The Secret Submarine: News Magazines, April-May, 2017

From Matichon Weekly, April 27-May 2, 2017
Main cover reads: Top Secret [red] ‘Red corner’
On the document: Top secret
A sign held by the boy at the right corner: You have so many ‘Secrets’

[Refers to the junta’s submarine procurement. The junta has been criticized and questioned by the public about the lack of transparency of this deal. However, the junta explained that this deal was a secret of the government and a government-to-government deal as it is related to national security. Thus, there is no need to inform the public of the details.
The Thai government uses the system of colored corners to designate secret–blue meaning confidential, but can be disclosed to come agencies, yellow meaning confidential, and red meaning top secret.]

Top right: Various ponzi schemes cheating from the top of the ivory tower [academia] to ‘pretty-grassroots’ [referring to young, beautiful women, most often poor, who promote their image to get ahead]

[Refers to the many ponzi schemes Thais have turned to to grow their savings due to low interest rates at banks. People running the schemes are not all “common folk,” but even, allegedly, a former Chulalongkorn lecturer.]

From Nation Weekend, April 28, 2017
Main cover reads: Train-Bus-Likay-Soldier

[Refers to Thai proverb “Train-bus-likey-police” which is used to refer to untrustworthy things and people [as one reader clarified, particularly relating to these people being untrustworthy because they are never faithful to woman and like to have many affairs]. “Likey” is a traditional Thai dance performance style. Trains and bus schedules cannot be trusted either as they are always late. Likey performers and police are thought to be without morals and corrupt.
On this cover, the saying is changed from “police” to “soldier.” “Soldier” is meant to refer to the junta’s attempt to push forward a strict media control law despite earlier promises they would not restrict the press.
It also refers to Likay performer Chaiya Mitchai. It was recently alleged that Chaiya has a secret family.]

Left side: Insider of the group [yellow] ‘Uncle Pom’ [white] First generation. It is hard to separate from [yellow] ‘Uncle Tu.’

[Refers to a rumor of a conflict between Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan (whose nickname is “Pom”) and PM Prayuth (whose nickname is “Tu”). Deputy PM Prawit and PM Prayuth are known for both being part of the influential military group the Eastern Tigers. Other sources contend that, although there are some issues between them, their relationship is still strong.]

From Manager Weekly, April 25-May 5, 2017
Main cover reads: The sky can’t hinder [yellow] our relationship.

[The men are, left to right: PM Prayuth Chan-ocha, Deputy PM Wonsuwan, Interior Minister Anupong Paochinda. This refers to a strong relationship between these mean, all of whom are part of the powerful military group ‘Eastern Tiger’ and the most powerful persons in the junta.]

Top left: Guys in the whole country are broken hearted. ‘Noey Neko Jump’ has received a marriage proposal. True love won mother’s dislike!??

[Refers to sexy singer Warattha “Noy” Imraporn from the group Neko Jump. She announced her upcoming marriage to celebrity Rit Karchai. This was after rumors spread that Rit’s mother did not like her.]

Top right: The most of [blue] ‘Plew Seengern’ [black] Turn the king’s words and swallow his words to support [red] “submarine”

[Refers to famous columnist Plew Seengern. This article criticizes him for using the words of King Rama IX to support the junta’s submarine procurement. This contrasts with his previous article condemning this procurement.]

Bottom left: “Rajevac” (white) New manager. The new dimension of “War elephants.” Can fight in the World Cup.

[Refers to Milovan Rajevac, new coach of Thailand’s national football team. He announced he would help the national football team (known as “war elephants”) to go to the World Cup. He replaces Kiatisuk Senamuang, former football player known as Zico.]

Bottom right: Stop smoking. Life changes. Stop smoking today, your life will be better!!

From Lokwannee, May 6-11, 2017
Main cover reads: #deserve to be an undeveloped country
Small boat on the left: Does Chinese uncle’s boat hit an iceberg?
Small boat on the right: Hit the submarine.

[This ridicules the junta’s purchase of Chinese submarines using a popular hashtag in Thai–#deserve to be an undeveloped country. The purchase has been criticized for its secrecy. The hashtag appears to be used as a way to get around any harsh response from the junta against those who criticize it.
“Chinese uncle’s boat” means someone who controls everything. So if a person gets in their Chinese uncle’s boat, they cannot control where the boat will go, but the proud Chinese uncle will control everything. Similarly, the junta moved forward to purchase the submarine without listening to the concerns from the public.]

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