Weekly News Magazines, June 10-17, 2016

10 Jun

From Nation Weekend, June 10, 2016
Main cover reads: Be aware of Thaksin

[The man on the cover is PM Prayuth. This refers to the political game between Thaksin and the junta which is what the coup and its aftermath are ultimately all about.
Recently, the Red Shirts established an anti-fraud center to monitor the draft constitution referendum. This was an attempt by the Red Shirts to use the junta’s goals on fighting corruption to fight against the junta itself. However, the junta banned the Red Shirt center saying the government already had enough agencies to monitor the referendum.]

1st headline on the left: Death of [yellow] ‘Seh Ice’ – End of the great man.

[Refers to the death of former Thaksin advisor Gen. Trairong Intarathat, alias ‘Seh Ice.’ He passed away due to a blood infection. In Thai, the word ‘Seh’ stands for Chief of Staff.]

2nd headline: An artist monk asks which part says [yellow] ‘Silly Isan’

[Refers to the referendum canvassing song entitled “(On) 7 August, Be United in Referendum for Secured Democracy: released by the Election Commission (EC). This song was criticized for its lyrics advising people from the north and northeast people (Isan people) to carefully consider their votes and not allow themselves to be used (by Thaksin).
This song later was revised although the EC and the songwriter monk insisted that he did not have the intention to insult people.
The importance of this in the Thai world is not that it demonstrates some sort of superior, paternalistic attitude from Bangkok. This is the incorrect assessment in the English-language media.
The importance is that the songwriter is a known leftist and Red Shirt sympathizer. To have him chiding the Red Shirts for slavishly supporting Thaksin is meant to demonstrate that the Red Shirts (and Pheu Thai voters) do not have to serve Shinawatra family interests. Thus, the songwriter and song are meant to show that there are cracks in the loyalty of the movements and that Thaksin is growing irrelevant.
This is the greatest anathema to Thaksin and his family. All of Thaksin’s activities this year–his raised profile in the international press, the calendars and Songkran bowls, Yingluck’s political tours in the Northeast, etc. have been meant to demonstrate that the Red Shirts and the Pheu Thai are firmly under Thaksin control and must act on his orders. Thaksin’s ability to master these movements and direct their activities is a reflection of his relevance (or lack thereof).]

3rd headline: ‘Khon’ [white] belong to whom? Put out a fire of nationalism

[Refers to a nationalist sentiment over Thailand’s attempt to register the Khon, a traditional masked dance, on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list. Meanwhile, Cambodian people use the social media to condemn this and claimed that Thai version of Khon is based on the Khmer ‘Lakhon Khol’ tradition.]

4th headline: War Elephant Foundation [white] a hot issue of Thailand’s football team

[Refers to the War Elephant Foundation established by ThaiBrev, the company that owns ‘Change’ beverage’ to support Thailand’s national football team. The team is known as the ‘War Elephant’ and will receive a total of 100 million baht in support over 10 years.]


From Matichon Weekly, June 10-16, 2016
Main cover reads: Soon [white] fights against fraud in the referendum
From left to right are Red Shirt leaders Jatuporn Prompan, Thida Thanvornseth, Nattawut Saikua; in the background is Weng Tojirakarn

[This refers to the Red Shirt’s anti-fraud center established with the aim to monitor the draft constitution referendum. This center was banned by the junta. This cover plays with the sound of the word “soon” in Thai and Isan languages.
“Soon” in Thai means “center” which here means the anti-fraud center while “soon” in Isan means angry.
This comes from Jatupon’s statement during the press conference that launched the center. He said that a person who is angry easily will disclose hidden information easily. He was alluding to PM Prayuth who often gets angry during interviews.
All of this is part of an expected Thaksin/Red Shirt strategy to declare that there was fraud during the referendum.]

Top: ML Nattakorn [white] doesn’t’ ‘Pluem’

[This refers to TV host ML Nattakorn Devakula’s article about PM Prayuth’s demeanor. This headline plays with the word “pluem” which, in Thai, means “not happy.” So, it means he is not happy with PM Prayuth’s manners which seems to very aggressive and impolite, particularly when he is in front of the press.]


From Lokwannee, June 11-17, 2016
Main cover reads: Don’t cheat… Don’t be afraid
On the white paper: Referendum

[The junta has taken legal action against those who criticized the draft charter or who called for a “no” vote. This cover story implies that if the junta is confident that the referendum will be carried out transparently and will not cheat to help it pass, then the junta does not need to be afraid of people, particularly the Red Shirts, whom tried to establish a center to monitor the voting.]


From Manager Weekly, June 11-17, 2016
Main cover reads: Being on the throne for 70 years. His prestige is expanded around the nation. Long Live the King 9 June 2559 [2016]

[Refers to the celebration of 70 years on the throne of Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej on 9 June 2016. The King has been a figure of stability in the country throughout decades of political upheaval. However, people have recently grown concerned about King’s health condition and his infrequent appearance sin public.]

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