Weekly News Magazines, March 3-17, 2017

From Nation Weekend, Mar 3, 2017
Main cover reads: Ko Tee catches up with the Dhammakaya issue

[The man on the cover is Wutthipong Kodthammakun, known as Ko Tee, a hardcore Red Shirt. He has been broadcasting revolutionary messages to the Thai northeast from his underground radio station, believed to be operating from Laos. Recently he began calling on Red shirts to join Dhammakaya followers at the sect’s main temple to fight officers attempted to arrest the temples abbot.
All of this might explain the shifting Thaksin/Red Shirt attitude toward the Dhammakaya issue. Initially, they were silent, wanting to avoid any conflict that would give the militay a pretext to further delay elections. However, in recent weeks, Red Shirts have been more vocal on this issue–focusing in on the supposed unfair used of Article 44 to enter the temple to arrest the abbot. This shift, along with the new radical messages from Ko Tee calling on Red Shirts to join the fight, indicates the Dhammakaya will likely be used to bolster to popularity of a future pro-Thaksin party that points out the perceived unfairness of the Bangkok elite towards Thailand’s poor and towards Dhammakaya.]

Top right: Who are they? [yellow] ‘Pongporn-Rungroj’ [white] 2 police, 2 Buddhist principles

[Refers to the appointment of Pongporn Parmsneh, Director of the Department of Special Investigation (DSI)’s Bureau of Taxation Crimes, as the new head of the National Office of Buddhism to accelerate the DSI mission to deal with Dhammakaya.
Another officer, Rungroj, a retired police general, was detained after police searched his car and found bulletproof vests and knives. He was suspected of being a Dhammakaya supporter who was trying to impede the officer’s work to search the temple.]

From Manager Weekly, March 4-10, 2017
Main cover reads: Not involved… Not involved
1st row left to right: Pojaman Na Pombejra, Thaksin Shinawatra, Yingluck Shinawatra, not sure who the last person is
2nd: Sudarat Keyuraphan, Dr. Weng Tojirakarn
3rd: Kittiratt Na-Ranong, Leelavadee Vajropala, Ko Tee
4th: Suchart Thada-Thamrongvech, Nattawut Saikua, the last two are Red Shirt security guards
Inside the white box: The attack on Dhammakaya temple with strong accusation [that it is a] fake Buddhist sect is like throwing a spear to destroy the Buddhist group that is the centerpiece of the Red Shirts, the anti-junta group, and former PM Thaksin’s supporters. Dr. Weng Tojirakarn

[Dr. Weng is a Red Shirt leader and intellectual thinker for the movement and has often been quite candid when acknowledging the Red Shirt movement’s role as political muscle for Thaksin Shinawatra.
Here, is quote is used to show the long association between the movement and Thaksin and his Red Shirts. Normally Thaksin and his political clique (as shown on the cover), deny any connection to Dhammakaya temple.
The words ‘ไม่เกี๊ยว…ไม่เกี่ยว’ (“Not involved… Not involved”) are the same meaning, but the first one is written with a high tone to indicate the person saying it is lying.]

Top right: Fired-arrested ‘Jumpol Manmai’ taking a benefit and having a political interest. Threatens national security

[Refers to Police Gen. Jumpol Manmai who was fired from being a senior figure in King Rama X’s household.]

From Lokwannee, March 11-17, 2017
Main cover reads: Shitangma… Pong… Kruay Roptupjub [yellow]seuk

[Refers to the attempt of officers to arrest Dhammakaya’s abbot Dhammachayo. The phase ‘Shitangma…Pong…Kruay’ mimics Dhammachayo’s famous phase for wishing to be rich ‘Shitangma…Pong…Ruay.’ “Ruay” means rich in Thai. Such sentiments coming from A monk, are quite unusual, but this is also what ahs caused the Dhammakaya sect’s teachings to be attractive to many newly rich in Thailand.
The cover changes the meanin use use the word ‘Kruay’ meaning a traffic cone. The traffic cone in the cover refers to the traffic cones used by the officers to block people from entering to Dhammakaya temple while they are carrying the mission to arrest Dhammachayo. The cover also plays with the sound of the word ‘seuk’ Thai. The original phase ‘รบทัพจับศึก (Roptupjubseuk) means ‘fighting on the war. ศึก (Seuk) means war. However, in the title, สึก (Seuk) means to disrobe (disqualify) a monk. So, a whole phase in the cover means to fight (with Dhammakaya temple) to be able disrobe its abbot.
All of this is part of the recent push by pro-Thaksin/Red Shirt media to begin to openly support the sect again by focusing on the issue of the unfairness of the actions of the government. This is an important issue in the Thai world and sympathy is easily directed to those who have been treated, if not unfairly, then in an unequal way to others.]

From Matichon Weekly, March 3-9, 2017
Main cover reads: 1st death from the Article 44
On the white poster: Please end Article 44 before 21.00 or I will die.

[Refers to the suicide of a man to protest the use of Article 44 to capture Dhammakaya’s abbot.]

Top right: The result is in the ‘wrong envelope’ but the movie is not ‘wrong performance.’ Moonlight beats La La Land to win the ‘best picture’
[Refers to announcement of the wrong best picture Oscar at the Academy Awards.]

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