Weekly News Magazines: Thailand’s Power Players, September, 2017

From Siamrath Weekly Review, September 8-14, 2017
Main headline reads: Low profile [red] high power
[Refers to Thakins’s ex-wife Potjaman Na Pombejra who rarely makes public statements, but is known to play a large role behind-the-scenes in politics managing her family’s political deals.]

From Matichon Weekly, September 8-14, 2017
Main cover reads: Very handsome
[Former PM Abhisit Vejjajiva who has been criticized for his comments attacking former PM Yingluck after she fled the country. Thais are quite touchy about people who jump out to attack those who have been seen to fail in some way–whether they agree with the person who failed or not.
Abhisit denied he criticized Yingluck and instead questioned the media for reporting the alleged comments.
This cover headline refers to the idea that people who jump on others who are down on their luck are trying to make themselves look good–or in this case, handsome.]
Inside the box on the left: Thai people are lucky to have ‘Abhisit’ as the PM
Outside the box: There are people who died here? 99=2 An equation which can’t be fixed ; even ‘Montesquieu’ gets a headache
[Refers to PM Abhisit Vejjajiva and former deputy premier Suthep Thaugsuban who were recently cleared in a criminal lawsuit against them involving the clearance of the Red Shirt protest in 2010. During the protests, 99 people died and about 2,000 were injured.
Red Shirts allege unfair treatment from the judge. Related to this is Thaksin’s Montesquieu quote which he posted on Twitter after Yingluck fled the country. The quote read “There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetuated under the shield of law and in the name of justice.”]

From Manager Weekly, September 9-15, 2017
Main cover reads: Jugglery in a case of [yellow] ‘Panthongtae’
[Refers to the junta supposedly pushing forward the case of Thaksin’s son Panthongtae Shinawatra who was accused in a money laundering case involving Krungthai Bank in 2008. This is thought to be an attempt for the junta to recoup their legitimacy after Yingluck escaped a court verdict. This escape badly dented the junta’s popularity as many people are sure the junta made a deal with Thaksin to let Yingluck escape overseas. “Jugglery” means something like a tick or slight of hand where the junta uses Panthongtae’s case to make up for their duplicity in letting Yingluck escape justice.]

Top: Ending “a buster of a temple’s money” [big] Send “Pongporn” to the Southern border [normal] Is this a “reward”?
[Men in the photo are Pol. Lt. Col. Pongporn Pramsaneh and Wissanu Krea-ngam.
This refers to a transfer of Pol. Lt. Col. Pongporn Pramsaneh from the National Office of Buddhism (NOB) to the PM’s Office as an inspector-general supervising the southern border provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani, Songkhla, Satun and Yala.
Pongporn was an inveterate reformer who fearless shown light on the corrupt finances of Thailand Buddhist temples. It is thought that the junta is less interested inr eal reform now and more concerned with maintaining their grip on politics after the elections. Thus, they are less interested in reform that makes enemies.
The headline jokes that the “transfer” (which was in reality a sacking) could not possible be a promotion as the junta claims as Pongporn will now have to perform his duties in the very dangerous southern provinces.]
Bottom left: Minnie-Purisa. Kid designer 9 years old (acting) world’s youngest cloth owner.
[Refers to Purisa ‘Minnie’ Hengtrakulsin who is only 9 years old, but has her own cloth brand named ‘Purisa Glitzy.’]
Right: ‘Stung Nam’ [white] Cambodia’s ten billion dam. Who gets the benefit? Who loses and who is an invisible hand?
[The men in the photo are PM Prayut Chan-o-cha and Cambodian PM Hun Sen. This refers to the suspension of the 40-billion baht project to buy electricity and fresh water from Cambodia’s Stung Nam Dam. The junta made this decision one day before visiting Cambodia and agreed to enhance strong bilateral ties between the two countries. This article raises the question of what is behind the junta’s decision and who will gain the most benefit and loss from this action.]

From Lokwannee, September 9-15, 2017
Main cover reads: Follow the leader’s ass 20 years, the country will survive.
Along the man’s back: National Strategy Committee
[Junta’s leader PM Prayuth vowed to stay in power until the reform of the country is accomplished. Meanwhile, the National Strategy Committee was established by the junta with the aim of laying out the country’s strategy plan for 20 years and thus avoiding another Thaksin-directed government coming to power and trying enact polices to reward their supporters and to rewrite the constitution. The 20-year plan has been criticized as a tool to restrict an elected government and politicians.
We think the naked man is meant to remind readers that the military are like cave men and have an old-fashioned thinking style.]

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