Weekly News Magazines, March 10-24, 2017

From Nation Weekend, March 10, 2017
Main cover reads: Thung Rangsit battlefield. Ending the game before raining

[Refers to an attempt by the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) to arrest Dhammakaya abbot’s Dhammachayo at the sect’s temple in Rangsit in the north of Bangkok. This cover warns officers to accomplish their mission before the seasonal rainy season arrives.]

Top: ‘Phra Paisal Visalo’ [white], the future of Dhammakaya

[Refers to a rumor about well-respected monk Phra Paisal Visalo who will become the new Dhammakaya abbot after Dhammachayo was stripped of the title. However, Phra Paisal has denied the rumor.]

From Matichon Weekly, March 10-16, 2017
Cover reads: The party…. almost ends.

[Refers to the mission to arrest Dhammakaya temple abbot Dhammachayo. National police chief Jakthip Chaijinda believes that this mission needs to be ended soon or the long, drawn-out mission would damage the government side. Increasingly, critics have questioned the junta’s heavy handed response to the sect’s followers and the use of its absolute power to effect the capture under Article 44.]

Top: Amazing masks [red] The Mask Singer brings Workpoint’s rating up [black] overtaking [channels] 3 and 7 to become number 1

[Refers to the popular TV show ‘The Masked Singer’ produced by Workpoint. Recently, the ratings of the show beat the mainstream media on channels 3 and 7. This show invites famous celebrities and singers to join a singing competition under the condition that their identities are hidden. The loser of each competition has to remove their mask. This is a Thai version of a popular Korean show.]

From Manager Weekly, March 11-17, 2017
Main cover reads: Born Live Die

[The photos (left to right) are photos of Dhammachayo and Phra Dattajivo as young men and adults. The article refers to lives of both famous monks of Dhammakaya temple– Dhammayacho, the former abbot the temple, and Phra Dattajivo, a key monk of the sect. Both were were stripped their titles recently as authorities attempted to locate and arrest Dhammachayo.]

Top: Evidence shown on the secret of the reconciliation [black] ‘Anutin’ a middleman who wish to be the PM [red]; Let the ‘Shincorp’ tax to be expired.

[Photos are of Thaksin Shinawatra, Anutin Charnviraku, and Gen. Sonthi Boonyaratglin.
Refers to a long series about the supposedly secret reconciliation deal the junta is trying to negotiate with Thaksin.
This article alleges that a plan to let the tax collection on the sale of Shin Corp expire at the end of this month was agreed to by the junta and Thaksin.
Bhumjaithai Party’s leader Anutin Charnviraku is believed to be the middleman for the deal. He has a close relations with Thaksin as well as the military clique that led by former army chief Gen. Sonthi Boonyaratglin who led the coup in 2006. However, the junta has dismissed these rumors of a secret reconciliation deal.
It is indeed highly unlikely that the junta would give away its political advantage under the new charter by allowing Thaksin to return to the country after his incessant attempts to return to power over the years (not to mention the persistent anti-monarchy rhetoric of his Red Shirts during this time of transition). Even more unlikely would be anyone believing a promise from Thaksin that he would refrain from engaging in politics after returning to Thailand.
Recently these preposterous rumors from the Manager Group have found their way into the international press as information from “envoys” (Thai Prime Minister Prayuth’s grip starting to slip).
Perhaps non-Thai news media do not understand the context in which these claims are being made. This Manager Group article is one of many over the years that seeks to rabble rouse anti-Thaksin groups and warn the junta that there are powerful forces in society that will not accept the military making a Thai-style “forgive and forget” deal with Thaksin. These hyped-up rumors are meant to keep politics hot and warn the military off any temptation to sell out to Thaksin.]

Bottom: Signal of danger for the mainstream media [orange] “Workpoint” beats 3-7 [white] “E-Jeab” gets advertisement fees [orange] 1 hundred thousand per post.

[Refers to the TV ratings of the mainstream media, particularly the Channel 3 and 7 which lost to Workpoint’s channel broadcast on digital TV. Also, famous Facebook page ‘E-Jeab Leabduan’ gains big money from advertising. This leads to a question about paying taxes by the bloggers who receive income from their Facebook or other social media pages.]

From Lokwannee, March 18-24, 2017
Main cover reads: Pa [small] why we have him for?
Veera Somkwamkid at bottom says: Fake poll
On his shirt: Veera Somkwamkid
Baby: Don’t call me ‘Pa’ I’ll get angry.
Dog: Real poll

[We are not sure about this cover and its connection to Prem. It heaps sarcasm on the junta and Privy Council President Prem Tinsulanonda. It refers to a recent poll that showed that the junta’s popularity was still high. However, Veera Somkwamkid, one of the yellow shirt leaders, disagreed with the poll. The word “lick” in Thai is also an idiom meaning “to flatter.” The dog implies that the group who conducted the poll is trying to flatter the junta with the good results.]

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