Weekly News Magazines, December 9-16, 2016

From Manager Weekly, December 10-16, 2016
Main cover reads: Feeling relieved [literally “warm heart” meaning a feeling of relief or being at ease]

[This refers to His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun or the King Rama X reappointing Gen Prem Tinsulanonda as president of the Privy Council.

The new King is entitled to appoint his own Privy Council from scratch. Thaksin and his Red Shirts have long vilified Prem as Thaksin’s greatest foe and hoped that the new royal reign would see Prem removed from his position as president of the Privy Council.

Thaksin and the Red Shirts promised such change to their supporters over the years–both domestically and through international “experts” who inexplicably contended that the political chaos surrounding Thaksin was actually about the monarchy instead. These commentators have long spread the idea that a new King would wish to diminish his own power and authority by siding with Thaksin and cleaning out the old Privy Council members.

With Prem maintaining his position in the Privy Council (along with other retired generals who have steadfastly opposed Thaksin), the hopes of those who wished (and predicted) that a change of reigns would occasion a radical power shift have been dashed.

Prem has a long reputation as the embodiment of Thailand’s desire for benign authoritarianism (See Analysis: Thailand’s Half Democracy for a sampling of Prem’s place in Thai political history).

For many Thais, the presence of this person at the helm of the Privy Council relieves the concerns over this once-in-a-lifetime transformation period after the passing of the King Rama IX.]

From Nation Weekend, December 9, 2016
Main cover reads: Long Live the King.
[The cover shows the children of the late King Rama IX picture in fron to fo the Royal Urn (left to right): Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya, His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, Princess Chulahborn Walailak]

From Matichon Weekly, November 25-December 1, 2016

From Lokwannee, December 10-16, 2016
Main cover reads: Everything still follows the roadmap.

[The cover raises concern that the junta will be able to follow the pre-set roadmap to new elections and a return to democracy.]

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