Weekly News Magazines: Red Bull and the Shy Tiger, September, 2017

From Matichon Weekly, September 15-21, 2017
Main cover reads: Horror [big word] election
[Thaksin and Yingluck are hugging each other in this spoof of the Thai horror movie “The Promise.” After the escape of Yingluck before the verdict on the rice-pledging scheme, rumors swirled that this incident would be used further delay elections. Further delays would frightening indeed to Thaksin who has been laying low in hopes that a new election would once again return a party he controls to power.]
Left side: “Tiger” hides. Red bull is aggressively riding on the “People’s State” to “rent” the community forest.
[The man is Interior Minister General Anupong Paochinda.
This headline refers to the case of the energy company Red Bull leasing land which is believed to include a protected community forest.
While illegal, this is not unusual as the rich and powerful often just do what they want and use the weight of their influence to make it right.
In this case, the company had already been in the public spotlight after the case of a company heir killing a police officer with his Ferrari and, until recently, living openly with impunity from the law.
The community forest case led to criticism of the Lands Department under leading junta member Interior Minister Gen. Anupong Paochinda.
The Red Bull company insisted that they rented the land legally and planned to develop the land for water storage in compliance with the junta’s policy of “Pracharat” or the “People’s State.”
Gen. Anupong dismissed the criticism and set up an investigation of the matter while the company returned the land.
The “People’s State” is a junta concept to emphasize that the power of the nation should be used for the benefit of all the people. This is to draw contrast with the criticism of Thaksin’s rule that was supposedly meant to benefit himself, his cronies, and those who voted for him.
However, critics contend that the junta’s “People’s State” is exactly the same sort of populism that Thaksin embodied.
The headline is saying that the bull of “Red Bull” is riding or mastering this people’s state to reap benefits for itself.
“Tiger hides” means Gen. Anupong, part of the powerful Eastern Tiger military group, keeps generally silent in the junta, letting more boisterous PM Prayuth grab the media spotlight.]

From Siamrath Weekly Review, September 15-21, 2017
Main cover reads: Hold on the knife [white] for the friendship
[Refers to Thaksin’s son Panthongtae Shinawatra who is facing charges relating to a money-laundering scheme. The headline implies that the final verdict might result in either acquittal or a minor ruling of wrongdoing as the junta seems to be making deals with Thaksin’s political clique to enable them to peacefully maintain power after the next elections.]

From Manager Weekly, September 16-22, 2017
Main cover reads: (Warning) [white] Don’t lease more than 1 thousand/years
[This ridicules the Red Bull drink warning label about how many bottles to consume.
Here is refers to Interior Minister General Anupong Paochinda who is in a spotlight for granting a license to energy drink company Red Bull for leasing the land which believed to include a protected community forest. The price for the lease was allegedly a very low sweetheart deal–1,000 baht/rai/year.
After public protest, the company returned the land even though they insisted their intention was to use the land to develop water storage to preserve water and help the community.]
Top: Being a wife of the world champion means she must be patient. [yellow] “Kae” ate instant noodles–stayed in the rental room for 14 years [white] finally to be together with “Srisaket”
[Refers to Patchareewan ‘Kae’ Kanha, girlfriend of Thai boxer Srisaket Sor Sungvisai who recently knocked out Chocolatito Gonzalez and retained his WBC super-flyweight world title. After his recent victory, Sirsaket finally proposed to his longtime girlfriend.]
Bottom left: DSI pending ‘Oak’s case’ to give a green light-red light. Must wait for ‘elder brother’ to decide after talking about ‘Shinsuwan deal.’
[Refers to Thaksin’s son Panthongtae Shinawatra who faces charges in a money-laundering scheme. This article implies that to proceed the next step of the legal procedure, the Department of the Special Investigation (DSI) may wait for the direction from Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan, the “big brother” or elder member of military group the Eastern Tigers. It has been widely reported in the media that Prawit has been engaged in drawn out negotiations with Thaksin over the formation of the next government. Prawit denies any contact with Thaksin. The articles implies that the result of Thaksin’s son’s legal case, like everything else in Thailand, will be the result of high-level negotiations between powerful men.]
Middle: ‘Thaug’ [Suthep thaugsuban] becomes a favor. The NCPO returned to his service
[Refers to Suthep Thaugsuban, a leader of anti-Yingluck group the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) and a junta supporter. This article is about the close ties between Suthep and the junta (the National Council for Peace and Order or NCPO).]
Right, in black square: Special: Change a normal day to become a special day! ‘Volunteer’ the power of the nation
[This column encourages readers to join the volunteer program to honor King Rama IX.]

From Lokwannee, September 16-22, 2017
Main cover reads: Fortune teller 4.0 [small] insight or secretly knows?

[The man in yellow is Thai political fortune teller Warin. The woman in white is Myanmar’s well-known fortune teller “E.T.” or Swe Swe Win. She recently passed away after a career of advising Thai politicians and political figures, notably Thaksin.
This cover is raising the question of whether fortune tellers really have the power to see into the future or they just secretly known insider information.
Warin is probably the most famous Thai political fortune teller. His advice often seems pro-junta. This Thaksin, pro-Red Shirt publication alleges he seems like part of the junta’s Thailand 4.0 plan and his predictions are meant to support military rule.]

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