From Lokwannee, December 9-15, 2017
Main cover reads: Unlock… complicated. Don’t unlock… more complicated
[The junta says they are “unlocking” politics by having elections soon. However, many politicians have expressed their belief that the junta still intends to stall having elections which would cause even bigger problems as covert political agitation would likely begin.
The watch on the bomb refers to Deputy PM Prawit’s luxury watch. The luxury watch raised questions as to whether Prawit had declared all of his assets and could result in loss of public support for the junta.
This is another cover from the pro-Thaksin Lokwannee that seems to hint at violence if elections are not scheduled soon.
Lokwannee began suggesting that violent action might be called for after the royal cremation ceremonies in November (The time for flowers has passed, it is time for stones). (Another earlier example from another source: If the PM stays, watch out for more bombs)
These media messages, coming from the mainstream mouthpiece of the Red Shirts, are suggestive of the viewpoint of Thaksin and his Pheu Thai Party. They suggest that Thaksin fully intends to return to politics which likely means another round of attempts at amnesty and constitutional rewrites.
The junta is clearly not engaging with any reconciliation with Thaksin, instead wrapping him and his associates up in old and new legal cases. The new charter appears expressly designed to prevent any democratically elected government from engaging in new policies without the consent of the military hierarchy.]
From Siamrath Weekly Review, December 8-14, 2017
Main cover picture: Not afraid if it is true, [red] unless it is not true.
People on the cover top from left to right: Potjaman Na Pombejra, Thaksin Shinawatra
Bottom, left to right: Panthongtae Shinatawatra, Yingluck Shinawatra, Yaowapha Wongsuwat
[Refers to Thaksin’s son Panthongtae’s Facebook post in which he wished that his family would be reunited. He also insisted that his family will not participate in politics anymore. However, few believe this as Thaksin’s family still controls the Pheu Thai Party and the Red Shirts.
The headline jokes that if Panthongtae’s statement is true, fears for Thailand’s future would abate as the last 15 years have been overshadowed by Thaksin’s various gambits to obtain political power.]
From Matichon Weekly, December 8-14, 2017
Main cover picture: Increase [red x] un [yellow] lock [meaning pressure on Jakrapob Penkair decreases chances of reconciliation; the junta has used the terminology that they are “unlocking” politics by having new elections]
Men on the cover from left to right: Jakrapob Penkair and Maj Gen Manas Paolik
[Refers to a recent arrest warrant for five people including former Pheu Thai member Jakrapob Penkair and former 3rd Army deputy chief Maj Gen Manas Poalik for possessing military-grade weapons. Jakrapob, who has been in hiding outside of Thailand to escape various charges, denied the allegations.
The charges against Jakrapob, who is both a high profile Red Shirt supporter as well as a one-time confidant of Thaksin caused some to wonder whether the new charges were politically motivated.
Jakrapob is a source of overseas agitation against the junta on Thaksin’s behalf. Wrapping him up in charges would indicate the junta is trying to press its perceived advantage and hamper Thaksin supporters.
The general Thai opinion of this would be negative, as it goes counter to bringing all parties back in unity. More charges goes against the ideal of restoring the unity of the metaphorical national village.
Continuing to go after Thaksin means the military is feeling confident and would risk a future conflict. Instead of unlocking politics as they say, they are locking up people who oppose their rule.]
Top: ‘Favor-Favor’ perception. Prof. Nidhi Vs. Richman Banthoon on ‘the election is important-isn’t important’
[Refers to an article on the perceptions of two well-known people from different fields; political perspective from Prof. Nidhi Eoseewong and business perspective from Kasikornbank CEO Banthoon Lamsam on having the election.
In general, Thailand has not viewed elections (or democracy) as key to a good business climate nor as a general panacea to creating a healthy society (see also: Thailand’s Half Democracy). Some business leaders have craved the stability of a politics-free military leadership when compared to the self-serving governments that have resulted from elections.]
From Manager Weekly, December 9-15, 2017
Main cover reads: Good items [orange] can be explained
Pol Gen. Watcharapol: I tell you don’t worry.
[Refers to Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan who has been in spotlight for wearing a luxury watch and diamond ring.
After calls to investigate Prawit’s wealth, the public called on the National Anti-Corruption Commission led by Pol Gen. Watcharapol Prasarnrajkit to investigate about his assets. The cover expresses the opinion that the NACC cooperate with the military to easily clear Prawit.]
Top left: ‘Petanque’ – A (secretly) hit sport which everyone overlooks – It is a hope for the Olympics.
[Refers to Petanque which is very popular in Thailand. Traditionally, Thais play Petanque for fun rather for intense competition, not seeing it as a serious sport. However, Thailand’s Petanque team has performed well and brought hope for a medal in the Olympic games.]
Top right: Big breasts doesn’t mean bitch! [pink] “Nong Jew 600CC” [white] Big breast, so what.
[Refers to an interview with model Pattaraya ‘Jew’ Chayakornnan whose clips highlighting her big breasts have become popular on social media.]
Bottom left: ‘Brother Kuang’ [white] absolutely controls the economy. A person who [blue] ‘Uncle Tu’ has a trust more than his ‘friends’
[Refers to Deputy PM Somkid jatusripitak who is a head of economy in the government. To maintain public support, one of the junta’s main priorities is to handle economic problems. So, Deputy PM Somkid’s competence created great trust in him from PM Prayuth. Kuang is Somkid’s Chinese name.]
Bottom right: Disclose [yellow] ‘Ajarn Yak’ Wiwat Salyakamthorn [orange] (in Thai, Ajarn means teacher or professor) Deputy Agriculture Minister of hope or just ornamental plants?
[Refers to an interview with Deputy Agriculture Minister Wiwat ‘Yak’ Salyakamthorn who promotes sufficiency agriculture. The recent reshuffle in the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives received attention from the public as PM Prayuth decided to transfer his close friend former Agriculture Minister Chatchai Sarikulya and replaced him with Wiwat.]