From Matichon Weekly, February 19-25, 2016
Main cover reads: 2559 [red] Makha Bucha
On a talipot fan held by a novice at bottom right: Soldiers need to protect the ‘monks’ naja.
[This cover ridicules the clash between thousands of monks and soldiers and Makha Bucha day. It is traditonal that monks gather on this day to listen to sermons on the Buddha. The cover pokes fun that this to point out that monks this year also gathered together, not to listen the Buddha’s teaching, but to show support for Somdej Chuang for being a new Supreme Patriarch. This action is thought to politically influenced by Thaksin as it strengthens the position of factions of Buddhists that support him.]
Top right: Q and A Poo: Venerable monk from Wat Banglam ‘is the rice gone?’
[The photo shows former PM Yingluck (nicknamed “Poo”) visiting Wat Banglam and the an wat’s abbot.
This refers to former PM Yingluck who paid her respects to the famous temple in Samut Songkhram provice. During her visit, an abbot asked her about the rice under the rice-pledging scheme. She confirmed to him that the rice has not gone anywhere. Yingluck is facing charges for the Pheu Thai’s rice-pledging scheme.]
From Manager Weekly, February 20-26, 2016
Main cover reads: Why do we have monks?
[This shows the activities of celebrity and politically connected monks who behave in illegal or disrespectful ways.
The monk at the top is Phra Methee Dhammacharn, secretary-general of the Buddhism Protection Centre of Thailand who conducted the seminar to show a support of Somdej Chuang leading to the clash between monks and soldiers.
Kungfu Panda at right is used to mimic the look and pugnaciousness of Phra Methee Dhammacharn.
The monk in the middle right is Phra Dhammachayo, abbot of Dhammakaya temple who is now facing a charges filed by the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) for embezzling funds.]
The logo at the middle left is from the Department of Special Investigation, Ministry of Justice
Under the logo: Honor, Expertise, Honesty
[At the bottom left is a photo of a monk holding a soldier in a headlock. This was during a surprise clash when monks overran a military position to demand the appointment of Somdej Chuang as Supreme Patriarch. Such surprise mass actions to overwhelm a security position brought to mind the actions of Red Shirts in the past.
All of this is connected to the battle to make sure Thaksin allies are in control of the Thai Buddhist hierarchy–especially ones connected to the controversial Dhammakaya temple.
At bottom right is the vintage Mercedes Benz owned by Somdej Chuang. It has been declared an illegal vehicle after records apparently showed it was imported under false pretenses.]
Bottom left: Behind the crisis of [yellow] ‘Nokair’ [white] which [yellow] Patee [white] knows it.
[A man in the picture is CEO of Nok Air Patee Sarasin. Refers to pilots strike due to a critical shortage of pilots and overwork. This crisis has caused the cancellation of many Nok Air flights. Until now, the internal problem in the airline has not been known and until some pilots started to resign.]
Bottom right: Abolished an inquiry [yellow] ‘Jan’ died without making any change [red] ‘Chakthip’ [white] is scared of having bloodthirsty staff
[The man in the picture is Police Chief Pol. Gen. Chakthip Chaijinda.
Refers to Pol Lt Col Jan Chaisawasdi who committed suicide after sending a petition to PM Prayuth for a review of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) order to abolish the inquiry officer role in the force. Pol. Lt. Col. Jan was the secretary-general of the Confederation of Police Inquiry Officers.
The junta’s stealth efforts to reorganize and neuter the Thaksin-supporting police corps have created extreme unease among the rank and file as pro-Thaksin brass attempt to discipline junta-leaning officers. Several recent high-profile charges (including lese majeste cases) against police officers were thought to be retaliation for not toeing the Thaksin line.
Likewise, officers who protested the junta’s reorganization efforts have apparently been the victim of retaliation, or in Jan’s case, “suicide.” However, the police quickly contended that the suicide was not related to Jan’s protest of the NCPO order.]
From Lokwannee, February 20-26, 2016
Main cover reads: A-mit-ta-put
[The word ‘Amittaput’ is used in Buddhism in Eastern Asia, particularly China for the name of famous Buddhist adherent. It is used as the name of a character in a famous Chinese kungfu drama.
In the past, kungfu monks would stand on big stones as part of their training. Here they stand on pylons to represent the military checkpoint that Dhammakaya monks overran recently.
This imagery extols the protesting monks and implies they are ready to do battle with the military. Such a viewpoint from this pro-Thaksin and pro-Red Shirt magazine reflects the political battle to install a pro-Dhammakaya and thus pro-Thaksin Supreme Patriarch.]
From Nation Weekend, February 19, 2016
Main cover reads: A fight of monks
[Refers to clash between a group of monks and soldiers. Thousands of monks tried to enter the grand Buddhist Park in Nakhon Pathom to attend a seminar conducted by the Sangha and Buddhists Alliance of Thailand showing their support to Somdej Chuang as the new Supreme Patriarch. However, Somdej Chuang has been opposed by mainstream monk groups due to his close relationship with Dhammakaya’s abbot Dhammachayo. The conflict and photos like this have raised concern about the decline of people’s faith in monks and Buddhism.]
Top: ‘Facing-Off’ drama [yellow] ‘Xeping-Cholatis’ a war on beauty.
[The photo shows beauty expert Dr. Xeping Chaiyasan along with thee president of the Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Society of Thailand, Dr. Cholatis Sinratchatan.
The article refers to the controversial beauty program called ‘Face Off.’ This program showed how famous singer Surachai could look much younger than his age. However, several doctors have criticized Dr. Xeping for using catchy words that could mislead consumers into having false expectation. The media have disclosed her doubtful background.]