Weekly News Magazine: Rusty Jedi, December, 2017

From Manager Weekly, December 16-22, 2017
Main cover reads: The Last Jedi [black] Can it survive?
Men on the cover, top to bottom: PM Prayuth Chan-ocha, Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan, Interior Minister Anupong Paochina, Deputy PM Somkid jatusripitak and Pol Gen. Watcharapol Prasarnrajkit
[Refers to an attempt of the junta to extend its power by establishing a military party to contest the coming elections. The cover headline jokes that the junta may be the last of its kind as it is struggling with challenges such as economic problems and the issue of Deputy PM Prawit’s undeclared luxury items.]

Top left: Looking at [red] ‘Messi Jay’ [black] sponsor [red] 20 million [black] isn’t too small
[Refers to Thai famous football player Chanathip “Jay” Songkrasin, known as Thailand’s “Messi Jay” who is now a football player in Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo in Japan’s J1 League. This article asks the question whether his salary of 20 million baht is enough considering his excellent performance.]
Top right: Becoming famous overnight [pink] “Porpeer” [black] Work Point’s reporter [pink] So sexy? [black] was asked to be a mistress
[Refers to Kanwaela “Porpeer” Soa-ruen, a reporter for Work Point TV. Recently, she reported to the police that someone requested that she be their mistress.]
Bottom left: “Can’t accept herself [big] Want to die….” Disclose the crisis of [pink] ‘Yinglee’
[Refers to famous country singer Yinglee who is facing a difficult life due to her health condition.]
Bottom right: It’s a big thing. [orange] “Everyone suffers from the losses” [white] The impact is more than expectation.
[Refers to Thai Health’s campaign on be careful driving on the long holiday “New Year.”

From Siamrath Weekly Review, December 15-21, 2017
Main cover picture: Rust [white] happened inside our body.
People on the cover left to right: Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan and PM Prayuth Chan-ocha
[Refers to the political situation of the junta. “Rust happened inside our body” is a Thai proverb meaning that a bad thing that comes from the inside. It implies that the junta’s problems come from their own members. Specifically, the case of the luxury watches Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan has been seen wearing and the question of his wealth. In a normal government, such a person would have to leave his post, but the present government is a military junta and as Prawit is arguably the most influential member, meaning he is immune to normal political or regulatory pressure.
This situation makes the junta’s continual pledges that they are more clean and more accountable that elected governments seem hypocritical.]

From Lokwannee, December 16-22, 2017
Main cover reads: Good people… don’t deteriorate
Cat: Have a little bit of time left.
On the cat: Decline
[Refers to the junta and junta-supporting groups, particularly Suthep Thaugsuban’s group that led the protests that paralyzed the Pheu Thai Party-led government in 2014. After taking power from Yingluck’s elected government, the junta promised to get rid of the corruption and reform the country. They promoted anti-corruption and said that military men were good people who came to help reform the country that had been harmed by bad politicians.
However, as time passed, the junta has been faced with several damaging scandals that seem to contradict their high-flown claims.]

From Matichon Weekly, December 15-21, 2017
Main cover picture: We have already “untied.” What about “you?”
[Refers to the EU which has “untied” all the bans on Thailand which were instituted after the coup and has resumed political contact.
The cover questions PM Prayuth Chan-ocha (pictured) saying that the EU has already untied its strict political measures, so when will the junta untie its power and return a real democracy to the people?]

Top right: Challenge “NACC-people” – Can “Prawit” answer about diamond from mother/watch from friend
[Refers to Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan who remains under public scrutiny after he wore a luxury watch and diamond ring during a group photo of PM Prayuth’s cabinet. The public is closely watching the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) which is investigating this issue as the junta always promotes the transparency and anti-corruption aspects of its rule.
Deputy PM Prawit claims is received the diamond ring from his mom while the watch is from his friend–a claim few believe as hidden wealth and kickbacks are a part of Thai life–particularly among an unaccountable military elite.]

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