Oct 26th, 2009

Why the Cambodian opposition parties are so silent…

Why the Cambodian opposition parties are so silent about the Preah Vihear issue? Khmerization, October 26, 2009

The World is not Flat The Irrawaddy, October 26, 2009
…Hun Sen’s remark was not only an insult to Thailand but also to Burma. The Cambodian prime minister should be made fully aware that Thaksin and Suu Kyi have nothing at all in common…

CCHR issues report on September attack by Thai military on Cambodian loggersCambodian Center for Human Rights, October 26, 2009
…Following our independent investigation and assessment of the events of 11 September 2009, the CCHR concludes that it is extremely likely that Yon Rith was burnt alive by Thai military who have committed several breaches of international human rights law and principles as a result…
Link to the pdf: Legal analysis of the events of 11 September 2009 that resulted in the death of Yon Rith and Severe injury to Mao Kleung

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Thailand seeks China loan for ambitious highway

Thailand seeks China loan for ambitious highway Reuters, October 24, 2009
…The proposed road will link the eastern Vietnamese city of Danang city to Myanmar’s sea port of Moulmein, passing through Thailand. It would also link Thailand’s western province of Kanchanaburi to Myanmar’s deep-sea port of Tavoy and provide a route from Yunnan province via Bangkok to Singapore…

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Expect weapons dealer to hold a ‘grudge’

Expect weapons dealer to hold a ‘grudge’WTOP, October, 2009
…The Thai government has refused to prosecute Bout or extradite him to the U.S. Observers say behind the scenes Bout’s status has become the focal point of an intense political battle between the U.S. and Russia.
A former U.S. intelligence official says the Russians have been plying the Thai government with “gifts” to convince them to release Bout…

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State Enterprise Union Banners in Samut Prakan

(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Banners in Samut Prakan – October, 2009

These refer to state enterprise unions that opposed the Thaksin governments’ privatization of state enterprises and which has also become critical of the Democrat-led government.
The banner reads: 10 years and the 11 laws selling the nation. The State Enterprise Metropolitan Electricity Authority’s Employees Union will demand for the cancellation [of these laws] from the Democrats ultimately – The State Enterprise MEA’s Employees Union

(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

The banner reads: The Metropolitan Electricity Authority’s Employees Union members altogether do not vote for the Democrat Party as it does not respect the resolution of the Thai Coalition for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders that is concerned with lawful process – The State Enterprise MEA’s employees union

(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

The banner reads: The Abhisit led government – Stop the crucial FT. [fuel tariff] increase
[The Democrat-led government is being criticized for raising the fuel tariff rate. This year, the rate is lifted without clarification to the public and many have complained.]

(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Stop hurting Thailand – October 23, 2009
The banner reads: Stop hurting Thailand by stopping 3 things
1. Stop some group of wicked politicians
2. Stop the hooded bandit officials masterminding the politicians
3. Stop the ruling government of the 2 standards [This refers to the double-standard set by the ruling government in dealing with violations of laws committed by pro-government and pro-Thaksin groups]
The State Enterprise MEA’s employees union

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HM The King makes appearance outside of hospital

HM The King makes appearance outside of hospitalMatichon, October 23, 2009

Left: Matichon front page, October 25, 2009

Left: Komchadluek front page, October 25, 2009

Left: Khao Sod front page, October 25, 2009

Left: Daily News front page, October 25, 2009

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Police sign

(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)
Police sign – October 21, 2009
The sign reads: 365 day project to halt the death rate with traffic discipline – The Makkasan police Station
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Odd Condo Sign

Odd condo sign – October 21, 2009

The sign reads: Sometimes, reasons can’t solve problem… let her go shopping alone, things will be better

(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)
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Thailand rejects US pressure over ‘Merchant of Death’

Thailand rejects US pressure over ‘Merchant of Death’ AFP, October 21, 2009
…Kurt Campbell, the assistant US secretary of state for East Asia, said that US officials including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have raised the case in every meeting with Thailand.
“We are pressing it as hard as we possibly can,” Campbell testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee…

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Thai fans build life-size Gundam bust before expo

Thai fans build life-size Gundam bust before expoAnime News Network, October 21, 2009
…A “life-size” bust (from the chest up) of the title robot from the Mobile Suit Gundam anime series was unveiled at Bangkok, Thailand on Tuesday…

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CIMB Thai sells Bangkok office block for 1b baht

CIMB Thai sells Bangkok office block for 1b bahtThe Edge Daily, October 21, 2009
CIMB Thai Bank PCL is selling its office block Sathorn Building in Sathorn, Bangkok for just over 1 billion Thai baht under its rationalisation exercise to improve efficiency and reduce costs…

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Bangkok Nights online slots

Bangkok Nights online slots recentpoker.com, October 21, 2009
…Bangkok Nights offers the excitement and exotic thrills of the capital of Thailand’s night clubs and entertainment in its Asian theme. The Dancing Girl is the one to watch for – she can award up to 10 000x the stake. Two bonus features, wild symbols, and flexible wagers are also featured…

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Thailand’s fearless ‘Dr Death’

Thailand’s fearless ‘Dr Death’Malaysia Today, October 20, 2009
…She has been at odds with them for more than 20 years, ever since a case involving one of her own medical students…

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Myanmar, Thailand to build second bridge to boost border trade

Myanmar, Thailand to build second bridge to boost border tradeXinhua, October 20, 2009
…The bridge linking Myanmar’s Myawaddy and Thailand’s Maesot is estimated to cost 400 million bahts (11.9 million U.S. dollars), the sources said…

Industrial zone ruling creates investment risk for ThailandThailandnews, October 20, 2009
…The government has come under attack for ignoring repeated warnings to set up an independent body to oversee the HIAs.
A local environment group, which started lobbying governments 13 years ago to clean up Map Ta Phut, says 2,000 local people have since died of cancer as a result of pollution from the plants, although doctors have not said industry is to blame…

Malaysia: Teoh’s probe: Set up royal commissionMalaysian Mirror, October 22, 2009
The explosive testimony by renowned Thai pathologist Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand at Teoh Beng Hock’s inquest hearing is shocking. Her conclusion that Teoh’s death was probably homicide seriously undermines the credibility of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Agency (MACC)…

Request to exhume Teoh’s body this weekThe Malaysian Insider, October 25, 2009
…The renowned pathologist, hired by the Selangor state government, testified during the inquest on Wednesday that Teoh death was “80 per cent homicide”…

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Thailand urged to stop construction of Salween dams

Thailand urged to stop construction of Salween damsThe Irrawaddy, October 19, 2009
Fifty-one environmental and human rights groups petition the Thai government to halt construction of dams on the Salween River in Burma…

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Discovering the Trail of Thai Royalty in Massachusetts

(Photo: The King of Thailand Birthplace Foundation (KTBF))

Above: Left to right: James Lesnick, Cholthanee Koerojna (President of KTBF), and Joanne Sullivan, owner of the 63 Longwood Ave building

Discovering the Trail of Thai Royalty in Massachusetts: Infant Thai King’s first American home celebrated in BrooklineKTFB, By Cholthanee Koerojna, October 19, 2009
(Photo: The King of Thailand Birthplace Foundation (KTBF))

The sweet harmonies of 14 little girls singing the US national anthem and a Thai student in traditional dress intoning her national anthem stirred the hearts of over 100 Boston-area residents last Sunday, 18 October 2009, as they honored the memory of the infant King Bhumibol Adulyadej and his family at His Majesty’s first American home at 63 Longwood Avenue in Brookline.

The cold rainy weather did not dim the joy of Thai and American citizens who had gathered to witness the installation of the plaque (see accompanying photo) created by the King of Thailand Birthplace Foundation that marks the apartment building where Prince Mahidol and his wife Mom Sangwan lived with their children Princess Galyani Vadhana and Prince Anandha when Bhumibol was born. The bronze plaque was unveiled by KTBF president Cholthanee Koerojna and Joanne M. Sullivan, one of the homeowners in the building. Thai Buddhist monks from Wat Boston Buddha Vararam blessed and anointed the plaque.

After the unveiling the choirmaster of Park School, the elementary school of Princess Galyani Vadhana, led her choir of 14 in opening the community proceedings with the American national anthem. Ms Duangpon Phongphasuk, a music graduate who has performed for royal audiences in Bangkok, sang the Thai national anthem.

Proud of its history of resident Siamese royals, the Town of Brookline had proclaimed the 18th of October as “Trail of Thai Royalty Day”. At the ceremonies, Town Selectman Ms Jesse Mermell read the proclamation and presented a copy to KTBF.

Honoring Thailand’s longest-reigning and most beloved monarch and his family, the Massachusetts House of Representatives had passed resolutions that recognize the Trail of Thai Royalty of 10 historic sites in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts where Siamese royals had resided; and the day of October the 18th as the Trail of Thai Royalty Day. Ms Sarah Van Auken, resident of Gloucester where her great-grandparents had owned one of the original such residences, read the proclamation on behalf of Representative Frank Smizik. The Commonwealth is keen to promote knowledge of the historic relations with Thailand and its royal family and to encourage visitors to follow the Trail.

For two years from 1926 to 1928, the family of Prince Mahidol lived in the first floor of the three-story building at 63 Longwood Avenue in Brookline, a town near the Charles River surrounded by metropolitan Boston. Prince Mahidol, known as “Father of Modern Medicine and Public Health in Thailand”, was completing his medical and public health studies at Harvard. His commoner wife Mom Sangwan was studying nursing and home economics at nearby Simmons College with practical work at local hospitals such as Boston Lying-in Hospital (now part of Brigham and Women’s Hospital) and Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge. Little Princess Galyani experienced her first school days at the Park School in Brookline.

The mystery of precisely which apartment the young royal family occupied was solved the day before the ceremonies after one of the audience, Ms Susan Wolkon, read in the Boston Globe about the event to take place on October 18th and called KTBF. Ms Wolkon announced that in 1960 King Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit had visited her grandparents Ira and Rose Einstein at the 63 Longwood apartment they were occupying at the time, where His Majesty had lived as an infant. She displayed documents and pictures that showed that the entire first floor with six rooms and a sun porch had been the future king’s first home.

Rounding out the community celebrations were talks by Brookline residents and by Mr Rob Crawford of the Park School, who read out a touching reminiscence that Princess Galyani’s teacher had written to Mom Sangwan on the eve of the family’s return to Siam in 1928. Thai residents performed dances and music on the kheem and demonstrations of vegetable- and fruit-carving as well as songs composed by His Majesty. The audience tucked in to a lunch of Thai food offered by local restaurants.

The next event of KTBF, whose mission is historic preservation, cultural exchange and community service in commemoration of the Thai royal family history in Massachusetts, will be the dedication of a plaque at King Bhumibol’s birthplace, Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, and his 82nd birthday celebrations on 5 December 2009.

Cholthanee Koerojna is President of The King of Thailand Birthplace Foundation based in the Boston suburb of Burlington, Massachusetts

(Photo: The King of Thailand Birthplace Foundation (KTBF))

Above: 14 Park School students, parents and Director came to sing the American National Anthem

(Photo: The King of Thailand Birthplace Foundation (KTBF))

Above: Birthplace of King Rama IX

The King of Thailand Birthplace Foundation (KTBF) – October 21, 2009
[Thanks to Steve for pointing this out.]

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Letters reveal true views of UK diplomats

Letters reveal true views of UK diplomats Huffington Post, October 18, 2009
…Anthony Rumbold, Britain’s ambassador to Thailand from 1965 to 1967, mocked his hosts for an apparent lack of culture. “They have no literature, no painting and only a very odd kind of music; their sculpture, ceramics and dancing are borrowed from others, and their architecture is monotonous and interior decoration hideous,” Rumbold wrote.
“Nobody can deny that gambling and golf are the chief pleasures of the rich, and that licentiousness is the main pleasure of them all,” he said…

And Anthony Rumbold’s 1967 letter about Thailand

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Ambassadors outraged by Hitler billboard on Pattaya highway

Ambassadors outraged by Hitler billboard on Pattaya highwayBangkok Post, October 18, 2009

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The Bhodhi Court at Thammasat

(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

The Bhodhi Court at Thammasat – October 16, 2009
A plaque under the tree reads: The Bhodi Court at Thammasat University
is inextricably linked to the fight for democracy in Thailand. It has come to symbolize not only the university’s legacy of political freedom, but the struggle by Thai society as a whole in its contemporary struggle to win the democratic rights of a modern people. The democratic movements of 1973, 1976 and 1992 all had their genesis at the Bodhi Court.
The Bhodi Court is the birthplace of the October 1973 student movement which soon grew into mass demonstrations demanding democracy and a new constitution for Thailand. At dawn on October 8, 1973, students assembled here to appeal to the government for the release of 13 people who had been arrested for their persistent calls for a national charter. Soon joined by members of the public, the number of people gathering swelled so quickly… from thousand to hundreds of thousands… that the assembly site had to be shifted to the university’s football field. At noon on October 13, 1973 the demonstrators started out from Thammasat University and marched through the streets of Bangkok. It was on the following day that the government violently suppressed the demonstration which sealed the date of October 14, 1973 as a signal event in Thai political history.
The Bodhi Court was also the scene of an open-air stage performance on October 4, 1976 which lampooned the political culture of the day. Photos of the parody became front page news on the Dao Siam (‘Siam of Siam’) Newspaper and became fodder for military propaganda, denouncing the satire as “acts defamatory to the Royalty.”
In response to such negative propaganda, resistance to the student movement was formed by “folk-scouts” and several other groups belonging to the power elite, leading to violent attacks on the students at daybreak on October 6, 1976.
In 1991, the Bodhi Court resumed its pivotal role in the fight for democracy following a military coup d’etat and the drafting of a constitution utterly catering to its power. Students gathered at the Bodhi Court again to protest such an imperious national charter and resurrected the spirit of the Bodhi Court as a focal point for democracy in Thailand. After the general election in early 1992, opponents of the military-led government gathered here which eventually led up to the ‘Black May’ massacre, eventually expunging the Armed Forces from their dominant role in Thai politics.

Google Placemark for Bhodi Court

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Democrat sign

(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Democrat sign – October 16, 2009
Signs praising the government have gone up around town. This one reads: I promise Thai children will study without tuition – Following the promise.. we do – The 15 years learning without tuition project

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Items from the Thai Press, October, 2009

More: Unlocking
the Thai world: Thai-language newspaper headlines

From Vote, The Vote Toon by Kosin Khaongam, October, 2009
Chawalit Yongjaiyuth says: The new political party… there has been such a party for long time and it was dissolved and then we established the new party continuously [This refers to the "New Politics Party" formed by the PAD – Here Chawalit says that Thai Rak Thai/People Power Party/Pheu Thai Party is the real "new party" as it has had to be restarted continually after being dissolved.]

From Vote, October, 2009
The headline reads: Thaksin in fierce opening war to take city – dethrone the Democrat government – turning over the sky and land 
Hun Sen’s friend – Friendship on the debris of Cambodia
Sondhi-Suriyasai – The duo to make dream on new politics come true

From Vote, Column: The poem at heart, October, 2009
Looking upon the future is depressing
How the police will stay
The politicians’ order of what they want
Performing or not performing… all in turn ruined
Once, being proud of what the people are calling for
Now, police have to tolerate
Great privilege covers the sun ["great privilege" in Thai has a double meaning referring to PM Abhisit’s name as well]
Police – use your rights

From Vote, Column: Politics in between the week, by Rawnasoon, October, 2009
Headline reads: Black magic of “chao-moon” [believed by some to be name of Thaksin in the past life as a ruler of a northern Thai state]
The article mentions the belief in magic and magical ceremonies by northern pro-Thaksin supporters and also the beliefs of government officials in the area.
The quote at the bottom concerns the political moves of the Wadah group, the possible political pole change of Dr. Man Pattanothai, and the Matupoom Party established for General Sondhi Boonyaratkalin.

From Pandin Thai [Strong Thai] Magazine, October, 2009
The black letters around the magazine reads: Serve the people, maintain the nation’s sovereignty [The white Thai letters on the cover are a translation of the yellow English letters. This magazine is a pro-government, pro-establishment magazine meant to counter the plethora of pro-Thaksin publications.]

From Pandin Thai [Strong Thai] Magazine, October, 2009
The title reads: Man of the land I [perhaps first in a series] by Patriot of the Land – General Surayuth Chullanont – The Prime Minister appointed by the National Security Council, please again listen! [Surayuth was appointed Prime Minister by the military after the 2006 coup.]

From Matichon Weekly, October 16, 2009
The headline reads: Por-Yai Jew [Elderly Jew – "Jew" being Chavolit’s nickname] – Toom Toom Toom [this represents a shooting/bombing noise and reflects fears about how the inclusion of Chawalit might assist the Pheu Thai Party in its goals]
From Nation Weekend, October, 2009
The headline reads: Por-Yai-So-Tai and the blunt man of Dubai
The blue ribbon on Chawalit’s shoulder reads “Pheu Thai Party”
["Por-Yai-So-Tai" is a name in the local northeastern dialect. Recently Chalerm Yubamrung used the name “Bak-See-So-Tai" as his political nickname. Normally it refers to a man who will do whatever he can to fight or to survive the situation as he has nothing to lose any longer. The name in the headline creates a similar name for Chavolit – substituting "Por-Yai" ("elderly") for "Bak-See" that is used for the younger Chalerm. "The blunt man of Dubai” refers to Thaksin who is known to control the Pheu Thai Party from exile in Dubai.]
From Vote, October 5, 2009
The headline reads: Referendum to tear the constitution – To overcome the power of red and yellow, the game to extend the government’s breath [meaning that the Democrat Party-led initiative to amend the constitution is intended to draw out the tenure of the government and sap the power of the red and yellow movements]

Wisarut explains: Vote is the new version of Khon Mee See Magazine – major modification since May 2008  – Bimonthly Magazine for Political criticism .. along with being the field for the indy Thai writers – Issued every the 1st day and 16th Day of the month. This magazine was headed by Nokpa Usakhaneh (AKA Mr. Jakkrit Sisririn) who also runs a Sunday night talk show on FM105 at 9 pm.
They consider themselves an independent magazine–allowing both PAD and UDD writers to express their viewpoints.

Vote Magazine: New version of Khon Mee See MagazineVoter magazine websiteKhon Mee See magazine website

Also: Isan writers have formed E San State – website of Isan writers

More: Unlocking
the Thai world: Thai-language newspaper headlines

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Police arrest Finn on fraud, money laundering charges

Police arrest Finn on fraud, money laundering charges – TNA, November 1, 2009

Earlier: Investment fraudsters under investigationUutiset, October 15, 2009
…In March 2008 a Tampere man invested 200,000 euros in an Ikaros subsidiary, IG Entertainment, to help bankroll a night club in Phuket, Thailand. However the funds were allegedly paid directly into the personal accounts of the subsidiary’s director…
A “Finnish Reader” notes: This story is about Ikaros Group and its subsidiaries operating in Phuket, Thailand. Stories in Finnish here, here and here.
Of sidenote, on Finland is an ongoing criminal investigation against Finland’s biggest Ponzi sceme about “Wincapita/Winclub”, of which leaders escaped to or lived in Pattaya and Phuket in 2008…

An English-language thread on the company is here.

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US, Thailand continue 176 years of diplomatic relationship

US, Thailand continue 176 years of diplomatic relationship through RF-AlaskaSourdough Sentinel, October 15, 2009
…Taylor said flying these missions helps the U.S. understand Thailand’s culture and how they operate. Taylor said it also helps the Royal Thai Air Force as they usually fly domestic flights throughout the same area, so coming to Alaska gives them a chance to fly through mountain terrain and in a colder climate.
“Red flag broadens their horizons and increases their capabilities for the future,” said Taylor. “It also gives them a chance to enhance their technique while training in a safe and controlled environment…”

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Exile and the kingdom – Thaksin still hankers after a triumphant homecoming

Exile and the kingdom – Thaksin still hankers after a triumphant homecomingThe Economist, October 15, 2009
[An unusually negative and skeptical article about Thaksin in The Economist…]
…It is not clear with whom Mr Thaksin could do a deal. Mr Abhisit says the law must prevail. Palace sources sniff at the idea of a settlement. He faces a two-year jail sentence, and has been indicted in a state-lottery case. He was forced to move to Dubai after Britain, his first place of exile, revoked his visa. Nor was his reputation helped by his fomenting of red-shirted riots in April, when he called for a “people’s revolution” in Bangkok. He denies advocating violence and blames pro-government instigators for the unrest. “I don’t even kill mosquitoes now,” he whines.

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History of kway-tiew

History of kway-tiewBeenThereEatenThat, October, 2009
[We posted this link a couple days ago, but the link was broken. It is an interesting reference to one of the initiatives of Piboon.]
In the period of Prime Minister Field Marshal Por Piboonsongkram, he had stated “Convention Policy” to support eating noodle as a habit amongst Thais…

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Environmentalists score huge victory in Thailand

Environmentalists score huge victory in ThailandVOA News, October 14, 2009
…”Many governments never pay attention to the enactment of the organic law,” Somchai said. “So the environmentalists and the communities who suffer from the bad environment cannot tolerate it anymore…”

[While locally this is story is mainly being covered as an event that is bad for the country, the ruling does indeed represent a massive win for activists. For decades, locals and activists have been fighting big business and government development that has often resulted in the health-related devastation of local communities.
This story also touches on the “organic law” issue that has plagued the last two constitutions. The 1997 constitution stipulated certain rights–such as community radio stations and environmental impact studies–that would come into play once the government enacted laws to create them. However, governments were able to prevent people from obtaining these rights in the constitution by not enacting the organic laws.
The 2007 constitution corrected this by being written in such a way that rights could not be stymied by a government’s unwillingness to enact the organic laws–in this case laws creating groups to study environmental impact.
Even so, this ruling was resisted by the government which, in effect, contended that industrial projects can go ahead without these constitutional mandated studies since they had not passed the laws setting up the committees to make the studies. This is the same sort of attitude that prevailed in the Thaksin years when the government refused to set up an agency regulating community radio stations–effectively denying people licenses to legally operate them as stipulated in the 1997 constitution.]

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Old subway project sign

(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Old subway project sign – October 14, 2009
Derelict sign for the subway depot project promising completion in 2002

Posted in Signs and Billboards, Subway | Leave a comment

Exhibition of quality goods at blue flag prices

(Photo: Nils)

Exhibition of quality goods at blue flag prices – October 14, 2009
NIls reports: Seen near my home: Exhibition of quality goods at blue flag prices – Under the “Bright Sky” [fa sod sai] Project – Thai people are able to smile – Eat Thai [food] – Use Thai [products] – Help the Thai nation – At Queen Sirikit National Convention Center, 7-12 October 2009, 10:00-20:00 hrs – organized by: Dept. of Internal Trade – Ministry of Commerce
Text around the blue banner logo: Sky-blue flag [thong fa] – budget prices

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Why Stocks Fell

Thai stocks down 2 per cent on profit-taking The Nation, October 14, 2009
[The Nation quotes someone else who will not quite say the reason stocks fell.]
…”There was a panic in early trading due to rumours, but the market rebounded”…

King in ‘good health’ Bangkok Post, October 14, 2009
[The Bangkok Post (using an AFP article) openly explains the reason stocks fell. However, the article is no longer online.]
Thailand’s royal palace has said that King Bhumibol Adulyadej (seen here in 2008) is in good health but must stay in hospital, after rumours of his deteriorating health rattled the country’s stock market…

SET chief attributes index plunge to market consolidation TNA, October 15, 2009
[TNA gives as many reasons as possible why stocks fell–except the real one.]

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At the October 14 Memorial

(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

At the October 14 Memorial – October 14, 2009
The banner reads: June 24 originates democracy
[June 24, 1932 marks the day the absolute monarchy was overthrown in a coup.]

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The farang in you

(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

The farang in you – October 14, 2009
The billboard reads: You can do – Discover the real English skill inside [yourself] today

Posted in Signs and Billboards | Leave a comment