Weekly News Magazines: Drawing the Lines for Elections, November, 2018

From Matichon Weekly, November 9-15, 2018
Main cover reads: ‘Red’ calendar
[Refers to pro-Thaksin groups sharing calendars featuring photos of deposed premieres Thaksin and Yingluck as well as sarcastic photos to criticize the junta such as the expensive watches of Deputy PM Prawit.]

Top: Dr. Ao, Assistant Prof. Kritika Kongsompong a big supporter of “Big Dang” Gen. Apirat in the period of “Smart Soldier Strong Army” [this the the military’s new developmental motto under Gen. Apirat]
[Refers to new army chief Gen. Apirat’s wife Dr. Kritika ‘Ao’ Kongsompong who is one of his supporters in the time of the “Smart Soldier Strong Army.” Recently, Gen. Apirat (whose nickname is Dang) insisted that there would be no need for military intervention as long as the political situation after the election is stable. This seemed to leave the door open to military intervention under certain conditions.]

From Siamrath Weekly Review, November 9-15, 2018
Main cover reads: Small, but tasty
[Refers to small political parties which are being formed as offshoots of the big political parties to take advantage of the new constitution which penalizes big parties.
“Small, but tasty” means that the parties may be small, but they will be important to include in a future government because of the new rules penalizing large parties.]

From Lokwannee, November 2-9, 2018
Main cover reads: [on the coconut shell] Kalaland 4.0
Lyric on the left: Only will change by coming out from under the coconut shell
Lyric on the right: Who says we are crazy. Sillier sillier…
On the calendar: Happy New Year 2019
[Refers to a junta’s new rap song entitled “Thailand 4.0.” The song was written to response anti-junta rap song title “Prathet Ku Mee” (or “What my Country’s got” in English).
This cover references the Thai proverb “a frog under a coconut shell” to mean that junta supporters live in a limited world, like a frog in a coconut shell who thinks the entire universe is inside a coconut shell. This and the dinosaur are frequently used on the cover of this magazine. It implies that junta supporters do not know the facts about the world because, if they did, they would be supporting Thaksin and the Red Shirts.
This place in the shell where junta supporter are said to live is called “Kalaland” (“kala” being the Thai word meaning “coconut shell”).
The junta, represented by a dinosaur to reference their old-fashioned thinking, is holding one of the banned pro-Thaksin calendars that the military seized in the Northeast. The dinosaur is on a rope swing to mock how PM Prayuth similar swung on for a photo op.]

From Manager Weekly, November 10-16, 2018
Main cover reads: I’m ready (to escape?)
[Refers to Thaksin’s son Panthongtae Shinawatra (pictured) who recently announced he was ready to participate in politics amid rumors that he plans to become deputy leader of the new Thai Raksa Chat Party (later, news emerged that he would become part of Pheu Thai instead).
Officially, the party says it has no connection to the Pheu Thai Party or Thaksin. However, the party’s acronym pronounced phonetically reads “Thaksin Shinawatra” and its logo, like the logo of all parties Thaksin has controlled, is similar to The Pheu Thai/Thai Rak Thai logos. Thus, the party clearly wants to send the message that it is Thaksin’s party despite what it says officially.
The headline mocks Panthongtae suggesting that he is actually ready to flee the country like his other family members as he is facing various legal charges (most likely made to target him and hamper his ability to enter politics on his father’s behalf).]

Top: Question-answer all issues with [yellow] “Thanathorn” [black] Special only here!! Criticize [red] “Thaksin’s regime”
[Refers to Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit who claims he is dedicated to fighting against dictatorship and drafting a new constitution. His movement has attracted young people and academics, but many question whether the party–with a platform of charter rewrites similar to the the People Power Party and the Pheu Thai–will simply be another party that will side with Thaksin to achieve his goals.]

Bottom left: Big war between 2 actresses [yellow] “Aff-Matt” [white] and a man named “Songkran”
[Refers to a love scandal concerning two popular actresses–Taksaorn “Aff” Paksukcharoen (left) and Peranee “Matt” Kongthai (right). Recently, Aff’s ex-husband Songkran Tejanarong admitted that now he is dating Matt after much gossip about this.]

Right: Disclose [yellow] 4 [black] supporting tools for quitting smoking.

Middle: Golden boy gang is very impetuous. Disclose the cause of why big brother “Sie Tun-Nataphol” carried “bullets” to exchange for the position of “Bangkok Governor”
[Refers to the “golden gang of four” consisting of Nataphol Teepsuwan (top), Putthipong Punnakan (bottom left), Sakoltee Phattiyakul (bottom right) and Chumpol Julsai. This group was known to play an active role in the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) in its efforts to destabilize the Pheu Thai-led government. All the members come from the Democrat Party.
Recently, three out of four members consisting of Nataphol, Putthipong and Sakoltee joined the Phalang Prachrat Party to support PM Prayut to remain as PM.
All such political moves are seen as resulting in obvious personal benefit for the politicians involved.
This article discloses the reason why Nataphol still does not seen any personal benefit from moving to this party. His two friends have already been promoted by the junta in many government posts. The reason Nataphol has yet to get a reward is that he may be waiting to run for Bangkok Governor.
“Carrying bullets” is not an idiom we know of. It may be a word used in newspapers to explain that someone has a valuable resource or power to negotiate with others. Nataphol is a well-known as a connected businessman who was believed to provide financial support to the PDRC.
“Sie” is Thai word to refer to a rich Chinese man.]

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