Thaksin says Privy Council ordered Suthep to protest & the military to stage a coup

Above: From Daily News, February 12, 2012

Thaksin raps coup ‘masterminds’ – Bangkok Post, May 22, 2015
…Thaksin said in the interview that he and his younger sister Yingluck ended up being treated the same way. “I’ve told prime minister Poo that what happened to her is exactly the same as what happened to me,” he said.
Poo is Ms Yingluck’s nickname.
“The armed forces might admire Myanmar-style democracy. But it’s over in Myanmar,” he said in the interview, which was conducted in Thai…

[Privy Councilor Prem Tinsulanonda has long been held up to Thaksin’s supporters as the ultimate villain in his repeated downfalls. The Red Shirt calls to overthrow and slay “aristocrats” are meant to show they are unafraid of facing down the Privy Council and all it represents. As recently as 2013, the idea was floated that the Privy Council should be reorganized as part of Pheu Thai moves to strip power from organizations that could impede the activities of an elected government.

When prime minster in the 1980s, Prem faced down two unsuccessful coups from the so-called “Young Turks”–ambitious officers that not only were trying to overthrow the government, but top army officers as well.

Many key figures in modern politics were players during that time–Chavalit Yongjiyut (who put down the Young Turks coup in Bangkok), Manoonkrit Roopkachorn (elected to the senate after being disqualified for buying votes, he allowed the investigation against Constitution Court judges who inexplicably ruled for Thaksin in his asset concealment case), and Ekkayuth Anchanbutr (financier of the Young Turks clique and financial scammer who became an arch-Thaksin critic and later died under uncertain circumstances).

As former prime minister, Prem maintained enormous power after leaving office and is credited with ending both the Communist and separatist Muslim insurgencies in the Thai Deep South.

Thaksin’s statements targeting the Privy Council and criticizing the junta, made as he strategically emerges in Seoul as Yingluck appears in court, indicate he is not giving up the struggle for political power.]

Prem and the Privy Council rarely figure in international media accounts of Thai politician turmoil, but he is a staple of the Thai media:

2005: Privy Council president rebukes Thaksin
2007: Thaksin’s First Target: UDD Surprise Raid on Privy Council President’s House
2007: Banners Encouraging Prem
2009: Red Shirt Publications: It’s all about Prem!
2012: Thaksin: Thai King’s Advisers Key to Lese-Majeste Reform
2012: Yingluck attempts detente with Privy Council President Prem
2012: Red Shirt Publications: Prem Named as Coup Leader
2012: Thai editorial cartoon: How to Explain the Prem Meeting to the Red Shirts
2012: Thai editorial cartoon: Thaksin Confuses His Buffaloes
2012: Thai editorial cartoon: Prem Attacks the Government
2014: Thai editorial cartoon: Who is stronger? Prem or Prawit?

Posted in 2014 Coup, Analysis | 2 Comments

No barking… no fighting… or even threatening…


From Manager, April 28, 2015
Lizard: See what a human does!! Once they enter the parliament, they absolutely destroy our standard… See, no barking… no fighting… or even threatening… because they do like this, our image in parliament is damaged.
Caption: If former owners see this… they may be upset.

[The cartoon compares old politicians to animals who create a bad image for parliament through their actions. Represented are the Democrat Party (the cockroach), known for their attempts in 2013 to physically prevent the Pheu Thai from passing constitutional amendments without debate.
Also represented are the traditional “dangerous animals” used to indicate power people who are dangerous to be around.
Beyond this, for decades now the Thai parliament has been the venue for crass provincial men to threaten each other while using foul language. Chalerm Yoobangrung, in particular, is famous for his profane (and some allege, drunken) harangues that make televised sessions of parliament unfit viewing for children.
The cartoonist contrasts this with the civil and serene “debates” of the junta’s puppet parliament that has produced reforms that threaten the prerogatives of Thai politicians.]

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Stop Meddling, President Obama

From Manager, May 7, 2015
President Obama: What should we do… Thailand doesn’t want to become a democracy?
[The cartoon shows a Thai viewpoint towards U.S. statements calling for quick elections. It shows that, while President Obama is supposedly trying to intervene in the internal affairs of Thailand, the U.S. is the scene of riots protesting injustice there.]

Posted in Anti-Americanism, Editorial Cartoons - Manager | Leave a comment

Several ways for the Thai police to earn their living


From Manager, April 27, 2015
Title: Several ways for the Thai police to earn their living
Top left: Set up the check-points to collect money [Thai police set up check-points to extort money from people who are violate rules, such as driving when drinking. Most people prefer to pay money to the police as a bribe to end the cases or avoid being ticketed.]
Top right: Guard the massage clubs… guard the gambling den.
On posters in the left and middle: Bathing sauna massage
On a sign in the right: Mr. Kor gambling den.
[Police are often assigned to protect illegal businesses, such as massages parlors or gambling dens.]
Bottom left: Receive money for helping a position promotion.
[Shows someone paying the police for helping them to be promoted since the police have connections with many groups.]
Bottom right: Eating the temple’s chicken.
In a red box: New!
[Refers to Thai idiom “an abbot eats the temple’s chicken” meaning as “the boss has the affair with his female staff.” The cartoon refers to the recently case related to the National Police Chief Somyot Pumpanmuang. He recently denied the rumors that he had an affair with a female subordinate who was murdered by her husband.]

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Thai Weekly News Magazines, May 16-22, 2015


From Manager Weekly 16-22 May 2015
Main cover reads: We will keep our promise. Give us 2 years.
[Refers to latest news concerning one of the National Reform Committee’s members proposed his idea on supporting PM Prayuth to maintaining power for two more years.]


From Matichon Weekly, 15-21 May 2015
Main cover reads:  [Red letters] Sharing the merits to you. Please take a rest.
[Yellow letters] ‘Reform’ as ‘flowing waters.’ Paphakaro ‘referendum for what’
[After being overthrown by the military, PM Yingluck enjoys going to temples to make merit. Anti-Yingluck leader Suthep has become a monk under the monk’s name–Paphakaro, but is still involved with politics and has commented on political issues.]


From Nation Weekend, 15 May 2015
Main cover reads:  One year of cruelty
Red letters (another story inside the magazine): Explore the Andaman sea. Investigate the Rohingya trafficking.  Politicians and the government officers involved.
[The main headline refers to the one year anniversary of the coup d’etat on 22 May. After overthrowing Yingluck’s government, Gen. Prayuth, the leader of the National Council for Peace and Order, has become PM. PM Prayuth, who seems very aggressive, has attempted to reform the country amid the calls from anti-military groups and Western countries to immediately conduct elections.]

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Background of the paragliding assassin captured in Thailand

Beant assassin planned paraglider intrusion from Pak: Report – TNN, May 22, 2015
Top pro-Khalistani terrorist and former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh’s assassin Jagtar Singh Tara planned to use a paraglider to dump heavy ammunition on the banks of the Ravi, near Gurdaspur. The flight was to take off from Narowal, a city in Punjab province of Pakistan, in February this year.
These disclosures have been made part of the report by Punjab Police on Tara’s investigations. The terrorist was nabbed by sleuths of the Royal Thai Police and Punjab cops in January this year from Thailand and later extradited to India…

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PM says those who feel govt should do more to help boatpeople should migrate to the sea themselves

Swap places with boat migrants, Thai PM tells critics –, May 21, 2015
…”Anyone who supports this idea (of accepting boatpeople), please contribute one baht a day or take them to your home when their case has been processed,” the former army chief, who took over in a coup a year ago, told lawmakers during a speech on the budget. “Or you migrate out to the sea and bring them to live here instead,” he added…

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“Bigger Angkor Wat” replica in India project revived


[This is same “bigger Angkor Wat” copy that was first proposed in 2012, but now with a different name.]

2012: Angkor Wat temple replica to rise on banks of the Ganges
2012: Indian copy of Angkor Wat to be bigger than the real thing
2012: India: Replica of Angkor Wat Temple will not be constructed

But now it is back:

India is building the world’s biggest temple—even bigger than Angkor Wat –, May 21, 2015
…Expected to be complete by 2023, Angkor’s new-age rival will be owned by a private trust—the Mahavir Mandir Trust—that plans to spend Rs500 crore ($78 million) to build the temple in the East Champaran district of Bihar. The eastern state is one of the poorest in India: In 2014, per capita income in Bihar stood at Rs31,229($490), compared to the national average of Rs74,380($1,167).
…The project was first proposed in 2012 by the Mahavir Mandir Trust—which also runs four hospitals in Bihar—as the Virat Angkor Wat Ram Mandir but later changed names after objection from Cambodia…


Above and below: Site plans of the temple:


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One Year Ago: Another Coup in Thailand

June 3, 2014: Shinawatras caught in the country
Nothing said more about how unexpected the coup was than the Shinawatra family members being trapped in the country. Before other contentious political events, like the 2009 and 2010 Red Shirt marches on Bangkok, Shinawatra family members were all safely in foreign capitals. The location of the Shinawatras is closely watched as their absence from the country often foreshadows political conflict.

Also: The 2006 Coup
Also: The 1991 Coup

May 24, 2014: Coup headlines from Thai-language newspapers

May 22-26, 2014: Coup news

May 21, 2014: Another coup in Thailand

Above: One of several foreign media gaffes that occurred when reporting on the Thai coup

May 21, 2014: Martial Law: What’s really going on in Thailand

May 26, 2014: TV blocking and branding during the coup

From Komchadluek, May 13, 2014
“The ripe mango… dropped”
[The man is Thaksin Shinawatra. Reference is to Dr. Thirayuth Boonmee’s quote on the Thai political situation. He compared the Thaksin regime to a mango on a tree. The anti-Thaksin demonstrators just waited for the mango to ripen and fall, meaning the regime was at its lowest point for many reasons and was about to fail.]

May 27, 2014: The Evolving Banner of the Junta

May 27-28, 2014: Coup news

May 29-31, 2014: Coup news

Above: The background of the coup – June 6, 2014: Thaksin’s Fear of the Eastern Tigers

June 6, 2014: All about Sombat Boonngamanong, a rebel Red Shirt

Above: Social media graphic circulated in the months after the coup

June 6, 2014: Is the United States the puppet master?

June 10, 2014: The Thai Airways CEO who was fired after leading a financial turnaround

June 25, 2014: Arun’s “Grand Cycle”

July 20, 2015: Washington Post predicts the majority will reject the junta and unrest will rise

2013: Reuters: General Prawit Wongsuwan & former army chief General Anupong Paochinda behind Thailand protests

Also: The 2006 Coup
Also: The 1991 Coup

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3 Years Ago: Fierce debate between Red Shirt academics & Red Shirt politicians who work for the Pheu Thai

3 Years Ago: Fierce debate between Red Shirt academics & Red Shirt politicians who work for the Pheu Thai

Should an article on such an important issue to Thailand’s history and current affairs be hidden behind a paywall?

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Unprecedented: Gem scam suspects arrested

Unprecedented: Tuk-tuk, gems swindling suspects arrested – Bangkok Post, May 21, 2015
…The gang was accused of targeting tourists wanting to visit popular tourist attractions in Bangkok such as Wat Pho and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, or Wat Phra Kaew. They used misinformation about the historic places opening hours and used persuasive tactics to get the tourists to go shopping at places that offered them commission fees, said Pol Gen Somyot.
The distorted information about the operating hours of tourist venues caused a misunderstanding among tourists and the action of the swindlers tarnished the image of tourism…

[The gem scam is one of the most enduring Thai traditions from the twentieth century. Studiously protected by the Thai police, tuk-tuk drivers spoiled many a holiday by lying to tourists approaching the Grand Palace entrance, telling them it was closed for the day and inviting them on a ride that ended at a gem scam shop. On any given day one could drive past the Grand Palace and see tourists being stopped by tuk-tuk drivers and driven away, just yards from security guards and police.
With police refusing to assist tourists in getting their money back, friendly government agencies like the Department of Internal Trade stepped in and obtained partial refunds for many who were scammed.
In recent years, as information on the internet led to better informed tourists, scammers switched to targeting Chinese and others Asian tourists instead of Europeans.
This scam, like many scams in Thailand, is essentially a local police operation. It is only the involvement of the military and their appointees at the top of police ranks that could have led to arrests of these foot soldiers of the Thai gem scam.
More on the Thai Gem Scam]

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5 Years Ago: Burning Bangkok

Burning Bangkok

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After Yingluck court appearance & election delay, foreign media unloads on junta

Thailand’s Shame – Time, May 21, 2015
By throttling democracy, the military hurts not just the nation but all of Southeast Asia…

Opinion: Thai citizens must challenge dictatorship – DW, May 20, 2015
… A dictatorship, once established, has only one goal: to maintain and consolidate power for the ruling class. Thailand is no exception. The Thai military keeps saying that it will give back the power to the people, but there are doubts about their claims.
…So far, the resistance against the military regime has been restrained. Yingluck’s supporters have been tamed and are not protesting. A forceful resistance will only materialize if the Thai people realize that the military cannot resolve the conflict…

Happiness Eludes Divided Thailand as Farmers Struggle –, May 21, 2015
…“We’re waiting for the election next year,” said Sakhon, 66, a retired agriculture ministry official. Like many people in the region, he still supports the political movement known as the Red Shirts, who backed Thaksin and his sister. “If nothing happens we are ready to fight to have an election. We have more Red Shirts than the military has soldiers…”

Thailand’s Prime Minister: I’m not meddling with election timetable – CNN, May 21, 2015
…The government pushed back the election date again this week, from early 2016 to August-September 2016 “at the earliest” because a referendum would first need to be held on a new constitution…

Why We Don’t Have Any Thailand Holdings –, May 20, 2015
…Most military interventions occur after a weak democratic government has made a real mess of the economy. But that’s not Thailand’s situation. The ousted government of Yingluck Shinawatra, successor to several governments dominated by her exiled tycoon brother Thaksin Shinawatra, was pretty economically capable.
It had a policy of spreading development beyond the capital Bangkok to rural areas in the north and east, which has been quite successful – growth has averaged about 3% since 2007, in spite of unrest, and is expected to average 3.8% in 2015-16, according to the IMF. Since Thailand suffered a massive debt collapse in 1997-98 because of the overdevelopment of Bangkok real estate, the Shinawatra policy has made sense…

Thailand’s economy tests the junta’s steering skills –, May 21, 2015
It is a harrowing time to be in Thailand’s farming business. Just ask Taweewong Ieamsri, 74, a farm equipment wholesaler in a Bangkok suburb.
His income dropped more than 20% on the year in 2014, and the worst may be yet to come. So far this year, sales are down 10% compared with the same period last year…

One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule – VOA, May 21, 2015
…“There has been a political awakening in the North and Northeast. They want in, but the elites do not include them,” former national security advisor Sean Boonpracong told VOA. “I see trouble down the road”
…”The downfall of the dictatorship is not a matter of doubt but a matter of time,” declared Pravit Rojanaphruk on his Twitter account on Wednesday. The columnist for the English-language daily newspaper The Nation was summoned by the military shortly after last year’s coup and is one of the few Thai media figures still expressing such overt opposition to military rule…

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2 Years Ago: Lawyer who held Thaksin funds on trail for defrauding the former PM

Lawyer who held Thaksin funds on trail for defrauding the former PM
…Prosecutors charged K.K. of convincing the former Thai premier to open an account in his name and transfer the money to avoid it being seized by European authorities due to the political tensions that Shinawatra faced in Thailand…

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Is it a mistake for the military to tackle land encroachment?

4 million rai of illegal rubber farms to be wiped out – Bangkok Post, May 20, 2015

[Interestingly, in the Thai-language press, this is being interpreted as a grave error by the military. It is thought that tackling encroachment will mainly impact the pro-Thaksin poor in the Northeast who are already being told that this is proof that the “aristocrats” in Bangkok do not have their best interests at heart.
Many Bangkok elite do want the military to use its absolute power to tackle law and order issues like this that would never be addressed by a democratically elected government or the criminally compromised police.]

…The forest areas were taken over by investors, their proxies and local villagers. But the target priority would be investors and landlords not having land ownership documents.
Gen Dapong said he had instructed authorities to talk to the villagers found to have encroached on protected lands and find a solution to their problems.
“We cannot merely use the law against the poor. We must help find a way out for them,” he noted.
The minister said a survey found four million rai of forested areas nationwide had been encroached upon and turned into rubber plantations illegally. More than 400,000 rai was in the Northeast…

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5 Years Ago: When the Red Shirts Accepted an Offer of New Elections & Announced an End to their Rally

When the Red Shirts Accepted an Offer of New Elections and Announced an End to their Rally

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3 Years Ago: Red Shirt deaths: Should we forgive and forget?

Thaksin: Let’s put unity before justice

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5 Years Ago: Who killed the Red Shirts?


Who Killed the Red Shirts?

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10 Years Ago: The context of Black May and what it led to in Thailand

Bloody Events Have Mixed Legacy
…The genesis of May 1992, lest we forget, was the blatant and unmanageable corruption of the elected government of Gen Chatichai Choonhavan. Its manner of corruption led to the damning description “buffet cabinet”.
…Mr Thaksin has apparently learned from Gen Chatichai. Appearances of corruption have been actively managed for public consumption, and conflicts of interest involving the personal business interests of those elected to power may have replaced the crude corruption involving the budget. Corruption, in short, has become nuanced and sophisticated…

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Thailand’s “wildly divisive billionaire” former premier Thaksin stresses rule of law

Ex-Thai PM stresses rule of law – The Nation, May 19, 2015
…Telecoms tycoon-turned-premier Thaksin sits at the heart of a decade-long political rupture in Thailand and has lived in self-imposed exile since 2008 to avoid jail on a graft charge he says was politically motivated.
He was also toppled in a coup, in 2006, yet Shinawatra family members or affiliates have still won every Thai election since.
“The key to good governance and democracy is you have to strike a balance” between the judicial, legislative and executive branches, he said at the Asian Leadership Conference in Seoul…

Ousted Thai PM Thaksin says no plans to mobilize supporters – Reuters, May 19, 2015
…Thaksin, who was in the South Korean capital to speak at a conference, told Reuters there was no plan for his son, Oak, to take over leadership of the Puea Thai Party.
He called on the Thai people not to resort to violence.
“No, we want to see the government be a success, but it’s difficult, as you can imagine,” Thaksin said on the sidelines of the conference, when asked if there were any plans to mobilize his “Red Shirt” supporters…

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23 Years Ago: Black May 1992

Above: Censorship explanation from the Bangkok Post, May 18, 1992 – The Nation and other Thai newspapers ignored the government censorship and printed as usual.

Newspaper Accounts

Front page – Huge protest in City Bangkok Post, April 21, 1992

Front page – ‘Drastic’ action to quell riot Bangkok Post, May 18, 1992

Censorship issue, p.2-3Bangkok Post, May 18, 1992

Enough: End this terrible tragedyBangkok Post, May 19, 1992

Young doctor tells of battles to save lifeBangkok Post, May 19, 1992

Front page – Bloody battles rage in CityBangkok Post, May 19, 1992

Disastrous End – Burning – Chaos in the cityThai Rath, May 20, 1992

Where peace took its last turnThe Nation, May 20, 1992

City braces for more riotsThe Nation, May 20, 1992

No elegance on blood-soaked, battle-scared Rajadamnoern RoadThe Nation, May 20, 1992

Chronology of eventsThe Nation, May 20, 1992

Shootings were in self-defence, says spokesmanThe Nation, May 20, 1992

Cartoon: Joys were goneThai Rath, May 20, 1992

Eyewitness Accounts

Part IBackground & A night on the bridge

Part IICrossing the lines

Part IIIA hot afternoon

Part IVThe shooting starts

Part VIan Neumegen, a foreigner killed in the disturbances

Part VI – Soldiers advance through Banglampoo

Part VIIAftermath

Comments on the Black May 1992 story

Tomas’ Black May Story

AP photos from Black May

From 2005: Thaksin’s Revolution – Coming full circle from Black May

From 2005: The context of Black May and what it led to in Thailand

Posted in Black May 1992, Old newspapers | 1 Comment

5 Years Ago: Red Protests – May 19


Red Shirt radio is calling for buildings to be burned nationwide–especially banks. They further say there is no longer any leaders at present and people have to act on their own.

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10 Years Ago: Thaksin’s Revolution – Coming full circle from Black May

Thaksin’s World – Coming full circle from Black May
Nothing is as damning as our political system’s pathetic response to the Suvarnabhumi Airport bribery scandal. The government is blaming the media for “ruining” the country’s reputation…

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5 Years Ago: Red Shirt Protest May 16-18


Red Shirt Protest May 16-18

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23 Years Ago: Black May

Continue reading

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13 Years Ago: Politics in the Age of Thaksin

Politics in the Age of Thaksin
…Now, with crackdowns on foreign and domestic journalists, Prime Minister Thaksin’s government seems to be retreating into Thailand’s history of authoritarian rule.
Thaksin’s electoral victory in January last year was something new here. For the first time, a Thai political leader asked the mass of the people to vote for him because he promised to do something for them. He understood (where his rivals did not) that major changes had occurred over the previous decade and that the Thai people were no longer afraid to demand change…

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10 Years Ago: Big Brother Shocks Thailand, ‘not Thai enough’

Big Brother Shocks Thailand, ‘not Thai enough’
…”I don’t understand why they dared to express their love openly before the cameras, or if they were told by the producer to do such a thing in order to get the top TV audience rating,” Lt Kuthep said…

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23 Years Ago: Black May – Censorship issue of the Bangkok Post


Black May – Censorship issue of the Bangkok Post

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23 Years Ago: Black May – ‘Drastic’ action to quell riot


Black May – ‘Drastic’ action to quell riot

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5 Years Ago: Sunday afternoon on Silom Road

(Photo: I Prahin)

Above: Note the plume of smoke from a rocket the Reds were shooting at a helicopter

Above: Note the plume of smoke from a rocket the Reds were shooting at a helicopter

Sunday afternoon on Silom Road

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