audio ‘DMagazine’ joins red shirt cause

Grass roots are no fools,’’ reads the cover of the new DMagazine, which goes on sale today at the Royal Plaza.

Editor Wat Wallayangkur chose the date and venue of the launch for pointed reasons.

Today is the 77th anniversary of the 1932 Revolution which brought an end to Thailand’s absolute monarchy.

The Royal Plaza is where the First Declaration of the People’s Party was read out by Col Phya Phahon Phonphayuhasena , the party’s leader and one of the ‘‘Four Musketeers’’ who led the revolution.

The launch echoes recent calls by the red shirt movement for June 24 to be declared a national holiday to mark the beginning of Thailand’s democracy.

The 108-page DMagazine, in which ‘‘D’’ stands for ‘‘democracy’’, costs 50 baht a copy. The first 10,000 copies will hit newsstands today.

The magazine was initially planned to be monthly, but with a start-up budget of only 200,000 baht, Mr Wat said he was not sure how long it would last.

‘‘It depends on support from our readers,’’ said the veteran writer and winner of the 2007 Sri Burapha Award, which recognises excellence in journalism, writing and the arts.

Mr Wat and his fellow writers surprised Thailand’s literary society when, under the banner of the People’s Writer and Artist Democracy Network, they issued a statement in April supporting the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship.

The writer said DMagazine joins other pro-red publications, such as Thong Daeng (Red Flag), Khon Sue Daeng (Red Shirt People) and Red News, in keeping people informed of the movement’s campaign for democracy.

The 53-year-old writer, who in the 1980s worked in remote areas to promote the rights of grass-roots people, said the magazine would help him ‘‘pursue the unfinished business of acquiring social and political equality in Thai society in a more mature way’’.

‘‘ DMagazine is the voice of the poor,’’ he said.

Thailand has embarked on a new transition in which grass-roots people have become more politically conscious, he said.

The magazine’s content aims to appeal to a broad readership of taxi drivers, academics and students. Some motorcycle taxi drivers have volunteered to deliver the magazine to UDD protest sites and to red shirt customers.

Mr Wat said his group was not against either the Sangha or the monarchy.

‘‘We only want to have freedom in criticising those who weaken the democratic institutions,’’ he said. ‘‘As long as the monarchy and Sangha are constitutional, they are respected.’’

Grass roots people had already adapted to modern society. It was time for other institutions to do likewise, he said.

The magazine’s first edition contains an article by Uthai Thani farmers who explain how they have failed to solve their debt problems.

In another article, a motorcycle taxi driver speaks of his longing for the return of Thaksin Shinawatra and details his account of the Songkran riots.

‘‘Those who love Thaksin have their reasons, so do the ones who hate him, but we should not be blinded that a coup d’etat will lead to good things,’’ he says.

Mr Wat said human rights and social justice remain the core agenda for Thailand to move forward.

‘‘Any government must not make people feel grateful for their populist schemes,’’ Mr Wat said. ‘‘The people are entitled to receive these basic rights.’’

cause – movement; an aim, idea, or organisation that you support or work for วัตถุประสงค์ อุดมการณ์
grass-roots – involving the ordinary people rather than their leaders ในระดับรากหญ้า, ชาวบ้าน
fool – someone who does not behave in an intelligent or sensible way คนโง่ ตัวตลก
venue – the place where an activity or event happens สถานที่ที่เหตุการณ์เกิดขึ้น
launch – to start selling a new product or service to the public เริ่มวางขาย
pointed – direct, in a way that shows you are annoyed or do not agree with something ที่เด่นชัด
anniversary – a date when you celebrate something that happened in a previous year that is important to you วันครบรอบ
revolution – a situation when people completely change their political system or government, usually by force การปฏิรูป
(the) monarchy – the king or queen and their family in a particular country สถาบันกษัตริย์
absolute monarchy – a system in which a king or queen has unlimited powers ระบอบสมบูรณาญาสิทธิราช
declaration – an official announcement that something is true or is happening การประกาศ
musketeer – a French solider who guarded the French king in the 17th and 18th centuries; a solider who used a musket, an early type of a rifle ทหารเสือ
echo – to express the ideas or feelings that someone else has expressed เสียงสะท้อน
mark – to celebrate something เพื่อเฉลิมฉลอง
initially – at first ในระยะต้น
last – to continue to exist สืบต่อไป
veteran – a person who has a lot of experience in a particular area or activity ผู้อาวุโส
recognise – to give praise or approval to someone or something เป็นที่ชื่นชม ยกย่อง
excellence – the quality of being extremely good ความเป็นเลิศ
journalism – the activity of reporting the news for a newspaper, magazine, radio programme or television programme วารสารและสื่อมวลชน
under the banner – for an organisation that controls or supports a particular activity ภายใต้องค์กร
United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) – the group originally formed to demonstrate against the 2006 coup and which supported the Somchai Wongsawat government against the PAD and which is strongly opposed to the Abhisit government แนวร่วมประชาธิปไตยต่อต้านเผด็จการแห่งชาต
campaign – a series of actions intended to produce political or social change การรณรงค์
remote – far away from other cities, towns, or people ที่ห่างไกล
pursue – to try to achieve something พยายามเพื่อให้ได้มาซึ่ง
equality – the state of being equal, especially in having the same rights, status and opportunities ความเสมอภาค
mature – behaving in the sensible way that you would expect an adult to behave มีวุฒิภาวะ
embark on – to start a new project or activity, usually one that will be difficult and will take time เริ่มดำเนินการสิ่งใหม่ (ที่ยาก)
transition – the process of changing from one situation, form or state to another ช่วงการเปลี่ยนแปลง
conscious – aware; noticing that something exists or is happening and realising that it is important ความสำนึก ความตระหนักถึง
aim – the thing you hope to achieve by doing something เป้าหมาย
appeal – to cause someone to like or want something ดึงดูดใจ ทำให้สนใจ
broad – wide กว้างๆ
volunteer – to do some work without being paid อาสาสมัคร
site – a place where something happens or happened สถานที่เกิดเหตุ
constitutional – correct or allowed according to the constitution ถูกต้องหรืออยู่ในขอบข่ายที่ระบุไว้ในรัฐธรรมนูญ
debt – an amount of money that you owe หนี้
long – to want something very much ต้องการ ปรารถนา
account – a written or spoken report about something that has happened บันทึกถ้อยคำ
riot – a violent protest by a group of people ความไม่สงบ การจลาจล
blind – to prevent someone from realising or admitting the truth about something ปิดหูปิดตา
coup (d’etat) – the seizure of power in a country by a small group of people, usually members of the armed forces รัฐประหาร
core agenda – the most important things that someone wants to achieve ประเด็นหลัก
grateful – a feeling that you want thank someone because they have given you something or done something for you สำนึกบุญคุณ
populist – related to the type of politics that claims to represent the opinions and wishes of ordinary people or to support programmes that will benefit the ordinary people ประชานิยม
entitled – having the right to have or do something มีสิทธิโดยชอบ


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