Weekly News Magazine: Countdown for the Junta, January, 2018

From Siamrath Weekly Review, January 19-25, 2018
Main cover reads: Romance of the 3 Kingdoms [white] Thai version
[The men on the cover from left to right: Former PM Abhisit Vejjajiva, former PM Thaksin Shinawatra, PM Prayuth Chan-ocha. These are the three big power players who will decide the composition of the next government. This refers to the Chinese novel “Romance of the Three Kingdom.” The three men and the groups they represent are employing many tactics and alliances to win power after the next elections.]

From Matichon Weekly, January 19-25, 2018
Main cover picture: Game of [yellow] PRA
[Refers to concern expressed by Privy Council President Prem Tinsulanonda to PM Prayuth. Prem (known as “Pra Prem” meaning “daddy” in Chinese) advised PM Prayuth to reform the country and get rid of corruption in order to win back support from the public.
PM Prayuth and the government is under fire for its protection of junta member Deputy PM Prawit who is embroiled in a scandal over apparently undeclared assets. This is symbolized by the luxury watch on the left side of the cover.
PM Prayuth has been advised to end this case as soon as possible to avoid further decline in public support. The implication is that powers greater than the junta itself–such as the Privy Council–could force the military to deal with its embarrassing scandal.
In the headline, the Thai tone mark “+” is above the word “PRA” to indirectly mean “Pra Prem” as the sound of “PRA” and with the sound of “+” is like the sound of the word “Pra” in Thai meaning “daddy.”]
Top right: Facebook ‘changes’ the game impact to Thailand’s online media both ‘big’ and ‘small’ ones.
[Refers to Facebook’s big change on its news feed. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (pictured) said that Facebook will prioritize posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between friends, families, and groups and reduce the number of items in the news feed that come from media, brands and publishers. This is expected to cause an huge impact to big and small businesses in Thailand.]

From Manager Weekly, January 20-26, 2018
Main cover reads: Bi-polar democracy
On the left: “The media-politicians have a problem and try to overthrow the junta and the NCPO.”
On the right: “Your job is to show to the public.”
Nong Kiew Koy (cartoon character at bottom right): Please receive medicine at block no. 5.
[Refers to PM Prayuth (pictured on both sides of the page) who showed different side of his character when it came to the issue of elections. While he PM showed the public kindness and friendliness during his visits with people in several provinces, he aggressively criticized the media and politicians for trying to overthrow the junta and reporting on the formation of a military political party.
The phrase on the right is from a visit to farm where the PM fed sheep. He spoke to them, assuring them they were sheep for show.
This contrast between kindly comments and unprovoked aggressiveness is what the cover is pointing out.
Nong Kiew Koy or Miss Pinky Promise is a mascot created to promote national reconciliation. The saying “Please receive medicine at block no.” is humorous saying used to reply to someone saying or doing something weird.
Using number 5 in the phrase (“Please receive medicine at block no. 5″), may refer to the military’s TV channel 5.
Here it means that the big difference between the PM’s mood indicates craziness.]
Top left: From #even it’s dirty, I still love you. Even love, still separate. [pink] “End of Love” [white] “Messi Jay-May Pichanart”
[Refers to the breakup news between famous football player Chanathip “Jay” Songkrasin, known as “Messi Jay” and actress Pitchanart “May” Sakhakorn. May said that there were unspecified factors that led to the break up although they still had feelings for each other. Some believed that the family problems may have led to the end for the couple.]
Right: Get rid of News Feed = force to buy [yellow] “advertise” more expensively. Temporary happiness of the owner of Facebook. Finally, [yellow] “brother Mark” steps back silently.
[Refers to Facebook’s change in its news feed. According to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (pictured), Facebook will reduce the number of items in the newsfeed that come from media, brands and publishers. This should lead to an increase in advertising revenue for Facebook as companies are forced to pay for placement.]
Bottom left: Very expensive watch is still curious. “PM Tu” survives and forgets to use the Article 44.
[Refers to Deputy PM Prawit (pictured) who is now facing calls to resign due to questions about his declared wealth. The headline indicates people remain curious about the issue. PM Prayuth (whose nickname is “Tu”) could use the junta’s absolute power under Article 44 to absolve Prawit, but is apparently hesitant to do so. He must consider public popularity as the military is setting up its own political party to contest elections.
“PM Tu survives” references the Thai conception that Prawit’s scandal benefits PM Prayuth by distracting attention from his performance.]
Right: “Playing Peek-A-Boo”–a small thing, but helps the improvement of kids.
[Refers to a study showing that playing peek-a-boo will help a child’s mental development. Therefore, the Thai Health Promotion Foundation is now promoting this.]

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