Understanding foreigners’ ignorance - translated and summarized from Phujatkan, October 2, 2006
This columnist wishes to explain why foreigners do not understand Thailand’s situation in the aftermath of the Council of Democratic Reform (CDR) seizing power from the Thaksin government. Many foreigners currently have a negative image of Thailand.
To help people understand foreigners’ point of view, this columnist has provided excerpts from statements included in the Interim Constitution that was recently endorsed by H.M The King.
These statements explained why the CDR was forced to seize power from the caretaker government. Most Thai people probably understand the reason for the CDR action, but it is obvious that most Western people do not.
Foreigners will usually consider any situation with a "check list" approach. This usually leads them to create a list to prove whether a situation is right or wrong. It is now clear that this is exactly the approach that many foreigners have used to consider Thailand’s current situation. The factors in such a list might be as follows:
1. Has the government been mandated by an election?
2. Is there a constitution?
3. Is the media openly discussing the issue?
4. Is Thailand being controlled by the rule of law? OR
5. Is it currently a state with a firm legal basis?
From this point of view, foreigners believe that the Thaksin government constituted a more democratic government than the current junta and that its financial clout was preferable to the strength of the junta’s weaponry.
If foreigners knew more about Thailand, they would see that the Thaksin government had completely taken over the country and destroyed its legal processes. In comparison, the military coup is seen by many here as nothing more than an attempt to seize power back from the Thaksin government.
Prime Minister Gen. Surayud Chulanont’s interim government should try to prove to the world that the country’s situation is better than when it was ruled by the Thaksin government.
Surayud Cabinet appointed by royal command - The Nation, October 9, 2006
Cartoon: 'Son , Matichon, October 9, 2006
Oorr… presents himself to help quell corruption and then help on conciliation, uncle P.M.
[The character in the hat on the right is Paobunjin, historical Chinese judge and hero of a Taiwanese television show highly popular in Thailand. The enduring popularity of Paobunjin is thought to be a public reaction to corruption in modern society.]
Krungtep Turakit, October 9, 2006
P.S. The new cabinet should please help follow the policy...
The new PM says to the lady... Check bill this table also, Khun Ying. [Graft buster Jaruwan]
At the bottom it says, "war with corruption"
Yet another junta header - October 9, 2006
Yet another header for the junta website. Apparently when the new government was appointed the job of "Democratic Reform" moves to the government and the military reverts to "National Security." And what other coup website has embedded music?
Above: September 24 - Header from the original junta website
From Matichon, Kaolao Chamlek, October 6, 2006
30th anniversary of October 6
On the grave it reads "Born - Died October 6, 1976"
First panel: Dead body says "What is going on the human world?"
Second panel: The dead body on the right says "People admire the military."
The dead body on the left says: Because they are professional and they are acting properly?
Third panel: No, they come out to make a revolution they have become so popular!
From Poojadkuan, October 6, 2006
Titanic, Junsongla version [Junsongla is the name of Thaksin's house. So this is the "Junsongla" version of the film as opposed to the Thai or English-language version.]
The headline reads "Jack left Rose to die lonely on the boat." [The lady is Sudarat Keyuraphan, top TRT executive.]
From Krungtepturakit, October 6, 2006
On the sword it reads "Power from the seizing of power."
At the bottom it reads "Must use with adequate way."
[We have noted a very slow and alarmist tone of international analysis coming out of the U.S.]
September 20: The sudden, bloodless coup that deposed Thailand’s popularly elected Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, is reverberating throughout the region. Indonesia, South Korea and Taiwan have each issued mild travel warnings, Indonesia’s Kompas Cyber Media, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency and Taiwan’s Central News Agency report. Corporations, meanwhile, have taken a stronger stance; the Kyodo news service reports that Japanese carmakers Nissan, Toyota and Honda temporarily suspended production in Thailand, and Japanese companies such as Hitachi, Sony and NEC have similarly temporarily suspended their output or sales operations.
Thanks to Lara for pointing this out.
The Maoists have warned of a Thai-like military coup in Nepal if the government kept up its insistence on managing the arms of the rebels before taking into account the weapons of the army...
OCTOBER 6, 1976 - 'Hard to remember, yet difficult to forget' - The Nation, October 6, 2006
Thai coup leaders exposed of their political duplicity - Asian Tribune, October 4, 2006
Asian Human Rights Commission based in Hong Kong has come up with a scathing attack on the Thai coup leader General Sonthi Boonyaratglin for his deceptive statement about the political role of the "Plot’s Ring Leaders..."
Former executives seem resigned to the inevitable - The Nation, October 5, 2006
...He said what Thaksin was currently experiencing was an example of the law of Karma.
"I'm a Buddhist and I believe in the rule of Karma. You will receive [back] the same as you have done," he said...
Thailand has its 'Hitlers' - The Nation, October 5, 2006
Privy Council president General Prem Tinasulanonda yesterday said Thailand has people like Hitler who were greedy and made people fight but the guardian spirit always protected the country.
"The country is sacred. Whoever thinks only to take the country's interests into their own possession or for their own groups - will end in their own downfall. Phra Sayam Thewathirat [the guardian spirit] always protects the country and curses those who are evil to suffer for the rest of their lives,'' he said...
Fanatical followers lament party's likely fate - The Nation, October 5, 2006
..."Thai Rak Thai and Thaksin made me interested in politics but now they are disappearing," she said, adding no party would ever be in her heart again.
...She applied to become a member of a political party for the first time, and signed up with Thai Rak Thai with its convincing new initiatives. "If the party is dissolved, I will keep my Thai Rak Thai membership card to remind me that this party gave me hope in Thai politics," she added.
..."Now we will have to restart, but Thailand will never get as close to challenging the world again as Thaksin and Thai Rak Thai did during five years in power," he said.
'Coup chic' hits Bangkok - The Age, October 5, 2006
Thanks to Danny for pointing this out.
From Manager, October 2, 2006 by Kamin
Panel 1: CDRM has to clear when they will remove the military forces.
Panel 2: You are saying CDRM will lie and hold on to power?
Panel 3: No.
Panel 4: People who have not taken a photo with the tanks will plan to take a photo the last day before the military moves the tanks (they know when).
From Thairath, October 2, 2006 by Chai Ratchawat: The motor show has not ended. [A reference to the taxi that rammed a tank and people posing with the vehicle like they do at motor shows.]
Apology to Rama V - The Nation, October 3, 2006
...Sonthi offered an apology to the late monarch, who founded Chula-chomklao Royal Military Academy from which Sonthi graduated, if the coup had "irritated" him, and asked for his protection.
TRT melting away - October 3, 2006
Sonthaya leads 20 members out of Thai Rak Thai
Somsak leads 100 members to resign from Thai Rak Thai
Suranand leaves Thai Rak Thai
Surakiart resigns from Thai Rak Thai Party
Latest from Chang Noi...
Gen Surayud Chulanont: Loved and Hated in Burma - The Irrawaddy, October 2, 2006
...The hawkish Watanachai was by no means popular with the Burmese generals, particularly when he and other Thais talked openly about the regime’s failure to stem the flow of drugs into Thailand. Once, Watanachai was on record as saying that “everyone knows who’s involved in Burma’s burgeoning narcotics industry..."
A Siamese tragedy: the collapse of democracy in Thailand - INQ7, September 30, 2006
Lt. Gen. Saprang discloses coup d’etat had been in preparation for eight months - Staged for the sake of the nation - translated and summarized from Komchadluek, September 23, 2006
On September 22 at 9:00 am at the Somdej Phra Naresuan Maharat Army Camp in Phitsanulok Province’s City District, Lieutenant-General Saprang Kalayanamitr (the Third Army Region Commander) met with representatives of the province’s various public relations departments and members of the press corps from all over the seven provinces of Northern Thailand. The conference was called to announce the policies of the coup-leading Council for Democratic Reform under Constitutional Monarchy (CDRM) and to discuss the impact of those policies on the northern provinces.
Lieutenant General Saprang announced that the CDRM had taken administrative control of the nation in order to reestablish the harmony of its people. He called on all media-based agencies and companies to cooperate with the CDRM in presenting the truth behind the coup to people in a constructive manner. He also called on all local radio stations to temporarily cease broadcasting programs as it was known that some radio programs were providing distorted news to their audiences.
Saprang also informed conference participants that he personally had been trying to send a message to some government officials and politicians for some months that their actions were threatening the nation’s stability. He regretted the fact that none of the people he had warned had shown any intention of reforming themselves.
Saprang admitted that the coup d’etat had been in preparation for seven to eight months since the point at which current CDRM members had first realized that the nation was in crisis as a result of its being led by tyrants.
Former army commander and Privy Council member Gen Surayud Chulanont has agreed to be Thailand's interim, post-coup prime minister as expected.
Coup leader and current army commander Gen Sonthi Boonyaratkalin confirmed the appointment this afternoon.
Gen Sonthi told reporters that he approached Gen Surayud personally.
"On the 28th (of September) I went to his house and spent half an hour convincing him to take the job while the country is in crisis. He has agreed to take it."
A ceremony to swear in Surayud was scheduled for 4.45 pm Thailand time, 0945 GMT.
We have enjoyed The Nation's daily headlines each time declaring a different PM candidate...
Earlier: Retired general picked as Thai new PM as US cuts off military aid - AFP, September 29, 2006
..."General Surayud is the most suitable for the job, given his qualification and his seniority," she said, according to Radio Thailand, which is run by the government's public relations department...
Earlier: Supachai 'to discuss terms' for PM's post - The Nation, September 26, 2006
Earlier: Charnchai ahead in race to be interim premier - The Nation, September 24, 2006
Earlier: Supachai approached for interim PM's post - The Nation, September 22, 2006
Earlier: Sonthi: Civilian govt in 2 weeks - The Nation, September 21, 2006
Pridiyathorn, Administrative Court chief Ackaratorn tipped as candidates for PM...
And a couple from the Post:
Chatumongol tipped as PM - Bangkok Post, September 23, 2006
Surayud leads nominees for PM - Bangkok Post, September 27, 2006
Junta changes its name in English - September 28, 2006
[We were informed this morning that the junta was renaming itself to remove the part about the monarchy in its name. It seems they are becoming sensitive to foreign "analysts" who were assuming the King was behind the coup.
The official junta website is down. The new website is here. Apparently its name in Thai remains the same.]
CDRM now calls itself as CDR - The Nation, September 27, 2006
...The Council for Democratic Reform under Constitutional Monarchy will now be known as the Council for Democratic Reform, or CDR, the military junta said in a clarification on its website.
It said the previous English title "had led to misunderstanding and false interpretation in some countries and for some foreign media on the role of the monarchy"...
Car-bomb suspects get bail - The Nation, September 29, 2006
When a coup is not exactly a coup - AsiaMedia, September 27, 2006
|The auspicious number nine versus ET - The Nation, September 27, 2006
General Sonthi Boonyaratglin, the Army chief, led a successful coup to topple the Thaksin government. His destiny hinged heavily on the auspicious number nine. The coup occurred on September (the ninth month of the year) 19, in the year 2549. It was the number nine all the way...
Earlier mentions of ET are here.
| More coup comedy
Left: Poojadkuan, September 27, 2006
Or takes Oak and Ung-ing to take pictures with tanks before flying to London.
["Or" is Pojaman, Thaksin's wife, "Oak" is Panthongtae, and Ung-ing is his youngest daughter.]
Earlier Poojadkuan columns
Right: Krungtep Turakit, September 27, 2006
Auditor's office - Corruption case cleaned by Khunying Jaruvan
|Right: Daily News, September 24, 2006
Looking back on Thaksin's fortune - "Power is seized" is his first crisis - Wondering if the next crisis will be next year or the year after? [Future crisis might refer to his assets being seized.]
TRT and Dhammakaya Temple - perfect match - The Nation, September 27, 2006
...The former abbot of Phra Dhammakaya Temple was the first one to initiate contact with members of Thai Rak Thai. It was decided that the Thai Rak Thai Party would have Dhammakaya's backing. Thai Rak Thai representatives were given the opportunity to speak to the temple's followers, who were urged to cast their votes for the party, as it would naturally be beneficial for their master and temple.
According to the law of karma as promoted by the temple, Thaksin Shinawatra was hailed as the ideal lay Buddhist, who had been blessed by the merit of his past lives and was endowed with a great many virtues. The temple played a song praising Thaksin composed by the Phra Dhammajayo himself on its Dow Tham satellite television channel - broadcasting 24 hours a day. However, the gathering clouds of controversies and criminal investigations surrounding him prevented Thaksin from visiting the temple. Nevertheless, senior Thai Rak Thai leaders, such as Sudarat Keyuraphan and Suriya Jungrungreangkit, began regularly attending the monastery...
Clown Eckie - September 27, 2006
Introducing the Only British Professional Clown in Thailand! Front Page News...Thai Rath Newspaper 24th September 2006 - Clown Eckie Entertains the Troops during the September Coup in Bangkok!
Credit FAQ sheds light on CreditWatch action on Bangkok Bank - Moneycontrol.com, September 26, 2006
..."Because of extraordinary government support being incorporated into Bangkok Bank's ratings, they are at the same level as the foreign currency sovereign rating ('BBB+/A-2'). Consequently, any possible negative impact on the ratings of the sovereign, will naturally affect the ratings on Bangkok Bank"...
Royalty and revolution: The absolute monarch - The Independent, September 25, 2006
Manager, September 26, 2006
Panel 1: People demand the military to continue to stay. They do not want them to leave.
Panel 2: They may not be confident the situation and afraid of Thaksin coming back.
Panel 3: No.
Panel 4: Many people have not had their photo taken with the tanks yet.
Krungtepturakit, September 26, 2006
The man says: Khunying, pull them out. I will cut it.
At the bottom it says: War with corruption.
[The lady is graft-buster Jaravan. She is grabbing lizards. To be called a lizard is an insult in Thai. Nils adds: ... the man is Klanarong Chanthik, former NCCC chief (and senator-elect early this year)--easily recognizable by his moustache and glasses.]
Madame Ho's Temasek still in the firing line after Thai coup - SMH, September 25, 2006
[Thanks to Danny for pointing this out...]
...At 54, Ho is no Singapore Girl. Dour and grim, with a penchant for unflattering grey business suits, she's been Temasek's unsmiling CEO since 2001, presenting as an untouchable corporate dominatrix protected by the formidable Lee family edifice.
The Lees, as compliant Singaporeans famously know, don't make mistakes. Any questioning of their methods - as bankrupted opposition politicians and the foreign press have frequently discovered - hazard libel suits heard in Singapore's courts, where the Lees' history of success is unparalleled...
|Superheroes too much for Thai army - Reuters, September 28, 2006
Police in the Thai capital detained four actors dressed as Japanese superheroes on Thursday for defying a decree from Thailand's new military rulers banning commercial promotions in front of tanks...
Clockwise from top left: Kom Chad Leuk, September 30, Khao Sod, September 29, Daily News, September 29
More coup craziness
From The Nation, September 28, 2006: A police officer tries to stop a group of men dressed in Japanese superhero costume from performing a public relation stunt in front of tanks and soldiers guarding the Royal Plaza on Thursday. Soldiers and tanks become tourist attraction but the military tried not to let the trend go overboard.
Today's Poojadkuan - Poojadkuan, September 28, 2006
After the mission of restoring the Nation, CDR will aim to go into the wedding business.
Earlier Poojadkuan columns
Tanks for the memories... - Reuters, September 27, 2006
..."People should differentiate between entertainment and seriousness. A coup is not entertaining," Acra said, although the tanks sent in to lead Thailand's first coup in 15 years had turned Bangkok into a carnival-type attraction...
Thaksin's image removed - The Nation, September 28, 2006
The Council for Democratic Reform (CDR) is expected to erase the name of ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra from Thai politics - even from his mailbox at his official residence at Baan Phitsanulok...
Name of column: Dog watches house - Daily News, September 24, 2006
Abbreviation: Very fine. Don't worry.
Tank: It is the first time that those who seize power do not want to administer the country. People are pleased with military - Gun and rose
Thaksin's face and swastika: Overconfident power regime
BBC criticised for cutting Thai broadcasts - Daily Telegraph, September 24, 2006
The BBC came under fire yesterday for closing the Thai language arm of the World Service months before the military seized control of Thailand, in the belief that the country's democracy was thriving and its media were more free than most in the region...
Coup offers best hope for Thai democracy - Times, September 25, 2006