Pop art

(Source: chomartwork)

Pop art – March 7, 2008
A basement gallery in the Jewelry Trade Center on Silom Road has an interesting selection of Thai pop art. Even more interesting are the websites of the artists displaying at the show: CMPuckchomartworkPekkoCreative BuffaloDeeper than WordsLenArai8e88Nokhook Design

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Singapore terror scare cover-up claim

Singapore terror scare cover-up claim - SMH,
March 7, 2008

An Australian aboard a plane intercepted by fighter jets in Singapore says the dramatic incident was the result of lies told by someone in Thailand angry at being denied a bribe…

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One nation, two prime ministers

One nation, two prime ministers – translated and summarized from Komchadluek, March 6, 2008
Former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s return is clearly being perceived by many as having effectively created a country run by two prime ministers. High-ranking government officials, who might have an agenda contrary to that of the ousted prime minister, have already been transferred. The current Prime Minister – Samak Sundaravej – must realize that this has caused great public concern, with many demanding an explanation of the situation from the country’s elected prime minister.
It should be remembered that the person who called on Samak Sundaravej to be the head of the People Power Party (PPP) was none other than Thaksin Shinawatra himself.
In principle, the Kingdom should have only one prime minister – and that premier’s name should be Samak Sundaravej. Samak should have full power to administer the country without having to concern himself about outside influences.
As the elected leader of this country, Samak must be answerable on all issues concerning the country and its administration. People will continue to have a perception of ‘one country – two prime ministers’ as long as they continue to doubt that truth is being spoken by either of these two people.

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‘Merchant of Death’ arrested in Bangkok

‘Merchant of Death’ arrested in BangkokThe Nation, March 7, 2008
More on Viktor Anatolyevich Bout

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‘King and I’ version passes the Thai culture test; keeps lush music, great acting

‘King and I’ version passes the Thai culture test; keeps lush music, great acting - The Herald-Sun, March 6, 2008
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When she learned that the Tony award-winning “The King and I” is banned in Thailand because of its perceived racist and inaccurate portrayal of King Mongkut and Thai culture, theater instructor Hope Hynes had to rethink her choice for this year’s musical at East…
To restore as much accuracy as possible, given the script, Hynes brought in Songphan Choemprayong, a doctoral student at UNC, to serve as dramaturg and to work with students so that their physical actions, such as bowing, and their costuming would honor Thai culture…

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Thailand’s ‘war on drugs’ – International Harm Reduction Association and Human Rights Watch briefing paper

Thailand’s ‘war on drugs’ –
International Harm Reduction Association and Human Rights Watch briefing paper
- HRW, March, 2008
…In recent weeks, the government of Thailand has publicly threatened the resumption of killings. On 20 February, Interior Minister, Chalerm Yubamrung, told parliament that "… For drug dealers if they do not want to die, they had better quit staying on that road… drugs suppression in my time as Interior Minister will follow the approach of [former Prime Minister] Thaksin. If that will lead to 3,000-4,000 deaths of those who break the law, then so be it. That has to be done … For those of you from the opposition party, I will say you care more about human rights than drug problems in Thailand."
Since this statement by the Interior Minister, Human Rights Watch is aware of at least four killings of alleged drug traffickers across Thailand — two in Chiang Mai, one in Kalasin, and one in Krabi…

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US may apply trade sanctions to Thailand for intellectual piracy

US may apply trade sanctions to Thailand for intellectual piracyAsia Pulse, March 5, 2008

The United States might place Thailand on its “priority foreign country” (PFC) list for persistent intellectual
property infringements and subject the kingdom to certain trade
sanctions, Director-General of the Intellectual Property Department
Puangrat Assawapisit said on Wednesday…

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Bangkok feast to go ahead despite chefs’ moral protest

Bangkok feast to go ahead despite chefs’ moral protest -
AFP, March, 2008
…Lebua hotels and resorts intends to fly 50 of its top-spending guests to an elephant camp in one of Thailand’s poorest regions on April 5 to show them how the other half lives, before returning to Bangkok for a 300,000-dollar meal.
But the Michelin-starred chefs who were meant to prepare the feast — Jean-Michel Lorain, Michel Trama and Alain Soliveres — balked when they heard no money would be donated to charity, and pulled out…

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How to put the kingdom in order in an appropriate manner

How to put the kingdom in order in an appropriate manner – translated and summarized from Thai Rath, March 4, 2008
During the ‘Samak Talk’ program that was broadcast live on national radio and television channels last Sunday, Prime Minister Samak discussed audience feedback that favored people being allowed to gamble legally. The PM said that he agreed with such proposals, as government-sanctioned gambling was allowed in other countries.
The Thaksin Government also once proposed a plan to set up legal casinos, but the plan progressed no further. It did, however, manage to launched a government-sanctioned lottery – that it named ‘Huai Bon Din’. This populist measure was well-received by the public, but was terminated during the Surayud administration – with Prime Minister Gen. Surayud declaring it illegal.
The Surayud Government eventually attempted, unsuccessfully, to enact its own form of legal lottery.
We suggest that this elected government should revive the legal lottery, as it will undoubtedly generate high revenues for the country. We believe that all gambling activities should be legalized, and placed on a sound legal footing.

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666 km to Bangkok

666 km to Bangkok - March 4, 2008
Just a sign for the "Numbers of the Beast" collection…

(Photo: Graham)
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Company executives jailed 120,945 years each for public fraud

Company executives jailed 120,945 years each for public fraud - The Nation, March 4, 2008
…The court was told that the defendants had conspired to fraud 24,189 people thus initially sentenced the second, forth and fifth defendants to a 120,945-year imprisonment each and acquitted the first and third defendants due to lack of convincing evidence against them.
The court then lowered that punishment for the punished defendants to a 20-year jail term each…

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(Photo: Steve)

Fire - March 4, 2008
Steve reports: Just over a year after the fire at the foot of the Mega Bridge there was a fire in another shanty area close to the slip road to the bridge.  We heard the fire trucks scream down Rama III as they sped to fight the blaze – it took them just 15 minutes to bring the blaze under control…

(Photo: Steve)

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Thai court orders Bangkok night bazaar closed

Thai court orders Bangkok night bazaar closed - Reuters, March 4, 2008
…Last year, the CPB signed a long-term lease on a large chunk of the site with mall developer Central Pattana, which may build Bangkok’s tallest building as well a hotel and a shopping mall, according to Thai newspaper reports.
Other developments, including an embassy row, were being considered as well…
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Burmese balk at immutable constitution

Burmese balk at immutable constitution - The Irrawaddy, March, 2008

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Senate’s most important duties are to restore faith and maintain freedom

Senate’s most important duties are to restore faith and maintain freedom – translated and summarized from Krungthep Turakit, March 3, 2008
The number of people who voted in the country’s Senate election was less than expected. This probably indicates that the public neither understand nor realize the importance and duty of the Senate as set out by the widely-criticized 2007 Constitution.
This failure could be because the public currently have no faith in the abilities of their elected senators. Indeed, this might even be because the public was dissatisfied with the work of previous senators. The public may lack understanding of the role of the Senate, and may also not realize the extent of its powers as laid down by the 2007 Constitution.
All 150 senators – both elected and selected under the provisions of the 2007 Constitution – should now demonstrate a unity of purpose, if they are to prove to the public that the Senate is fully capable of balancing and scrutinizing the work of both members of parliament and the cabinet.
All senators should be seen to work independently of parliament, and should not side with any one political party. In this way they may be able to restore public faith in their role, and strengthen and improve Thailand’s democracy.

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Thai monks told to behave on networking web sites

Thai monks told to behave on networking web sitesReuters, March 3, 2008

Thai officials urged Buddhist monks on Tuesday to avoid using social networking Web sites to woo women after an advocacy group found some monks were doing just that…

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Burmese friends of Thailand

Burmese friends of Thailand - The Irrawaddy, March, 2008

…Thailand also has many friends in Burma, who would welcome an opportunity to enter into a normal relationship with their neighbor. But these friends are not the generals who made such a favorable impression on Samak during his one-day trip to Naypyidaw.
Thailand’s real friends in Burma are the dissidents locked up in prisons, hiding in the jungle or fleeing the latest crackdown. These are the people who can foresee the day when Thailand and Burma will embrace each other as equals, as neighbors who can relate to each other as one democracy to another.

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Thai Senate Elections – 2008

Rosana has uphill task ahead - The Nation, March 3, 2008
…Starting out as a health and consumer-rights activist in the 1980s, Rosana emerged as one of the country’s leading graft fighters when she led some 30 civic groups in the campaign against corruption at the Public Health Ministry between 1998 and 2003.
For the first time in Thailand, a politician at the ministerial level was found guilty and jailed for corruption.
She and her consumer groups’ victory in halting the privatisation of the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand two years ago, and a recent triumph in the Supreme Administrative Court against PTT propelled her further into the public limelight.
Rosana become synonymous with accountability, transparency and checks and balances…

Right: Please vote for Rosana Tositrakul, No. 5.
Outstanding achievements include corruption investigation.
Please give me a chance to inspect government administration and balance its power for transparent Thai politics.


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

(Photo: Sadortu for 2Bangkok.com)

Senate election sign in the north -
February 27, 2008

Left: In Mae Hong Son province there are only two persons with the necessary qualifications to run for senator.

Below: A poster for Anant Wanchaithanawong, candidate no. 2

(Photo: Sadortu for 2Bangkok.com)

(Photo: Dr. Has for 2Bangkok.com)

Senate election in Yala
March 2, 2008
Dr. Has notes: The quiet atmosphere of the senatorial election in Amphur Muang Yala.

(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Above: On Sunday, March 2, 2008 please vote for
Manit Wittayatem –
Former Judge of the Constitutional Court to be a senator for Bangkok.
Please vote for No. 15.
Using powers and duties in a rightful way,
respecting people’s rights and freedom, focusing on benefits of the Kingdom, and sincere to the public.

Senate election posters -
February 23, 2008

(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Please vote for Rosana Tositrakul, No. 5.
Outstanding achievements include corruption investigation.
Please give me a chance to inspect government administration and balance its power for transparent Thai politics.

Right: “I used to be branded as a communist.
People cannot choose their birth. My family has fought for democracy and justice.
Unlawful things cannot change my mind.”
Neutral and fair.
Please vote for Sakda Sriwiriyapaiboon as a Bangkok senator. [And his online brochure.]

(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Above: Please give me a chance to examine the government’s operation and revise new laws.
Focusing on morality, holding on to ideals, making politics transparent, and building fair economy.
Please vote for
Dr. Anusorn Thamjai, No. 6.
as Bangkok senator.
Politically neutral, working for the people.

Senate election poster - February 29, 2008

It reads: Good thoughts will lead to good deeds.
No. 29 –
Nitipong “Dee” Hornak –
Bangkok Senate candidate No. 29

(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Above: Please vote for Thanachart Permlaptrakul, No. 30 to be Bangkok senator. Focusing on morality and peace for the sake of the people.

(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Above: Another candidate on Silom Road

(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Senate election - February 14, 2008
It reads: Bangkok Metropolitan Administration invites you to cast your vote in Senate Election on March 2, 2008 from 08:00 am to 03:00 pm.
Buying and selling votes is illegal.
Cast your vote to select a good senator.

(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Senate election billboard -
February 10, 2008

It reads: Senate election to be held on March 2, 2008 –
Choose only one senator.

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Invisible hand

Invisible hand -Thai Rath, March 2, 2008
Invisible hand (or unseen hand)
Top left to right: An invisible hand drove a car and just parked it until it was covered in dust. [Probably a reference to the gang that conned people out of their cars. Some of these cars were recovered at police stations where they had been parked.]
An invisible hand stole monk robes and things donated by Buddhists. [Probably referring to recent complains about thefts from wats.]
An invisible hand, please find my Persian cat wearing a diamond necklace and give him back to me. [Recently in the news: A man placed an expensive necklace he intended to give to his girlfriend around his cat’s neck and the cat ran away.]
Bottom left to right: An invisible hand hid a million baht in cash under the bed donated to a temple. [Recently a million baht was found in the headboard of a bed donated to a wat.]
An invisible hand is trying to frustrate the premier for money. [PM Samak accused an invisible hand of hiring the media to write negative stories about him.]
An invisible hand called three ECT board members to make bomb threat. [Recently a bomb threat was made against Election Commission headquarters]

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If magical powers existed…

If magical powers existed… - Matichon, March 2, 2008
If magical powers existed,
Top, left to right: Chaiya Sasomsap would be turned into Chaiya Mitrchai. [Chaiya, Minister of Public Health is ridiculed for his proposal to end compulsory licensing of drugs or it could be related to his unpopularity in the ministry after the transfer of the chief of the Food and Drug Administration. It is said he would like to be Chaiya Mitrchai, a Thai Likey hero.]
The Chairman would make the red cards white. [Yongyuth, the red carded speaker of the house, would reverse his fate.]
The puppet would give itself life. [PM Samak is widely regarded as a puppet of Thaksin.]
Bottom, left to right: The owner of this hotel [Peninsula Hotel where Thaksin stayed on his return from exile] would keep his “Chan Song La” home [Thaksin’s residence] under repair for a longer period of time.
[Thaksin claimed he had to stay at the the Peninsula after his return from aboard because his home was being repaired. Most people understood that Thaksin’s safety could be assured better at the Peninsula than at his residence. The nearly 1,000,000 baht a night price tag for rooms for him and his entourage was widely reported in the Thai-language press.]
Meechai would turn his chair into NLA President so he did not have to blame the computer system. [Last year, NLA speaker Meechai Ruchuphan intervened in the drafting of key critical laws, personally entering details into the government computer even though he was not involved in the drafting committees or subcommittees. He blame this behavior on the fact that he was speeding the process on–instead on the widely held view that he was carrying out influence from the coup junta.]
Many people would make Thaksin Shinawatra and Sonthi Limthongkul forgetful. [Sonthi Limthongkul led the protests against Thaksin. This is saying many people wish these feuds would end.]

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Special army force formed to protect Thaksin as he returns from exile

Armed forces come under attack in the news – on issues ranging from ‘Don Muang 51’ to disappearing guns – translated and summarized from Komchadluek; Column: Talui Kong Tap; Author: Security reporters, March 2, 2008
The following may all figure in an elaborate plot to use the media to discredit the armed forces: The establishment of the ‘Don Muang 51’ anti-terrorist group, its possible deployment to provide security for the return of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, and the recent disappearance of firearms from a military armory.
A special military force has been established by Supreme Command HQ for the purpose of countering international terrorist attacks. The group undertook its initial training session, under the codename of ‘Don Muang 51’, during the period February 19 – 22. Many observers are closely-monitoring this group, as its initial training session took place only a few days before the return of a former leader of the country from exile.
Some say that the ‘Don Muang 51’ group was set up to provide security for the return of deposed Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra on February 28. A total of 792 officers, from 40 organizations, were involved in the initial training session.
According to some sources, Supreme Commander Gen. Boonsang Niampradit has been forced to make a statement to the effect that the group’s initial training session was not in preparation for the return of Thaksin Shinawatra. It is believed that this lack of transparency in the group’s establishment could result in some discredit to the armed forces.
Some sources are also saying that they believe that the recent disappearance of three firearms, from the armory of a military unit, was part of a plot to ambush Thaksin Shinawatra on his return from exile.
It is noticeable that all current news emanating from the armed forces, both good and bad, is acting to their discredit.

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

Conservation crusader

Conservation crusader - Bangkok Post, March 2, 2008
Sumet Jumsai’s campaign to save historic Thailand started in the ’60s, and continues to this day.
…The year 1970 saw another landmark in the history of the conservation movement. Sumet, together with more than 100 students from Chulalongkorn University, organised the first cultural protest march against the demolition of Bang Khun Phrom Palace, which was to be replaced by the Bank of Thailand headquarters. The demonstration was successful, and to this day, from Krung Thong Bridge, one can easily see the splendid baroque and rococo architecture of the palace…

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Thailand prime minister references moving out of gambling dark ages

Thailand prime minister references moving out of gambling dark ages - Casino Gambling Web, March 2, 2008

…”When gambling is legalized, there will be no longer the need for police to act on gambling dens,” he said. There is no timetable for the legalization of gambling. Sundaravej did mention that Thailand would be following the models of Malaysia, Shanghai, Macau, and Singapore.

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Steam trains in Thailand 02

Steam trains in Thailand 02 - Thai Blogs, March 2, 2008

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World’s worst intersections

World’s worst intersections - darkroastedblend.com, March, 2008

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Thailand, Laos crisis: Samak helps bloody attacks on Hmong

Thailand, Laos crisis: Samak helps bloody attacks on Hmong
RushPRnews.com (press release), March 1, 2008

…Samak’s appears timed to a renewed military offensive by Lao and Vietnamese military forces massing in key strategic regions of Laos. Samak’s visit occurs at a time when main ground force army units and special forces of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (LPDR) and the Peoples Army of Socialist Vietnam (PASV) are intensifying offensive military operations and ethnic cleansing attacks against Lao-Hmong civilians and unarmed, dissident and opposition groups in Laos. In some parts of Laos, insolated pockets of lightly armed Laotian and Hmong opposition groups, with an anemic defensive capabilities, are also under heavy attack…

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Thailand-Laos rail service begins in late April

Thailand-Laos rail service begins in late April - TNA, March 1, 2008

Rail service between Thailand and neighbouring Laos will start late this April…

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Thailand’s rich history of flyweight heroes continues

Thailand’s rich history of flyweight heroes continues - Bangkok Post, March 1, 2008

Thailand has produced many outstanding world flyweight boxing champions, starting with that great pugilist, the late Pone Kingpetch who won the World Boxing Council flyweight title in Bangkok…

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Thai exec challenged: Show proof

Thai exec challenged: Show proof - Inquirer, March, 2008

…Trying to beat a Thai newspaper report that he only finished secondary school, Sutha Chansaeng, the Thai minister of social development and human security, claimed to have a bachelor’s degree in commerce from the Republican College in Quezon City.
…The blog www.oknation.net/blog/thaibaan, posted by a Thai with the pen name “siewthaibaan,” pointed out that the word “Republican” had been misspelled and appeared as “Rupublucan” in the transcript.
The blogger also asked why the date on the recommendation for graduation submitted to the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) was dated Jan. 10, 2008, when Changsaeng was supposed to have graduated 24 years before…

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Stephff’s Tibet cartoons

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