High tension in Thailand - November-December,
Thai email forwards: Manager
spoof ads - December 17, 2005
Supporting Sondhi could be criminal, MP warns - ThaiDay, December 4, 2005
...In a thinly veiled threat, Vichet Kasemthongsri, the party's deputy secretary-general, said that those who attend the Thailand This Week show-cum-political rally on December 9 may be enticed to commit an offence under Article 63 of the Constitution, which prohibits the overthrow of a constitutionally elected government through unconstitutional means...
The many brands of Thai journalism - The Nation, December 2, 2005
[Don't miss this interesting review of how the Thai media covers the PM.]
Manager Media Group - "radical journalism", "militant journalism", or "suicide-bomb journalism"
Thai Post or Naew Na - "dark journalism"
Thai Rath and Daily News - "comrade journalism"
Matichon - "I-won't-hurt-you-but-I-can't-guarantee-your-friends journalism" or "disillusioned journalism"
Nation Multimedia Group - "sceptical journalism"
Bangkok Post - "soft journalism"
Most TV channels - "fast-food journalism"
Samak Sundaravej and Dusit Siriwan- "dinosaur journalism"
iTV - "My TV journalism"
Tale of the master manipulator - The Nation, December 1, 2005
Thai humor: Thaksin celebrates - December 1, 2005
Poojadkuan jokes: Thaksin orders government house closed to cerebrate because there is no Thailand Weekly program this Friday. They will have a special menus such as tomyam tangtak (tangtak = to be broke), yam nong ngoohao, 'C-130 fall from heaven,' etc.
More Poojadkuan columns
Girl in the spotlight - The Nation, December 02, 2005
[Good profile of the co-host of Thailand Weekly]
She might not quite be Helen of Troy, whose beauty launched a thousand warships, but Sarocha Pornudomsak has seen her role transformed from television celebrity into a political heroine of sorts. The public perception of Sarocha is that she is a smart young woman, who has both beauty and brains...
Almost like being there: In the overflow crowd at Thailand Weekly - November 30, 2005
A short film clip from last Friday's Thailand Weekly show (6.5MB) at Lumpini Park. This is part of a lamtad song used to warm up the crowds at the Thailand Weekly shows. The lyrics tease Samak Suntornwej who has a nose like "big rose apple" and Thaksin, "Mr. square face." Earlier parts of the song chided Suriya for his part in the airport scanner scandal.
Lamtad is a traditional type of song that often takes the form of a 'call-answer' where one person sings a line and then the other responds. The lyrics are often impromptu and insulting.
Above: The Nation's odd animated entry page to promote their series of articles on Thaksin/Sondhi.Media spotlight on Sondhi - November 30, 2005
[With Sondhi's next Thailand Weekly show not until December 9, the media is turning its gaze on Sondhi and his motives.]
The Truth about Thaksin, Sondhi - The Nation, November 29, 2005
The good old days - The Nation, November 30, 2005
STOPPAGE TIME: Sondhi, don't get too carried away with the fever - The Nation, November 30, 2005
...Maybe political fever is just like male-female courting. Samak successfully wooed us with straightforwardness but we got bored with his rigidity. We dumped Chamlong not because he bathed with just five bowls of water a day, but because we were afraid he would force us to do the same. Bhichit might just have become too unexciting.
Thaksin lured us with a promise of jewellery, while Sondhi is a handsome neighbour who comes and whispers, "Hey, he's cheating you. Please believe me because I'm the one who really loves you..."
A special note to Abhisit Vejjajiva: you will be the next source of such fever, mark my words. I just hope you don't rush to propose to the Thai people.
Thai humor: Why Thaksin can't hear - November 29, 2005
Poojadkuan jokes: The cause makes Maew goes deaf recently is not due to jetlag, but he has listened to the Thailand Weekly program for many weeks and is abused by Sonthi making his ears go deaf and he loses energy.
Armed forces chief puts coup d'etat rumours to rest - TNA, November 28, 2005
...Gen. Ruengroj was asked for his comments on a reported claim by an academic recently that some military officers had sought his advice on staging a new coup, citing their dissatisfaction with the government's performance.
"Even if there were military officers who wanted to stage a coup, they would never have sought advice from anyone outside their group, particularly an academic. The reported claim sounded unrealistic," said the armed forces chief...
- November 25, 2005
All eyes on Lumpini Park
- November 25, 2005
Planets tell premier to gag himself - The Nation, November 21, 2005
It came as a typical Thaksin-style surprise yesterday when the Prime Minister informed the reporters on board the plane coming back from the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in South Korea, that he would stop giving any interviews and refrain from offering any comments to the media until next year...
EDITORIAL: Shades of 'bad old days' for military - The Nation, November 21, 2005
Generals' attempts to silence Sondhi threaten to undo efforts made to improve armed forces' reputation. Supreme Commander General Ruengroj Mahasaranond is presenting himself as the wrong man at the wrong place at the wrong time...
SONDHI CONFLICT: PM warned he has to back down - The Nation, November 21, 2005
Democracy groups raise spectre of 1973 and 1992 bloodshed as they urge Thaksin to put an end to roiling dispute...
Thai PM talks lunacy as political storms brew - The Age, November 21, 2005
[A rather negative headline...]
Blame it on the moon. Thailand's Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, does. From byelection defeats and a vocal opponent who refuses to be gagged to threats of the military getting back into politics, the recent run of bad publicity has taken a significant sheen off his premiership...
SIDELINES: Thaksin's final day of reckoning looms - The Nation, November 19, 2005
...His wife and members of his inner circle will have to come up with counter strategies quickly, before next Friday, if possible. If they cannot stop Sondhi and he draws an even larger crowd, there will be hell to pay for Thaksin and his political future will be in grave doubt as well...
CONFRONTATION: It's all a plot to topple the govt - TRT - The Nation, November 19, 2005
Party spokesman says opposition seems to be backing Sondhi's actions. Thai Rak Thai party spokesman Sita Devari yesterday alleged that the actions of media tycoon Sondhi Limthongkul over the past two months were part of a plot backed by opposition parties to topple the government.
Sita said any claim that Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra was competing with royal power was unfounded...
ANALYSIS: The enigma that is Sondhi Limthongkul - The Nation, November 19, 2005
...Sondhi's criticisms of Thaksin must be taken with a pinch of salt, for during most of the first four years of the administration it was Sondhi's Phujadkarn (Manager) daily which was arguably amongst the staunchest of pro-Thaksin newspapers.
...Surely Sondhi's U-turn earlier this year is food for much thought as to why, and why now. Another controversy is the media mogul's tactic of citing the monarchy in his criticism of Thaksin, which some feel is a regressive tactic as democracy should not invoke input from the King who is above politics. While many people have criticised Thaksin over the years, Sondhi's reference to the King must have touched a nerve among many loyal subjects...
Ban on talk show appears to backfire - Move upsets people, piques their curiosity - Bangkok Post, November 19, 2005
The Public Relations Department's ban on the Thailand Weekly political talk show on all cable television channels upset many people who missed the chance to watch the show, broadcast live from Lumphini Park in Bangkok yesterday. But it also increased their curiosity...
Sondhi will fight website, TV threats - Bangkok Post, November 19, 2005
Manager daily founder Sondhi Limthongkul will seek protection from the Administrative Court following reports that the Manager website would be closed down, and cable television in the provinces had been ordered to stop broadcasting his Thailand Weekly talk shows...
Thaksin to take Sondhi to court again - Bangkok Post, November 19, 2005
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra will take media tycoon Sondhi Limthongkul to court with a defamation lawsuit again next week, the second in two weeks and the fourth in three months, his lawyers said yesterday...
Top brass warn off Manage founder - Bangkok Post, November 19, 2005
..."One day when we can no longer tolerate this, we will have to do something. But I cannot yet tell what it is," Supreme Commander Gen Ruengroj Mahasaranont said yesterday...
Visanu denies lese majeste claims - Bangkok Post, November 19, 2005
...Mr Visanu said the government first sent an official letter to the Bureau of the Royal Household asking for royal permission to use the chapel on March 30, but the Bureau said it needed to send the request to the Office of His Majesty's Principal Private Secretary. The government received a faxed reply from the Office on April 9 that His Majesty the King had granted his permission.
However, he said, the letters had no reference numbers because they are "express letters sent by fax machines"...
MCOT goes silent on the news of the day - November 19, 2005
While not exactly incisive news, government news MCOT has been been at least mentioning both pro and con government events throughout the Thaksin governments. In a sign of how hot the political situation has become, English MCOT/TNA has notably gone silent concerning the political pressure being put on the government by Sondhi (below).
Sondhi talk show draws 50,000 - Bangkok Post, November 19, 2005
More than 50,000 people braved the rain last night, packing Lumpini park to listen to firebrand media tycoon Sondhi Limthongkul, who has continued to host his Muang Thai Rai Sapda (Thailand Weekly) talk show after it was taken off TV Channel 9 after its relentless criticism of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra...
CASE: collision course - The Nation, November 19, 2005
Anti-Thaksin rallies grow as frustrations threaten to boil over. Political tempers rose to near the boiling point yesterday when the military, kept at bay from politics since 1992, issued a veiled threat to leading anti-government critic Sondhi Limthongkul, who responded with an explosive allegation concerning one of the prime minister's sisters, Monthatip Kovitcharoenkul...
Speaking at Lumpini yesterday, Sondhi compared the Monthathip incident to the Thungyai Naresuan scandal which helped to trigger the 1973 popular uprising that toppled the dictatorial Thanom regime. The scandal involved use of military helicopters in a hunting spree by government and military officials...
Modern media subverts Sondhi ban - The Nation, November 19, 2005
...Satellite cable TV and the Internet are a far cry from the microphones and loud speakers of the 1970s and the mobile phones of the early 1990s. In 1973, during the student uprising that toppled the Thanom-Prapas regime and ushered Thailand into a modern era of democracy, Thammasat University was the pre-eminent political theatre, linked to the vast field of Sanam Luang and Rajdamnoen Road. Then microphones and loudspeakers were the simple tools that progressive students like Thirayuth Boonmee and Seksan Prasertkul spoke through to agitate the tens of thousands against the military dictatorship. These rudimentary tools were effective enough to convey the appealing message for democracy and triggered hundred of thousands of people to take the demonstrations to Rajdamnoen Road. The Thanom-Prapas regime collapsed eventually. In 1992, during the pro-democracy movement launched by Maj-General Chamlong Srimuang against the Suchinda regime, mobile phones made their appearance for the first time. Middle-class Thais communicating with each other through the mobile phones took part in the pro-democracy movement in support of Chamlong. They were dissatisfied with the dictatorship regime of General Suchinda Kraprayoon. Suchinda lost the battle to what has come to be known as the "mobile phone mob"...
MILITARY WARNING: A not so veiled threat for Sondhi - The Nation, November 19, 2005
Top brass attacks media tycoon, telling him not to use monarchy in his criticism. Supreme Commander General Ruengroj Mahasaranond yesterday issued a dire warning, saying government critic Sondhi Limthongkul should stop invoking the monarchy or else face the full wrath of the military...
Supreme commander warns Sondhi to shut up - The Nation, November 18, 2005
Supreme Commander Gen Ruengroj Mahasaranond gave a stern warning that the armed forces will take action if Sondhi Limthongkul of Manager Media Group did not stop involving monarchy in his criticism on the premier.
"Our patience is reaching the breaking point. We may take action if Sondhi does not cease his criticism by citing the monarchy," Ruengroj said.
Ruengroj said Sondhi's actions have sabotaged national security and caused divisiveness.
The stern warning came two days after Maj General Prin Suwannathat, commander of the 1st Infantry Division of the Royal Guard called for Sondhi in a letter to stop inappropriately citing the monarchy while attacking Thaksin.
Events of the day - The Nation, November 18, 2005
...5:00pm: Rain start to fall at Lumpini Park. Sondhi's audience, who cannot go inside the building, remain under the rain outside monitoring the show from close-circuited TVs.
5:30 pm: The Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA) issues a statement, saying it is gravely troubled by the government's actions against Sondhi. It says a growing intolerance for criticism and heavy-handed actions by the government amount to severe intimidation of the press in general.
6:00 pm: A spokeswoman of the event warns the audience not to retaliate if intimidated by certain people.
7:05 pm: During the talks show, Sondhi shows a copy of letter of the permanent secretary for Defence, which allowed a sister of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to use a C-130 military plane to transport guests to a merit making ceremony for her new house in Chiang Mai.
8:30 pm: Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Kreangam goes on Channel 11 to explain that the government had the Royal approval to hold the merit-making ceremony at the Temple of Emerald Buddha in April.At the Thailand Weekly talk show, Sondhi leads his staff to sign name to make a petition to His Majesty, saying they want to return the mandate of country's ruling back to the King.
VS SONDHI: Gagged! -
The Nation, November 18, 2005
Plea from Manager Online
- translated and summarized from Manager
Online, November 17, 2005
officer charged Thaksin with lese majesty
- The Nation, November 17, 2005
Rak Thai MP wants ICT to take action against
The Manager's Web site
PM's Office dismisses report as spurious - The Nation, November 11, 2005
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra did not impinge on royal prerogatives when he presided over a religious ceremony last April at the Temple of the Emerald Buddha as a newspaper report had alleged, the PM's Office said yesterday.
In a statement, the office dismissed charges published on Wednesday by the Phujadkarn newspaper. It had claimed that Thaksin, as a commoner, had flouted venerable convention by allowing himself to preside over a ceremony in Thailand's holiest temple, a prerogative traditionally reserved for members of the Royal Family.
...Phujadkarn is owned by media tycoon Sondhi Limthongkul, a fierce critic of Thaksin who routinely lambastes the PM on his TV show "Muang Thai Rai Sapda" ("Thailand Weekly").
had 'approval from King' - The Nation,
November 10, 2005
Thai humor: People oversleep and miss the PM's
broadcast - November 8, 2005
bomb sends warning to Thai publisher - UPI, November
- The Hopewell Project
- The Wheel Begins to Turn: Weekly Rallies and Disapproving Academics
- Thaksin Wants to Know Who Burned Central World
- ‘White Mask’ Guards Seen Trying To Hit Red Shirts With Iron Bars
- Secret footage reveals brutal conditions of Rohingyas in Thai refugee center
- Thailand’s government acknowledges $4.4B loss from controversial rice price support scheme
- Directions to Bangkok’s 24-hour casinos
- Ladyboys versus All Blacks: is this the world’s weirdest sport?
- Thailand’s boom: To the northeast, the spoils
- A Thai family’s desperate search for their missing daughter
- If you want it back… then take it