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Thai PM features on front of Time magazine’s Asia edition

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Thailand’s PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is being featured on the cover of Time magazine’s Asia edition for the start of July, available on July 2.

The cover carries the headline: “Democrat.  Dictator. Which path will Thailand’s Prayuth Chan-o-cha choose?”

General Prayuth Chan-ocha appears at ease among the lavish trappings of politics. Thailand’s Prime Minister is never far from doting courtiers in Bangkok’s 1920s Government House, a neo-Gothic building stippled with classical nudes and one particularly plump jade Buddha.

The cover story is “Thailand’s Leader Promised to Restore Democracy.  Instead, He’s Tightening His Grip”. The article has been penned by Charlie Campbell, the Beijing correspondent for Time.

The analytical article is mostly about the current political situation in Thailand under the junta and remarks from Prayut explaining why the coup was necessary.

“These were not four years of empowerment, but it was the time to solve problems, overcome obstacles and build stability, security to move forward to the future.”

Thailand’s Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan-ocha at Government House in Bangkok on June 1.
Adam Ferguson for TIME

The PM is currently on a European trip to shore up support for his government’s Eastern Economic Corridor and to keep Europe discussing trade with the Kingdom.

Prayuth, meanwhile, insists that his dictatorship is reluctant and temporary. “I never imagined becoming Prime Minister in this way,” he says. “It was the hardest decision of my life.” So he definitely won’t stay in power past February? “That depends on the situation and the people,” he says with a shrug. “I have no control over this.” Millions of Thais feel the same way.

The article also compares the problems across south east asia’s fragile democracies and compares some of the successes of ‘dictatorial democracies’, like Thailand, with some of the west’s elected, but fragmented, governments.

You can read the rest of the Time article HERE.

If you have story ideas, a restaurant to review, an event to cover or an issue to discuss, contact The Thaiger editorial staff.

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Thaiger Radio News – Tuesday

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70 per cent of Thais wear Buddhist amulets

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There's never been any evidence that they work as lucky charms but most Thais purchase and wear them, whether for faith, protection, luck or as gift, they're ubiquitous in Thailand.

More than 70 per cent of Thais wear Buddha amulets, according to a Suan Dusit Poll.

The most popular amulets are those bearing the likeness of the monks Luang Pu Thuad of Wat Chang Hai (47 per cent of all amulets worn) and Phra Somdej Toh (21.9 per cent).


The survey conducted among 1,126 people nationwide from September 11-15, found that 12.9 per cent wore Luang Por Sothorn amulets, 9.4 per cent Luang Phu Toh's Phra Pidta (Close Eyes) amulets and 8 per cent Luang Por Ngern of Wat Bang Klan.

Forty-one per cent of amulet wearers acquired them via “Chao Phra” purchases, 32 per cent got them from their parents, 7.7 per cent received them from respected seniors and employers, 7 per cent from other relatives, 6 per cent from grandparents,...
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