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

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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.]

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

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.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Thairath - Sia | Leave a comment

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.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Thairath - Chai | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Thairath - Sia | Leave a comment

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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BBC: Anti-Yingluck forces “setting Thailand’s democratic progress back decades”

Thailand: Protesters rally in Bangkok to support PM – BBC, April 5, 2014

Thailand crisis: ‘Red shirts’ warn of civil war threat – BBC, April 5, 2014
[Besides the interesting fact that "Ms Yingluck's party has won the last five elections," the article also mentions the Red Shirts openly supporting Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn at their rally.]

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Google adds Cambodia’s Angkor temples to Street View

Google adds Cambodia’s Angkor temples to Street View – AP , April 3, 2014
…Street View now includes more than 90,000 photographic panoramas of the sprawling temple complex, and links to Google’s online World Wonders Project, allowing viewers to zoom in to study carvings and other artistic and archaeological details…

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Policies of Suu Kyi’s party remain a mystery

Whither Myanmar? – eurasiareview.com, April 2, 2014
[Thanks to Tom for pointing this out.]
…The policies of the NLD remain something of a mystery. Their senior organization is opaque. The management of the party is autocratic. They do not even have a website, neither in Burmese nor in English. The influential 88 Student Generation group remains generally apart from the NLD, though they are working together on constitutional reform. Rival 88 Student candidates at the 2015 elections could prove seriously divisive.
…The general elections in late 2015…will be keenly contested. The USDP [ruling military-backed party] will not allow the NLD to walk all over them as they did in April 2012. The USDP could resort to populist policies, which Thaksin Shinawatra found so electorally rewarding in Thailand. Clandestine vote-buying, which still plagues even Indonesia, could make its debut in Myanmar. Brash electoral promises could be made, with which the NLD may find it hard to compete. In these conditions of marginally “free and fair” elections, the NLD would be lucky to secure a simple majority of elected seats in any assembly…

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The Leather on Those Golf Gloves Might Come From a Stolen Pet in Thailand

The Leather on Those Golf Gloves Might Come From a Stolen Pet in Thailand – businessweek.com, April 2, 2014
…Factories use leather from dog skin for use in everything from drums to guitars, says John Dalley, co-founder and vice-president of the Soi Dog Foundation, a nongovernmental organization in Thailand devoted to canine welfare. Manufacturers of golf gloves also prize dog leather, Dalley adds, especially from the skin of the testicles of male dogs “because that skin is particularly soft…”

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UK police investigate wealthy married man for alleged bigamy over claims he has ‘second family living in Thailand’

UK police investigate wealthy married man for alleged bigamy over claims he has ‘second family living in Thailand’ – Daily Mail, April 2, 2014
…The businessman, who shares a £400,000 home in rural Bedfordshire with Fiona Leonard, 49, told The Sun he was not married in Thailand and said it was a case of ‘a businessman with a girlfriend and baby, pure and simple…’

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Drone Footage Shows Beautiful Cambodian Landscape

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Drone Footage Shows Beautiful Cambodian Landscape – globalvoicesonline.org, March 8, 2014

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UAE citizens advised not to travel to Thailand due to the tense political situation there

UAE citizens advised not to travel to Thailand – arabianbusiness.com, April 2, 2014
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has again advised UAE citizens not to travel to Thailand unless they really have to, due to the tense political situation there…

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Myanmar to list ‘Rohingya’ muslims as ‘Bengalis’ during census

Myanmar to list ‘Rohingya’ muslims as ‘Bengalis’ during census – AFP, March 29, 2014
…Buddhist nationalists have reacted with fury to the fact that the questionnaire includes a section for people to self-identify their ethnicity, theoretically allowing the Rohingya to be registered as such and raising fears it could lead to political rights for the group.
“If a household wants to identify themselves as ‘Rohingya’, we will not register it,” government spokesman Ye Htut told reporters in Yangon…

Posted in Myanmar | 1 Comment

Kardashians in Phuket, catch glimpse of Muay Thai fights

Kardashians in Phuket, catch glimpse of Muay Thai fights – The Phuket News, March 31, 2014
…On Saturday (March 29), Olympic gold medal winner Bruce Jenner – Kris Kardashian’s husband and stepfather to Kim, Khloe, Rob, and Kourtney Kardashian – was seen at Patong Boxing Stadium with his son Brodi Jenner and another friend to watch the Suk Singpatong + Sitnumnoi Muay Thai fights…

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Removing the last vestiges of the Shinawatra name from telecommunication giant

Final curtain drawn on ‘Shin’ – Bangkok Post, March 31, 2014
…The former Shin Corporation was founded 30 years ago by Thaksin Shinawatra as the holding company for his business empire. He sold Shin shares in 2006 to Singapore-based Temasek Group in a high-profile transaction that marked the beginning of his political downward spiral.
As of the latest shareholder’s book closing on March 4, 2014, Aspen Holding Co Ltd, a subsidiary of Temasek Holding was the largest shareholder of Intouch with 41.62%, followed by retail investors through Thai NVDR Co Ltd at 20.45%…

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