rak Thai Party executive Adisorn Piengket as Chief Executive of the D station Co., Ltd., along with Truth Today program hosts held a press conference to introduce the “D-station” satellite network TV station. And also introduce the energy drink of the “Truth Today” brand which is a major sponsor for the station to introduce. A dinner was held at the Grand Miracle on January 15, 2009.


Making reference to human rights, is it unintentional or calculated?
- translated and summarized from Phujatkarn; January 20, 2009
Why has Apisit government been accused of human rights violations by foreign and local media despite only a month of work? For example, the illegal immigrant problem of the Rohingya, who are a Muslim ethic group of the Northern Rakhine State of Western Burma. This problem has been taking place for a long time. Why does the media offer such a pessimistic view of the Rohingya problem now that the Democrat Party is administering the country? Why does the media specially focus on it? Is there something concealed or a black power behind it?
At the same time, it is said that the military has attacked and tortured suspects in Southern Thailand. The media also offers a pessimistic view of this problem. For local media, some take sides with former PM Thaksin Shinawatra and report news discrediting the Democrat Party [on the issue of the agricultural land reform office 4-01] because they used to receive much advertising business from him.


Road map – the red army - translated and summarized from Matichon, January 23, 2009
After being politically executed twice, the Phea Thai party – the third generation of the Thai Rak Thai party – begins to know its future. It seems like its opposition period will be long.
Despite being the party with the most representatives in the Parliament, it cannot fight against the government as the majority in parliament are all from coalition government parties.
Therefore, the DTV satellite station has been set up to be a communication channel among the red army members.
A leader of the red-shirt people says that the DTV has duty to maintain Thaksin’s base, especially in the Northeast. It will also provide information which will destroy the stability of the government as soon as possible.
The red-shirt group consists of two types of people – those who love and are loyal to Thaksin and those who do not like Thaksin, but cannot accept the aristocratic system.
Leaders of the group then come up with a new strategy by seeking a new leader. Thaksin will just stand on the side and becomes a supporter.
The new leader must be completely against aristocratism like Sulak Siwalak or Sor. Siwalak and Jai Ungpaporn. The group will also help improve the quality of life of its members. It also plans to go international by collaborating with overseas networks to share information. The target is to mess up the ASEAN leaders conference to be held in Prachuabkirikhan.


Old political pole in “Phrae” creates rumors with pamphlet – Distributing news on lese majeste continuously - Government still silent - translated and summarized from Phujatkarn; January 24, 2009
A source in Phrae province reveals that the old political pole [Phea Thai/Thaksin] continues to give news aimed at disgracing the royal institution, PAD leader Sondhi Limthongkul, and famous revered monk Phra Maha Bua Yarnasampano. However, the government’s reaction is to remain silent.
As revealed by the source, 8 page-long pamphlets were widely distributed in the local area providing information that blames PAD leader Sondhi Limthongkul for using the royal institution as tool to destroy Thaksin Shinawatra, including the royal visit of HM Queen to the funeral of a PAD supporter killed in the October 7, 2008 clash with authorities.


Punch to punch: Thaksinomics versus Marksinomics - translated and summarized from Matichon, January 24, 2009
“Thaksinomics” is the word used by Philippines President Gloria Makapagal Arroyo to praise the economy of Thailand under the policy of Thaksin. “Marksinomics” is the word used by the press to refer to the economic policy of the Democrat-led government which is similar to the populist policy of the former Thai Rak Thai party mixed with the public welfare policy of the Democrats. 
1. The SML project for local villages of the former Thai Rak Thai was dusted off with double the amount of budget added and its name revised to be “self-sufficient economy budget.” Initially, the budget to be allocated is 15,200 million baht. 
2. The project 30 baht for all disease medical services is now changed to be free medical service and its name was changed to the “project guaranteeing health for all.” The former government set up a 30 billion baht fund for the project under the Public Health Ministry.
3. The CEO governor budget is changed to “the budget for provincial integrated administration” and is expected to be at least 10 billion baht.
4. The Democrats will extend the free education period for each student from 12 years to 15 years and set up a budget for free textbooks instead of an education loan which, under the Thaksin-government, was budgeted at 19 billion baht (19,000,000,000).
5. Pensions for elderly are increased from 300 baht per one person per month to 500 baht. The total budget is 9 billion baht. 
6. The allowance for Public Health volunteers for villages is increased from 500 baht per one person to 600 baht. The total budget is 3 billion baht. 
7. The price intervention policy covers for 5 economic crops (rice, corn, cassava, rubber, palms). Earlier, the Thai Rak Thai focuses on rice price only. The Democrats also furthers other popular policies of the former government such as the OTOP, the 5 measures for 6 month relief policy and also has measures to distribute 2,000 baht for 9.3 million people who are members of Social Security nationwide [workers having an income less than 15,000 baht per month].
The opposition party criticizes these policies as being vote buying for the Democrat government in advance of the next election.


Please stop it, Thaksin - translated and summarized from Thai Post; Column: Editorial; January 24, 2009
After Commander-in-Chief General Anupong Paojinda allowed leaders of political parties to discuss the setting up of the new government at a soldier camp in the Department of the First Royal Guard Infantry, people have been criticizing the issue.
People talk about how the government has been formed and the unrighteousness of the army, which intervened in politics.
Recently, former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra gave an interview to a Japanese newspaper. He demanded fairness after being bullied by political enemies. He said that he currently had a bad personal financial status. He also criticized Thailand's political situation, targeting the Privy Council, the army and the court, which supported the Democrat Party. His report underlined Gen. Anupong's involvement in the process in which the Democrat Party became the leading government party.
Thaksin's move to attack the army, the Privy Council and the court underlined his defeat. If he now had power, he would not complain so much about persecution. What he said only emphasized his evil and does not benefit the country in any way.
The Democrat Party is now being monitored. If it makes a false move in management [of the country], the public will be the party to push the court, the Privy Council and the army to do the right thing. It is just that Thaksin must now stir up the situation and create conflicts, which will lead the country into crisis again.


Getting to know Thaksin, getting to know political war - translated and summarized from Phutjatkhan, January 26, 2009  
Many unnatural events took place in Thailand during the past week. All events mysteriously or accidentally seemed to be committed by a group. It was like all events had the same target – an advantage of a person [meaning Thaksin].
Five events are interesting:
1. The demand to dissolve parliament. It reflects that the legal representatives did not do their duty by issuing regulations to control the use of power in the country’s management. [Meaning that the missteps of Abhisit's government have increased the legitimate call to dissolve the government.]
2. Thaksin’s interview attacking the judicial power, the Privy Council and the army. Thaksin Shinawatra, who is sentenced to two years in jail, continued to give interviews to foreign media about Thailand and its important institutes.
3. Blaming Thailand with false accusation with foreign embassies. Jakraphob Penkair, Veera Musikpong, Nattawut Saikua and their fellows submitted a letter to foreign embassies, asking those countries not to attend the ASEAN Summit with Thailand. They claimed that Thailand was not a democratic country, but was ruled by a hidden dictatorship.
4. The setting up of the DTV station. It is clear that the DTV station has been set up for political purposes. The station is operated by those who are loyal to Thaksin. Its target is to harm the Kingdom of Thailand.
5. Violent mobs by red-shirt people in Thailand. There were many violent events caused by people in the red shirt.  
These cases were led by people related to the Phea Thai Party. They are missions designed to create a situation [of turmoil] in Thailand. They want to stir up the situation to challenge the government. If the current government does not catch their game, it will lose to Thaksin’s political game.


January 31 is the judgment day of the red-shirt people – Blockade the parliament to destroy the government - translated and summarized from Matichon, January 27, 2009  
Newin Chidchob, a former executive of the Thai Rak Thai Party and the leader of the Newin’s Friend group, has given an order to his members, including Kwanchai Praipanna – the leader of the Khon Rak Udon Group – to remove all members out of the United Front of Democracy against Dictatorship, led by three stubborn leaders Natthawut Saikua, Chatuporn Prompan and Weera Musikpong.
It cannot be denied that the powerful UDD is now losing its power, especially its backup supporters in the Northeast. However, this does not make the UDD surrender to its fate easily. On the contrary, the situation makes the UDD to make a move again. The movement from now on will try to become an epic movement, like the movement of the People's Alliance for Democracy.
First things first, the leaders of the UDD will ask its partner Phea Thai Party to seek another 1,200 members. Moreover, in-depth information will be given away to red-shirt people in all regions through 182 Phea Thai’s coordination centers across the country.
The move by the Phea Thai party is completely in line with the UDD’s Mae Nam Roi Sai (100 rivers) strategy. It shows that former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, Phea Thai Party and the red-shirt people are one.
The meeting of the red-shirt people on January 31 is very interesting. It will accurately measure the power of the red-shirt people by the number of people gathering there.
The most interesting move is to move 30,000 people to block Government House. They will be there for a few days to demand three things – dismissing Kasit Pirom, Minister of Foreign Affairs from his position, filing a lawsuit against the People's Alliance for Democracy for blocking the Suvarnabhumi Airport, and asking Abhisit Vejjajiva to dissolve the Parliament to allow the public to make a decision again.
The red-shirt people’s official war will start at the end of January. The victory is to end the current government as it is the only way out for Thaksin and Phea Thai Party. 


31 January: The glory day or the losing day of the red-shirt people - translated and summarized from Phutjatkhan, January 27, 2009  
While most Thai people are joining forces to fight against the economic recession under the Abhisit administration, a group of people in the red-shirt symbol is moving to obstruct the government’s operations, claiming that the current government does not have the righteousness to run the country.
The red-shirt group has been moving in different forms to protest against the government. Its highlight is the ‘The Truth Today’ program, led by leaders of the United Front of Democracy against Dictatorship.
Before the current government took its position, the red-shirt group ran several meetings. Each time, there was a large number of people attending. Most of them were from the Northeast and the North. Only a few came from the central and southern regions.  
Now that the MPs from the Newin’s Group joined the government, red-shirt people start to have conflicts among themselves. Leaders of some provinces in the Northeast refused to join a big meeting in Bangkok on January 31. However, some leaders of the United Front of Democracy against Dictatorship see that it is necessary to continue to run the meeting to oppose the government.
Therefore, the meeting on January 31 will point out whether red-shirt members nationwide will allow the leaders of the group to lead them. This columnist sees that the red-shirt people will not likely turn out in force due to many reasons.


Refusal to see "defeat" - translated and summarized from Krungtep Turakij; Column: Trace of Politics; Author: Journalist no.10; January 27, 2009
Making a phone-in message which is broadcast on DTV is part of Thaksin's political game. We are seeing that former PM Thaksin Shinawatra works on the old strategy to motivate his supporters. If the number of red-shirted groups are increasing more and more, maybe it will make him resolve to take further action against his opposition. It is important that he motivates his supporters to gather and to fight for himself.
If he creates political conflicts again, will Thai people agree with him? The situation is now changed so much that the political conflicts should not happen. If he wants to get back power, he should reform the Phea Thai party well because the party has not managed to unite. Besides, Khunying Pojaman (Shinawatra) Damapong [Thaksin's ex-wife] is going to take care of his political game by herself because they are unsatisfied with the performance of their political nominees [Samak, Somchai and other politicians]. However, they will lose this game if they ignore society's opinions.


Red-shirted rally gives false information to discredit Thailand - translated and summarized from Komchadluek; Column: The editorial; January 26, 2009
A political movement group [the red-shirts] have gathered to call on the Association of South East Asia Nations [ASEAN] to cancel the conference [the ASEAN Summit] because of the reason that the government is unfair.
In fact, this action is against the ASEAN principle and has also impacted the country. It is fortunate that Thai people refuse to accept this political movement. The people really know that the red-shirted assembly wants to discredit the country and plan to do everything, giving false information and slandering the country for his [Thaksin's] personal interest. They also know who the assembly works for [Thaksin].
Recently, the red-shirted movement has been split because of conflicts of interest. Hence, the government should explain to Thai people and foreigners that the internal and external political movement and members of the opposition party have come together for mutual benefit [of Thaksin]. They collaborate among themselves and do everything without thinking about what is right.

Who the red-shirt protesting mob does things for? - translated and summarized from Thai Post; Column: The Editorial; Author: The Editorial team, January 31, 2009
Regarding the gathering of the red shirt clad United Front of Democracy against Dictatorship aimed at the government on January 31, 2009, we comment that the protest of the red shirt people is clearly proved to be for the only one person and the public was used as tool by claiming it was about the principle of justice.
Despite UDD leader Jakkapob Penkiar's claim that the gathering is for national Democracy and Thaksin’s case is the only a part of it, the movements of the group prove that it is for Thaksin. This includes the phone-in of Thaksin during the gathering.
The movement of the red shirt gathering is defiant to the police and military who are maintaining security for the public.
The group's goal is to fall as a target of assault [from the authorities]. The national police headquarters under leadership of Gen. Patcharawat Wongsuwan, earlier transferred to an inactive post, as well as the Army Chief Gen. Anupong Paojinda and Defense Minister Gen Patcharawat Wongsuwan, are to be under close watch as the red shirt might assault the Army claiming that it backs for the establishment of the Democrat-led government. However, we comment that the action of the UDD is doing nothing good for the country.


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