Junta Staying Longer?: Weekly News Magazines, June, 2017

From Manager Weekly, June 17-23, 2017
Main cover reads:  A compass goes wrong direction
Woman on the cover: Thitinart “Aoy” Na Pattalung
Top left: Maneerat Kham-uan
Bottom: Natee Ekwijit
Hashtag: #Be awake team
Top right: Puttachat Pongsuchat
Far right: Patcharasri Benjamas
Hashtag: Kru Aoy team [“Kru” means “teacher”]
On the book: Life compass
[Refers to a self-help guru and author Thitinart “Aoy” Na Pattalung. Recently, many entertainers alleged her company used their images to promote her Life Compass course. This led to the media investigating her assets and her claims as a self-help guru. After her husband died, she had to take care of her son and pay a million dollar debt left by her husband. She paid off the debt within two years and started to write a book series called ‘Life Compass’ to guide people on how to living peacefully.]

Top: Trading the police’s position. Being deceptive with the whole nation. [black box] ‘Kamnun’s fellows’ accused ‘Chakthip’ [outside a black box] pretending that they don’t know where they traded at “Farm Chokchai”
At left is Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan and in the middle is Police Chief Chakthip Chaijinda
[This refers to former Democrat MP and a key member of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee Wittaya Kaewparadai who disclosed information about the practice of the police buying promotions. However, Deputy PM Prawit who supervises the police denied Wittaya’s allegation as did Police Chief Chakthip Chaijinda. These are outrageous denials as it is widely known that the buying of promotions is a traditional practice in the police force.
Wittaya’s public allegations are thought to reveal a conflict between the police and the PDRC factions of the Democrat Party. The PDRC was led by Suthep Thaugsuban (nicknamed “kamnun” for his former post as district chief; referred to as “kamnun’s fellows” in the headline meaning “Suthep’s faction”). “Farm Chokchai” refers to the group that has real power over police reform and promotions. It refers to the Chockchai 4 area in Bangkok where members in the junta’s houses are located.
All of this is part of the growing frustration and alarm that the military junta is not going to tackle a real reform of the Royal Thai Police. Outside of the rampant corruption and institutional rot, the force remains a real power, particularly in terms of local intelligence, that is believed to be loyal to Thaksin.]

Bottom left: Sport Hero [pink] “Pro May” [white] Dedicated alone by herself. Be careful for some people who will take advantage.
[Refers to Ariya ‘May’ Juntanugarn, known as “Pro May,” who became the first Thai ever to be No. 1 in woman’s world golf after winning the US professional golf LPGA tournament.
Before becoming the world’s no 1, she and her family had to work by themselves with a little support from sponsors. This article expresses concern that there will be many groups trying to take advantage of her success.]

Bottom right: Closely watch [blue] “Nation” softly failed and move to next station [orange] “ThaiPBS”
[Refers to media group, The Nation Group, which recently faced difficulty in its business operations (the Nation Weekend just stopped publication this month). The article specualtes whether the business group will change direction to work with public TV station ThaiPBS instead.]

From Matichon Weekly, June 23-29, 2017
Main cover reads: Aim to attack the center
[Refers to Seksan Prasertkul’s latest speech on Thailand’s political situation. He gave a speech predicting that the junta led by PM Prayuth was planning to stay longer in power. PM Prayuth denied Seksan’s accusations.]

Top right: Cause of revenge ‘an uncle bomber’ is a military hater because of the six deaths in Wat Phratum temple. Just a personal political ideology
[Refers to 62-year old Red Shirt suspect who was arrested for a bomb attack at the army hospital Phramongkutklao which caused 20 injuries. He insisted that he did it alone due to his hatred of the military due to the death of six people at the end of the Red Shirt protests in Bangkok in 2010. Some have speculated that he did not work alone as claimed, but was working on orders from other Red Shirts.]

From Siamrath Weekly, June 23-29, 2017
Main cover reads: Compromising system
[Refers to Seksan Prasertkul’s latest speech on Thailand’s political situation. He criticized the junta as planning to stay longer in power. According to him, this means that the future of Thai politics will be like a compromising system or the “kia sia” system coined by political expert Nidhi Eoseewong. “Kia sia” is a Chinese word meaning “compromise.” Seksan says Thailand’s political situation in the future will be like a compromise system between the elites and politicians.]

From Lokwannee, June 24-30, 2017
Main cover reads: (More than) one drop of the honey
Left: Using Article 44 to get the Sino-Thai high-speed train with medium speed, but more expensive
Right: Oppose the revision of the 30-baht universal health care program?
[Refers to the Thai saying “one drop of honey.” The story goes that, on the way to the market, a trader unintentionally drops honey on the road. A lizard eats it. While it enjoys eating the honey, a cat sees it and attacks the lizard. Then, a dog nearby comes to fight with the cat. The owners of the dog and cat see the situation and they get into a fight. Thus, the moral is that one small cause can have a big impact.
Here it means that the junta’s push the Sino-Thai high speech train using its absolute power will bring up other perceived “failures” of the junta such as an allegedly revising the 30-baht universal health care program. All of this is meant to be critical of the junta and show that the popularity of the junta will suffer.]

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