Updated: An update on the RR case and its “reporting”

10 03 2017

A couple of days ago we posted on the floundering Rolls Royce corruption investigation. We noted that the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) was thinking that a subcommittee to investigate allegations of bribery was the way to go. Committees in Thailand usually mean that someone wants an investigation buried.

But, behold! In The Nation yesterday we read that a subcommittee had been formed and that it did something. The headline was: “Thaksin’s ex-ministers to be questioned over Rolls-Royce bribery scandal.” And there was a photo concocted by The Nation.

We read on as the “journalists” and “editors” came up with this:

The anti-graft agency will interrogate former transport minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit and his ex-deputy Vichet Kasemthongsri as part of its ongoing investigation into the Rolls-Royce bribery scandal.

Sansern Poljieak, secretary-general of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC), said on Thursday that its nine commissioners have set up a subcommittee to probe individuals involved in the purchase of seven Rolls-Royce engines for Thai Airways International aircraft between 2004 and 2005.

Hold on, just those two years? Didn’t the allegations go back to the very early 1990s?

Well, yes, and The Nation unhelpfully states:

A total of 26 people were found to be involved with the purchase, including Suriya, Vichet, 15 board members of Thai Airways at the time, and nine members of the national airline’s long-term investment subcommittee….

But who? Not a word. What we are told is that the “NACC had found that Rolls-Royce was unfairly favoured in the bidding for THAI’s aircraft engines between 2004 and 2005.”

Again, just those two years? What is going on?

We guess a couple of things. First, if something must be done about this corruption, make sure that it is mainly about political enemies. Second, The Nation has been vigorously anti-Thaksin for many years, and this is just one way of using the (military) boot to further that. Two of 26 are singled out and named.

It may not be “false news,” but it is remarkably unprofessional.

When we turned to a story in the Bangkok Post, we learned more. The NACC did provide names and The Nation just decided to be politicized in its reporting.

The Post is a little more professional in its reporting, indicating that the 26 names are simply lists of all the “names of ministers, all board directors and all members of the long-term investment subcommittee of THAI at the time.” It is a shopping list and not a list of those investigated. One of those listed is already deceased!

The others listed by the NACC are:

…15 are former THAI directors led by Thanong Bidaya, former chairman; Srisook Chandrangsu, vice-chairman (deceased); and Somchainuek Engtrakul, vice-chairman.

The remaining board directors are ACM Kongsak Wanthana, Chai-Anan Samudavanija, Thirachai Vutthitham, Thatchai Sumit, Borwornsak Uwanno, Chartsiri Sophonpanich, Vichit Suraphongchai, Viroj Nualkhair, Pol Gen Sant Sarutanon, Prof Dr Suchai Charoen Rattanakul, Olarn Chaipravat and Kanok Abhiradee.

The others are former members of THAI’s subcommittee on long-term investments led by Mr Thanong as adviser, Srisook as chairman (deceased) and Mr Kanok as vice-chairman.

The other former members of the subcommittee are Kobchai Sriwilas, Tassani Suthas Na Ayutthaya, Suthep Suebsantiwong, Kaweephan Ruangpaka, Fg Off Veerachai Sripa, Wg Cdr Supachai Limpisawat, Fg Off Chinavut Naratesenee, Charnchai Singtoroj and Sangngern Pornpaibulsathit.

There’s some interesting names there, including a scion of one of Bangkok’s wealthiest families (Chartsri of the Bangkok Bank), yellow-shirt ideologue Chai-Anan, multiple charter drafter and dedicated royalist Bowornsak, and several others of the “great” and the “good.”

Now why didn’t The Nation think to mention them or include them in a Photoshopped photo?

But there’s more. The Post also reports:

Notably, the list is limited to those linked to the purchases of Rolls-Royce engines and spare engines during 2004-05. They do not include those involved in the two rounds of purchases made earlier in 1991-92 and 1992-97 identified by the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) report on the Rolls-Royce case.

The Nation seemed to miss that point. The question is why is that the NACC seems uninterested in the others? We don’t think one needs to have the intellect of Einstein to hazard a guess.

Update: So maybe The Nation wasn’t so unprofessional…. We maybe owe them an apology, for a Khaosod story throws a third spin on the reporting. That report states:

Of the 31 ministerial officials who served during the years Rolls-Royce said it paid bribes to Thai officials, only two were implicated Friday following seven weeks of investigation by the national anti-graft agency.

And the two were, it says, the two former Thaksin era ministers.

The report states: “The graft agency said there’s not enough evidence linking the other 29 high-ranking officials to the graft, which spanned 13 years.”

That would be remarkable! As the report states: “Those two [the ministers implicated], as it turned out, served under former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, the leader of a political dynasty the current military government has sought to dismantle.” Yep, remarkable!

But then the report backtracks and says more evidence is being sought on the others named (in the Bangkok Post report above).

And, by the way, the NACC claims to still have nothing from Britain’s SFO, so the “implications” seem drawn without the necessary evidence.

At this point it can’t be just PPT that is getting confused, but maybe that’s the point of the manner the NACC conducts its (political) work.

More on Pravit I

16 09 2015

The Bangkok Post has a different take on Pravit Rojanaphruk’s departure from The Nation.

It states that it was not “audience” that demanded the departure of Pravit from The Nation but pressure from royalists in the newspaper and its business group. The report states that Pravit “quit the newspaper after being heavily criticised by a group of staff members led by well-known TV host Kanok Ratwongsakul who works for the same firm.”

Rightist and royalist Kanok is reported as stating that “there was a movement by a large group of staff members at his company calling on management to distinguish between Pravit’s personal opinions stated in his personal capacity on social media and his professional opinions.”

In the worst fascist tradition, writing on Facebook, Kanok demanded censorship:

“Why does the company have to always protect him in the name of media freedom?” Kanok wrote on Facebook. Kanok described Pravit as a person with cynical views whom the majority of the people at The Nation could not agree with.

“Why hasn’t The Nation tried to stop him [Pravit] as he has always expressed his opinions in a way that insulted the consensus on issues among the majority of people in society, especially when he made opinions critical of the monarchy?” Kanok added.

“I wonder if the scope of media freedom is that broad?” he wrote.

Fascists in Thailand are always prepared to use the name of the monarchy when attacking those they view as opponents.

Of course, it is Kanok who mixes his “journalism” with his rightist political views on a regular basis. His call for censorship of alternative views is indicative of the cynicism and intolerance of Thailand’s royalist fascists that has so often led to military-instigated massacres of those they cannot tolerate.

The Post publishes a picture of Kanok embracing royalism and fascism with anti-democrat Suthep Thaugsuban, clipped below.

Royalist fascism

Clipped from the Bangkok Post

With 3 updates: Pravit out of The Nation

16 09 2015

Pravit Rojanaphruk has let it be known that he has left The Nation. We understand he will appear on the BBC at 8 p.m. Bangkok time. Should be an interesting interview.

Update 1: Earlier, The Nation reported that the military junta had released Pravit, Karun Hosakul and Pichai Naripatapan “after getting them to sign an undertaking to desist from any move or expression of opinions opposing the junta’s road map.”

Pravit reportedly “signed an agreement not to lead, participate or assist any anti-coup movement. The NCPO also filed a pending police complaint against him, which would be activated if he violates the NCPO’s order again…”.

The Dictator and Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said the released detainees “have to comply with the pact in relation to some personal activities, such as informing the NCPO when planning to travel abroad.” In addition, he affirmed that the junta “has the authority to freeze their bank account if it finds their movements suspicious.”

He warned that if they don’t do as they are ordered, “they have to go to court. There’ll be no more negotiation…”.

This is part of a pattern of ever-deepening repression.

Update 2: Prachatai has more on Pravit’s departure from The Nation. Pravit says “he was forced to quit his job at The Nation Newspaper after he was detained incommunicado by the military.” The pressure on him came from “The Nation Group pressured him to resign due to pressure from the audience.” The “audience” is described as mostly “right-wing, pro-coup royalists…”.

Update 3: PPT is unable to discover if Pravit did appear on the BBC. However, there is a BBC story about his departure from The Nation, where it is reported:

… his belief in democracy remained unchanged. The media had a responsibility to ensure that Thais do not think of military rule as a “normal situation”….

Discounting love for the king

19 04 2015

We were interested to see that The Nation is advertising a discount on We Love the King caps at its NStore.

This is either a great bargain for dedicated monarchists or a measure of the decline of the monarchy.

Discounting the king

Nonsensical “journalism”

5 05 2014

The mainstream media has produced some bizarre commentary in recent years. Much of this has been due to political bias. The op-eds at The Nation by its team of yellow-shirted commentators have been especially odd, often reproducing some of the most ridiculous of notions drawn from ultra-royalist social media and political rags like ASTV/Manager. So notoriously bad and silly was much of this commentary that is spawned a spoof edition called Not The Nation.

One might suggest that this doesn’t matter too much. After all, op-eds are meant to take a “position,” and that they are, after all, opinions. Generally, though, readers might expect that those called on to write an op-ed in major newspapers have some kind of qualification or knowledge that permits a view to be presented that has a little credibility.

Apparently this is not the case for the Bangkok Post. Its recent op-ed by Saritdet Marukatat is arguably the most ridiculous op-ed we at PPT have read in a newspaper that presents itself as a serious news outlet. Saritdet is said to be the “digital media news editor” at the Post.

His contribution is a comparison of Syria’s politics with Thailand’s political shenanigans, and Yingluck Shinawatra with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Yes, Syria. Forget the vicious civil war in Syria that has killed up to 200,000, forget the millions of refugees, forget that Syria is a presidential political system that is under the control of the Arab Socialist Ba’at Party, forget that there is an armed opposition that has established a divided “administration, and forget that the “election” there is for the president. Forget all of that – well, mention some of it, but then ignore it – and write an op-ed that “compares” the incomparable.

Then make this claim: “… what happens after the election in Syria is likely to indicate what Thailand will encounter after July 20. Elections held amid deep, bitter conflict can never work. Syria will show that to Thailand.” Yes, Thailand’s conflict is claimed to be as deep and bitter as that in Syria.

Forget that Thailand’s aborted February election was mostly held in a peaceful manner in most of the country and was only prevented in only a few places where the anti-democratic Democrat Party’s thugs, supported by elements of the Election Commission, stopped voters from going to the polls.

Clearly, Saritdet is making stuff up or filching it from some mad yellow shirts. He uses it for political effect and impact and to continue to oppose the very idea of an election. Perhaps he should stick to the digital media and forget journalism.



Reporting the red shirt rally

6 04 2014

PPT has looked through some of the reporting of the red shirt rally at various places around the Web and media.

By late on the 5th, The Nation had managed a photo of the red shirt rally, but hardly a word about it. Buried in its web-based headline story was this:

At the red-shirt rally, Jatuporn Promphan, leader of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), said he expected as many as 500,000 people to take part in the rally.

He said the red shirts would not allow an unelected prime minister to rule the country and that after 82 years the country had had enough of a “lack of democracy”.

Jatuporn said the red shirts would end their rally tomorrow morning and there would be another mass rally on April 18.

A large number of red-shirt participants, most of whom came in different vehicles, caused traffic congestion in areas around the rally site.

Clearly, The Nation was more interested in Suthep Thaugsuban’s demagoguery than in getting its reporters to the first major red shirt rally anywhere near Bangkok since the end of last year.

The Bangkok Post, which previously accepted anti-democrat claims of “millions” rallying for that side, seemed to take a different tack on red shirts. It too had an aerial photo of the very large rally, and referred to “[t]ens of thousands of people from across the country,” before declaring how both “Suthep and UDD chairman Jatuporn Promphan have … been obsessed with the number of people each side can attract.” In fact, the obsession has mainly been with the mainstream media, including the Post, reporting the anti-democrats. After all, the red shirts haven’t rallied near Bangkok for several months. The Post decides that: “The actual crowd as of late Saturday afternoon was estimated at about 80,000.” It doesn’t give a source for the figure, although red shirts sources were claiming about 120,000.

Red rally

A Bangkok Post photo

The Post reports Jatuporn’s speech:

We will fight if the country becomes undemocratic.”

“The Thai people have reached the point of no hope, because we are now aware of the repeated deceptions,” Mr Jatuporn told reporters afterward.

“What we are most concerned about, what we want to warn all sides against, is a civil war, which we do not want to happen. … It will happen if there is a coup and democracy is stolen.”

HeadMeanwhile, Andrew MacGregor Marshall sent out some tweets from BBC reporter Jonathan Head that had the monarchy element of the struggle highlighted. PPT has a screen shot of these. Marshall has been pointing to the succession issue as underpinning the political crisis of the past decade, and these tweets indicate a belief amongst some red shirts that the monarchy and succession are now splitting the ruling class.

Meanwhile, preparations for succession continue, as reported at Matichon. Google Translate does a reasonable job of this announcement that shows Prince Vajiralongkorn gradually preparing for the bigger role.

The international media has reported the red shirt rally quite extensively. Here’s some of it:

Thailand’s ‘Red Shirts’ rally to support PM Yingluck Shinawatra

ABC Online

Government supporters in Thailand are staging a mass rally on the outskirts of Bangkok as the nation’s political instability continues. Tens of thousands of ‘Red Shirts’ gathered on the western fringe of the city on Saturday

Thai ‘Red Shirts’ rally to support embattled Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra


THOUSANDS of Thai pro-government “Red Shirts” have gathered in a show of support for Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, warning that they would resist attempts to oust her through the courts

Thailand crisis: ‘Red shirts’ warn of civil war threat

BBC News – ‎5 hours ago‎

Leaders of Thailand’s pro-government movement have warned that any attempt to oust Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra could trigger a civil war. They issued the warning at a rally outside Bangkok

Thailand’s ‘Red Shirts’ rally in support of embattled PM

CTV News

The Red Shirts have avoided rallying in Bangkok since then to avert bloodshed, and the current three-day gathering is being held dozens of kilometres from downtown Bangkok, on the western edge of the sprawling metropolis, for the same reason

Thousands of pro-government ‘Red Shirts’ rally in Thailand

Deutsche Welle

Gathering on Saturday, followers of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), better known as the “Red Shirts,” kicked off a three-day rally held around a dozen kilometers (miles) outside of downtown Bangkok

Supporters Hold Rally for Thai Prime Minister

Wall Street Journal

Members of the pro-government “red shirt” group wave Thai national flags and hold photos of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her brother Thaksin Shinawatra during a rally in Nakhon Pathom province on the outskirts of Bangkok Saturday

Thai protest leader calls for ‘final battle’

Times of India

BANGKOK: A top Thai protest leader on Saturday asked anti-government activists to prepare for the “final battle” to be triggered by the ouster of embattled premier Yingluck Shinawatra, even as thousands of pro-government “Red Shirts” gathered

Thailand’s pro-government Red Shirts set to rally

Daily Mail

The last time pro-government “Red Shirts” gathered en masse at a stadium in the capital in November, shooting broke out nearby and five people were killed. The Red Shirts have avoided rallying in Bangkok since then to avert bloodshed

Thailand’s Red Shirts to rally in support of PM

CP24 Toronto’s Breaking News
The Red Shirts have avoided rallying in Bangkok since then to avert bloodshed, and Saturday’s rally is being held dozens of kilometres (miles) from downtown, on the western edge of the sprawling metropolis, for the same reason

Thailand Government Backers Rally for Show of Support

Voice of Americ

Until now, government supporters, led by the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship, known as the “red shirts,” mainly clustered in the rural north, have not staged large rallies in or around Bangkok

Thai Red Shirts mobilise to defend besieged PM

The West Australian

Udon Thani (Thailand) (AFP) – With a flurry of punches and kicks, hundreds of Thai “Red Shirts” undergo self-defence drills as they mobilise to protect the embattled government, stoking fears of a dangerous new phase of civil conflict

Thai Red Shirts plan counter rally to protect Prime Minister

Thanh Nien Daily

The United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship is working with authorities to prepare security for a crowd of 500,000 people today at a site in western Bangkok, said Jatuporn Prompan, the leader of the group that’s also known as the Red Shirts

Supporters of Thai PM converge to counter anti-govt protests


In their largest show of force in months, the pro-government “red shirts”, or United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship as the group is formally known, said they were prepared to thwart any move to dismiss Yingluck

Thais Rally in Support of Beleaguered Prime Minister

New York Times

In their largest show of force in months, the government supporters, known informally as the Red Shirts, said they were prepared to thwart any move to dismiss Ms. Yingluck, who faces mounting legal cases that could lead to her removal from office

Thousands Of Government Supporters Rally In Bangkok

BANGKOK, April 5 (Bernama) — Thousands of government supporters from United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) or the Red Shirts gathered on a main road at the outskirt of Bangkok to begin a rally

Thai PM supporters kick off days-long rallies


Up to 20,000 Red Shirts were already gathered by Saturday morning, several hours ahead of the official start of the rally, according to Paradorn Pattanatabut, a security adviser to the premier

Thousands Rally in Support of Embattled Thai PM

Voice of America

In their largest show of force in months, the pro-government “red shirts” said they are prepared to fight any move to oust Ms. Yingluck from office. Red shirt leader Jatuporn Promphan told reporters his group he will not accept a coup

Thai ‘Red Shirts’ rally to support beleaguered PM

Press Trust of India

Bangkok, Apr 5 (PTI) Thousands of Thai pro-government “Red Shirts” gathered here today for a massive three-day rally in a show of support for embattled premier Yingluck Shinawatra, raising fears of possible clashes.

Updated: Media bias I

26 11 2013

PPT has a series of posts to put up over several hours as the political situation in Thailand becomes increasingly chaotic. Several of these relate to media, politics and bias.

The Nation has published an editorial calling for Suthep Thaugsuban to pull back from his direct action and from “forcing the issue” on getting rid of the “Thaksin regime.” No doubt the author of the call thinks it a principled stand for democracy and “civil disobedience.” However, it is really little more than a debate amongst the activists on the street and the armchair supporters of that movement. It shows that Suthep is not necessarily in total control of the forces working against the government. It is also an example of the remarkably biased yellow-shirted “understanding” of recent political events. We illustrate this below.

It begins: “We have the chance to break a historic cycle of violent protest and usher in a new era of peaceful and principled politics.” The paper forgets that virtually every major protest movement in Thailand, from 1973 to 1976, 1992 and 2010 began peacefully. But for some reason the paper thinks Suthep’s protest is different:

The newspaper images from Sunday’s massive rally in Bangkok spoke loud and clear. People from all walks of life and every political hue shared one goal: to exercise their right to protest against an “unjust” government. The massive rally was one of the largest in Thai history, but the tens of thousands who gathered proved they could do so in peace, regardless of numbers. It was an especially impressive moment in Thai politics, proving that mass protests against the government don’t have to end in violence.

Of course, the so-far unspoken comparison is with the red shirts. The implication is that the red shirt protest was violent. It wasn’t. The red shirt caravan in March 2010 was undoubtedly the biggest peaceful demonstration ever seen in Thailand. Yet the Democrat Party refused to listen to this huge demonstration of solidarity and refused to call an election – the red shirt demand.

The editorial later refers to demonstrations leading to violence or a military coup. One of the false historical comparisons drawn on this is with “the People’s Assembly [it’s actually Alliance] for Democracy rallies against the Thaksin Shinawatra government eventually saw democracy struck down by a coup [in 2006].” What is unspoken here or conveniently forgotten is that the PAD efforts had essentially stopped long before the coup. The opposition to Thaksin was taken over by the palace and the military was required to finish off the elected regime.

The editorial continues:

It was also puzzling when Suthep said he would continue the protest even if Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra resigned or dissolved the House. His only goal now is to get rid of the “Thaksin regime”, though the rallies started as a campaign solely against the amnesty bill. Suthep should know better than to force the issue in this way, having experienced first-hand the violent political protests by red shirts in 2010.Democrat Party losses

As we noted above, in 2010, the Democrat Party was not interested in elections then and it is not interested now. There are two reasons for this. First, they simply don’t win elections. Second, there is a deep and long philosophical – if that is the right word – objection to elections amongst the opponents of Thaksin Shinawatra and supporters of monarchism. Whereas PAD rejected the notion of a fully-elected parliament, Suthep and the Democrat Party now appear to reject the very idea of electoral representation.

The editorial is right to observe this: “Our biggest challenge now is to learn from, rather than repeat, history.” It might just help the case if the editorial writers could understand history and break out of their blinkered, royalist vision of the past.

Update: A reader points out that the editorial quotes old supporters of PAD and represents a “nostalgia for 2008,” when PAD’s determination was seen through to the end, and resulted in a “judicial coup” rather than a military coup. The old PADistas and their media allies somehow see a judicial coup as “the rule of law” if not democracy at work.

Campaigning for Democrat Party activism II

26 10 2013

It seems that The Nation “newspaper” has decided that it must take a leading role in the task of re-invigorating and re-directing both the Democrat Party and the anti-Thaksin Shinawatra movement. We do not use a plural for the last term for PPT rejects the mainstream media’s banal claim that there are many anti-Thaksin movements. Abhisit and Suthep

After the article we commented on yesterday regarding the newspaper’s call for the Democrat Party to become street-based activists, it now highlights Democrat Party boss Suthep Thaugsuban’s plans for leading seizures of town or provincial halls, with a promotional “interview.”

The Nation begins by announcing that Suthep is “about to become one of the many anti-government protest leaders.” We can only imagine that the paper is being deliberately misleading. After all, even reading the fishwrap they work for would alert journalists to Suthep’s leadership role ever since the election the Democrat Party so resoundingly lost in 2011. Fishwrap

The interviewer seems to want to portray a picture of Suthep as having been radicalized and to be acting separately from the Democrat Party and whether he will resign from the party to be an activist. This is nonsense, of course. Appropriately, Suthep laughs at the suggestion:  “Resigning is not the issue,” adding “I have not fallen out with the Democrat Party [laughing].”

He does babble about the party not being able to “leave Parliament and protest with me, because the party has a long political history to uphold.” It does indeed. Recently this includes throwing chairs, strangling parliament’s police and similar unparliamentary behavior. Its earlier history involved conniving with royalists to oust Pridi Phanomyong. And, of course, the Democrat Party supported the illegal actions of the People’s Alliance for Democracy.

Suthep promises “mass rallies:

On that day [of the rallies], I will work with the protest leaders to fight for fairness. The mass rallies may even topple this puppet government. That’s why the Democrat Party cannot protest with me. At that point, they will have to say goodbye to me.

Initially we didn’t understand why. After all, the party has already led anti-government rallies. Then we understood. Suthep plans illegal actions and is trying to exonerate the party from events it is planning:Democrat lead protests

I have invited people to gather at city halls across the country…. Many people have said they appreciate my street campaigns and will follow me. Older generations will be my main supporters when it comes to occupying provincial halls. They will not bring guns, but will sit in the governor’s office while chewing betel nut; they will sit in chairs and on the stairs – rejecting the authority of the current government. They will tell officials to stop being Thaksin’s slaves and return home. “We will watch the town halls for you,” that’s what they will say.

On being asked about seizing Surat Thani’s provincial hall, he says:

Of course, I will go to Surat Thani Provincial Hall – the police are preparing to welcome me. Many other people who agree with me will occupy other town halls. They will enter them – one by one – until they are full. We may also campaign for a nationwide strike and a ban on Shinawatra products.

He explains that the Democrat Party, forever losing elections, has a political chance: “if I’m successful, then so will the Democrats.” He means the party of anti-democrats. It is now clear that the Democrat Party hates both elections and parliament. That hatred amounts to a deep disdain for the electorate, which they consider stupid or paid (as do all yellow shirts).

Of course, it isn’t just The Nation that is a mouthpiece for the Democrat Party.  It also has boosters at the Bangkok Post where repeating Democrat Party rants seems to amount to something called an op-ed. This piece by Veera Prateepchaikul is simply a plagiarism of yellow-shirt social media, that was also picked up by the Democrat Party.

Veera would have us believe that no one could believe “that anyone in the Pheu Thai Party would dare to defy their master” – he means Thaksin Shinawatra – by opposing the reprehensible version of the amnesty bill that the Puea Thai Party hierarchy has chosen to doctor and support.

Refusing to believe that any red shirt leader can oppose this flawed and politically stupid amnesty proposal, Veera parrots the yellow-shirted media and says:

The brouhaha generated by their reported threat to vote down the revised amnesty bill could well be just a facade to appease some red-shirt followers who lost their loved ones in the May protest….

Veera claims they do this because they do not “dare to challenge their master, who has given them so many things – from seats in the parliament as Pheu Thai list MPs to wealth that they might never have imagined before.” No evidence of course for such claims; if you read it often enough at yellow shirt social media and in emails from your extremist mates amongst the yellow lot, you come to believe it.

Veera can’t comprehend the notion that a battle is now underway amongst red shirts on this issue. For details on the red shirt leadership’s actually stated current positions, see posts here, here and here.

Campaigning for Democrat Party activism I

25 10 2013

The Nation has apparently mobilized some of its journalists for a campaign against the government, demanding that the Democrat Party ignore its parliamentary role. For PPT that appears to be the intent of a “column” by Attayuth Bootsripoom.

We are pretty sure that Attayuth is, in fact, a journalist and not a member of the Democrat Party brought in for this particular op-ed piece. While in a Murdochesque world where “journalism” includes extremist and partisan rants by persons carrying the title “journalist” and lies, bribery and worse, political partisanship may seem “normal,” Attayuth’s partisanship is over the top. Even for his usually partisan “newspaper,” this a social media rant masquerading as a “Burning Issue” column. It begins:Fishwrap

THE DEMOCRAT Party has been holding its “Reveal the Truth” rallies for a while now, but maybe the time has come for it to mobilise the masses to oust the government on the back of the questionable amnesty bill.

Hmm. Journalism? Certainly not in the best traditions of the profession. But at least Attayuth explains the Democrat Party’s strategy, and this is useful:

… Suthep [Thaugsuban] stepped down … to work on boosting mass support for the Democrats [he means the Democrat Party]…. To do this, the Democrat Party has set up a political school, just like the red shirts did, and has been increasing its media presence by openly tying up with Blue Sky and T-News television stations [just like the red shirts did]. In addition, it has been regularly staging its “Reveal the Truth” rallies. When the House is not in session, these rallies are taken to the provinces [we assume he means the rubber farmer events]. The aim is to gain sympathy and broaden the one-sided view of the voters [i.e. the support for Puea Thai]. When the House is in session, these rallies return to Bangkok – also a Democrat [Party] stronghold.

Attayuth is also enthusiastic about strengthening the Democrat Party-People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) who “were their staunch supporters for a long time.”
As he observes, PAD is still hard at work (although it operates under various names). He then makes his call for the Democrat Party to abandon parliament for the “front line”:

But maybe this is the time for the Democrats to prove their sincerity. Previously, they reluctantly participated in political fights outside the Parliament and were later seen enjoying benefits from other people’s work. Maybe it’s time for the Democrats to stand in the front line and fight their own battles.

Elections, millions of voters and parliament? Forget them, such democratic trappings should be of no concern for the Democrat Party! PPT wonders if Attayuth is just moonlighting for The Nation from his real job as a propagandist at ASTV/Manager or its Blue Sky affiliate.

The mainstream media and bias

12 09 2013

Yesterday, the Democrat Party’s Chuan Leepai whined about “some sections of the media are under the former prime minister’s [Thaksin Shinawatra’s] control.” Obviously he wasn’t including either The Nation or the Bangkok Post in that section.

Two recent examples suggest that these two bastions of the English-language press remain under the sway of Democrat Party ideology.

The first story has PPT wondering why, when the Democrat Party has stated several times that it plans and condones chaos in parliament and has engaged in several bouts of loutish behavior involving fighting police, throwing chairs and more, that the best The Nation seems to be able to do is come up with is a story about parliamentarians viewing porn. How much effort goes into protecting the Democrat Party’s thuggery?

Panitan and army buddy working on a "story.".

Panitan with army dissembler

The second is a story that we wanted to comment on but cannot do any better than Bangkok Pundit’s excellent account of a Bangkok Post burnishing of third-rate “academic”-for-hire Panitan Wattanayagorn. A Democrat Party toady is cited by the paper on a story that is so patently absurd that it can’t be anything other than a Democrat Party beat-up.

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