Weekly News Magazines: Bad Omens at Govt House, February, 2018

From Siamrath Weekly Review, February 23-March 2, 2018
Main cover reads: Signs of horror

[Refers to events happening around Government House recently. These raised concern that they may indicate bad luck for the junta. The incidents were broken lotus pots and the two crows spotted killing a pigeon. After these incidents, red Chinese lanterns decorated Government House. These were thought to be an attempt to reverse the bad luck.
More on Thais and the belief in portents and omens]

From Matichon Weekly, February 23-March 1, 2018
Main cover picture: Crisis on ‘having faith’
Men in the picture include Deputy PM Somkid Jatusripitak, Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan, PM Prayuth Chan-ocha, Deputy PM Wissanu Krea-ngam
[Refers to the decline in of junta’s popularity and its obvious attempts to delay elections.]
Top right: From a lotus pond–Streblus asper pot [a type of ornamental tree grown in a pot]. From red lantern-incense-36 incenses. The fortune teller sees ‘intense politics’
[Refers to the supposedly weird incidents that occurred inside the grounds of Government House. Some people believed it may be a sign of the bad fortune of the junta amid a decline in their popularity.]

From Manager Weekly, February 24-March 2, 2018
Main cover reads: #auntyteam
[Refers to cases of two women using an axe to attack a pickup truck parked in front of their house. Those women received a support from the public as it became clear the area they lived in had several large markets that were operating illegally with full knowledge of city officials. Social media used #teamaunties to show support for these women. After the publicity, government agencies were forced to investigate the illegal markets that were causing traffic jams.
The axe over a map of the nation might suggest that the aunties’ success in taking matters into their own hands to expose corruption might be a model to be applied for many issues in Thailand.]
Top: “I’m so crazy. All the money I spent could pay a down payment for a Ferrari car. Ota who eagerly paid unlimited amounts for “BNK48”
[Refers to an interview with Mina Wongchanapibol, part of a fan club for the popular girl group “BNK48.” This band is a sub-band from Japanese famous girl group franchise “AKB48.”
The word “Ota” comes from “Otaku” meaning a person who is a huge fan of something.
Mina is a fan of both AKB 48 and BNK48. He paid a huge of money to attend the groups’ concerts and gatherings and to buy goods related to the groups.]
Bottom left: Explore the kingdom of Assumption, ABAC Saint Gabriel’s College” Interest and conflict (billion)???
[Refers to a recent protest from hundreds of teachers, parents, students and alumni of Saint Gabriel’s College calling its director, Brother Assistant Professor Vinai Viriyavidhayavongs, to resign due to an alleged lack of transparency in the way the school operates. This article talks about the allegedly large amounts of money and conflicts of interests among three linked schools.]
Right: Shark smells the blood. Somyos sideline wrong move causes damage to the football association.
[Refers to former police chief and now President of Thailand’s football association Pol Gen Somyos Pumpanmuang. He has been criticized after he admitted borrowing Bt300 million from a wanted brothel owner. He also admitted he only did police work “as a sideline.” The admission that a man who held one of the most consequential posts in the country only considered his work there as a “sideline” shocked many.
“Shark smells the blood” may imply that those who considered Somyos as one of the most corrupt police figures in Thailand are eager to pursue his connections to the underworld.]

From Lokwannee, February 24-March 3, 2018
Main cover reads: #auntyteam… the trendiest

[Refers to the case of two women using an axe to attack a pickup parked in front of their house. After the clip of this incident went viral on social media, the women received support from the public as it became clear that government officials were colluding to allow illegal markets to operate in the area which caused traffic jams.
Social media used #teamaunties to show support for those women.
As is common in pro-Red Shirt media, the cover seems to suggest that people should take assertive action against Thaksin foes such as the military junta.]

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