Weekly News Magazines, February 28-March 10, 2017

From Lokwannee, March 4-10, 2017
Main cover reads: Real Buddhism [grey] Fake Buddhism [white] Real media [grey] Fake media [white] Real law [grey] Fake law [white] Real good people [grey] Fake good people

[Refers to the current situation in Thailand where many people on social media are branding those with opposite political views as “fake” rather than to considering the facts of that matter. This viewpoint defends against junta claims that some masked monks seen guarding Wat Dhammakaya are not monks at all, but Red Shirt-style provocateurs. It says that the junta and those attacking Wat Dhammakaya are the real fake people.]

From Matichon Weekly, February 24-March 2, 2017
Main cover reads: Battlefront of [underlined] ‘Khlong Luang’ The event [underlined] unchanged.

[Refers to the fight between Dhammakaya’s monks and officers who tried to search for Dhammakaya’s fugitice abbot Dhammachayo who is facing a charges for money laundering. Khlong Luang is a name of district where Dhammakaya is located.]

Top right: 7 superheroes of the NLA. Parachuting Unlimited [meaning not showing up for an obligation] hits ‘Nong Tik’ [nickname of Prayuth’s younger brother Gen. Preecha Chan-ocha] impacts ‘Pee Tu’ [nickname of PM Prayuth]

[Refers to the absence of Prayuth’s younger brother Gen. Preecha Chan-ocha from the National Legislative Assembly (NLA). According to assembly regulations, a member who fails to appear for over one-third of votes in 90 days will be removed. However the assembly’s acting secretariat stated that Gen. Preecha together with other 6 NLA members had permission not to attend the meeting due to other assignments. All of this strikes the general public as a typical example of funneling a salary to a family member for doing nothing.]

From Manager Weekly, February 23-March 3, 2017
Main cover reads: Next Step Dhammakaya [black] new denomination, new doctrine, new religion
Man on the cover is Anan Asawapokin, Chairman and the President of Land and House company
The monk on the cover is Dhammachayo
The woman on the cover is Sasina Wimuttanon, TV anchor

[Refers to Dhammakaya temple case and fugitive abbot Dhammachaya. The junta has used its absolute powers under Article 44 to arrest Dhammachayo. However, Dhammakaya temple followers, including famous people and businessmen (such as those pictured), have pressured authorities to dismiss the use of Article 44 in this case. The famous followers as pictured on the cover are being ridiculed for following the often unusual ceremonies of the sect which include non-standard costumes and mass spectacles meant to emulate Nazi rallies.]

Bottom left: The coal-fired power plant: if you will blame ‘Big Pom,’ if you will criticise ‘Big Tu,’ you must not forget the ‘Big of the EGAT’

[The boy in the picture is a protester against the plan to build coal-fired power plants. This refers to the junta’s controversial plan to force the building of coal-fired power plants to ensure the energy security of the country. This plan raises concern about environmental problems and the impact on local communities.
“Pom” is the nickname of Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan while “Tu” is PM Prayuth. “EGAT” is the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand that will run the project.
The headline implies that it is not really the junta that is behind the building, but powerful tycoons and business interests that will benefit from the megaprojects. It all implies that the junta is pushing these projects as part of back-room dealing to support the regime and pay political debts.]

Bottom right: So what. No one cares!! Rumor that Channel 8 is linked with ‘Film’ to do PayAll.
The men in the picture from leftto right: Ong-Art Singlumpong and Rattapoom ‘Film’ Tokongsup

[Refers to actor Rattapoom ‘Film’ Tokongsup’s company PayAll Group Company. The Bank of Thailand has complained that the company is illegally providing an mobile-based e-money service. In this case, there is a rumor that Ong-Art Singlumpong, Channel 8’s executive, may be connected with the business.]

From Nation Weekend, February 24, 2017
Main cover reads: The Masked Monks

[Refers to an attempt of authorities to capture Dhammakaya abbot Dhammachayo. To prevent officers from searching for their abbot, Dhammakaya monks have been used as human shields and have fought with police. Some of the front line monks and other monk “guards” have worn masks. Authorities and media have questioned whether these are real monks or fake ones who have infiltrated to temple to assist its defense as the temple is a long-time Thaksin/Red Shirt ally.]

Top right: ‘Phra Paisal’ Question-Answer ‘State and Dhammakaya’

[Refers to the articles by the respected monk Phra Paisal on how the government should deal with the Dhammakaya temple problem.]

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