Thaksin’s Songkran message: Let’s forgive and forget

Thaksin: Let’s forgive and forget – Bangkok Post, April 12, 2014
…”Let’s make April 13 the day we put everything behind us and be generous to one another like when disasters struck, whether it was the tsunami or the great floods, during which Thais lent a hand to one another.
“I love, respect and care for all Thais but you don’t have to worry about me. I’m in good health. My only concern is for Thailand to be peaceful and Thais to love another once again…”

Posted in 2Bangkok News | 1 Comment

In Picturesque Thailand, Coal Plant Draws Protests

In Picturesque Thailand, Coal Plant Draws Protests – VOA, April 11, 2014
Environmental activists in Thailand are protesting plans to reopen an 800-megawatt coal plant in a coastal region, Krabi, that is popular with eco-tourists. The controversy pits Thailand’s growing energy needs against its image as a seaside paradise…

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Weekly News Magazines, April 4, 2014

Nation Weekend_4 April 2014

From Nation Weekend, April 4, 2014
Cover reads: The national neutral man
[Reference is to Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha's role amid political conflict. He maintains that the armed forces must remain neutral.]

Matichon Weekly_4 April 2014
From Matichon Weekly, April 4, 2014
Cover reads: Keep smiling though being aware of the defeat
[Reference is to the current situation of the caretaker premier Yingluck Shinawatra who has been saddled with numerous legal cases. It is assumed that she will be forced from office due to these cases.]

ASTV Manager Weekly_5 April 2014

From ASTV Manager Weekly, April 5,2014
Cover reads: Love, kiss kiss
[The woman is Anchalee Paireerak, one of the key leaders of the anti-Thaksin protesters.
In top-left heart is Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, the Commander in Chief of the Royal Thai Army. In the top-right one is Suthep Thuagsuban, key leader of the anti-government protesters. In the small heart shape is Kanok Ratwongsakul, famous new anchor and supporter of the anti-Thaksin groups.
The article suggests that these three men are deemed as idols of the anti-Thaksin movement.]

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One family’s fight against Cambodia land grabs

One family’s fight against Cambodia land grabs – ucanews.com, April 10, 2014
…Mak Siv Hong, 51, lives in the shack with her family of three. The past year has been a nightmare of repeated intimidation and attacks by thugs she claims were hired by the Khun Sear Import and Export Company to try and push them off the land…

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Kim Kardashian’s ‘extreme Thai treatments’: butt slapping

Kim K’s ‘extreme Thai treatments’ – belfasttelegraph.co.uk, April 9, 2014
…Included in these supposed treatments was the ancient procedure of butt, face and breast slapping. Costing £200 for a 15-minute session, fans of the treatment says wrinkles are erased, pores are shrunk and skin feels tightened…

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Phuket police ‘too busy’ to extradite man accused of killing girlfriend in Thailand

Police ‘too busy’ to extradite Hull man Mick ‘the Pom’ Taylor accused of killing girlfriend in Thailand – hulldailymail.co.uk, April 10, 2014
…Mr Taylor denied the charge, claiming he had been having sex on a beach with a ladyboy at the time Miss Weangta, 27, was killed…

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Reuters: Flaws found in Thailand’s human-trafficking crackdown

Flaws found in Thailand’s human-trafficking crackdown – Reuters, April 10, 2014
…A two-part Reuters investigation in three countries, based on interviews with people smugglers, human traffickers and Rohingya who survived boat voyages from Myanmar, last year showed how the treatment of Rohingya often constituted trafficking. Reporters found that hundreds were held against their will in brutal trafficking camps in the Thai wilderness…

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Cambodia cyber law to penalize any website that “generates insecurity, instability, and political cohesiveness”

Cambodia’s Draft Cyber Law Threatens Free Speech – thediplomat.com, April 10, 2014
…But activists have highlighted article 28 of the bill as a concern. The provision would criminalize web content that “hinders the sovereignty and integrity of the Kingdom of Cambodia.” If this is not vague enough, the same provision penalizes any online publication that “generates insecurity, instability, and political cohesiveness.” What exactly is the crime of “political cohesiveness?”
Another criminal offense is the publication of Internet material that is deemed to be “non-factual which slanders or undermines the integrity of governmental agencies, ministries, not limited to departments, federal or local levels.” This would clearly discourage criticism of government officials.
As expected, publishing something that is deemed “damaging to the moral and cultural values of society” is prohibited. The bill even specified these harmful values: “Writings or pixilation that display inappropriate activities of persons, copulations between humans or animals; or devalue the moral of family values and pixilation that displays domestic violence…”

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Iraq lifts ban on Thai rice imports after suspension for “low quality”

Thai Rice Welcomed Back to Iraq After Months of Suspension – WSJ, April 10, 2014
…Prior to the ban in August, Iraq had imported 500,000 to 600,000 metric tons of Thai rice each year, making it one of the country’s major clients. The biggest importer of Thai rice is Nigeria, which brings in an average volume of 1.1 million tons per year…

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Waiting for the mango today…

From Manager, March 20, 2014
Left, caption: Waiting for the mango today…
[Referring to a theory of Dr. Theerayuth Boonmee on the current political situation. Dr. said that situation of the anti-government protesters, led by Suthep, is like waiting for a mango (or the caretaker government led by Yingluck Shinawatra) to be ripe and fall from its tree. This is because the Yingluck government is under threat from a long list of corruption scandals.]
Suthep Thuagsuban: When will it fall!?
Right, caption: …tomorrow may have to wait for Ma Ug! [Ma Ug, or Bolo Maka, is a kind of Thai fruit. The human head on the tree is Surapong Towichakchaikul, the caretaker foreign minister. He is nicknamed Ma Ug for his bald head. And the demonstrators may have to wait for him to fall next because he recently said that he's ready to replace Yingluck as premier.]
Suthep: When will it fall!?

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Bangkok bus routes to have one operator per route to stop drivers from racing against each other for passengers

BMTA bans bus-route competition – Bangkok Post, April 9, 2014

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Police warn that those who share Red Shirt leader’s anti-monarchy video will be charged with lese majeste

Ko Tee faces lese majeste arrest – Bangkok Post, April 10, 2014
…She added that the Royal Thai Police Office has warned the public not to share the video clip as those doing so will also be subject to punishment under Section 112. Those found guilty are liable for a three- to 15-year jail term….

Also: Suthep plays down ‘sovereignty’ claim

Earlier: Thaksin’s Lawyer accused of lese majeste for calling for amendment of lese majeste law

Posted in Lese Majeste | 1 Comment

Tourist’s shock at Buddhist temple in Thailand which has a mural of planes hitting the Twin Towers

‘Totally inappropriate’: Tourist’s shock at Buddhist temple in Thailand which has a mural of planes hitting the Twin Towers – Daily Mail, April 9, 2014
…The White Temple at Chiang Rai is the bizarre pet project of controversial Thai artist Chalermchai Kositpipat.
As well as depicting planes flying into the Twin Towers, the mural at Chiang Rai features fictional characters such as Spiderman and Harry Potter, celebrities like Michael Jackson, as well as fighter jets and spaceships…

Posted in Art, Buddhism, Culture and Society | 2 Comments

Bangkok’s Express Airport Rail Link will see the Phayathai station closed one year for maintenance

Bangkok’s Express Airport Rail Link will see the Phayathai station closed one year for maintenance – thephuketinsider.com, April 10, 2104

This seems to be the real story: Rail Link’s Phaya Thai Line suspended
The express Airport Rail Link service from Phaya Thai will be suspended for one year for maintenance from Monday, April 14, SRT Electrified Train Co (SRTET) has announced…

Posted in Airports and Airlines | 1 Comment

Cambodia’s lost rock ’n’ roll scene

Cambodia’s lost rock ’n’ roll scene – aljazeera.com, April 9, 2014
…“The Rolling Stones, the Beatles and the Bee Gees were huge here,” says Touch Seang Tana. “We loved to listen to them.”
Until 1975, music thrived in Phnom Penh, with clubs full night after night, crowds gathering in the streets around transistor radios to hear the latest releases, and the biggest stars being feted by the king…

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Eyesight of a 90-year-old man

From Manager, March 18, 2014
Left, caption: Eyesight of a 90-year-old man [Reading the sign is Gen. Prem Tinsulanont, statesman and chairman of the privy council.]
Sign on the wall reads: Soldiers stand on noble honor for Thai people rely on us as their last reliance. Signed; Gen. Kris Sivara. [Gen. Kris was a military officer of the Royal Thai Army, a member of the Thai Cabinet, and Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Army during the violent crackdown on democracy protesters on 14 October 1973. He was later promoted to Army Commander. The Army's Kris Sivara Camp in Sakon Nakhon province is named after him.]
Right, caption: Eyesight of a man who’s only 60 years old. [Reading the sign is Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, Commader of the Royal Thai Army.]
[Reference is to Gen. Prem's casual comment while reading the sign that the Army Commander should read the sign some time. His comment was made on March 14 when he inaugurated the Gen. Kris Statute at the camp.
This incident was taken as a sign to Prayuth to protect the nation from Red Shirt separatism and slurs against the monarchy.]

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It’s ok to be corrupt

From Manager, March 19, 2014
Caption: Old perception
Left: It’s ok to be corrupt… if you share some with us.
Caption: Today’s perception
Right: It’s ok to be corrupt and don’t share some with us as long as you give us a clue to win a lottery.
[Refers to license plates of caretaker PM Yingluck’s cars. The numbers become popular among gamblers when they turned up as winning number in the Thai lottery. It is alleged that the lottery was fixed to choose the numbers as a way to generate positive buzz for the prime minister.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Manager | 1 Comment

Thaksin’s Lawyer accused of lese majeste for calling for amendment of lese majeste law

Thaksin’s Lawyer Denounces Lese Majeste Allegation – Khao Sod, April 8, 2014
…In the Skype call, Mr. Amsterdam urged the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to amend the Article 112 of the Criminal Codes, widely known as the “lese majeste” law, which prohibits any remark deemed critical of the monarchy.
He made no direct mention to the Thai Royal Family, but the Lawyers Council considers it a sufficient cause of insult for the monarchy, calling for the police to press charge of 112 Article against Mr. Amsterdam.
“It is the duty of the Royal Thai Police, the General Attorney, and the Ministry of Interior Affairs to proceed with this legal case,” the statement insisted.
An anti-government activist, Mr. Thaworn Senniam, has also filed a separate lese majeste complaint to the police against Mr. Amsterdam yesterday for his Skype remarks…

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Cambodia’s rice exports drop as demand from Thailand plummets following collapse of the country’s state-buying rice plan

Cambodia’s Rice Exports to Thailand Plummet – cambodiadaily.com, April 8, 2014
…Exports to Thailand for the first quarter of this year were virtually wiped out, falling from 13,000 tons in 2013 to 300 tons this year. Last year, Thailand was the sixth biggest importer of Cambodian rice, buying 23,550 tons…

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Thida, why did you resign as leader of the UDD?


From Manager, March 17, 2014
Thaksin: I don’t understand, Khun Thida. Why did you resign as leader of the UDD?
Thida: Because I’ve just bought a new Mercedes-Benz and I want to have a longer live to enjoy driving this car.
Jutuporn is on the stage surrounded by the Red-shirt supporters.
Caption: Fight for money… After rice, then quit a job!!
[Refers to the latest movement of the Red shirt known as the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD). Thida Thavornseth, a chairwoman of UDD, announced to resign from her post and hand it to Jatuporn Promphan. It is alleged that Thaksin supporters like Thida and Jatuporn have been allowed to reap huge benefits from government's rice pledging programs in return for their support of Thaksin's agenda.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Manager | 1 Comment

Remembering the Thaksin Years: Littering in Thailand

From Thairath, February 15, 2003
Title: Gentleman… but having a malicious intention
On the box: Hazardous waste
Small sign boards: Don’t litter; Thailand.
[Refers to a number of e-waste containers were found in Klong Toei port in Bangkok during Thaksin’s time as PM. Those containers were imported into Thailand through local firms that left them at the port and then declared bankruptcy or become untraceable--all a way to make money for dumping garbage in Thailand. Most of those containers came from Britain.]

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New city plan ‘could ravage’ the verdant Bang Krachao

New city plan ‘could ravage’ the verdant Bang Krachao – The Nation, April 8, 2014
…The controversial 2013 version allows for buildings that don’t cover more than 15 per cent of the permitted area.
For the “pure green” area, the 2005 version allowed buildings that were not over 10 per cent of the permitted area. Landowners were also not allowed to sell their land, to stop housing estates being constructed.
But the 2013 version allows owners in the green area to sell their land for the construction of housing estates…

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Thai Law Allows Expat Crooks to Escape But Punishes Journalists

Thai Law Allows Expat Crooks to Escape But Punishes Journalists – phuketwan.com, April 7, 2014
…Drummond said in a recent post on his popular online site that he is ”probably the most sued journalist in the world.” And that is, he writes, ”because foreign crooks have been abusing Thailand’s ill-conceived libel and Computer Crime Act laws…”

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30 years on, KFC Thailand going strong

30 years on, KFC Thailand going strong – Bangkok Post, April 8, 2014
…Marketing director Thanyachete Ekvetchavit said KFC restaurants had operated in Thailand for 30 years and about 300 now were operated and owned by the company, while another 200 were run by its local franchisee Central Restaurants Group…

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Soldier protects a rebel

From Thairath, March 17, 2014
Title: An honorable person? An unhonorable person?
Jatuporn: We fight for democracy.
His shirt: UDD
On soldier’s leg: Protect a rebel
Suthep is behind the soldier.
A sign close to a hooded man: 100 dead bodies
Phi Nooring: Please speak politely.
A mouse: We’re equal.
[The Red Shirts, alsoknown as the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), has criticized the role of the military in protecting the anti-government group led by Suthep from attacks.]

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Remembering the Thaksin Years: Kill the drug dealers

From Thairath, February 17, 2003
On the man’s mobile phone: Hey..! Quickly deliver drugs.
On the woman’s mobile phone: Mom, come home quickly. I’m hungry.
On the packs around the dead bodies: Drugs
Caption: No chance to say the last word
[During Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s administration, he launched a campaign of extra-judicial killings that saw Thai police kill over 2000 alleged drug dealers. Many were murdered on their way to a police stations after receiving a summons. This campaign of killing was highly popular and the cartoon is one of many items in the Thai press at the time justifying and lauding the deaths.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Thairath - Sia, The Thaksin Years | Leave a comment

The matter of asking


From Thairath, March 16, 2014
Cartoon title: The matter of asking [questioning]
Top left, sign on rice pile: Finance Ministry
Unloaded 20 tons of paddy rice to ask for the rice pledging money!
[Refers to protesting farmers who dumped rice to force the government to pay them for it.]
Top middle: Must ask whether it’s deliberate killing of three people – his parents and young brother, or not [Referring to a 19-year-old man who planned and successfully murdered both his parents and younger brother because his mother did not keep her word saying she'd buy him a new car.]
Top, right, on the metal: 5.3 trillion baht
Why not ask children whether they want to burden the debt for 50 years or not! [Refers to the caretaker government's attempt to borrow 2.2 trillion baht to support its mega projects including the high-speed train project. If granted, the total amount of debt plus interest will be piled up roughly 5.3 trillion baht with payment period of 50 years.]
Bottom, left: Doctors asking whose business it is putting signs to oppose the corrupt government! [Refers to supporters of the caretaker government, the Red Shirts, who assault hospital staff in the provinces for putting up signs opposing the government.]
Bottom, middle: Ever asked the people of Chiang Mai for their opinions about establishing the province as the capital of Soh Poh Lanna yet? [Refers to a group of Chiang Mai Red Shirts who announced that they are going to separate and establish a new country called the People Republic of Lanna, of which Chiang Mai would be the capital.]
Bottom, right: Why do reporters like to ask questions that don’t match the prepared answers!? [Woman is the caretaker premier Yingluck Shinawatra. Reference is Yingluck's confusing replies to questions which rarely answer reporters' questions. This supports the long-held belief that, as a novice politician, she only reads prepared statements.]

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The elderly soldier

From Thairath, March 15, 2014
Cartoon title: I bring the people to ask you to be our last reliance, sir!
[The man saying this in the center is Jatuporn Promphan, the new chairman of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), better known as the Red Shirts. Old man in military officer's uniform is Gen. Prem Tinsulanont. This refers to Gen. Prem's comment while reading a sign with a quote by the late Gen. Kris Sivara. The quote said that soldiers stand on the noble honor that the Thai people look up for them as their last reliance. This implies the military's assumed role to limit or remove governments that overreach in their quest for power and influence.]
Signs from front: Stop the PDRC mob [PDRC stands for the People's Democratic Reform Committee.]; stop support those who want to topple the government; stop giving orders to the judges; stop the bureaucratic regime; stop intervening in the executive authority; stop intervening in the legislative power
Phi Nooring: We’re the people.
Mouse: Don’t destroy democracy.

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Separate the country

From Komchadluek, March 13, 2014
Left, man on the right: Boss!! I have know how we can separate the deep three provinces in the South as a new country.
Man of the left: What are you going to do?
Right, man on the right: Run for MP election to have seats in Thailand’s parliament, and then announce that the country is not democratic. We want to separate it.
[The men on the cartoon are Muslim separatists from the south of Thailand. Insurgents in the area have waged a long battle in the region. The cartoon jokes that Pheu Thai Party members and their supporters have threatened that, if the PM is removed from office, they should set up an independent state in the north of the country.]

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Weekly News Magazines, March 27, 2014

Nation Weekend_28 Mar 2014

From Nation Weekend, March 27, 2014
Cover reads: Know that [we] won, but not finished yet
[Reference is to legal cases against the caretaker premier Yingluck Shinawatra and other Thaksin supporting politicians, particularly the corruption case stemming from the rice pledging scheme. The rulings of cases are deemed as advantageous to the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC). However, the conflict is not expected to be ended any time soon since the caretaker government and the Red Shirts do not seem to be willing to accept the courts' ruling easily.]

Matichon Weekly_27 Mar 2014

From Matichin Weekly, March 27, 2014
Cover reads: Why must it be Apr 5?
[Reference is to the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), or the Red Shirt, led by Jatuporn Promphan, its new chairman, announced that it would stage a demonstration on April 5. It is speculated that the date was chosen based on superstitious belief that Saturday the 5th is powerful and will therefore bring them victory.]

ASTV Manager Weekly_28 Mar

From ASTV Manager Weekly, March 28, 2014
Cover reads: Branded Husband [Also the name of a TV melodrama series, of which the plot is about love affair between a man, his wife and another woman]
Yingluck Shinawatra: Stop imagining thing, Nam Phueng. It’s clear by now that Khun Pisut Loves me, doesn’t he?!
Suthep Thuagsuban: Screammmmm. Bi………!
[The man is military Commander-in-Chief Prayuth. Reference is to the political conflict between the caretaker government led by Yingluck Shinawatra and the anti-government led by Suthep Thuagsuban. Both sides have been attempting to win over the armed forces, specifically the Royal Thai Army under Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha's commanding.]

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