Weekly News Magazines: The Year of Toon, December, 2017

From Matichon Weekly, December 29, 2017-January 4, 2018
Main cover picture: Sweet wedding ‘a linkage bridge’
Men on the cover from left to right: Interior Minister Anupong Paochina, Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan, [couple] Ravi Itiravivong and Voramas Srivadhanaphrabha
Pictures on top left: Suthep Thaugsuban and his family
Mid left: Newin Chidchob (we are not sure if the woman is his wife)
Bottom left, left to right: Pol.Gen. Chakthip Chaijinda, Gen. Paiboon Khumchaya, Interior Minister Anupong Paochina, and another person we cannot identify
Middle bottom: Deputy PM Somkid Jatusripitak
Bottom right: Vichai Srivadhanaphrabha and his family
[Refers to a very high-profile wedding of Voramas Srivadhanaphrabha and Ravi Itiravivong. The bride is the daughter of King Power tycoon Vichai. There were many junta members and well-known politicians who attended the wedding reception amid rumors of the establishment of a military party.
King Power gained its monopoly during Thaksin’s time as PM and since then the empire has somehow managed to always play both sides of the political fence. Last year there were rumors it was trying to patch up the political rupture between Thaksin and Newin, this year it appears to be in the middle of the military party formation.]

Top right headline: “Historic running” 2,215 km, over a billion [baht] Hero “Toon” Bodyaslam “the real return of happiness”
[Refers to Artiwara “Toon” Khongmalai’s run across Thailand to raise money for 11 hospitals. The donations nationwide reached over a billion baht. He is praised as the country’s hero of the year and leading role for many people to start doing good things for others.
Thai opinion articles have pointed out how Toon’s example contrasts with the evils of elected politicians who only do things for their own vested interests.]

From Siamrath Weekly Review, December 29, 2017-January 4, 2018
On the flag: Goodbye year 60 [2017]
Sign held by dog: Hello, year of the dog
On the shirt of the man at left: Toon
Men on the military vehicle, front row: PM Prayuth Chan-ocha, Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan
Back row: Deputy PM Somkid Jatusripitak
People on the airplane: Yingluck and Thaksin Shinawatra
Man at left: Artiwara “Toon” Khongmalai
[Refers to the news events of 2017. The junta led by PM Prayuth faced several challenges such as the scan dal of Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan flashy luxury watch and diamond ring. This seemed to show up the hypocrisy of the junta which pledged transparency and good governance. Former PM Yingluck fled the country before a court verdict on her actions in the rice pledging scheme. Artiwara “Toon” Khongmalai ran from the southernmost to the northernmost points of the country to raise funds for 11 hospitals.]

From Manager Weekly, December 30, 2017-January 5, 2017
Main cover reads: Broken fortune [white] This year using power… next year will be more angry?
Men on the cover: [on the bike] PM Prayuth Chan-ocha, [left] Interior Minister Anupong Paochina [right], Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan
[Refers to the junta led by three influential military men from the Eastern Tiger clique–PM Prayuth, Deputy PM Prawit and Interior Minister Anupong.
This cover jokingly refers to PM Prayuth fortunes in 2018–noting he has pledged to stop displaying a short temper to the media and common people who meet him.]
Top headline: Only being beautify isn’t enough… must be smart, too!!! [red] “Earn-Pattarawadee” [black] Hot girl who became known from the “CUP E”
[Refers to internet idol Pattarawadee “Earn” Boonmeesup who become popular from her bikini pictures in the magazine “CUP E.” Apart from being a model, she also focuses on her studies at a university.]

From Lokwannee, December 30, 2017-January 5, 2018
Main cover reads: Hello the year of dog (Don’t be afraid… I’m not fierce.)
[Refers to PM Prayuth’s saying used during some cabinet meetings. He joked with the people should not be afraid of the junta because the junta is not fierce.
The cover combines several symbols. First is the coming year which is the year of the dog.
The gentle puppy on the cover has tiger stripes to refer to the proverb “when riding on a tiger it is difficult to get off.” It means that a person who is in a high position like Prayuth and afraid to step down because the bad things he did will be disclosed and his immunity to the law might be overturned by a future government. Thus, it is expected that the military is planning to continue to hold power after the next elections.
The reference to a tiger also likely refers to the Easter Tiger military clique that dominates the government and that is opposed to a return to power for Thaksin.]

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