Thai Media Project – August 2009

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

Krungthep Turakit, cartoon by Arun, August 5, 2009
At the top left: "Politics" and at right: "Economy"
THe caption towards the bottom reads: Handsome Big [This refers to Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanit (Orn). A nickname with "Big" in the name is common for powerful people. Here, the carton insinuates the finance minister is good at playing politics, but not good at managing the economy.]

Believe in Thailand with Prime Minister Abhisit - Northern Post Red, August 8, 2009
More from the "red" publications

The title of the cartoon is: Believe [in] Thailand with Prime minister Abhisit (influenza - fake egg)
[Influenza refers to H1N1 and the fake egg refers to the discovery of a fake egg from China. The title is sarcastic, suggesting trust in the PM while pointing out issues the PM is unable to manage properly.]

Top left: The caption reads: Giving the trial giving vaccine for the poor before using it on the country's leader. The man says “my fate!” The woman says, "This is it! The people come first [to test vaccine].
[The Public Health Ministry is preparing to test a vaccine against H1N1 with about 24 volunteers in early September. The volunteer group are reportedly poor people from the country.]

Top middle: The drawing of an NGV bus with a time bomb on the roof of the bus. The caption reads: Tremendously dangerous to be brought or rented (which is good choice?)
The letter on the bus window is reads: Great deal of benefit [meaning the purchase benefits certain parties]
[This refers to the NGV bus issue that is seen as the political price for the Bhumjaithai Party to be part of the government. This issue is seen as a time bomb that threatens the stability of the government if Bhumjaithai is not able to get this NGV bus project passed.]

Top right: The caption reads: Pride of the Ratchaburi province residents who share a native province with the Public Health Minister
The letter on the banner reads: Normal vaccine [meaning the normal result of the flu is death]
[Deputy Public Health Ministry Manit Nopamornbodee is a Ratchaburi MP, but Prae native. The cartoon means how ironic it is that the Deputy Public Health Minister is from the province with the highest flu death toll.]

Bottom left: The caption reads: I am proud that we earn a hundred baht daily, but we are burdened with a government debt that reaches 100,000 per head. The child asks “Why they take loan? The man replies, " it is about benefit.” [meaning corrupt officials benefit from government borrowing]
[This refers the large amount of borrowing that the government has engaged in to stimulate the economy. The Pheu Thai Party has opposed this, seeing in this the same sort of issue that brought Thaksin to power years ago--the feeling that the country is being burdened with debt. At that time, Thaksin claimed that the Democrat-led government had sold the nation to the IMF and indebted the country.]

Bottom middle: The caption reads: A gathering of ten needs the attention of a battalion with unlimited wages!
The sign they are holding reads: People do not accept dictatorship. The troops say: The troop say: We are merely on duty
[This refers to Red Shirts saying they are only a few, but are monitored by official forces--here shown like a Roman legion--far in excess of the threat they pose.]

Bottom right: A drawing of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva with a microphone. The caption reads: Policy on poverty
The Prime Minister says: If you don’t want to owe more debt, do not give birth to a child as you will bear more debt burden--about 100,000 per head, ha, ha, ha

(Photo: Manager Online)

Above: The sign reads: Lost and running away, without paying debts [a Thai way to express anger over unpaid debts]

On the forum: Widely covered today: Candidate who lost election beaten for demanding compensation from his party

Matichon Weekly, August 14, 2009
The cover reads: BAT Mark wading in mud

[Instead of "Batman", it is "Batmark"--"Mark" being the nickname of Prime Minister Abhisit. This refers to the the extensive political jockeying Abhisit has had to engage in in relation of the police, the military and the PAD while trying to solidify his power and the government coalition. "Wading in mud" refers to going no where.]
Matichon Weekly, August 21, 2009
The cover reads: RAK-TA-CHAK-SU [Bali language meaning something like "blood in the fierce eyes"] - Eye viewing the “Red”

[meaning a smiling Thaksin is pleased with the turmoil the Reds will cause]
Nation Weekend, August 22, 2009
The cover reads: Grand aristocrat [Privy Council President Prem] versus "Black in the Land"

[meaning that the Red Shirts have called for people to wear black--a sign of death and mourning--on the birthday of Prem on August 26]
Nation Weekend, August 15, 2009
The cover reads: Power is ready [or "here" or "at hand"], but the heart is not ready

[The Nation is questioning PM Abhisit's ability to be tough in facing up to the challenges that Thaksin and the Red Shirts pose. The pro-Democrat party press in Thailand has in the past been extra tough on Democrat-led governments once they come to power.]
Nation Weekend, August 8, 2009
The cover reads: Nation Weekend edition, Issue no. 897
MA-HA-CHA-TA-BA-RA-MEE-SIT-THI - offered to the Queen

["MA-HA-CHA-TA-BA-RA-MEE-SIT-THI" is the name of a ceremony, hosted this year on August 11 one day before national Mother's Day as part of the celebration of HM Queen Sirikit’s birthday. The cover graphic is not archived on the Nation website so as not to intermingle the Queen's image with political personalities or have the Queen's image below the photos of other non-Royals.]
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