Weekly News Magazines: the Runner Succeeds Where the Junta Fails, November, 2017

From Siamrath weekly review, November 10-16, 2017
Main cover picture: Can’t cut [white] and can’t sell either

[The men in the picture are PM Prayuth Chan-ocha (left), General Chatchai Sarikulya (wearing glasses) and General Anupong Paochinda.
Refers to Thai proverb “Can’t cut and can’t sell either” referring to strong relationships that no one can break up. Such relationships are important in the Thai world where one’s position and security in business or politics is enabled by the cadre of associates one has developed over the years.
The cover illustrates the situation that PM Prayuth is now facing in his cabinet reshuffle. General Chatchai Sarikulya, Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister, and Interior Minister General Anupong Paochinda are known as persons who have strong ties with PM Prayuth. General Chatchai is PM Prayuth’s military classmate (always the sign of a mutual obligation of support) while Gen. Anupong is a senior member of Prauyuth’s military clique and thought to be even more powerful that Prayuth in the junta overall.
Both Chatchai and Anupong have been criticized for their lackluster performance in their government posts. In a normal government, both might be shuffled out of the cabinet, but the mutual military obligations they share with Prayuth makes this unlikely.
This puts a spotlight on Prayuth’s assurances that he will consider cabinet posts based on the suitability rather than friendship. It seems unlikely he will actually be able to do so.]

From Matichon Weekly, November 10-16, 2017
Main cover picture: ‘Military’ [yellow] Party

[The man on the cover is Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan thought to be the most powerful figure in the junta. This refers to a rumor that the junta will set up a military party to compete in the coming elections.]

On the right side: Ustaz ‘feel good’ ‘Toon Bodyslam’ opens the good side of the three southern provinces

[Refers to charity run project established by famous rocker Artiwara Toon Kongmalai from Bodyslam band. He is running from the southernmost tip of Thailand to the north of the country in order to raise funds for 11 hospitals. When he started his run in the Thai Deep South, where a long-running separatist conflict persists, he received warm support from the locals. This seemed to present a contrast to the Thai military’s way of dealing with the situation, which has often consisted of brutal treatment of suspects and a heavy-handed approach. This article is an interview with an Ustaz, a professor or teacher in Islam, about Toon’s run.]

From Manager Weekly, November 11-17, 2017
Main cover reads: ‘Toon-Tu’ [yellow] Take One Step Each

[The men on the cover are General Anupong Paochinda, PM Prayuth Chan-ocha and Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan. And at the bottom left is Artiwara Toon Kongmalai.
This cover jokes about the popularity of the junta vs Artiwara Toon Kongmalai. Famous rocker Artiwara Toon Kongmalai set up a charity run project named ‘Take One Step Each’ to raise the funds for hospitals. This venture has made him spectacularly popular with the Thai public–even with alienated locals in the restive Thai Deep South.
In contrast, the ruling junta, led by PM Prayuth, General Anupong Paochinda and Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan is now facing several challenges, i8ncluding declining popularity, the economic situation and a cabinet reshuffle complicated by the number of high-ranking military men in the government who cannot easily be removed from their posts.
“Tu” is PM Prayuth’s nickname. The cover jokes that both Toon and Tu are taking a step forward–but perhaps Prayuth (“Tu”) faces a harder time doing so.]

Top: Saudi arrested the royal family-elites [red] involved with ‘corruption’ [black] paving the way for the crown price to be the ‘power’

[The men are Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal.
[Refers to the current power competition among the Saudi Arabia’s royal family.]

Bottom left: ‘Miss Kaewkam’ Tai-Yai girl who wins the hearts of Thai men

[Refer a new social media idol Kaewkam from Tai-Yai, an ethnic group living in the parts of Thailand and Myanmar.]

Bottom right: ‘Chakrit-Ann’ a new perfect love because of ‘a baby’

[Refers to the marriage of actor Chakrit Yamnam and to Pattira Ann Rungroj and news of a pregnancy. This was after his divorce from a well known model.]

From Lokwannee, November 11-17, 2017
Main cover reads: Isn’t it enough?

[Refers to polls conducted by various groups that show public support for the junta declining. The word “lick” is also an slang in Thai meaning to do something to curry favor with another. Anti-junta cartoonists will often show people licking the military’s boots.
Here, the cover seems to criticize pollsters (or perhaps others) attempt to curry favor with the junta with positive coverage.]

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