As clear as it is! - Kaolao Ruammit by Tin, Matichon, March 29, 2009
The title is "As clear as it is!"
Top, left to right: It is clear who is the extra constitutional charismatic figure [This shows square-headed THaksin hitting someone with a car. Hitting someone with a car refers to one who openly criticizes in society and presses his case without fear like Thaksin has done.]
It is clear that who gives the opposition party the information of the 258 million baht scandal. [This shows a worm in the Democrat Party salt referring to Gen. Pallop Pinmanee who revealed to the opposition damaging details about money donations. This information was brought up in the censure debate. In Thai, "Klua Pen Norn" or "the salt becomes the worm" refers a betrayal by a group member who gives useful information to the enemy.]
It is clear that Death will work hard again during the Songkran Festival as the ban on selling alcohol fails. [This shows a Thai representation of death and refers to the attempt to ban alcohol over Songkran.]
Bottom, left to right: It is clear that the two children do not know how to work as they also do not have experience in distributing cheques. [This refers to PM Abhisit and Finance Minister Korn Jatikavanit, both considered very young to occupy their respective posts during hard economic times.]
It is clear that the problems in the unrest are not solved with clear policy from the government, therefore, the Army allocates guns to the people. [This refers to new weapons being distributed to villagers in the Deep South.]
It is clear that this country has nothing more special than other countries if its chaos does not cease.
"Milk in the news" - Thai Rath, Chai Ratchawat, March 1, 2009
Milk in the news [Milk becomes a hot news issue]
Top left: Dairy farmers stage protest calling for the government’s support by throwing away milk
Top middle: Students in many provinces drank spoiled milk - wow!
Top right: The hot VDO clip is the paparazzi snapshot of a superstar’s breast.
Bottom left: Monks having breasts becomes hot news issue [See Breast of a monk - Khao Sod, February 16, 2009]
Bottom middle: Family networks organization complains to the Ministry of Culture as piles of magazines on the newsstands contain images of breasts [making them not suitable for juveniles].
Bottom right: As children who drink milk become healthy, adults who “drink” milk become rich ["drink" or "eat" in Thai is “kin/gin” and the word is also used in the meaning of corruption of something]
Government encounters political opposition – the last bomb still left; interrogation war! - translated and summarized from Matichon; Column: Analysis; March 1, 2009
The Pheu Thai, as the opposition party, still continues to fight against the Democrat government, led by Abhisit Vejjajiva.
Its first bomb was the draft National Reconciliation Act, by Chalerm Yoobamrung, that did not work well as the coalition parties especially the Phum Jai Thai, led by Newin Chidchob, refused to support to draft act. Thai society also does not accept a proposal which will allow Thaksin Shinawatra and other political convicts to receive amnesty.
The Pheu Thai still tried to present the next ‘bomb’ – the [proposal of a] national government. This proposal is similar to the National Conciliation Act. It offers a win-win solution to both political sides. However, it is now too late.
Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thuangsuban completely denied the suggestion saying, "you can wait until the next life and the national government will not be formed!" Right now, we know that there will be no negotiation between both parties and the situation will become intense.
Red-shirt people gathered in front of the Government House to declare four demands. However, their demands do not get the public’s support.
Pheu Thai part therefore has to apply its last strategy – the face-to-face fight in the House of Representatives. Another no-confidence vote will be held. Issues which will be discussed during the vote are still unclear. However, it is the only way to improve the opposition’s situation.
Signal from the red-shirts - translated and summarized from ASTV Manager Daily; Author: Parnthep Puapongphan; March 4, 2009
On February 9, 2009, Mr. Ji Ungpakorn issued the ‘Red Siam’ statement, insulting Thailand’s royal institute. He also urged the red-shirt mob to change Thailand’s administrative system to socialism.
The statement makes lots of people believe that there is a rebellious movement in Thailand, that wants to get rid of the constitutional monarchy system.
The statement shows that Mr. Ji Ungpakorn is not only a marxist, but also an academic who fully supports Thaksin’s mean regime.
He once said that Thailand was now under the aristocratism, not democracy. People had to fight for democracy to allow the Thai Rak Thai Party to create a welfare state.
Some followers and students of Mr. Ji, who helped seek signatures to bring down the lese majeste law became heart-broken once he joined the red-shirt party and supported the robber baron system.
The Red Siam statement tells people that his target is to destroy the royal institute, not to get academic freedom as claimed.
On March 1, 2009, Mr. Ji issued another article, entitled ‘how can we support the
‘red party‘‘. He issued the statement to signal red-shirt people to form the red party from the grassroots.
However, the Red Siam statement focuses only on superficial election system. Some members of the Election Commission have just revealed that the current EC is fake one. So, how can we trust the fake election system, which is the origin of the political power?
Politicians coming from a dirty election are the beginning of the robber baron system. They block the freedom of the press and amend the law to make themselves clean. Red-shirt people working for a Thaksin regime are becoming weak.
Consequently, the signal sent from Mr. Ji Ungpakorn reflects that the red-shirt party is losing the battle.
Is it true or just a game? - translated and summarized from Thai Rath; Column: Editorial; March 2, 2009
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban both said that the Democrat Party had no plan to join forces with the Pheu Thai Party to set up the ‘National Government’. Mr. Abhisit sees that there should be an opposition party to interrogate the government and Mr. Suthep also confirms that there would be no national government, even in the next life.
It is rumored that high-ranking people are coaxing the Democrat to join forces with Pheu Thai to form the national government. However, the rumor is not confirmed. Some say that the rumor was just an ordinary political game, which Thai politicians like. It could be just an effort to create a conflict among the Democrat and coalition parties.
Some members of Pheu Thai see that the best solution to Thailand’s situation now is to form the national government as it will be accepted by all parties. However, the constitution must be amended to allow an outsider to be the prime minister.
A source from Pheu Thai claims that Thaksin fully supports the national government policy to create unity in the country and allow him to get back home, without any charges.
If believing the report above, we will see that Pheu Thai, which has been announced that it is against dictatorship and will fight for democracy, is willing to do anything, even accepting an outsider prime minister which is against democracy, to join the government and enable Thaksin to come back to Thailand elegantly.
We must admit that Thai politicians are especially good at playing political games to win the opposition. Hopefully, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva will not be trapped in the dirty political circle, nor fooled by political games so much that he cannot use solve the current economic and political crises.
Punch to punch - Thai Rath, March 29, 2009
The position of a prime minister: “Dr. Chalerm” is reaching for the stars - translated and summarized from Thaipost; Column: The editorial; March 3, 2009
According to proposing non-confidence motion against each individual minister, it is necessary to also propose the name of a new prime minister attaching to the motion as specified by the constitution B.E. 2550 on Act 158 [It is also described that the prime minister cannot dissolve the House after proposing the motion] So, the Pheu Thai party’s plan to propose the non-confidence motion against each individual minister of the Apisit government faces an obstacle because at the present, there is no the leader of the opposite party so he has to find a good person who is suited for the position of prime minister to attach his name to the motion before proposing. He decided on Pol. Capt. Charlerm Yoobamrung for this position but we could not know whether former PM Thaksin Shinawatra will trust Charlerm to work as the Pheu Thai party leader or not. However, the Pheu Thai party had better propose Pol. Gen. Pracha Promnok to be a new prime minister because once, the Pheu Thai party used to vote him into the office. Besides, it is possible that the coalition government parties especially the Thai Political party [The Pua Paendin party] may join together holding the majority vote for defeating the Apisit-led government.
Matichon, March 4, 2009
The headlines read: Appoint a "Leader" – Military officer [Lieutenant Colonel] supports "Charlerm" to be prime minister
British ambassador assures that rumor about giving back Thaksin’s visa cannot be proved – Democrat party reveals that Thaksin appeals for his visa
Protect "Maptaphut industrial port" - Administrative court designates Maptaphut industrial port to be pollution control area within 60 days – Find many toxin substances
US economic crisis runs deep – "Dow Jones" falls 7 points in 11 years
Interrogate "the Mark [Apbhisit] government" – The Pheu Thai party is home alone
Krungtep Turakij, March 4, 2009
The headlines read: Administrative court designates Maptaphut industrial port to be pollution control area within 60 days - “Maptaphut industrial port”: PTT plans to block Rayong investment plan
"PTT’s investment plan at Rayong”: Foreigners sell some shares in their real-estate business for running away from the mortgage crisis – Thai investors wait to buy the cheap shares
Appoint Jatumongkol to administer the board of the Bank of Thailand – Tharisa asks the government to support the budget stimulating Thailand’s economy
"Charnchai" recants his view on car tax decrease
Samui vow - translated and summarized from Krungthep Thurakit; Author: Pracha Burapavithee; March 6, 2009
Five leaders of the People Alliance for Democracy (PAD) finally announced that they would form a political party for the first time at their fifth political concert, held in Samui Island, Surat Thani province.
However, the party will not be formed in the next few days. If will be formed if the following criteria are not met:
1. If the Abhisit’s administration does not proceed with the new politics concept.
2. If the Abhisit’s administration does not get rid of the "police state," which is the carcass of the Thaksin regime.
3. If the Abhisit’s administration does not hasten to punish those who want to bring down the royal institute.
These criteria play a very important role in setting up the PAD’s political party. If there is a sign showing that the Abhisit’s administration or the Democrats will keep using the old political system to manage the country, the PAD party will really be formed.
Leaders of the PAD insist that they will support the Abhisit’s government. Suthep Thaugsuban is a person who creates a conflict among the PAD and the Democrat as he does not try to get rid of the Thaksin police system.
Window dressing - translated and summarized from Daily News; Column: The editorial; March 4, 2009
Nearly 3 months of Apisit’s administration, members of the opposite party, NGO, specialists, media and Thai people always evaluate Apisit government’s administration. Conducting polls by many institutes is also included in the evaluation. The economic crisis is most important and the political conflict is less interesting.
One of Apisit’s ideas is to ask 36 ministers to go on an inspection tour in each province around the country within 2 weeks to give every minister a chance to follow up their governing policy which is in progress and to listen to the problems of people in each province. After work, they have to report to the cabinet on their progress.
Nevertheless, the government is accused of trying to get votes in advance of the next election and trying to reduce the popularity of the proposal of a no-confidence motion by the opposition party.
However, we hope that 36 ministers care for the population sincerely because, in the past, most politicians tried to behave in the ways that people admired even if their behavior was different from their performance.
Keeping a close watch on the green party - translated and summarized from Krungthep Thurakit; Column: Kae Roy Karn Muang; Author: Reporter No. 10; March 2, 2009
Currently, Thai people are not united, but we cannot forget that we are all Thais.
Politicians should think carefully before risking the country’s future and its people to serve the need of one person.
Pheu Thai, Thailand’s number one political party, should turn back and think about its actions, especially those done for the Shinawatra Family, not Thai people.
Looking back, we can see that the party has not done any favor for Thai people, but former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. The party does everything ordered by Thaksin. It does not have to do anything to strengthen itself, but waiting for the money and Thaksin’s power.
However, movements by Thaksin and his followers begin to bore people.
And, it does not seem that Thai people can count on the government leadership of the Democrat party. Although Abhisit Vejjajiva received a chance from people who are bored of the old power, he cannot gain popularity as expected.
It is rumored that some old and new politicians are moving to form a new party, which is backed by powerful people.
If the situation between two parties does not improve by the middle of the year, a green party [a military party], mixed with yellow-shirt people [PAD supporters], could be officially introduced.
It is useless to fight with shadow - translated and summarized from Krungthep Thurakit; Column: Kae Roy Karn Muang; Author: Weerasak; March 4, 2009
The Prime Minister is asked not to pay too much attention to the movements of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who is a political carcass and cannot get any important positions, even how hard he tries.
The core problem is not about what he is doing, but how the country can go through the economic crisis. A global economist says the third support from the US government for the American International Group (AIG) reflects that the global economic crisis could be even worse, especially in 2010.
Therefore, we should focus on what is the real problem. Thaksin's leadership was over after September 19, 2006 and he will have no chance to become the Prime Minister again. The reason is that this place is Thailand and that no international political model can be applied here. Moreover, the ‘Peron return’ belief is absolutely different to normal Thai political behavior.
Even though Thaksin knows that it is very difficult to win the game, he is still trying.
It is not surprising that Abhisit Vejjajiva’s administration creates the shadow of the former Prime Minister and sees that it is the enemy. However, the real enemies are poverty and unemployment.
Saint Gabriel connection for Thailand – outside councillors - translated and summarized from Matichon; March 5, 2009
A big problem Thai people are facing in 2009 is the economic crisis. The crisis directly affects people’s living and will also have an impact on politics, which is now disunited – people split into two colours.
Political enthusiasts might recently hear about the formation of the Rak Muang Thai group.
Members of the party are, for instance, Kanok Wongtrangan, M.R. Pridiyathorn Devakula, Anek Lathammathat, Pravich Ratanapien, Weerasak Kowsurat and Sombat Thamrongthanyawong.
They all have a doctoral degrees and play an important economic or social role.
Rak Muang Thai announces that it is an independent thinker’s group which will help offer economic solutions to all parties.
The origin of the party is quite interesting. The founders of the group were activists during the October 14 era. After that, the October 14 connection joined forces with economic gurus.
They meet up once a month to discuss significant issues and report them through the press.
M.R. Pridiyathorn said that the Rak Muang Thai party is a group which contains gurus from all businesses who have moderate ways of thinking. He insisted that the party was not set up to fight against the government, nor become a political party itself.
However, there is a possibility that it will develop to be a political party, if considering ‘Saint Gabriel’ connection. M.R. Pridiyathorn and Privich were both students of the school.
Lots of high-ranking authorities in the forces were also from Saint Gabriel, including Gen. Sondhi Boonyaratklin and Suwat Liptapallop. In term of personnel, the group is fully ready to form a political party.
Focusing too much on a criminal is not a good thing, the government should pay less attention to it - translated and summarized from Thaipost; Column: The editorial; March 5, 2009
Nowadays, Thai people are interested in the news about Thaksin’s action as much as the political conflict. It is necessary that the government had better make them realize that everyone who breaks the law has to be punished including former PM Thaksin Shinawatra.
During the ASEAN summit conference, members of the Pheu Thai party played a political game by creating the story that Thai people really praised Thaksin, but he had to escape from the country because he was framed by soldiers so it made him have no permanent home.
Putting a value on Thaksin, who is an escaping prisoner, makes the Apisit government less reliable. Apisit is so worried that sometimes he cannot concentrate on his work [of solving the economic crisis].
The important thing that is the government has to pay attention to is the country’s problem and to try to solve them urgently for a better quality of life of people. Besides, the government had better put emphasis on Thaksin’s case by asking every group to follow Thaksin and bring him back to Thailand for punishment. Importantly, every group has to be able to answer the question when the society wants to really know about Thaksin’s case.
Abhisit’s administration expands its base – sends out ministers to the provinces - translated and summarized from Matichon; March 8, 2009
It looks like the Democrat government, led by Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, is at a big political advantage. Thaksin’s ninja strategy trying to create news is not successful.
Following a recent report saying that Thaksin would give a speech in Hong Kong, the Prime Minister ordered government units to go there and bring him back to Thailand to receive punishment. Therefore, Thaksin had to halt his travel and postpone the phone-in plan. Politicians visiting Thaksin abroad were urged to unveil where the former Prime Minister stays. So, today, Thaksin is in big trouble. The move by his followers trying to boost the Rachapracha Samasai trend was also not successful.
The red-shirt mob during the ASEAN Summit was unable to mobilize people to help oust the Democrat government. Here comes the last hope – the Pheu Thai party is holding a no-confidence vote. Nevertheless, the move has been opposed, especially by Sanoh Thienthong, the head of Pracharat Party. He openly disagrees with the Pheu Thai party’s decision.
All of these show that Thaksin supporters become weaker.
The government is using the opportunity to expand its base. It sent out ministers to the provinces. Even Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva visited Lop Buri by himself for the first time. Other deputy ministers visited other provinces like Nakhon Nayok, Samut Prakan, Chon Buri, Kamphaengpetch, Phijit, Chiang Mai, etc.
The local visits would prove power of red-shirt people in the provinces and also prove the capacity of provincial governors. The visits also tell the public that the current government is not afraid of Thaksin Shinawatra. Therefore, the government is at an advantage. It is also the first time for the Democrats to expand its base to these provinces.
Thairath, March 9, 2009
Horrible accident offered as a sacrifice for wedding – 19 people dead in the crash
Thaksin talks ironically to Mark – Solve economic crisis: Not borrow money, not give money to people
Beware of fever with rash: It is spreading around the country
Killer arrested: a killer who kills ex-director of Phatra Securities is arrested
Kill pensioned teacher: The pensioned teacher stifled with hands [strangled]
Krungtep Turakij, March 9, 2009
Bank indicates that tourism-automobile-real estate-energy-iron business is in a worrying situation – Due to the fear of bad debt, banks stop giving risky businesses a loan
"Bank stops giving a loan" - analyst asks Asians to urgently increase the budget for encouraging themselves by giving them more money – Suppress bringing the recession to the economic situation
It is worrying that the credit crisis may hold the purchasing power – NESDB warns to keep up with the economic recession happening for the second time.
"Amman" suggests to increase the liquor tax – Depend on the degree of liquor – Retail price
Matichon, March 9, 2009
Disbelieve King Prajadhipok's Institute – Terng - Jatuporn oppose [refers to the red shirts and Thaksin criticism of the government's economic policies]
‘Maew’ [nickname of Thaksin] accuses the government of using the wrong solutions to solve the economic problem – Ruin the country – Brags that if he had been a prime minister, he would not have borrowed money
ATM hacker arrested – Reveal that he uses the jamming machine to hack the information
NESDB prepares the solutions of the economic crisis for dealing with the economic recession in the second time
Moving to oust the government both from outside and inside the parliament - translated and summarized from Krungthep Thurakit; Column: Kae Roy Karn Muang; Author: Reporter No. 10; March 9, 2009
The Pheu Thai Party is confident that the no-confidence vote against the Prime Minister and some ministers will worsen the image of the government.
However, the fact is conflicts are still seen inside the party. Members clearly have different ideas. They completely split up. Some say they receive orders directly from the big boss [Thaksin]. They are trying to increase their value, hoping to be promoted.
Watchdogs see that it is weird as leaders of the party said that they will not discuss Suthep Thaugsuban. Boasts by lower-ranking representatives of the party make the vote even more doubtful. People wonder if it will be just a political game.
However, to play only in the parliament is not enough, they have to make a move outside as well, as ordered by the big boss. Therefore, party members let red-shirt people start the game outside the parliament. It is rumored that two weeks from, red-shirt people and the United Front of Democracy against Dictatorship will move to mobilize people. The big boss will also hold phone-ins.
In addition, one day before the vote, red-shirt people will mobilize people from across the country to gather again at the parliament and the Government House to oust the current government. They will stay there until the government steps down. The one who sets the strategy for red-shirt people is Thaksin Shinawatra.
Ideal political party - translated and summarized from Thai Rath; Column: Editorial; March 9, 2009
Four leaders of the People Alliance for Democracy (PAD) announced for the first time during the fourth political concert in Samui island that it planned to form a political party.
If the PAD really forms a political party, the political battles will heat up. From a public political group, it will become a real political group which seeks power to manage the country. It will also end the accusation saying that the PAD is a network of the Democrat party.
If it is true, Thailand will have another political party, which claimed by leaders to come from people. They claim that the party will not seek power and advantage and will focus on creating the new political system.
If it is going to become a political party, the PAD will have to clearly explain about its ‘new politics’ concept. It will have to tell people that what the political culture will be like under the new politics.
According to the history, a political party which focuses on its ideal concept was never successful. Chamlong Srimuang is an example.
Thaksin Shinawatra’s old habit - translated and summarized from Thai Post; Column: The Editorial; March 10, 2009
Deposed Premier Thaksin Shinawatra became a fugitive premier due to his criminal charge should reside permanently in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. He who faces the verdict of the Supreme Administrative Court’s special litigation on criminal cases of political office holders will be protected by the Middle East law which excludes the extradition of fugitives.
On concerns over the deposed premier’s speech given during the interview with the Far Eastern Economics Review in defending his lese majeste accusations, quoted his words "I am the tame dog that can be tamed (more) at any time.” This is the speech from the man whose viewpoints never change like when he gave a speech many years before with the phase interpreted his request to HM King to "whisper in his ear" [to step down as prime minister]. Such a speech would never be delivered from any Thai except Thaksin Shinawatra.
What is the point that Thaksin wants to present to the foreign media by his interview on the plan to return to Thailand by the end of this year with an amnesty enacted by Parliament? The law which was mentioned is to be approved by the King and includes amnesty for political post holders facing lese majeste accusations.
There is no doubt to say that this is the old habit of the man who quotes his strong loyalty to the King to the public, the man who has a 2 year jail sentence, the man who still wants to return to power, and the man who never changes his viewpoints and want to clean away mistakes as if with an eraser, and the man who views the people as dull [dumb] all the time.
Right: Step over, but cannot pass by [Another way to interpret the cover is "Try to step over, but finally couldn't" or "you try to cross but can't"]
A political question – Why ‘stepping over’ but can’t ‘pass by’ Thaksin? - translated and summarized from Matichon; Column: Vipak Hang Vipak; March 13, 2009
The phenomenon tells the Democrats that no matter how much it wants to pass by [get past] Thaksin, it cannot. One factor is that Thaksin Shinawatra is too big to pass by. He has huge political power.
Another factor is that he does not allow the Democrat to pass him by. He never stops moving. He keeps holding phone-ins to his red-shirt followers and giving interviews to the international media.
The Digital Exorcist - translated and summarized from Krungthep Turakit; Column: Tracking politics; Author: Pracha; March 12, 2009
[Note about the colors mentioned in this article: Red color represents the group of Pro-Thaksin, the ousted Prime Minister
Light blue color represents the ruling Democrat Party
Dark blue color represents the influential Newin faction, under leadership of Newin Chidchob and the Bhumjaithai Party
Yellow color represents the People’s Alliance for Democracy PAD against Thaksin influence]
As deposed Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is moving ahead on his phone-in policy to fight for his political claims and even compares himself to a tamed dog, the real enemy of the fugitive Premier is now not the yellow-shirt PAD group or the old aristocrat, but the so called “Digital exorcist” of the Dark Blue political pole [led by Bhumjaithai party of Newin Chidchop-Party leader; Chawarat Charnveerakul].
The Dark Blue is attempting to turn the Pro-Thaksin red color into the dark blue starting from the seizure of power over the Interior Ministry [Newin's faction controls the profitable Interor Ministry].
The Interior Ministry policy is now giving priority to salary raises for tambon and village headman. The plan is partially to achieve the goal of changing the area under red influence (especially the Northeast) into dark blue.
The digital exorcist is moving ahead on buying broadcasting time from 150 community radio stations in the Northeast by its Buri Ram Media team. The digital plan is faster (to communicate with local/grassroots people) than the phone-in policy of red color headmaster [Thaksin].
The “Maew-analogue” policy to fight the ruling Democrat government is being defeated by the Dark Blue Digital Exorcist in the rural area and facing the yellow PAD’s movement in seizing the initiative in the provinces.
And when the suitable time arrives, the dark blue sorcerer [Newin is often referred to as the Buri Ram sorcerer] would manifest its magic by creating a parliament dissolution to clear the way for his new political pole in the next election. Any formula is possible for Thai politics--the dark blue with light blue to win the red or the dark blue with the red to win over the light blue!
What is to be done? - Nation Weekend cover, March 13, 2009
Right: Step over, but cannot pass by
Political question – Why ‘stepping over,’ but can’t ‘pass by’ Thaksin? - translated and summarized from Matichon; Column: Vipak Hang Vipak; March 13, 2009
PAD party - translated and summarized from ASTV Manager Daily; Column: Editorial; Author; Chai-anant Samutwanich; March 16, 2009
After the meeting on Samui island, it is rumored that the People Alliance for Democracy is about to form a political party. As known so far, the region which supports the PAD the most is the south, followed by the east.
Before giving an opinion, this columnist wants to review the PAD’s political movements.
Previously, political movements in Thailand were led by upper social class like the military and politicians – the public did not take part in the movements. However, the PAD movements were from the lower class. Members of the group came from different classes and occupations. They are well-educated.
The PAD movements are led by those who hate politics. The target is to end chronic problems in the country.
Several factors helped strengthen their movement. The group’s leaders have the capacity to pick issues and are good at explaining them. They allowed people to talk on the stage. Money, food and other stuff were also given away to members. They have their own symbols. An outstanding one is the yellow shirt. They have their own media, which allows them to have an advantage over over media.
Whether it will form a political party or not, it possesses basic structure of an actual political party which no longer exists in Thailand [meaning that all existing political parties are business/power/family structures operated to benefit the interests of the party executives].
This columnist foresees that the PAD will end up being a political party. Members who disagree with the idea can still be a powerful group which monitors the party activities.
Thaksin’s phone-in strategy reflects his skill in solving crises – But pressuring Thailand to wash away all accusations - translated and summarized from Matichon; Column: Analysis; March 15, 2009
It is noticeable that Thaksin lately focuses on the phone-in strategy. He makes phone-ins to several places in Thailand and other countries. Previously, he allowed his personal spokesperson to speak for him.
Maybe he realizes that he must promote himself as a "product" and present his skill and ability to enable people to make a choice.
He recently phoned the Hong Kong FCCT to speak in a seminar about the global economic crises. He gave advice to China and the United States of American on how to solve economic problems. He did not hesitate to talk about ways to solve economic crises in Thailand.
As always, his advice showed his cleverness in economic subjects. He is a very interesting product. All he wants is an opportunity to return to Thailand and get the country out of economic crises. However, the price is too high – he wants all accusations against him gone.
Don’t act along with Thaksin - translated and summarized from Kom Chad Luek; Column: Editorial; March 14, 2009
As expected, former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra decided to make a phone-in to the Hong Kong’s FCCT, instead of giving a lecture in person. He was afraid he would get caught and be sent back to Thailand to receive his punishments.
During the phone-in, Thaksin mentioned Thailand and also used wording to mobilize loyal people to fight to democracy. He did not say what the right democracy is like.
He also said things which were contrasting. For instance, he formerly announced he would quit the political world, but later, he said he would fight no matter where he was as he did not receive fair treatment.
His phone-in did not provide anything new. It only energizes his believers and repeats the same old complaints. He never admitted that his actions were illegal. He saw himself as a political victim and denied all accusations.
It is time that the government and the public stop paying attention to his phone-ins. The government has some other ways to counterattack him. It can terminate his passport which will corner him.
Moreover, he does not express that he loves the country. Both of his parties were disbanded and his wife no longer wants to spend her life with him.
Matichon, March 17, 2009
The headlines read: Mark [PM Abhisit] expresses confidence to tie the knot of 258 million baht conflict - Democrats not to be dissolved - Chalerm insists cheque is clear evidence [This refers to the no-confidence debate centering around to donations to the Democrats from TPI.]
4 bomb attacks in Surat Thani - Suthep believes a political ploy involved with the plot [Refers to small unexploded bombs found in a Democrat Party stronghold province.]
Lawsuit filed against Wattana [former social development and social security minister Wattana Muangsuk] for the alleged bribery case of the Ua-Arthorn housing project
A choice purposed to have DSI and the AMLO [Anti-Money Laundering Office] to jointly investigate the Government Pension Fund
The small letter in red and in green close to Sudarat Keyurapan’s photo: Jae Noy [Sudarat’s nickname] to go hand in hand with Newin - A big surprise not to overlook [Sudarat is a banned member of the TRT party and a popular politician aligned with Thaksin. This headline refers to the supposed dissatisfaction of former Thaksin allies at the conversion of the Pheu Thai Party to a Thaksin-family party with top party posts in each region of the country held by family members. A defection of Sudarat to the Newin group would be a blow for the Thaksin camp. SInce this article came out Sudarat has denied she is aligning with Newin.]
The street of investors - Five hundred [term for a group of bandits] plus 1, by Mor, Tassana Vijarn, Khungthep Turakit, March 19, 2009
On the direction sign at the top: Maptaphud
On the sign on the ground: pollution control zone
Caption at the bottom: The street of investors
[This refers to the recent court ruling banning development in the Maptaphud area because of pollution and environmental concerns.]
Punch to punch: Thaksin and Abhisit - Kon La Mad (Punch to Punch), Thairath, March 16, 2009
|On the Thaksin side: If I were the Prime Minister, I would not borrow money from loans and I must bring hundred thousand million to the system to promote employment, not to give it for free. This is wasting the money and useless.
On the Abhisit side: During the ruling government under your leadership, you do not take the loan, but you let the people take many loans. Your government was not in debt, but the people had a double amount of debt to pay. However, we [Abhisit’s government] take out loans to support the people in the name of [our] government.
Report: Cornered - translated and summarized from Kom Chad Luek; Column: Report; Author; Political news table; March 17, 2009
Thaksin Shinawatra’s continuous phone-ins lately reflect if the dog, which once claimed to be tamed by itself, really is tamed. It can be considered as a signal for a real fight, which could happen real soon.
Thaksin still uses same old efforts to explain the matter to the press. He claims that he is not guilty and has been bullied by political and juristic systems.
The only way which could end the conflict between red-shirt and yellow-shirt people is to ask the press to bring back the former 23rd Prime Minister back to his homeland. He also volunteers to solve the economic problem. Those sweet words encourage Thaksin’s supporters to fight.
However, this game seems to become too shallow. Results of an ABAC poll show that over 50 percent of respondents do not believe in Thaksin’s words. He is still the same old person who does not want to change nor admit what he did. He also blames several parties for triggering the current conflict among Thai people.
If we allow this square-faced person [Thaksin] to enter this country again without receiving any punishment, the number of political conflicts will double.
However, this will not happen as Thai people do not want more conflict, which yield no good outcome. Following conflicts among the coalition parties and rumor of conflicts in the government, the square-faced person, the Pheu Thai party and red-shirt people announce that they will not stop until they win in the no-confidence vote against the Prime Minister and five other ministers.
To consider well, we will see that issues which will be discussed during the vote do not seem to rock the current Cabinet’s throne at all. It is only the beginning of the game, the major target is to enable the United Front of Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) to move more aggressively.
Red-shirt people will block the Government House for as long as possible. During the time, Thaksin will make phone-ins to mobilize people to fight against the current government.
(Source: ASTV Manager Daily)
|Local radio station 100.5 MHz Sukhothai moves to promote yellow-shirt people – loyalty to the King - translated and summarized from ASTV Manager Daily; March 15, 2009
The 100.5 MHz radio station of Sukhothai can be counted as the front line of the 193-day fight of the yellow-shirt people [last year]. Permsak ‘Uncle Taew’ Iamraerai, a 64-year-old Muslim man, is the only DJ of the station. He runs his own gas station and car maintenance business. The radio station has been operated for four years.
During night time, Uncle Taew aired programs from ASTV channel all day long. He helped spread news and information from leaders of the People Alliance for Democracy.
Once, during the time of the nominee government [the year of the People Power Party government], he had to hide himself at home and kept airing ASTV programs.
He put a computer in front of his gas station to allow people who wanted to join the gathering in Bangkok to register. After that, all of those people would go together. This is a good database which can be used in the future. There were about 3,000 people registered at that time. They were all potential people who possess good knowledge in economics and other matters.
Uncle Taew said that these people were all loyal to the King. Until now, Uncle Taew still runs his radio station, offering people songs from the sixties and political information, to keep people in Sukhothai updated.
Thai Rath, March 17, 2009
The headlines read: The Prime Minister is the first in queue to be questioned [in the censure debate], along with Pradit and Kasit - Chalerm warns do not oppose - Chai says 2 days is enough for the censure debate
Klong Toey Market in outrages - 2 killed in the conflict - Gunman shot dead 2 guards causing local vendors to protest against police claiming for protection of their lives
Willie [superstar Willie Mckintoch] apologizes admitting his unbearable joke about Mam
The Prime Minister states that the 5 step attack policy to clear away hard drug trafficking, especially in Bangkok and in South within 6 months
Cruel taxi driver uses ax to hurt victim
4 bombs planted to create turmoil for Suthep
|“Noi”[Sudarat] hand in hand with Newin - Not the overlooking the case for the big surprise - translated and summarized from Matichon, March 19, 2009
The appearance of former Thai Rak Thai’s Bangkok MP Supamas Issrapakdi during the Bhum Jai Thai Party meeting on March 17, 2009, in her “blue” attire, declaring oneself a Newin ally was a matter that surprised many political observers.
Supamas is the close aide of former Thai Rak Thai executive Sudarat Keyurapan, who is under a political ban for 5 years and who once was a chief party member who was in charge of Bangkok MPs for the party. The unforgettable truth is that the relationship between Sudarat and Newin Chidchob, the influential figure of the Bhum Jai Thai Party, [referring to banned politician Newin who is openly running the political party] was aloof when the two were members of the disbanded Thai Rak Thai. At the time, both vied for the chance to be close aides of the party headmaster [Thaksin].
After the disbandment of the People Power Party, the Newin faction established the Bhum Jai Thai Party. Meanwhile, the Pheu Thai Party, formed by many former Thai Rak Thai MPs, faced pressure from claims that they were nominees of Thaksin and this was darkening their future glory in politics.
Sources eyes Sudarat earlier attempted to set up her “Rak Thai” group to promote the Bangkok MPs. Now, backed by some high-ranking military people, she is a political network with Defense Minister Gen. Prawit Wongsuwan.
The appearance of Supamas in a blue shirt is possibly a sign of Sudarat and Newin’s reconciliation in politics, or else merely a normal case of politicians seeking way to change their allegiances.
In the world of the “low cost” - Kaolao Ruammit by Tin, Matichon, March 22, 2009
[Here "low cost" means someone who is not famous or important enough to be interested in or believe.]
Top, left to right: Debate to suffer a sore throat and the poll does not give credit to because of the “low cost” debater [Refers to the no-confidence debate led by Chalerm]
Setting the censure debate time to be fixed on an earlier date, claiming it is his own idea, but nobody gives credit to him because of his “low cost” [Refers to House Speaker Chai Chidchob's change of the no-confidence debate widely seen to be a government ploy to inconvenience the time red-shirt protest that was to immediately follow the debate.]
Despite havinga Master's Degree and graduating from Oxford University [the same university as PM Abhisit], she was blamed for her insensibility due to the “low cost” reason [Her inexperience or slip of the tongue in debating.]
[This refers to Pheu Thai Party MP Visaradee Techathirawat who, in the no-confidence debate, accused the judiciary of persecuting the People Power Party by dissolving it . Such a statement supposedly goes against parts of the criminal code by misleading people about court decisions and a complaint was filed with the police over her statements.]
Bottom, left to right: Many of their gatherings do not gain people’s credit to believe its peaceful goals due to the “low cost” reason [The words in the banner on the left reads “red rage.” This referes to the rallies of the red shirts which are advertised as peaceful, but which use violent and angry rhethoric and have resulted in some minor assults of authorities montioring the rallies.]
"Phone-in Today" with everything revealed turns to meaningless due to the “low cost” [This refers to the Thaksin phone-ins broadcast to the red-shirt crowd. The content of his phone-ins, while highly anticipated, have usually been pedstrtian leading some to contend to Thaksin's importance had ebbed.]
The “low cost” who is still able to be nurtured “kee kor” - being on one’s shoulders] by the “high cost” - laugh! [The drawing shows Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya on PM Abhisit’s shoulders indicating Kasit is being kept in his position by the more powerful Abhisit.]
Multi-dimension politics – Pheu Thai organizes no-confidence debate, hoping for an outcome outside the Parliament - translated and summarized from Matichon; Column: Wikhro; March 22, 2009
The no-confidence debate against Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and five other ministers – Finance Minister Korn Jatikavanich, Foreign Minister Kasit Pirom, Interior Minister Chaowarat Charnveerakul, Deputy Interior Minister Boonchong Wongtrarat and Deputy Finance Minister Pradit Patprasit – was held. The debate took two days.
The reason this no-confidence debate is important is that a Thai political fight is multi-dimension.
The debate was held in the Parliament. It was also broadcast live via TV and radio nationwide. It would also be published in newspapers on the next day.
So, this means that during March 19-20, a large number of Thai people who kept a close watch on the debate would absorb all information of both sides – the opposition and the government. Although the Prime Minister and five other ministers won the vote, it does not mean that all Thai people think the same way.
Therefore, although the vote was held in the Parliament, the Pheu Thai aims for some other outcome – to set up a trend among Thai people outside the Parliament. The Pheu Thai party dug into Democrat ministers with hidden information and raised those issues during the debate.
Moreover, red-shirt people both in Bangkok and the provinces, were gathering to create a situation. They threw eggs or water bottles at the Prime Minister and ministers who visited provincial areas. They also yelled at those ministers.
Meanwhile, Thaksin Shinawatra continues to hold phone-ins to criticize policies and strategies of the government, led by Abhisit Vejjajiva.
Following those movements, members of the Democrat party raised an issue about the Taksin strategy [the alleged plot by Thaksin to overthrown the government and return to power]. The spokesperson of the Democrats discloses that the anti-government group has applied five measures under the Taksin strategy. The target is to grant Thaksin amnesty.
Bet on party dissolving – Issue we must keep an eye on - translated and summarized from Thai Post; Column: Editorial; March 23, 2009
The no-confidence debate against the Prime Minister and five other ministers is already over. Some may agree with the vote, some may not. But what is interesting is an issue raised by Chalerm Yoobamrung on March 19. He said that the Democrat broke the Political Party Act, which could lead to the disbanding of the party.
The opposition was confident that it had evidence which could prove the Democrat Party was guilty of receiving 258 million baht in financial support from TPI. The action was against the law. It also said that the lead government party was guilty of spending 29 million baht for the Election Commission in a wrong way. We must admit that the public will agree with the idea to let the Election Commission investigate the issue.
The Democrats may also be happy as there will be an independent party to investigate whose words are true and whose are false. This could be a new standard in the future to prevent political parties from using a no-confidence debate as a tool to discredit another party.
Now, people are keeping an eye on Chalerm Yoobamrung to see whether he will proceed with the 258-million-baht issue. They also want to see the Democrat’s reaction. If it just lets it go [without responding], the bet on party disbanding will also be another political game.
Thaksin and the war for brain space - translated and summarized from Krungthep Thurakit; March 25, 2009
Former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is quite successful in vying for media space after giving a speech via video link to people gathering in Chiang Mai in the evening of March 22.
According the hegemony theory by Antonio Gramsci, the key to make people gain power is not only the financial status, but also the ability to make people believe in oneself.
The heart of hegemony is the media, as this is the war for brain spaces. They have to fight to win people’s thoughts and beliefs. Former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and educated Thai people know about it.
They take control of the media, block the media and intervene with the media to prevent the opposition from controlling people’s thoughts, as well as providing their concepts to the people.
The phone-in on March 22, which mentioned powerful people, probably privy councilors, is meant to vie for more brain space. The issue was widely-discussed--but, what is important is if the public believes him. However, it can be counted as a successful move. Issues, which will be discussed during the coming phone-in, scheduled on March 27, could include more powerful people. He is waiting for the second victory – to make people believe him.
PAD party!? A historical necessity - translated and summarized from ASTV Manager Daily; Author; Kamnoon Sitthisaman; March 24, 2009
After watching the no-confidence debate, the columnist sees that the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) needs to set up a new political party to fight in the parliamentary system and undergo political movements.
Firstly, to set up a political party will prevent it from being a social victim without any opportunity to protect itself.
The second reason is that it will be allowed to use the parliament to explain about the concept of the new politics instead of only using ASTV or other media.
There were two people mentioned very often during the no-confidence vote – Thaksin Shinawatra and the People’s Alliance for Democracy. What was different is that there were people speaking for the first person, while the second nearly had no one.
The no-confidence vote was really against the PAD, especially the 193-day gathering issue. Their gathering at Suvarnabhumi and Don Muang airports was claimed to be a real crime. The PAD is called an international criminal and an economic destroyer.
Nobody officially speaks for the PAD, even if it is very easy to give reasons for their action. The Democrat Party was too afraid to do anything. All actions by the PAD had their own reasons and could be explained under the frame of the constitutional monarchy.
To explain about their actions will allow people to understand each movement, but also get to know the basic principles of them. However, the PAD has no members who are a House Representative. It has to send members to be a part of the Parliament. It is not an easy step, but they have to make the first move. After that, all people who are bored of the PAD will be stunned by all of its information.
The political characters - translated and summarized from Matichon; March 28, 2009
The political chaos is now disgracing of many important figures of the society like Privy Council President Gen Prem Tinnasulanonta, Privy Councilor Gen Surayuth Chulanont and former Supreme Administrative Court President Charnchai Likitjittha. These people are being denounced by former ousted Premier Thaksin Shinawatra.
The ongoing political chaos declared by the Red Shirts in their fight against the Abhisit-led government and the aristocrats is being spread by media channels that broadcast ideas to confuse the people. This includes information that disgraces many seniors in society.
I comment that a situation like this is a dangerous case that possibly leads to the situation where there is no “middleman” who has character that is respected and accepted by all the people who are now wearing different colors.
Foreigners must disclose website postings - translated and summarized from Matichon; April 1, 2009
[This article is a fake, April Fool's Day posting.]
New regulations in effect from April require foreign visa holders (whether tourist or those applying for B, M, or O-type visas) to disclose if they are owners of a website or intend to post information about Thailand on a website forum or blog.
Website owners who work in Thailand must possess a Thai business registration in the form of a limited partnership even if the site is hosted overseas.
If a visa-holder intends to post material to a website--including internet forums and blogs--the posting must first be approved by the Ministry of Culture. Forms for the approval process will be handed out with the Thai Immigration entry card upon arrival or approval can be submitted via an online form at the Ministry of Culture website.
Visa holders will also be required to install "Cyber Cop" program to ensure they abide by the new regulations that restrict the viewing of some websites within Thailand. This program will automatically upload the latest blocklists without the user having to do anything.
The Ministry will not use the new regulations to censor political speech. Instead, the Ministry is mainly focusing on material that might be of detriment to Thai tourism or the country's image in general.
More on Website censorship in Thailand
What Thaksin should do - translated and summarized from Thai Rath; Column: Editorial; March 27, 2009
During the previous meeting of the Privy Council, the meeting expressed concern over continuous phone-ins by former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. He claimed that some Privy Councilors were involved in the movement to bring down the Thaksin regime. The meeting of Privy Councilors saw that the action by Thaksin aimed to create disunity among Thai people and tries to make people believe that the Privy Council is involved in politics.
During the past few days, Thaksin had made several phone-ins to his red-shirt people and even used the video-link method to allow people to see him. Most issues during the phone-ins are aimed at attacking the government over its measures to solve economic crisis. He also claimed that some judges and Privy Councilors were involved in the attempt to bring down his regime.
It is said that this is Thaksin's final war and his last hope to gain power again after the Pheu Thai party completely lost the no-confidence vote. He will do anything to win his fight outside the parliament. He hopes that the gathering at the Parliament will help dethrone the government. We must wait and see whether the red-shirt people and Thaksin will be able to mobilize people to dethrone the government.
Thailand is being affected by the global economic recession. Instead of calling in to criticize the government’s strategy, Thaksin should propose some solutions to the problem. By that, he can regain the popularity among Thai people.
Red-shirt people – Thaksin – Amnesty law – Doubtful game for benefits - translated and summarized from Krungthep Thurakit; Column: Editorial; March 28, 2009
It is not known yet what strategy the red-shirt people will apply during its blockade at the Government House.
It is said that they may use the Dao Kra Jai strategy. To block the Government House is the same strategy once applied by the People's Alliance for Democracy. The move is aimed at causing trouble for the government. The gathering is also a tool to provide negative or double-standard information to the public. The red-shirt people also have their own channels to distribute such information – radio stations and cable TV.
However, former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is a shadow behind their movements. He is the key factor of the gathering. He mobilized people by raising issues about how the military coup destroyed his government. This could be his last bet.
In addition, the political part [movements by MPs] seems to move in line with those outside parliament. Some members of the Pheu Thai party and coalition government parties jointly submitted a draft National Reconciliation Act. Its details do not seem to be different from the draft Amnesty Act, which had already been submitted previously and rejected by the public. Now, the United Front of Democracy against Dictatorship mobilizes red-shirt people to gather at the Government House. People wonder if Thaksin wants to use the gathering as a tool to pressure the government to consider the new draft act.
It is not surprising if people see that the movements, both inside and outside the parliament, are games which have been planned by a group of powerful people behind the scenes. The movements aim to benefit these people.
Thaksin makes a big move – Plays ‘disunity’ game for ‘unity’ - translated and summarized from Matichon; March 29, 2009
On the day when red-shirt people gathered at the Government House, a small article appeared. It said that the lawsuit against Thaksin Shinawatra’s 76-billion-baht asset will be considered on April 20, at 2.00 pm.
The news tells us that the legal process against Thaksin’s assets has started. Once it starts, everything has to go on, no matter how long it is.
Thaksin is now a homeless person. He is not able to fight for himself much. The petition asking the court to consider the case via a video conference system reflects that he is trying hard to fight the case. We must not forget that if he loses the case, his 76-billion-baht assets will be gone. This could be a major factor which drives him to make a major move to keep his 76-billion-baht assets.
If he cannot keep them, he will completely lose the game. His hope to regain power will be far away. Therefore, the video link aired at the gathering of red-shirt people in Chiang Mai on March 22 talked about people whom he claimed to be involved in a move to dethrone him. This was an attempt to try to make the others as dirty as him.
His move also affected authorities in higher positions, which play an important role in the country. This could be the final trick he chooses.
He hopes that if all are dirty, they all need to be cleaned. And he will be cleaned as well.
So, it is not surprising that 149 House representatives from different parties submitted the draft National Reconciliation Act to Chai Chidlom, Chairman of the House of Representatives.
They said that the country is currently under a state of disunity, which could be harmful to the kingdom itself, the region and the Royal Institute. Therefore, the unity should be created again by granting amnesty to all actions committed between September 19, 2006 to May 5, 2009, or any related actions committed before September 19, 2006.
To make all parties willingly accept the National Reconciliation Act is a very difficult task. Hence, Thaksin seems to use every method to pressure and threaten the Democrat Party. They include the no-confidence vote.
Outside the House, Thaksin’s phone-ins focus on unveiling names of high-ranking officials involving in the coup. The gathering of red-shirt people is also a key factor which will rock the aristocracy. Moreover, the country is also facing the economic crises.
This could be Thaksin’s target, aiming to pressure all parties to become united. It is a measure to create unity from disunity.
Left: Matichon Weekly
Thai Rath, March 23, 2009
- Raid to destroy the wedding of ex-wife - One dead/gunned down - The ex-husband raged over the failure to reconcile - Opens fire on karaoke band - Friend of bridegroom falls victim - Gunman injured from return fire
- Anti-Money Laundering Office co-chair investigation of government's pension fund
- “Luang Pu Tim” - Revered monk passed away
- Thaksin sternly moves against [the government] - Appears on VDO conference
Matichon, March 23, 2009
- [Thaksin says] 2 high ranking [officials] claimed to be behind the toppling down [coup] policy - Thaksin fights back - Saying lese majeste case is used as a claim [pretense] - VDO link [of Thaksin] for more than thousand audience - Flower wreath sent for his sister’s [Thaksin's] funeral - Mark warns [Thaksin] not to destroy the country
- Poll conducted in 18 provinces showing support of [cabinet] reshuffle ranks Kasit top to be replaced
- Finance Minister reveals public debt reaches 4.46 trillion
- [Deep-south] Militant planted bomb in tambon chief’s car - The bomb was detected - Disposal operation within 2 hours
- Mark [PM Abhisit] is the first volunteer to join the justice project aimed at protecting Institute and honoring/celebrates HM the King’s wisdom in law
- “Talk to Boonjong”, friend of Newin
| Punch to punch - Thai Rath, March 23, 2009
Left: Abhisit quote: We have economic boost measures for the short, middle and long term. However, we need to depend on foreign financial institutes for the reserve funds to solve the economic crisis.
Right: Thaksin quote: I am concerned about the case of two boys possibly returning home with swollen head injuries as they might have to tax their brains too much figuring it out how to solve the economic crisis. This time, the economic situation is complicated.
[Thaksin is ridiculing Abhisit and Korn who are driving the country's economic policies.]
The tamed dog - Tassana Vijarn, 500 plus 1… [500 is also used for bandits- plus 1 should be some significance of more than 500], column by Mor, Krungthepturakit, March 25, 2009
The caption reads: Thailand with 2 children and a tamed dog
The drawing represents Korn and Abhisit riding a bicycle off a cliff with the national flag followed after by the “tamed dog” which refers to deposed Premier Thaksin.
Thaksin earlier compared himself to a tamed dog, but Thaksin's personal direction of the red shirts to surround government house suggests otherwise.