Weekly News Magazines: New army chief, September, 2018

From Matichon Weekly, September 7-13, 2018
Main cover reads: Commander of the First Division, King’s Guard
[Refers to a new army chief Gen. Apirat Kongsompong.
His promotion to head the military came as no surprise as it was already widely expected when he was appointed commander of the First Division, King’s Guard–a key posting in Bangkok. The location of the command’s bases and troops give it leverage over the civilian world of Bangkok and the ability to easily stage coups if they deem it necessary.
Gen. Apirat is known and trusted by PM Prayuth. He is the eldest son of former coup leader Gen. Sunthorn Kongsompong, who led a coup in 1991 to oust the government of Chatchai Choonhavan.
While not part of the ruling military clique the Eastern Tigers, Gen. Apirat’s appointment is thought to signal to the political world that all the major military factions are united in resisting a Thaksin return to power (in contrast to Red Shirt claims in the past that the military is split with some dissatisfied with Pm Prayuth).]

Top: Welcome to the election from Ubon-Korat. Pheu Thai-People’s State Power Party-Phumjaithai Party fierce fight
[Refers to Suporn Attawong (pictured), a former Red Shirt leader turned pro-junta politician. He has been accused of buying party members in Nakhon Ratchasima (also known as Korat).
The Pheu Thai party also claimed that the People’s State Power Party also tried to buy members and they would file a complaint with the Election Commission.
All of this is push back from the Pheu Thai Party against pro-junta political parties openly conducting political activities despite the junta ban on political activity.
The northeast region (Korat and Ubon) is expected to be hotly contested during the coming elections as the junta seeks to cut into Red Shirt strongholds.]

From Siamrath Weekly Review, September 7-13, 2018
Main cover reads: Victims
[Refers to who will lead the Pheu Thai Party to contest the coming election.
There were several rumors about who will lead the party, such as Thaksin’s son-in-law Nattapong Kunakornwong (left), Thaksin’s son Pantongtae Shinawatra (right), Pheu Thai member Sitha Divari (center) and Thaksin’s nephew Yodchanan Wongsawat (front right).
Since the party is controlled by Thaksin, it is imperative that he is appoint a family member to lead the party. The cover headline jokes that whoever is appointed will be dealt with in the same way as Yingluck–hampered and hounded by legal cases and forced to flee the country.]

From Manager Weekly, August 25-31, 2018
Main cover reads: Army chief Dang with power
[Refers to a new army chief Gen. Apirat ‘Dang’ Kongsompong, who is an eldest son of former coup leader Gen. Sunthorn Kongsompong, who led a coup in 1991 to oust the government of Chatchai Choonhavan.
His appointment shows that he is trusted by the junta and, having united all major army factions, are now ready to compete in the comings election. Gen. Apirat as the narmy chief sends the signal that the junta is firmly in control of the political situation.]

Top: A fight of 2 queens [black] to become “leader of Pheu Thai” [red] “A queen of the moon palace” [black] humiliates “a queen from the north” because “Jae Dang” went to meet “Nong Pu” while “Somchai” visited Dubai.
[Refers to a fight between those two powerful women–Thakins’ ex-wife Potjaman Na Pombejra (right) and his sister Yaowapa “Dang” Wongsawat–to become head of the political party Thaksin controls–the Pheu Thai Party.
Yaowapa and her husband, former PM Somchai (middle), are lobbying Thaksin and Yingluck (nicknamed “Nong Pu” or “little sister Pu”) to support Somchai or their son to be the leader.
Thaksin’s ex-wife Potjaman is strongly insisting Thaksin appoint politicians not related to Shinawatra’s family.
This cover calls this intense fight “a fight of two queens” as both women are major power brokers in the country and have Thaksin’s ear. Potjaman is called “queen of moon palace” because Thaksin’s residence is named “Chansongla” which means “shining moon.”
Yaowapa has a strong power base in the north which is Thaksin’s hometown. “Jae” is Chinese word meaning “elder sister.”]

Bottom left: Ajarn Yak-Wiwat Salyakamthorn [white] to ban all hazardous herbicides in agricultural areas (is it possible?)
[Refers to an exclusive interview with Deputy Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Dr. Wiwat “Yak” Salyakamthorn. Recently, Dr. Wiwat has announced support for a total ban on three hazardous herbicides including Glyphosate, Chlorpyrifos, and Paraquat as they are health and environmental hazards.
Due to this, there is a rumor that he will be reshuffled out of his post as a ban on these hazardous chemicals would impact big business groups. Ajran is Thai word meaning a teacher.
Wiwat is also a supporter of organic growing which is a red flag for major Thai conglomerates that depend on big chemical sales in rural areas.]

Middle: Lookmai or Bab rak [pink] “Sean Jindachot” [white] climbing actor 2018
[Refers to a famous actor Sean Jindachot who is now playing a main role in two TV drama: Lookmai Laysonthaya with the actress Pimprapa Thangprapapron (pictured) and another TV drama Bab Rak.
He is often rumored to be dating his costars. There is now a rumor that he is dating Pimprapa. So this article calls him a “climbing actor 2018” which is like a climbing plant which always has close relationships with everything around.]
Right: The five things about coach Che who is abandoning his nationality
[Refers to well-known South Korean Choi Young Seok, Thailand’s taekwondo coach, who is now applying for Thai nationality in order to maintain his position to coach the Thai taekwondo team. He is known as “coach Che.” He has been praised for his good performance in helping Thai taekwondo in many international games.]

From Lokwannee, September 8-14, 2018
Main cover reads: Thailand can’t come to this far… if it without…Superhero
[Refers to a recent campaign on Facebook page “Uncle Tu Toon” with the aim to promote PM Prayuth as a hero who ends the political conflict in the country.
This cover ridicules the campaign and brings up Deputy PM Prawit, known for his expensive watch collection and the allegations that he did not declare his wealth. The big spending military is also noted with the submarines. In the background are dinosaurs used to indicate the old-fashioned thinking of the military.]

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