Nov 8th, 2015

12 Years Ago: Thaksin reveals his political successor

Thaksin: Somkid Jatusripitak My Successor

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12 Years Ago: Five dancers bear their breasts after four million baht lottery win

Five dancers bear their breasts after their boss wins four million baht in the lottery

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4 Years Ago: New government moves fast–Proposed law gives police power to shut news media

Proposed Thai law gives police power to shut news media
…In some respects, it is even worse than the original notorious Printing Act of 1941, which was the hallmark of press restriction under military dictatorship. No periodical renewal of a newspaper publishing license was mentioned. Under the new amendment, every publisher must apply for permission to have his license renewed every five years…

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Weekly News Magazines, October 30-November 6, 2015

lokwannee_31 oct

From Lokwannee, October 31, 2015
Main cover reads: Which one shall we wear?

[Refers to PM Prayuth’s saying that people can wear whatever color they want as long as it does not break a law. So, in this magazine’s view, people should be able to wear red to show their support for Yingluck.]

manager_31oct_6 Nov

From Manager Weekly, October 31-November 6, 2015
Main cover reads: Falling star
[The man is former chief spokesman Pol Gen Prawut Thavornsiri. This refers to his sudden resignation and suspicions that he may be involved with famous fortuneteller Suriyan Sujaritpalawong and a lèse majesté scandal.]

Top right: “Pijakana’ on tour. Showing another side of ‘Namtan’ an actress who doesn’t just use her beauty
[Refers to popular actress Pijakana whose nickname is “Namtan.” The article is an interview about her private and professional’s life.]

Bottom left: Gen. Paiboon Koomchaya
[white] “If you don’t corruption, there is no need to be afraid.” “It’s the good governance of ThaiHealth.”
[The man is Gen. Paiboon Koomchaya, Minister of Justice. This refers to the investigation of the Thai Health Promotion Foundation for using funds inappropriately.]

Right: [red] “Killing lady” [black] stirs up the anger of “hermit Tu” – Digs a hole ‘big fish’ to join the conflict game.
[The woman is Yingluck. This refers to Yingluck’s strategy to keep a low profile, but still push forward her supporters to fight against the junta led by PM Prayuth, whose nickname is Tu.]

matichon_30 oct_6Nov

From Matichon Weekly, October-November 6, 2015
Main cover reads: A person wearing white
[The woman is Yingluck. Refers to Yingluck’s political movment that includes her visiting many places to make Buddhist merit and, at the same time, meet her supporters. She avoids any overt reason for the junta to monitor by not wearing red or asking her supporters to wear red.]

Top right: Question on 100 million?
Treasure…network.. Pol.Major Aead Mhao Yong

[The men in pictures from left to right are Police Major Prakrom Warunprapa whose nickname is Aead and famous fortuneteller Suriyan Sujaritpalawong known as Mhao Yong.
They were arrested due to a charge on lèse majesté for making false claims about monarchy for personal benefit. Police Major Prakrom has already passed away after he hanged himself in his cell. This death is still under investigation.]

nationweekend_30 Oct

From Nation Weekend, October 30, 2015
Main cover reads: Human’s fate
[The man is former chief spokesman Pol. Gen. Prawut Thavornsiri. Refers to his recent resignation and suspicions that he may be involved with the famous fortuneteller Suriyan Sujaritpalawong and a lèse majesté scandal.]
Left: These are too small to read, but they refer to internal conflict among the Red Shirt leadership.

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Red-shirt guards jailed for M79 incident

Two red-shirt guards jailed for involving in firing M79 at PDRC rally – The Nation, November 6, 2015
…Narongsak confessed to picking up the M79 grenade and launcher from Imperial Lat Phrao’s car park, the court was told.
The court also heard that Narongsak drove Yongyut Boondee to fire the grenade. Yongyut was arrested last year and is facing trial in another case…

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Odd constitution


From Thairath, October 22, 2015
Title: Everyone wishes the success of this country.
Man inside the box holding sign: Odd constitution.
Inside the box (from left to right): Extend iniquity’s power. Reconcile. Established Grand Coalition. Changing attitude.
On the box: Sorry for any inconvenience. We are in the process of reforming the country.
Outside the box (from left to right): International. Press. UN. Amnesty. Asean. EU. USA. Investors.
Mouse man: Friends feels weary.
Mouse: Road map to happiness.

[This refers to the opaque process of drafting the new charter by the junta’s handpicked committee. It also shows the fears of Thaksin and his supporters–that the charter will extend the power of the military over politics and perhaps result in a national coalition government to mute the power of any single party that wishes to grant Thaksin amnesty.]

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Don’t pretend you are dead!


From Naewna, October 21, 2015
PM Prayuth kicks the coffin and says: Don’t pretend you are dead! I told you that I am not going to be reconciled with a cheater.
Thaksin: Oh… the coffin broken!!
Caption: Siamyuth Plangrich

[“Siamyuth” refers to Prayuth, while “Plangrich” means to demonstrate his power. This cartoon cheers Pryauth as he takes a hard line against Thaksin who recently ordered his Red Shirts to “play dead.”]

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Kill the five tigers!


From Manager, October 21, 2015
Top: Oh.. I didn’t hunt these wild animals.
Bottom: Those five tigers, I hunted at the Government Lottery Office
Caption: Lt. Gen. Dang took it seriously

[Refers to the “Five Tigers,” the big five mafia groups who openly control the selling of government lottery tickets. These are untouchable criminal cartels that are closely intertwined with the Thai government bureaucracy.
PM Prayuth appointed Lt. Gen. Apirat Kongsompong, whose nickname is Deng, to deal with this problem in order to control the price of lottery tickets.
This is the sort of corruption that elected governments have no ability nor inclination to combat. Gen. Pruayth is using this absolute power to gain public approval by tackling these intractable problems.]

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12 Years Ago: Amnesty denounces ‘murder spree’ in Thai drug war
วันนี้เมื่อ 12 ปีที่แล้ว : การอภัยโทษประณามการฆาตกรรมอย่างเมามันในสงครามยาเสพติดไทย

Amnesty denounces ‘murder spree’ in Thai war on drugs

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Remembering the Thaksin Years: Cut and reborn… ceaselessly…!

From Thairath, November 5, 2003
Cartoon title: Cut and reborn… ceaselessly…!
On the knife in Thaksin Shinawatra’s hand: Corruption suppression
In hands of officer: Demanding money to dismiss cases
On papers in cut-off hands on the floor: Refraining from performing duties; Harassing people; Breaking the laws themselves; Bribes; Resuming roles of influential persons

[The legacy of Thaksin’s time in power would seem to contradict this image of him as a graft buster or police reformer. However, this cartoon shows both the image that was presented to the public and the way Thaksin supporters in the countryside view Thaksin’s willingness to upset the existing order.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Thairath - Sia, Thai Police, The Thaksin Years | 1 Comment

Who drafts the best constitution in the world?


From Komchadluek, October 20, 2015
Meechai: Magic mirror, please tell me… Who drafts the best constitution in the world?
Mirror with the face of PM Prayuth: Ome… [an interjection here indicating something like “me”]

[This refers to a draft constitution that will be drafted by Meechai Ruchupan, head of the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC). The new draft is expected to ultimately reflect the desires of PM Prayuth and the military.]

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Red Shirts eat each other


From Naewna, October 26, 2105
Jatuporn (left): Whoever called for wearing red on November 1 is a fake Red Shirt. I’m the leader so I must be the one who orders.
Worachai (right): I don’t care. If you want to stop it, you must use Article 44.
On the circle: Fake Red Shirt
Caption: Don’t fight each other… Not so long, you will die the whole gang.

[Refers to a conflict between Red Shirt groups. Worachai, one of the Red Shirt members, called for wearing red to show their support for former PM Yingluck in the wake of the government’s plan to force her to pay compensation over the losses from the rice pledging scheme.
However, other Red Shirt leader quickly disavowed the plan and warned members not to participate in the event. This appears more in keeping with Thaksin’s orders that the movement should “play dead” and wait for future elections to return the Pheu Thai Party to power again.]

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Stuck in mud


From Manager, October 20, 2015
Sign: Syria war
Barack Obama: Russia has made me get stuck in this heavy thick mud… Can you rescue me so that I can go mess around in Asia?
Caption: Will Thailand help this foreigner?
[This refers to the recent news when a Thai man helped a foreigner who became stuck in mud in Krabi. The cartoonist lampoons the U.S.’s frequent interventions in the activities of other nations–including its admonitions for Thailand to hold new elections.]

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Even you don’t believe it, you need to respect it…


From Thairath, October 20, 2015
Title: Mysterious thing… Even you don’t believe it, you need to respect it…
On the men: NACC [National Anti Corruption Commission]
[On the box is an oversized GT 200, the discredited bomb detector used by Thai authorities. It is on a stand normally reserved by a Buddhist image and the people are revering it as if it was a Buddhist image. The man in the center is Wicha Mahakhun, a member of the NACC.]
Left of GT 200: UK court ordered the owner of the company to be jailed.
Right of the GT 200: A producer and seller of GT 200
Phi Nooring: It’s a holy thing to be respected.
Mouse: Only good at bullying Poo [Yingluck].

[The cartoon illustrates the unjust role of the National Anti Corruption Commission (NACC) in dealing with former PM Yingluck’s corruption cases. It contends that they are unable to take fair action against the military for buying patently fake GT 200 bomb detectors.
The upside-down man represents the Thai military (and does it refer to a traditional representation of a ghost?). This implies that the GT200 was bought by the military and now the country is governed by a military junta. So, this case of corruption and malfeasance cannot be touched by the anti-corruption commission. The members of the NACC must revere the fake bomb detectors because the military controls everything in the country.
Revering the bomb detectors was also referenced in Lokwanee.]

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Remembering the Thaksin years: Sanan to the rescue

From Thairath, November 2, 2003
Title: Wait… arc welder… can fix it.

[Here former Democrat Party secretary general Sanan Kachornprasart plays a role to reconcile between the opposition, led by Democrat Party, and the government. The three men from Democrat Party in the background are (left to right) Suthep Thaugsuban, Chuan Leekpai and Banyat Bantadtan.
Sanan was long a behind-the-scenes puppet master of Thai politics, bring together coaltions and then ordering them to fall apart. Thaksin, however, slowly replaced Sanan and other puppet masters as he slowly gained completed control over the Thai political world.]

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The nature of cockroaches… always busy


From Manager, October 19, 2015
Left: Look at it… I think it will take quite a time before an election… shall we do something while waiting for the new election?
Right: You cheated on CCTV!
You also cheated on the budget!
You did!
You did… !
Caption: The nature of cockroaches… always busy.

[This refers to the Democrat Party, which the Red Shirts labeled “cockroaches” for their longevity and loathsomeness.
Eventually even Red Shirt enemies, such as the ASTV/Manager Group (the force behind the Yellow Shirts who hounded Thaksin from office), also grew to hate the Democrats and call them “cockroaches.”
Here, the cartoonist shows how the Democrats, always ready to capitalize on a shakeup in the political landscape, are waiting for future elections. As they wait they bicker over the many corruption scandals that have plagued their party.]

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2 Years Ago: The astonishing scope of Thaksin’s amnesty

If there were any doubts about Thaksin’s intentions after the release of an audio clip where he boasted he trusted the army chief (the purposely leaked audio clip here and here), they were put to rest by the early morning passage (4:25am) of the Pheu Thai’s amnesty bill.

2013: Thaksin foes converge on city
…She distanced the government from the amnesty and said the government’s job was to encourage dialogue and prevent any violence.Ms Yingluck said the bill’s passage would be decided by the legislative branch and there was nothing the government nor the protesters could do about it…

Especially shocking was the extension of the time period for amnesty back to 2004 when Thaksin was prime minister. Other amnesty plans specified 2006 as the start of amnesty to cover the post-2006 coup period and the dissolution of political parties.

This new amnesty would cover Thaksin’s actions when he was prime minister including the Tak Bai incident, the Krue Se massacre, and the extra judicial purge of drug suspects.

The amnesty finally brought the Pheu Thai’s untenable populist initiatives, such as the rice pledging scheme, into focus. Its populist programs seemed only designed to funnel money to supporters to ensure government stability until such time as some sort of amnesty was obtained for Thaksin.

More: Thaksin amnesty and the beginning of the end of the Yingluck government

More: Battle lines drawn over Thaksin amnesty

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Six Years Ago: Prem, Prem, Prem

Prem, Prem, Prem

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This is true today!

prediction 10 years ago by Khun Chuan

From a clipping circulated on social media, supposedly from Thairath from 10 years ago. This is a daily column that shows contrasting quotations.
Title: Punching fist
Left: Thaksin said “I’d like to ask all parties to stop playing politics. We need to help push the country forward or [underlined part] there will be no place for politicians to play.”
Right: Chuan said “It’s ok to have no place for playing politics. However, for those using the wrong power and [underlined part] thinking that the country is their own, they must be careful or they will not have a country to live in.”
Caption: A newspaper from 10 years ago is truth today.

[This refers to quotes from 10 years ago that have become true today.
Ten years after these quotes were made Thaksin lives in exile after his overreach in consolidating political power. Meanwhile, political parties play no role in the country under the junta-led government.]

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Weekly News Magazines, October 23-30, 2015

Lokwannee23 oct

From Lokwannee, October 23, 2015
Main cover reads: Do you really hate corruption?

[Refers to the case of fake explosive detector GT200 purchased by the military. The cover implies that the junta declares it will stop corruption, but the military itself is corrupt due to their purchase of the fake bomb detectors. The garland around it signifies that it is sacred and cannot be touched because the military will not tolerate attacks on its image.]

manager_24-30 oct

From Manager Weekly, October 24-30, 2015
Main cover reads: “Yong” unfortunate

[The man is famous fortune teller Suriyan Sujaritpalawong, known as Mhao Yong. This refers to famous fortune teller Suriyan who was arrested on a charge of lèse majesté for allegedly making false claims about the monarchy for personal benefit.]

Top right: “Tod” drama on a beer. When the business is more than friendship

[The man is Piti Bhirombhakdi or Tod, a heir of Singha Beer. Refers to the scandal of celebrities being paid to post photos containing alcoholic beverages on social media for Chang Beer. Piti criticized his friend, famous singer ‘Dome’ Pakorn Lam, for advertising Chang Beer on Social media.]

Bottom: Disclose the record of inappropriateness. Re-investigation of 12 corruption cases. Set the target: cut off politicians’ heads.
Photos, left to right: Yingluck, Abhisit, Thaksin

[Refers to the junta’s policy to deal with corruption and many previous cases linked to politicians that are still pending.]

matichon23_29 oct

From Matichon Weekly, October 23-29, 2015
Main cover reads:  Making a small garland. Paying respect to King Rama V Statue with a tear.

[Refers the anniversary of the death of King Rama V (pictured) on October 23. The poem means that while King Rama V tried to promote democracy during this period, the current government has destroyed it. That is why the writer said that while he is paying respect to King Rama V, he is crying due to what the junta has done to the country’s democracy today.]

nationweekend_23 oct

From Nation Weekend, October 23, 2015
Main cover reads: Making a false claim on the monarchy

[Refers to an arrest of famous fortune teller Suriyan Sujaritpalawong (pictured) and his friends due to a charge of lèse majesté for allegedly making false claims about monarchy for personal benefit.]

Top right: A battlefield Phu Thap Boek. The war has not ended. Opium- bullet-cauliflower-resort

[Refers to new famous tourist place ‘Phu Thap Boek.’ Due to poor management, a traffic nightmare took place on the mountain during the long holidays. The words on the cover refer to the fact that the location was once a battlefield in the drug war, but the war continues today to solve the tourism traffic problems.]

Bottom headline: Tomorn Sookprecha [yellow] Society with a massive [desire to be] good.

[Refers to Tomorn’s column criticizing Thai society.]

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Two years ago: Thaksin amnesty and the beginning of the end of the Yingluck government

Red Shirt Weng: Pheu Thai’s decision to push through the amnesty bill was a mistake – The Nation, October 31, 2014
…Thaksin and Yingluck’s supporters still discount the significance of the controversial bill, saying that Yingluck’s enemies were going to remove her anyway, and that it was just a matter of time before they found an “excuse” to take to the streets and call for a military coup.
At the same time, there are those who believe in a conspiracy story suggesting that Thaksin and Yingluck had been fooled by the so-called “old-elite” clique that allegedly promised to support the bill only to betray them later.
Either way, dozens of what can be deemed as political prisoners are still languishing in prison, while Thaksin and his sister Yingluck still remain forces to be reckoned with and subjects of deep hatred for some…

Revolt after controversial amnesty bill aimed at favouring fugitive ex-premier Thaksin passed by lower House just before dawn – The Nation, October 31, 2014
…The night of October 31 last year saw Thailand’s most effective “whistle blowers” unfurl their banner of revolt after a controversial amnesty bill aimed at favouring fugitive ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra was passed by the lower House just before dawn…

Two years ago: Battle lines drawn over Thaksin amnesty
Two years ago: Yingluck coalition says that no provision in the amnesty bill will benefit Thaksin
Two years ago: Battle lines drawn: Pheu Thai Party formally rejects Constitution Court authority
Two years ago: Thaksin’s Amnesty in the Wall Street Journal
Three years ago: Yingluck Backs Party Efforts That May Absolve Thaksin
Three years ago: Amnesty for Thaksin Crumbles After Protesters Surround Parliament
Three years ago: Thai Democracy Tested as Judges Battle Thaksin
Three years ago: The problem of Thaksin’s return may finally be resolved

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Yingluck asks for justice


Above: From Thairath, by Sia, October 16, 2015
Cartoon title: Forcing… waiting to kill.
Yingluck holds a sign that reads: Asking for justice.
On the snake: Destroying politics. Two standards of justice. Rice pledge scheme corruption – Sue for damages.
Mouse man: There is no kindness.
Mouse: [It is the] resentment of losers.

[This refers to the penalties the junta is trying to assess against former PM Yingluck for the massive losses the nation incurred from the Pheu Thai’s rice pledging scheme.
The junta is trying to prove its mettle by using an extra-judicial order to simply seize Yingluck’s assets. This is, in effect, a confiscation of her assets not unlike the actions of the junta after the 1991 coup. Like lese majeste charges, this is being used to punish those who might act on behalf of Thaksin’s interests.
The predicament Yingluck faces is indeed ironic. She served as prime minister in name only and was not allowed to attend cabinet meetings when controversial decisions were made.
The cartoon also references Thai concepts about justice and fairness by contending that Yingluck is being judged by harsher standards than others. Those who face unfairness like this are understood to be justified to call for violent acting out to demonstrate their anger.
The mouse man is artist Sia’s caricature of Red Shirt activist Sombat Boongamanong, whose nickname is Nuling (or “mouse”). He always appears at the edge of Sia’s cartoons, often calling for human rights and reform.]

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Thaksin says reconciliation must stem from justice, predicts red will be this year’s color


Above: From Thaksin’s Instagram: Thaksin buys extra red shirts so he will be in fashion

Thaksin says reconciliation must stem from justice – The Nation, October 29, 2015
…He posted the message at 11:55 pm Bangkok time on his “thaksinlive” Instagram wall.
He added that fashion trend this year has red as the main colour.
He said he feared to be out of the trend so he has bought red shirts from Franconnable and Billionaire…

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Thai Girl, 1890


Words on the photo: Thai girl, the year 1890, Chor Tor [what does this last part refer to?]

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Yingluck’s letter


From Manager, October 15, 2015
From the city at left: Ha ha ha…. a stupid letter…how could she write this….really stupid. She was probably fooled by her lawyer.
Yingluck: You can laugh as much as you want… I did not write if for you!
Caption: A letter of Poo… communicate with who!
[This refers to the letter former PM Yingluck wrote to PM Prayuth asking for justice for her as she faces the confiscation of her assets as punishment for the losses the country incurred for the Pheu Thai rice pledging program.
The cartoonist contends Yingluck only cares for her own funds as the countryside has been left with massive debts incurred by foolish loans taken out to plant for rice to take advantage of the Pheu Thai’s rice payments.]

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2 Years Ago: Battle lines drawn over Thaksin amnesty

Battle lines drawn over Thaksin amnesty

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Ghost of the Constitution


From Arun, October 15, 2015
Mae Nak’s son, Version 20 [of the constitution] in 2558 [2015]

[It compares the new constitution drafting with the famous ghost story ‘Mae Nak.’ This story has been reproduced several times as movies and TV dramas. Similarly, the draft constitution has been rewritten by several groups.
This cartoon shows one scene where Mae Nak, the female ghost, holds her baby while waiting for her husband to return. Here, Mae Nak’s face is that of Meechai Ruchupan, the head of the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC). The child’s head is the top part of Democracy Monument, a tray that the charter is placed upon. This is used to represent the Thai constitution. The cartoon implies the this charter drafting is yet another version of an old ghost story.]

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CP Group requires sacrifice from the country


From Manager, October 12, 2015
In the bubble in the middle: We’re glad to be part of supporting the Asia’s 4th richest person from Thailand.
Top left: They sacrifice their customers.
Top right: They sacrifice their freedom to do small farming.
Bottom left: They sacrifice their salary.
Bottom right: They sacrifice their family businesses.
On the sign: Local grocery
On paper on the door: Permanently closed
Caption: Those people… sacrifice their lives for him.

[Refers to the dominance of CP, an agribusiness conglomerate owned by the one of Asia’s richest persons, Dhanin Chearavanont. In recent years a grassroots campaign has grown criticizing CP Group for the harm their business has caused to small farmers and shop owners.]

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2 years ago: Editorial cartoon: No one can stop Yingluck!

Editorial cartoon: No one can stop Yingluck as she develops the country!

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Can Thailand Regain Its Economic ‘Mojo’?


Above: Wharton uses an image from Bagan, Myanmar for an article on Thailand.

Can Thailand Regain Its Economic ‘Mojo’? – Wharton, October 26, 2015
…Thailand has not seen “policies focused on the supply side — on enhancing our productivity, on longer-term issues of competitiveness, on developing new sectors along the lines that was done back in the 1980s….”

Thailand and the TPP: Exports at Risk –, October 26, 2015
…Thailand’s top five exports to the world – amounting to a 50% of its total sales – included Electronic Equipment, Machinery, Vehicles, Rubber, and Plastics. With a consumer base that is still in the process of developing, any realized trade diversion is unlikely to find natural mitigation in supplementary domestic consumption. Instead, exporters are expected to be forced to find international alternatives…

Posted in Economy | 2 Comments