Jan 8th, 2009

Cambodia protests against Thailand in the “Jupiter Cruise” affair

Cambodia protests against Thailand in the “Jupiter Cruise” affairCambodge Soir Hebdo, January 8, 2009
…269 tourists including 257 Cambodian were denied access to Thailand on Christmas Day even though they hold proper visas and passports, the Cambodian ministry of Foreign Affairs indicated on 08 January.
…The British skipper of the cruise ship was informed by the Thai authority that his passengers were not authorized to enter Thailand, unless they [each] post a $1,500 bond deposit that they can collect back after three months just in case any of these passengers cause “trouble” in Thailand…

Posted in Cambodia | Leave a comment

Thailand: Inquest blames soldiers for imam’s death

Thailand: Inquest blames soldiers for imam’s death – New government should halt army abuse and bring perpetrators to justiceHuman Rights Watch, January 8, 2009

Posted in The Thai Deep South | Leave a comment

Thaksin hiring foreign press lobbyists

One of American lobbyists in Ai Maew’s portfolio is James Baker – the right hand of Bush Sr. and Bush Jr. – translated and summarized from Phujatkan, January 8, 2009

Today [January 8, 2007] the Democrat Party’s executive member Korbsak Sabhavasu gave an interview to the “Phar Arthit Pier Forum” TV program broadcast on ASTV in the morning. He said he believes that the reason Police Lieutenant Thaksin Shinawatra, the former Prime Minister, hired lobbyists in the United States, especially the company of the US’s former Finance Minister and Minister of the Foreign Affair James Baker, is to lobby the US government and the Congress. Thaksin’s intention is to seek asylum and support for him to return to his powerful position in Thailand.

Mr. Korbsak observed that James Baker has influence on the incumbent US government as he was former key member of government under former President George Bush who is father of the current president of the US. He believes that Thaksin spent a great amount of money to hire the foreign company.     

“The hiring of the company is believed to be a political ploy between countries as Mr. Baker is former head of the US’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs [Secretary of State] and a law and trade expert,” said Mr. Korbsak. He adds that the case is worrying Thais as it means the case for help is run by someone who is antagonist to Thailand’s government and also Thai people.

The Democrat executive member also states that the lobbyist company hiring is possibly related to the scheme to allocate money to the US’s Republican-led government without objectives set for how the money will be spent. This is because financial support directly donated by foreigners to the government is against US law.

Democrats: Deposed Premier Thaksin is hiring foreign press lobbyists to discredit Thailand’s image – translated and summarized from Phujatkan, January 5, 2008

The Democrat Party Spokesperson Dr. Buranat Samutrak reveals that the the party has concerns over the political factors involved with solving the national crisis and especially on the case involving the country’s national image. He added that deposed Premier Thaksin Shinawatra has hired foreign press lobbyists to discredit Thailand–especially over the image of the judicial system and the state of democracy. He adds that Thailand is now on the verge of gaining foreign confidence. However, the Democrat Party acknowledges Thaksin’s movement in hiring the foreign press lobbyists to discredit Thailand will impact foreign confidence and the country’s good image.

According to the Democrat spokesperson, four foreign companies are being hired [or were hired–this point is not clear]. These are Edelman, based in Washington D.C. and Hong Kong, BGR Company (Barbour Griffith & Rogers) from the US, the Bell Pottinger Group in Manchester and Baker Botts in Washington D.C. The Bell Pottinger Group is the only company that withdrew its contact to work for Thaksin.

Furthermore, the Democrat Party spokesperson also revealed that Thaksin assigned three people to work on the matter on his behalf. These people are former advisor to the Prime Minister Pansak Winyaratana, former Secretary to the Prime Minister Dr. Phrommin Lertsuridetch and former Deputy Secretary to the Prime Minister Poomtham Vetchayachai.

[As far as we can tell from the US online disclosure information, there are no current Thaksin lobbyist in the US.
Edelman at one time worked for Thaksin and, among other things, specializes in creating fake lobbying organizations as part of its PR efforts. Edelman created the short-lived USA for Innovation to lobby against the coup government.
BGR Company apparently worked for Thaksin in 2007.
Bell Pottinger Group apparently worked for Thaksin in 2008.
Baker Botts worked for Thaksin in 2007.]

Posted in Thaksin Lobbying | Leave a comment

When it comes to cash, a Thai village says, ‘baht, humbug!’

When it comes to cash, a Thai village says, ‘baht, humbug!’ Wall Street Journal, January, 2009
…Decorating their money with children’s sketches of water buffaloes and Buddhist temples, the villagers conceived it as a do-it-yourself attempt to protect themselves from the whiplash of vast outflows of speculative money which undermined local currencies and threw Thailand — and much of Asia — into recession in 1997-98.
At the time, some villagers faced questioning before Thailand’s central bank and were accused by local government officials of plotting a secessionist revolt…

Posted in 2Bangkok News | Leave a comment

Thai Airways seeks to delay delivery of Airbus on cash shortage

Thai Airways seeks to delay delivery of Airbus on cash shortageBloomberg, January 7, 2009
Thai Airways International Pcl , the nation’s biggest carrier, will ask Airbus SAS to delay delivery of new aircraft as its running short of cash after the eight-day shutdown of the country’s main airport…

Posted in Airports and Airlines | Leave a comment

Thai police confiscate tiger carcasses smuggled from Malaysia

Thai police confiscate tiger carcasses smuggled from MalaysiaBernama, January 7, 2009
Thai highway police confiscated four tiger carcasses, believed to have been smuggled from Malaysia, in Hua Hin on Monday…

Posted in Wildlife and Nature | Leave a comment

Why did Thaksin leave office?

Prime Ministers – January 7, 2009
Besides the plethora of font types, sizes and colors, the Thai government cabinet website continues to show unusually worded reasons for Prime Ministers leaving office. I bet you did not know Thaksin left office because of the “State Administration Assembly.”

Posted in 2Bangkok News | Leave a comment

2008 ‘a nightmare’ for Thai journalists

REPORTING – 2008 ‘a nightmare’ for Thai journalists Bangkok Post, January 6, 2009

Posted in Thai Newspapers and Magazines | Leave a comment

Dark secret of the Thai glutinous rice

Dark secret of the Thai glutinous riceNST, January 4, 2009
Watch out if you’re buying black glutinous rice in Thailand. It could be just plain white rice dyed black…

Leave a comment

COMMENT: Anything goes in the hedonists’ tropical paradise of Bangkok

COMMENT: Anything goes in the hedonists’ tropical paradise of Bangkok Times Online, January 2, 2009
[Thanks to Noel for pointing this out.]

Khmer culture and the Thai people KI, January 1, 2009
The Thai people have copied Khmer culture, adopted and practised it as a new culture to build a brand new society on the lands of the ex-Khmer territories and developed Thailand into a more advanced and prosperous country than Cambodia, which is the original owner of the culture and the land…

Posted in Thailand in the International Media | Leave a comment

Thrills spills and swills – The battle of the beers continues in Thailand

Thrills spills and swills – The battle of the beers continues in ThailandExaminer, January, 2009
…All beers also take pride in their use of “imported ingredients.” Not surprising since they don’t grow hops nor barley in Thailand. But this is typical of beer battles throughout the world…

Posted in Food and Drink | Leave a comment

The Skytrain Extensions News 2006-2009

(Source: Chris)

BTS Taksin extension test runs – March 29, 2009
Chris writes: I noticed they finally started testing trains on the BTS Taksin extension on Sunday, March 29, 2009.

(Source: Chris)

(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Above: Empty viaduct for the Taksin Skytrain
extension. The Skytrain extension has been delayed since 2001.

(Photo: Jerry)

Above: April 28, 2007 –
Updated photo of the end of the Taksin line showing the installed tracks going over the river.

Phahoyothin Skytrain extension! – November 19, 2007
Finally, after many years, plans are firming up for the long-delayed Phahoyothin Skytrain extension. Here is a translation from Prachachat Thurakij of the latest news.

Extra station to be built on Onnuj lineBangkok Post, April 28, 2007
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) will offer Italian-Thai Development Plc (ITD) a contract worth 500 million baht to build another train station, the fifth, on the Onnuj-Sukhumvit 107 extension. Last July the city administration contracted ITD for 3.8 billion baht to build the super-structure and four stations for the 5.25km extension that starts from the BTS electric railway in Onnuj and heads for Samut Prakan above Sukhumvit road.
Deputy Bangkok governor Panich Vikitsret said the extension should actually have five stations but the BMA had contracted for only four because the other would have to go in Samut Prakan province, which was out of its jurisdiction…

More Skytrain delays: City firm on opening new skytrain route – Council of State ruling could delay project Bangkok Post, April 21, 2007

The city administration is determined to go ahead with its plan to open an extended 2.2km skytrain route to Thon Buri even though the project may be ruled by the Council of State as a joint public-private investment. In principle, that ruling would delay the opening of the extended route for at least another year as there is a long process to go through…
Construction of the extended route, which runs from Taksin bridge to the Taksin intersection is now almost 100% complete…

Trying to stop the Skytrain

The TRT government prevented the Skytrain from expanding its lines since 2001. This
was essentially because the Skytrain company is owned by allies of
the rival Democrat Party. Thai political parties have always been
associated with business groups and these groups prosper depending
on the fortunes of political parties. Beyond this, the TRT party and
the power brokers it absorbed into its ranks from other parties are
heavy with vested interests in automobile and road businesses and
are antithetical to mass transit.

After the Democrats won the Bangkok
governor’s post
, it became even more important
to halt Democrat-linked initiatives to prevent Democrats from taking
credit for mass transit schemes. Technicalities were also
used to successfully delay Bangkok Governor Apirak’s BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) project. (It should be noted however that the city government and central government tend to be at odds even
when the governor would be assumed to be sympathetic to the ruling

In October 2005 BMA finally brought the Skytrain extension controversy
to a head by allocating money for the project (earlier
allocations were stymied by a variety of technicalities). Initially all the TRT city council members were
absent preventing approval of the allocations.

Faced with certain passage if all Democrat members showed up, the
central government finally had to publicly declare their opposition to the extensions. After the debacle of the government having
to cut back most of the mass transit lines it promised during the
last election campaign, it could not afford to have the Democrats touting
the Skytrain extensions as their promised fulfilled.

Facing withering criticism in the press and high profile demonstrations
orchestrated by the Bangkok Governor, the central government finally
gave in and accepted that the extension would be built. When the vote
for the budget allocations came up, all TRT city council members voted
with the Democrats to finally allow the extension to go ahead.

2Bangkok.com has been reporting on the Skytrain extension controversy
since 2001 when politicians began vowing to make the Taksin Skytrain
extension pillars the next
Hopewell project
. This was long before any English-language sources reported
anything about this interesting political football.

BTS revenue sharing schemes for
the Taksin Extension
– translated and summarized
by Wisarut from Prachachart Thurakij, January 16-18,
BTS has come up with revenue sharing scheme with BMA as the condition
to get the continuing help from BMA on the troubles of extensions
which have been delivered to Krungthep Thanakhom which can be described
as follows:
1) Payments according to the distance
2) Calculating the passenger fee starting from the station the passenger
3) First 10 baht will be for BMA as the payback for BMA to construct
extensions for BTS–and other provisions if necessary.
BTS said this scheme may cut the revenue of BTS by 1.6 billion baht
in the next 23 years of the concession, but BTS would get the 50,000
new daily passengers.

Skytrain extension
news 2001- 2004

Back to the main Skytrain page

Posted in Skytrain | Leave a comment

Free the Sims

(Photo: BrokenCookie.com)

Free the Sims – December 31, 2008
Some blog postings about the airport siege: here and here.
Thanks to Wise Kwai for pointing this out.

Another link: A photo of an advertisement on what has to be a Bangkok city bus appears in Dark Roasted Blend’s latest roundup of Hilarious and Crazy Signage:
When you apply the sticker over your van, pay attention to where the rivets are going!

Posted in High Tension in Thailand 2004-2008 | Leave a comment

“Privileged thieves” banner

(Photo: Manager)

“Privileged thieves” banner – December 31, 2008
The words written on the UDD stage banner on December 29, 2008 are “Abhisit-chon-jora.” The word “abhisit” in Thai means “privileged”. The word “chon” means man or group and the word “jon” or “jora” means “thief.” Therefore the words refers to a privileged group or privileged thieves. This apparently refers to PM Abhisit whose name also means privileged.
However, a photo of the King and Queen are placed on the banner along with the words. Some have criticized this as breaking with tradition of placing photos of King and Queen in political situations and possibly causing misunderstanding over the meaning the Reds intend.
Phutjatkhan always makes the most of these kinds of perceived slights. An article on their website explains: Part of the UDD stage was revealed to have the picture of Their Majesties King and Queen on the stage background where there was also written improper words with the meanings of “privileged group” and “thief.” Concerning the placement of the royal picture close to such words, this case was widely criticized by many political activists and academics, including the Interior Ministry advisor on national security, senators and also the People’s Network against Corruption Board Chairman Weera Somkwamkid. Furthermore, the case is criticized as a possible lese majeste case.

Posted in Lese Majeste | Leave a comment

Thai Media Project – December 2008

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

Goodbye the Year of the Rat Thai Rath , December 31, 2008
It’s enough for the fierce year of the rat [the previous year’s Chinese animal designation]
The nation has grumbled
For those who are keen things even turned to losses in business
By the impact of the hamburger crisis [a reference to the U.S. economic troubles]
It is the humorous year in that Thailand had many PMs [Samak, Somchai, and Abhisit]
And the year that Thais kill each other just because of the claim that they wear different shirt colors [referring to the PAD yellow shirts and the pro-Thaksin red shirts]
[It is the year] that those who are fond of flattery receive promotion
May it be time to bid farewell to the year of ghost rat.
["Those who are fond of flattery receive promotion” is related to the lower left drawing of animals in front of parliament. The drawing represents the idiom “Kang Kok Khuen Wor” that refers to the action or behavior of those who are poorly accepted in society but become rich or high-ranked and react as if they are noble. Those who are fond of flattery refers to political officials who are influential and their habits show that they long for flattery of their work with greatly concern for the rank or promotion they receive.]

The gang of 4 “Ps”- The new influential base of the Democrat-led government protectors? – translated and edited from Matichon, December 24, 2008

The 4 men whose their initial letters begin with “P” and are influential as Army high-ranked officers and police in the time of the Democrat-led government are Defense Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan, Army Commander in Chief General Anupong Paojinda [initial letter of his nickname-“Pok”], Region 1 Army Commander Lieutenant-General Prayuth Janocha and re-appointed National Police Chief General Patcharawat Wongsuwan [nickname Pod].
The 4 men are now playing important roles in maintaining the stability of the Democrat-led government criticized as being backed by the Army. The 4 “Ps” men are known comrades who shared friendship and kinship. This made the 4 are to be under close watch as their roles and power in Army and National Police headquarter involves greatly with the soundness of the ruling Democrat Party.

Dream selling policyBan Muang, Cartoon Tasana, Big Baang by Tid Num, December 16, 2008
"Dream selling policy"
Left: Past: Love to sell dream
Middle: Present: He is still hooked up to it
Right: It’s no need to sell the future

[This is a hard one to explain. If you can come up with a better explanation, please post on the 2B Forum.
The "dream selling policy" refers to a government policy that is announced, but the government does not seriously follow through on.
In the first frame, it is said that, in the past, Abhisit likes promoting his dream policies. The second frame, it says he still addicted to selling these dream policies.
The third frame warns that Abhisit will be thrown out of the hot seat of being PM if he is not able to deliver on these dreams.]

Switching political sides – public or self interest? – translated and summarized from Matichon; December 12, 2008
If the conclusion of Thai political crisis is to switch political sides by letting the opposition party rule and keeping the ‘old kind’ of political officials in place, the nature of Thai politics might not have really changed. 
The forces that rule over all the Thai political parties are power and money. In today’s political situation it is also confirmed the nonexistence of the ‘true friend’ and ‘permanent rival.’ We see that the turmoil too can be easily dissolved when the profit is equally shared.  
Unfortunately, the image of the expected PM, Abhisit Vejjajiva, needs to be seriously looked at. There is strong demand to form a government, but the normal political situation distort Abhisit’s image as a new generation of political officials who will make a change in Thai politics.
While repeating the same procedures as the older generation of politicians, Abhisit may earn a chance to hold the position of PM and gain interest from public on his policy. However, he might be influenced by Newin and other political friends who are very talented in political plans. Whether Abhisit is strong enough to stay independent from the supporters who betrayed their ex-boss [ex-PPP allies who have abandoned Thaksin] for their better interest has to be closely examined.
If Abhisit is willing to forgo justice in court cases related to corrupt political officials who support him, his morality and the morality of his government may not differ from the PPP one.
The public should learn a lesson on how the personalities of the political officials are. They are the same [self-serving] regardless of the amount the public sacrifice expended to lift up political situation. No matter how many generations of political officials pass, the public is always deceived.

Red-shirted rally gets angry with Newin’s group for supporting the Democrat Party – translated and summarized from Matichon; December 10, 2008
Many terrible events happen during election periods. The red-shirts are dissatisfied that Newin’s group changed their minds to support the Democrat Party to be the new head of government. Their protestations of dissatisfaction led to throwing a bomb, M26 type, into Bunjong’s home [Nakhon Ratchasrima MP Bunjong Wongtrairat is a member of Newin’s group]. No one was at home during that time and the bomb caused little damage. On the same day, members of the Korat People Love Democracy Group put two caskets with the message “Unideological MPs” in front of his home.
Also, 30 red-shirted supporters gathered in front of Prajak’s home at Khon Khaen [Khon Khaen MP Prajak Khaewklaharn is a member of Newin’s group]. The supporters left his home after they found out no one was there.
At 11:30am on that day, while Democrat Party core leaders including Abhisit Vejjajiva and Suthep Thaugsuban were consulting at Spacafé, a man honked his car horn making a loud sound in the area. After all Democrat Party leaders had looked at him, he showed them his middle finger.
It should also be noted that, Abhisit Vejjajiva has not been avoiding the draft as Jatuporn Prompan alleges. Apisit has an official document showing that he already registered as a a draftee before going into teaching at Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy.

This is the reason why Newin changes his mind – Supporting Democrat Party – translated and summarized from Krungthep Turakij; Column: Trace of politics; Author: Chalao Karnchana; December 10, 2008
There is a change in the political situation at this time. The ex-coalition government parties changed their mind to support the Democrats because someone forcefully asked them to make a change of politics in order to get rid of Thaksin’s nominees known as the Party of Phue Thai.
Using the political strategy of “disunity” to stop the Thaksin system by leading Newin Chidchop, who is now ex-Thaksin’s ally, to change his mind to choose the opposite party to be a new governing party.
Precisely, he accepted for the persuasion easily because there has been a conflict between him and his ex-big boss Thaksin Shinawatra since he supported Samak Sundaravej to be prime minister for the second time. His big boss opposed supporting Samak to return to be prime minister. He had tried to persuade Newin and his group to support his brother-in-law Somchai Wongsawat, but he did not accept and stayed away from him.
Incredibly, Newin is the core leader to make the governing parties change their minds to support the Democrats. Although his big boss had tried to call him for more than 20 times, he ignored the calls.

Damage to the government – translated and summarized from Matichon; Column: The Editorial; December 11, 2008 
The Office of the National Security Council in the office of the Prime Minister is one of the offices that suffered damage and loss after the parliament house been occupied. 
The investigation found the visible cameras in the office entry were sacked and damaged, automatic fence signals were cut off, lots of cars tire were flattened, not to mention 
official rooms which were violated. 
The shocking report even mentioned the trespass to the main offices and the loss of six vital hard disks which contained terabytes of fundamental information essential to the country’s stability.
Terdthai Sriuppara, Director of IT and Infrastructure, claimed that the damage on only hardware and software cost around 40 million baht excluding the lost of essential information on crisis control, terrorism and others that has been kept from 2004. This information is surely priceless.
The action of PAD in occupying Government House is unexpected and never happened before in Thai political history. The occupation left no chance for the officials to take their personal belongings and official documents and is too surprising for the public to accept. 
PAD irresponsibility is shown when there is no practical policy to prohibit the pilferer, which would damage the country’s continuity and cause the damage to the offices in Government House.  
PAD should take responsibility for the lost that occurred or criticism from the public might occur. It should also be the reason for PAD and any party not to occupy any official offices again.
Thais as well as the other countries should have the best security to cover the effective officials and the secure documents that they keep. The pilferer of PAD should receive proper investigation and the information found should be announced to the public to confirm the country’s stability. Police officials should find the felons and pilferer of the country’s official office. THis should not be taken lightly and Thais should not let it go easily.

The law of the Kingdom of Thailand – translated and summarized from Thai Rath; Column: The Editorial; December 5, 2008
The constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand belongs to the population. Precisely, everybody is able to give his opinion and participate in a constitutional amendment. When someone wants to amend the constitution, it is acceptable that the population have to agree on it. However, the Samak government and the Somchai government hardly ask for the public opinion. They mentioned that the latest constitution of Thailand, which they want to amend, was written by the Council of National Security (CNS) and said that it is a dictatorial constitution which should be amended immediately.
In fact, amending the constitution by both the Samak and Somchai governments is for their own advantage. Hence, the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) decided to protest against the unfair amendment of Thai constitution. The protest grew more violent until the constitutional court decided to dissolve the coalition government party. Nevertheless, the violent political situation will be in crisis again if the Power People Party (PPP) and five political parties collaborates on organizing a new government. Maybe the country will completely be in political crisis.

PAD Party – translated and summarized from Phujatkan; Author: Chaianan Samutthawanit; December 8, 2008
After the PAD gathering and the case of "new politics," the PAD has two missions to continue. The first is to play an important roles in providing news on politics to the public and pressure against the power abuse of the government power if it occurs.
The second thing should be the PAD’s long term mission to be involved in politics by establishing a political party and field candidates for election. The PAD party is at an advantageous state compared to other political parties as it will be the popular political party, having members who are experienced in politics.
Furthermore, the PAD party leaders have close relationships with supporters. The PAD runs their own newspaper, radio and TV to communicate to the public. I suggest that the PAD party should hold about 50 to 80 MPs in parliament and should field candidates for the constituency area 1 in the central region, the East, and Bangkok. The PAD party and the Democrat Party should be able to hold enough MPs votes to form the government. As long as the election is our democratically held, the PAD might not have other choices, but to follow the rules.

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

Posted in Thai Media Project | Leave a comment

Southern Violence Statistics – December 2008

Map of four provinces in the deep south (Songkhla, Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat) showing numbers of the dead and injured by location.

Southern Violence Statistics – December 2008
Index of violence statistics for the Thai Deep South

This chart shows violent incidents classified by the hour of the day (x-axis) and the province (y-axis). Songkhla=light blue, Pattani=blue, Yala=green, Narathiwat=red, total events=black

This chart shows violent incidents classified by day of the week (x-axis) and the province (y-axis). The days of the week start with Monday on the left. Songkhla=light blue, Pattani=blue, Yala=green, Narathiwat=red, total events=black

This chart shows violent incidents classified by day of the month (x-axis) and the province (y-axis). Songkhla=light blue, Pattani=blue, Yala=green, Narathiwat=red, total events=black

Numbers of violent incidents since January 2004. Across the bottom are the years (2547 is 2004, 2548 is 2005, 2549 is 2006, 2550 is 2007, 2551 is 2008, 2552 is 2009). The blue line shows the number of all violent incidents that took place as reported by the Deep South Coordination Center (counting all incidents both injury and non-injury). The red line shows data according to the Violence-related Injury Surveillance (a form that hospitals, doctors and clinics are supposed to fill out to report violent incidents).

The blue line shows the average monthly level of violent incidents from 2004 up to the present. The red line shows the information provided to the Violence-related Injury Surveillance in the present year. The y-axis shows the numbers of events from 0-300. The x-axis shows the months of the year from January to December (left to right).

The numbers of injured and dead reported from each province where the events occurred (Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and Songkhla). Black= dead, orange=injured. The CFR (Case Fatality Rate) of each province is above each bar.

The toll of dead and injured (y-axis), classified by the districts where the incidents took place (x-axis). Black= dead, orange=injured.

Map of four provinces in the deep south (Songkhla, Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat) showing the number of violent events by tambon (village). Starting at light yellow, the levels are 1-10, 10-20, 20-30, 30-40, 40-50, and greater than 60.

The numbers of dead and injured, classified by the victims’ profession. Black= dead, orange=injured. From left to right: army officers, police officers, agriculturists, others, laborers, businessmen, students, unknown (no data), other officials, Education Ministry officials, unemployed, state enterprise employees, tambon local administrative officials, village headmen

Source: Deep South Violence-related Injury Surveillance statistics

Posted in Deep South Violence Statistics | Leave a comment

The best of 2Bangkok in 2008

What it was like to be there…

Our annual collection of the biggest news, most popular stories, and interesting links of 2008

Left: Young Samak

The best of 2Bangkok in 2009
The best of 2Bangkok in 2008
The best of 2Bangkok in 2007
The best of 2Bangkok in 2006
The best of 2Bangkok in 2005
The best of 2Bangkok in 2004
The best of 2Bangkok in 2003

Cheap Holidays

Sombat Khong Phudee
Quality of well-mannered people
Experience the joyfulness of children who live cultural lives

Navin’s Sala

Thai email forwards

Thaksin’s foundation – November 18, 2008

Newspaper front pages from the cremation ceremony of Princess Galayani

Circa-1939 Pibul-era cartoon describing the new revenue

Last days of the absolute monarchy – June 24, 2008

Siam tries a people’s party – from Asia magazine, Vol. XXXII, Number 9, November, 1932

(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Vatana’s escape – July 14, 2008

Above is a diagram from Daily News showing the escape route of politician Vatana Asavahame. Cambodia is a place where money talks and there is no repatriation treaty with Thailand, and thus it is the refuge of choice for high profile Thai fugitives. Previously Duangchalerm Yoobamrung and Chon Buri don Kamnan Poh fled to Cambodia to escape court cases.

Vatana (often spelled “Watana” or “Wattana”) has held top posts in governments of the past and is part of the Asavahame clan prominent in Samut Prakarn politics. Once the leader of the Rassadorn Party, his star has fallen in recent years with election losses and continuous court cases over fraud, election irregularities, land encroachment, etc. although at present he is chief advisor of the Puea Pandin Party.
Like Chalerm Yoobamrung, Vatana also has unruly family members–his son Chonsawas was accused of assaulting a police officer at a traffic stop in 2007.
An earlier thread on the family is here.

10 things you should know about narcotics – July 5, 2008

Website censorship in Thailand

(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Marketing vs reality views of Sanam Luang – September 27, 2008
An "Amazing Thailand" poster in the subway (above). This year’s kite flying festival was cancelled because of the construction of the funeral buildings for Princess Galyani Vadhana. Instead of lush green fields of the marketing version above, the reality is a sandy, semi-paved expanse (below) where, from time to time, paid anti-PAD crowds are plied with cans of Leo Beer as speakers exhort them "settle" the PAD.

Obama election front pages
in the Thai-language press

End of government/beginning of government

"Day-D" newspaper front pages
November 29November 27-28
November 26-27November 25-26

"Black October 2008"PAD’s "final war"

On the forum: Bangkok Governors of the past

Left: PAD men in custody after the unsuccessful pre-dawn raid on NBT studios on Viphavadi-Rangsit Road.

Bangkok Governor election posters – 2009

Bangkok Governor elections – 2008

Senate elections – 2008

From Phujatkhan, September 4, 2008 – PM Samak signing the Emergency Degree with the blood of the deceased protester.

Troubles in the South 2008

Thai Media Project

Translated articles, editorial cartoons and newspaper front pages from the Thai-language press

PAD’s "final war"

September 10-13

September 4-5

September 2-3

September 1

August 29-31

August 29-30 – at the PAD rally

August 28

August 27

August 26

High tension in Thailand

More newspaper front pages
"D-Day" newspaper front pages
Scenes from the DAAD rally
More scenes from around Government House
Views around occupied Government House
Photo collection of the bloody night of DAAD vs PAD – The bloody war of Thais
DAAD rally site
Pro-Thaksin signs in Chiang Mai
Friday night and Saturday morning at the PAD rally
PAD at the British Embassy
Bye Thaksin
Sunday morning at Government House
Various sights at the PAD rally
Sunday morning at the PAD protest and map of the site
Sunday night PAD protest
PAD rally and Weekend front pages
Scenes from Thaksin’s return

Posted in Best of 2Bangkok | Leave a comment

“White elephant – Bangkok”

“White elephant – Bangkok”
From an undated postcard

Posted in Old photos and films | Leave a comment

Thaksin Flees to London

Posted in Stephff's Cartoons | Leave a comment

Bargains for the brave – Thailand slashes prices

Bargains for the brave – Thailand slashes prices Times Online, December 2008
Prices of holidays in Thailand are to be cut in a bid to restore confidence following recent political unrest…

Posted in Tourism | Leave a comment

Worst slump in decades for Thai tourism

Worst slump in decades for Thai tourism International Herald Tribune, December, 2008
From empty sun loungers at luxury hotels to vacant bar stools in dingy saloons, tourism in Thailand is going through its worst slump in decades…

Posted in High Tension in Thailand 2004-2008 | Leave a comment

Our pick of the flicks and flops

Our pick of the flicks and flopsSydney Morning Herald, December 28, 2008
…It’s the other way round in Hollywood, where CG image-making has almost killed the creativity. One of the most interesting stories I heard this year was that audiences in Thailand have become so hostile to overblown effects that they now advertise “No CGI” on the posters for some movies…

Posted in Film and TV | Leave a comment

Thailand’s quiet survivor

Thailand’s quiet survivor Guardian, December, 2008
…Nevertheless, some western commentators’ views still seem to be influenced by Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The King and I. It is as if the last two years of political turmoil were an oriental version of the English civil war, a battle between Roundheads and Cavaliers, parliamentarians and royalists. Nothing could be further from the truth…

Posted in High Tension in Thailand 2004-2008 | Leave a comment

Old travel films on YouTube

Old travel films on YouTube: Siam to Korea 1931 Singapore 1938Hong Kong 1938Manila 1938Bali 1939Borneo 1921
[Thanks to Jaymes for pointing this out.]

Posted in Old photos and films | Leave a comment

Thai references: “Why do they call them ‘Thai fighers’?

Thai references: “Why do they call them ‘Thai fighters?'” – December, 2008

Left: The “Thai fighter” from the Family Guy episode “Blue Harvest”

Right: Thai restaurant from the South Park episode: “Butters’ Very Own Episode”

Posted in 2Bangkok News | Leave a comment

Development policies as bad as the tsunami, surviv…

Development policies as bad as the tsunami, survivors say The Nation, December 25, 2008
…Many local people without identity cards to prove they were Thai citizens – officially “stateless” but who had lived in areas for a long time – were also forced to leave. Sea gypsies such as Urak Lawoi and Moken ethnic groups were among those now facing settlement insecurity.
“Some people have lived in Thailand for up to 50 years. Yet, because they have no right to register their births, they have no other basic rights. When they are harassed, they cannot even lodge a complaint with police,” Maitree said.
Currently, there were lawsuits seeking to evict up to 2,258 families in 28 communities…

Leave a comment

Abhisit comments from 1994

Abhisit comments from 1994 Bangkok Post, December 25, 1994
Interesting opinions from the Abhisit from Christmas Day 1994

Leave a comment

“A message from your king”

“A message from your king” – December 25, 2008
The Nation has this pecuilar “A message form your king” that leads to some sort of viral advertising website.

Leave a comment

Why are they all so scared of being opposition leader?

Why are they all so scared of being opposition leader? The Nation, December 25, 2008
…”The opposition has robbed us of our MPs. We will get them back somehow,” Thaksin told a group of red-shirted supporters in the North earlier this week.
To him, MPs are like personal belongings. They don’t represent their constituencies. They belong to the man who “owns” them. That’s why they can be bought and sold. And, if you are not careful, they can also be stolen.
The following day, Snoh Thientong, leader of the Pracharaj Party, who has been serving as Thaksin’s nominee in the fight to win back the “stolen” MPs, used an even stronger term. He told reporters that the Democrat Party had “hijacked” MPs from his side. And all efforts are being exerted to force them back where they belong…

Posted in Thai Politics | Leave a comment

End of government/beginning of government

End of government/beginning of government – November-December, 2008

Thaksin’s options get fewer and fewerThe Nation, December 19, 2008
…He might also run into trouble with the UK authorities due to his dubious financial transactions, probably one of the reasons that his visa was denied. Thaksin bought Manchester City Football Club for more than 80 million (Bt4.3 billion) and sold the club to Sheikh Mansour of Abu Dhabi for 210 million. That deal raised the eyebrows of the British authorities. What was “Sinatra” trying to do? That prompted them to take a careful look at his financial dealings.
Arabianbusiness.com has recently revealed that the UK froze Thaksin’s assets amounting to $4 billion. “The UK froze his reputed $4 billion of assets, forcing him to sell Manchester City to Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Mansour…

Large lower lipKhao Sod, December 16, 2008

This cartoon shows new PM Abhisit (seated) with a protruding lower lip.
A big lower lip is the physical trademark of government partner Newin (standing behind Abhisit).

Abhisit’s U.K. roots may prompt distrust from Thai rural votersBloomberg, December 16, 2008

Old Etonian becomes Thailand’s new prime ministerTelegraph, December 15, 2008

Thai FM revokes Thaksin’s diplomatic passport The Nation, December 15, 2008

Several injured in rock throwing by red-shirted peopleThe Nation, December 15, 2008

Red-shirted people attempt to block Parliament gatesThe Nation, December 15, 2008

Abhisit voted as the 27th prime minister The Nation, December 15, 2008

Thailand on brink of major economic crisis similar to 1997 meltdown, says ThaksinBernama, December 14, 2008

Foreign media coverage of our crisis is distortedThe Nation, December 12, 2008
…What kind of lese majeste taboo is The Economist talking about? It is all in the perception rather than reality. His Majesty the King does not prohibit people to criticise him or the Monarchy if they do so in an honest way.
Since 1932 no person has been sentenced to jail under the lese majeste law for criticising the Monarchy. Even King Rama VI, the King’s uncle, did not put people to jail for criticising the Monarchy. In the old Ayutthaya period, the Siamese subjects also criticised the Monarchy when they had bad kings. But they all respected Monarchy as an institution first and the Kings as an individual second.
One has to differentiate criticism against the Monarchy from slanting, libelling or vandalising the Monarchy. Thaksin has sued a lot of people for libelling him. If you libel against the Monarchy, you also stand to get into trouble too.
If you have your doubt about the lese majeste law, just ask sharp-tongue social critic Sulak Srivalaksa. He has charged 15 times time with lese majeste and never once did he serve jail sentence. It was consistently ruled that Suluck had criticised the Monarchy rather than libelling it…

Thai FM protest Economist‘s articles The Nation, December 12, 2008
…In trying to justify presupposed contentions, your double pieces (“The king and them” and “A right royal mess”, 4 December 2008) choose to give credence to writing by one American journalist about the King of Thailand and interpret events to suit his unfounded conspiracyprone speculations, while discarding important facts that prove otherwise…

Bhumibol, Thailand’s remarkable kingLos Angeles Times, December, 2008

Thai protests expose investors’ risks in rotating-premier landBloomberg, December 2008

Thailand’s rotating-door politics was a sideshow for companies and investors. The recent eight-day seizure of Bangkok’s airports by anti-government protesters changed that…

Steering clear of BangkokStraits Times, December 2008

Nearly a week after protesters left Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Singaporean travellers remain wary of Bangkok as a holiday destination…

Thailand reverts to old-style politicsBBC News, December 2008

Thaksin’s daughter buys house for HK$45m SCMP, December 6, 2008
…Records show Paetongtarn Shinawatra bought house No 19 at King’s Park Hill in Ho Man Tin for HK$13,583 per square foot…
GooglePlacemark for the area

PPP website – December 8, 2008

It reads: According that the Constitutional Court order disbanding the People Power Party–the PPP therefore halts the communication and public relation through the party website permanently. This announcement made publicly by the PPP Public Relations team – December 3, 2008

Thailand ‘bans’ EconomistStraits Times, December 7, 2008

This week’s edition of the Economist magazine has been banned in Thailand…

Shuffling towards fascism Guardian, December 3, 2008

Suvaranbhumi Airport  “opening” ceremony this morning ThailandQA, December, 2008

Thailand looks anxiously to a future without… The Malaysian Insider, December, 2008

…Ironically, an issue as critical as this to Thailand”s future is not being openly debated…

Foreign Office warns against air travel to Bangkokasap News, December, 2008

…The latest advice on the Foreign Office website states: “… given the protestors’ continuing threat of disruption to the airports and transport network, we advise that you continue to avoid air travel into or through Bangkok for the foreseeable future.”

Bangkok’s red light district suffers from political chaos AFP, December, 2008

Potjaman returns Komchadluek, December 7, 2008
Silently returns to Thailand to supervise government forming – Potjaman discusses with Newin overcoming disobedience – Thaksin buys back 20 MPs involving tricks over positions and money – Potjaman returns to Thailand late in the night prepared to supervise Pheu Thai Party – Discusses with Newin to stop disobedient team – Immigration chief reveals Potjaman returns as ordinary person without arrest warrant whereas Thaksin moves on buying back 20 MPs from Newin’s group – HM King’s symptom improves – Candle lighting celebration nationwide

Thai Rath, December 7, 2008
HM The King eats a bit – 1st  announcement reveals blood check without bacteria infection – [Potjaman] returns with Oak and Aim – Potjaman silently returns to Thailand – Resides at Chansonglah – PM’s position candidacy becomes hot issue – Newin’s friends group, Chat Thai Pattana promotes Sanan – Suvarnabhumi Airport guaranteed for 100 percent safety

ASTV Phujatkan, December 6-7, 2008
Democrats hope for political turn for time for Abhisit to become PM – Buzz over Potjaman’s silent return to Thailand

Daily News, December 7, 2008
Democrats unexpected to form government – 4 coalition parties join together with Newin’s friends group – More than 260 MPs’ votes to promote Abhisit – Second announcement on HM King’s symptoms reveals HM King’s recuperation – DAAD not postponing gathering at Suphachalasai National Stadium and Thaksin’s phone in on December 13th – Government still under risk

Komchadluek, December 8, 2008
Pheu Thai threaten to dissolve parliament – Revealed Army buys [MPs for] 40 million [baht per head] – Abhisit to be PM with 260 MPs’ votes – Democrats to form government with 5 parties from 2 groups – Pracharat Party isolated – Thaksin’s magic stopped – Coalitions move to join Democrats – 4 coalitions from 2 groups pulled to join government forming with 260 MPs’ votes – Promote Abhisit as PM – Pheu Thai says parliament to be dissolved revealing Army masterminds buying [MPs for] 40 million per head.

Thairath, December 8, 2008
4 coalition parties with Newin promote Democrats and Abhisit as PM

Wheeling and dealing…

Potjaman’s calls to kingmaker Newin go unanswered: ‘It’s too late’Bangkok Post, December 7, 2008
…Realising that the momentum had shifted in favour of the Democrats, Khunying Potjaman tried in vain to contact Mr Newin yesterday afternoon to get him to change his mind. Her calls went unanswered.
There was a report that the newly established Pheu Thai party even tried to break up the new alliance by offering Chart Thai chief adviser Sanan Kachornprasat the prime minister’s job.
Worried by the report, Mr Suthep and Mr Abhisit immediately called Mr Sanan, according to a source.
“How many cabinet seats will you, the prime minister, give us?” Mr Sanan joked with Mr Abhisit during the phone call…

Democrats, former coalition parties to form govtBangkok Post, December 6, 2008

Sanan says 15 former Chart Thai MPs to support Abhisit as next PMThe Nation, December 6, 2008

Pheu Thai calls urgent meeting to prevent Democrats from forming coalitionThe Nation, December 6, 2008

Thai opposition says wins over ruling MPs in power bidReuters, December 6, 2008
…According to figures from parliamentary officials, the Democrats, with 165 seats, plus the five coalition parties it has wooed would have a total of 229 votes in parliament. The People Power Party, now Puea Thai, has 219…

Pheu Thai to back Sanan as PM
– 16:00, December 6, 2008
We are getting word that the Pheu Thai will back Sanan Kajornprasat as PM.

Update: In light of the Democrat announcement that the Newin faction has swung to them, we are being told the Sanan PMship is in being reconsidered.

On this occasion, no better time to repost one of our favorite all-time editorial cartoons by Aroon featuring Banharn and Sanan…

Friends – Krungtepturakit, November 7, 2007
This striking editorial cartoon shows Sanan and Banharn embrace on the occasion of Sanan’s faction joining Banharn’s Chat Thai Party. At the top it reads: The party of shark fin
This is to indicate the partnership is an exclusive and expensive partnership made up of elites in the same way shark’s fin soup is an expensive dish of the elite.
Banharn has fox ears to indicate he is tricky (chau lay). Sanan is drawn with his trademark big ears and bites at Banharn, perhaps indicating the relationship is not a real friendship, but a duplicitous business decision.
Overall the point of this cartoon is to point out the insincerity and venality of the political merger.

These cartoons are from Pojaman’s first return in January. At that time she was seen as helping to personally put together a government made up of fractious politicians–the same thing that is apparently happening this time.

ex-Wife of Thaksin to return home Friday nightThe Nation, December 5, 2008

On the forum: Does Pojaman face arrest or not?

Above: "I come home because I am of thinking of my children." Huddled around her are various PPP/TRT politicians. (from Manager, Na Ban Bangkae, by Bancha, January 11, 2008)

Below: Pojaman as puppet (from Arun, Krungtepturakit, January 10, 2008)

Message to the Americans in Thailand – December 3, 2008
[What kind of organization does not take cash or credit cards, but only accepts payment in personal checks and promissory notes?]

Message to the Americans in Thailand – December 3, 2008

The Department of State is evaluating whether to charter aircraft to
facilitate the onward travel of American citizens seeking to depart
Thailand.  Americans who would like to take a U.S. government chartered
flight from Bangkok to another airport in the region, such as Singapore,

where they would then make their own arrangements to connect to onward
flights, are requested to read through this message and respond as noted

Under U.S. law, an American citizen receiving U.S. government
transportation assistance is required to pay for the cost of travel at
the rate of the most recently available full fare economy ticket.
Therefore, American citizens who choose to fly on this charter must
either pay prior to departure with a personal check or sign a promissory
note (an Emergency Loan Application and Evacuation document
<http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/80109.pdf> ) for the amount
stated and reimburse the U.S. government for the flight within sixty
days.  Cash and credit payments can not be handled… 

The power of money – translated and summarized from Manager, Author; Chaianan Samutwanit, November 30, 2008
Loads of people I know are currently talking about some suspicious events that occurred. Those suspicious events are the following;
1. A funny man encourages the public to send letters to his Majesty the King to pardon Thaksin.
2. A picture of the queen was defaced with no clues found.
3. Beloved people were given nicknames and dishonored comments on some websites.
4. The role of the royal family was widely criticized.
5. Missiles, bombs, and grenades were used against PAD without any investigation from police officials.
6. Generals coerce people to bomb PAD and they do not receive any warning from their commander.
7. The fighting of PAD and anti-PAD people on the road at midday.
8. Government House, Parliament House and the national airport can be occupied with ease.
9. There is no attempt to create a coup though many people were killed.
In the battle between fans and foes of Thaksin, it is a surprise to see lots of people still assisting the former prime minister to be pardoned from his many guilty cases.
Furthermore, though today the conflict has gone too far and seems to interrupt the loyalty towards the royal family, police officials do not seriously look into these matters.
Soldier might be forced to intervene in the conflict between two groups or even forced to exercise a coup and take the PM position.
No matter how the situation goes, Thai will face political turmoil problems and on-going economic disaster which might cause a reduction in the price of agricultural goods.
The situations taking place might stop Thaksin from getting a pardon.
The question of how only one man can create this turmoil in society from so far away can be answered when considering the the power of money. Thais should teach their children to value another things other than money or the situation may repeat again and again.

PAD cease all protestsThe Nation, December 2, 2008

Crowd size at the court – December 2, 2008
Throughout the day, Thai TV channels have broadcast various aerial shots of the entrance to the Supreme Administrative Court building on Chang Wattana Road. After hearing reports in English of up to 1000 red shirts armed with clubs and surrounding the building a la the events at the airports, Thai TV coverage shows no more than a few hundred protesters at the front of the building. It may be that the initial besieging of the Constitutional Court downtown was confused with later events at Chang Wattana.

Pheu Thai Party – December 2, 2008

* The new Pheu Thai Party logo (left). The PPP logo (middle) was modeled on the disbanded TRT logo (right). There was also an attempt to name the TRT-successor party Thai Ruam
Thai so its initials would be the same as Thai Rak Thai, but a law was quickly passed to prevent new parties from registering the same logo, abbreviation or name as a banned party.

* From August, 2008: Throughout the Northeast especially, PPP party headquarters already had new Pheu Thai party signs ready to be unveiled moments after any disbanding order to show party defiance against the process.
Below is one new party sign
ready to be unveiled (Naewna, August 18, 2008). The caption
reads: Transforming: The branch office1 of the People Power Party in
Pichit province’s Muang district under the supervision of former PPP
MPs candidate Sunee Luangvijit is preparing to replace its party sign
to be named Pheu Thai Party and open for new party members to apply.

Earlier: May 2007 – Headlines
and editorial cartoons from Judgment Day I

Earlier: 2007:
Introducing the People Power Party

Charter court rules to dissolve Chart Thai Party The Nation, December 2, 2008

Charter court dissolves Matchima Thipataya The Nation, December 2, 2008

Constitution Court dissolves People Power Party The Nation, December 2, 2008

Thaksin in Cambodia – December 2, 2008
We are hearing reports that Thaksin is in Cambodia.

Constitution Court judges to move to work at Administrative Court The Nation, December 2, 2008

Govt supporters besiege Constitution Court
The Nation, December 2, 2008

THAILAND: Watershed moment for democracy and rule of lawAsian Human Rights Commission, November 26, 2008
…Some commentators and opponents of the alliance have described its agenda as fascist. This is not an exaggeration…

Leading article: Time for a royal intervention The Independent, November 27, 2008

Catch me if you can Arabian Business, November 30, 2008

If Thaksin Shinawatra is feeling the heat, then he’s not showing it. Thailand has an arrest warrant out for its former prime minister. The UK has just revoked his visa, and some Western countries are distancing themselves from the man they once championed as their greatest ally in Asia. And yet all Shinawatra can do is shrug.
"Do you know how many countries there are in the world? There are 197. And only 17 have an extradition treaty with Thailand," he notes with a thin smile. "Better still, only 10 of those treaties are active. So, don’t you worry about me, I still have many places to stay…"

Some articles from the Thai-language press over the last 24 hours

ManagerChaiwat Sinsuwongse criticizes police work against the PAD saying that the police is luring the PAD by the peaceful negotiation plan, but aims to dissolve the mob with force at 1 am on November 29.

Komchadluek – Acting Deputy Spokesperson of the US Ministry of Foreign Affair urges Thai government to halt the seize at the two international airports.

Manager A source reveals that the police start firing at the PAD from the 4th floor gateway of the Suvarnabhumi Airport, but there is no report of injuries. Rumors also say that the Metropolitan Police Chief plans to use force to blockade the ASTV headquarters.

Komchadluek – (here and here) Thaksin gives interview to the foreign press saying the seizing of the two international airports has to be cleared away on concerns of the negative outcome. He warns that a coup, if staged, will lead to severe bloodshed and urges the army to respect law and democracy.

Komchadluek Speculation as to the possible dismissal of General Anupong after National Police Chief Patcharawat was transferred to an inactive post.

The Nation – Phiphob Thongchai, PAD core leader, says that PM Somchai has to resign as he is serving Thaksin and the Shinawatras.
The NationPolice checkpoints are set up at the gateway to Suvarnabhumi Airport on November 29 closing the entrance of the airport.

KomchadluekAn unidentified group parked cars in front of the Don Muang Airport Cargo blocking one lane of the road and causing a severe traffic jam on Vibhavahadee Road. Authority suspects the car parking after a blast event is aimed at protecting the group at the airport from attack as attacks have been staged from the expressway.

ManagerThe Northeastern People Network from the 19 provinces in the Northeast declares the manifesto blaming the wicked government of the PPP and urging to halt of violent policy against the PAD gathering.

Manager – A Kalasin local reveals that the pro-government DAAD in Kalasin has been prepared to gather at Konkhaen before traveling to stage a mass gathering in Bangkok. Meanwhile, a source says that Surin MPs led by the PPP meets to discuss with about 150 members of the DAAD in Surin provinces, declaring a manifesto to oppose a coup.

Manager The Konkhaen PAD deliver blankets and socks to the Konkhaen ASTV manager to give to the PAD warriors at the Suvarnabhumi and Don Muang Airport.

Manager – The Bloomberg/AFP press reveals the PAD group contains families and their young children and elderly who joined the protest aimed at dispelling the government at the Suvarnabhumi Airport where there is to be a final war of the group against the government.

Exclusive video: Thaksin on Thai crisis thomascrampton.com, November 28, 2008
[Thanks to Nils for pointing this out. This is the video widely ridiculed in the Thai press today where Thaksin says “Those who violate the law must be prosecuted." As usual, the newspapers did not give any source or link when reporting on this interview. They just said they were quoting from "an interview" or The Nation which gave no source to the statement at all. UPDATE: The Nation has since updated the article revealing the source of the quote.]

Photos of the aftermath of the grenade attack at Government HouseThe Nation, November 30, 2008
Press photographer ‘assaulted by PAD guards’ Bangkok Post, November 30, 2008

Welcome to Bangkok airport – no passport neededReuters, Saturday November 29, 2008

20 of the world’s most dangerous places Telegraph, November 28, 2008
Iraq… Afghanistan… Chechnya… South Africa… Somalia… Sudan… Thailand
Major political demonstrations and a temporary state of emergency have affected both of Bangkok’s airports. The area around Government House and nearby Ratchadamnoen “Nok” Road, including the area around Metropolitan Police headquarters and Parliament should be avoided. Fighting also broke out last month on the Cambodian border at Preah Vihear and tensions remain high. Civil unrest and frequent attacks continue in the southern provinces of Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and Songkhla – the Foreign Office advises against all but essential travel to these areas.
Colombia… Haiti… Eritrea… Democratic Republic of Congo… Liberia… Pakistan… Burundi… Nigeria… Zimbabwe… India… Mexico… Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories… Lebanon

Dissolve parliament – by Zia, Thai Rath, November 28, 2008
Words above the hand clappers: Dissolve Parliament – Dissolve Parliament
On the right side: Pok-pak [Anupong’s nickname is Pok-Orn and the sound the clapper make is "pak" so this is a joke combing his name with the clapper sound.] The soldier who does not want to become a big man [powerful – meaning Anupong is resisting calling a coup]
Somchai holds a card that reads: Maintain national security
Children hold cards that read: Protect democracy, respect the law
The rat says: Decline

A different perspective on the Thailand situationireport, November 2008
…While the PPP states they were democratically elected, numerous reports from across the country about vote buying and poll manipulation tell a different tale…

Hands up! – by Zia, Thai Rath, November 27, 2008
Hands up! [This shows the PAD clappers hitting planes. "Hands up" refers to a hijacker or robber saying hand up as he commits a crime.]

The super babycart bandit Thai Post, November 26, 2008
The PAD leaders examine Thaksin’s head.
At the top: The super babycart bandit
Sondhi says: It should be the ending. [Super babycart bandit refers to how the beheaded Thaksin is similar to the once popular Japanese movie “Samurai-por-look-on” or "The babycart" which featured a baby head in a cart in the movie poster artwork (right). To this is added "bandit" to refer to the profiteering and corruption Thaksin and his family are accused of.

Stage of the leadersKrungthepturakit, November 26, 2008
Stage of the leaders [This refers to the summit in Peru that PM Somchai attended before returning to Thailand. Somchai is shown with a bag over his head. This seems to make fun of his propensity to be out of the country or non-committal on political events in Bangkok as they happen.]

Earlier: High tension in Thailand

Posted in High Tension in Thailand 2004-2008 | Leave a comment