The Missing Marker & Thai Democracy

The missing marker &
Thai democracy

Do all Thai roads lead to Singapore?

Do all Thai roads
lead to Singapore?

Who will come crawling?

Who will come
crawling?

Analysis: Thailand’s Half Democracy

Analysis: Thailand’s
half democracy

Thaksin shifts puppets

Thaksin shifts puppets

How many died in the Thai drug purges?

How many died in the Thai drug purges?

Remembering
Black May 1992

Remembering the Red Shirt protests of 2010

Remembering the Red Shirt protests of 2010

Remembering the checks & balances of the 1997 charter

Remembering the checks & balances of the 1997 charter

During Red Shirt rally, Thaksin kids withdraw 10 billion baht

During Red Shirt rally, Thaksin kids withdraw 10 billion baht

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Thai police still protect Yingluck overseas

From Manager, July 2, 2018
Pol. Gen. Chakthip: I sent Gen. Nui to arrest Yingluck… and he did arrest her during her shopping trip in London… So, the picture you saw where he is carrying her bags is misinterpreted… He then took her for investigation to a nearby hotel nearby where he arrested her.
Caption: An explanation… may be like this.

[Refers to a photo showing Yingluck shopping in London with Thai police officer Watanyu Wittayaphalotai acting as her bodyguard and carrying her shopping bags.
As Yingluck is a fugitive from court cases in Thailand, it is surprising that Thai police officers are still acting as aides for her overseas. It is also embarrassing to the junta as it demonstrates the loyalty of the police force towards the Shinawatra family.
This cartoon ridicules police chief Pol. Gen. Chakthip Chaijinda on his failure to arrest Yingluck. Even worse it shows that the Royal Thai Police still act as bodyguards for the fugitive Shinawatras.]

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Who should be reviled?

From Thairath, June 28, 2018
Title: Do not need to use any useful to revile.
Bubbles around PM Prayuth: The prime-minister comes from overthrowing a government; Violate human rights; Fool the world leaders about the [timing of] elections; Do not address corruption of those who side with him; Destroy democracy; Want to stay in power longer
Mouse man: The duty is to revile yourself everyday.
Mouse: Do not fool yourself.

[PM Prayuth has often reacted strongly to the travels of Thaksin and his sister Yingluck, both wanted fugitives in Thailand, saying they should be ashamed and should come home to face justice.
The cartoonist contends that Prayuth is the one who should be ashamed instead.]

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Weekly News Magazine: The Rescue, July 13-20, 2018

From Siamrath Weekly Review, July 13-19, 2018
Main cover reads: Phenomenon of “13 Wild Boars”

[Refers to the cave rescue of the Wild Boars soccer team that transfixed the nation.
At top right is a story about the fourth marriage of former PM Chavalit Yongchaiyudh.]

From Matichon Weekly, July 13-19, 2018
Main cover reads: Have merit, but… (something) covered up

[Refers to the dual dramas of the cave rescue of the soccer team and the mass Chinese deaths on a ferry. While the world was riveted to the drama of the trapped soccer team, the scores of Chinese tourists who died on the ferry were rarely mentioned.
PM Prayuth (pictured) was praised for the successful mission to rescue the trapped soccer team. However, many Chinese expressed their dissatisfaction on social media due to a remarks of Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan who blamed Chinese tour operations as the cause of the cave tragedy.
The title mimics the Thai proverb that says “having merit, but has something cover it up.” Here it means Prayuth gets popularity from the way the government handled the cave rescue, but this is offset by the Chinese ferry tragedy.]

Top right: Not on time to help ‘Wild Boars,’ but be touched. Know about Elon Musk of SpaceX

[Refers to SpaceX founder Elon Musk who flew to Thailand to help rescue the trapped soccer. Although the submarine he brought was not be able to used for this rescue mission, his name was recognized by the public for his kindness to support the rescue mission.]

From Manager Weekly, July 14-20, 2018
Main cover reads: Hooyah… Wild Boars mission; Hero of the Tham Luang
Inside yellow circle: Special additional 8 pages with 4 color pages; collecting all moments of the mission to rescue the Wild Boars

[More on the cave rescue. This mission led by former Chiang Rai governor Narongsak Osotthanakorn (pictured center).]

From Lokwannee, July 13-19, 2018
Main cover reads: Waiting for 20 years more to get out from the cave

[Refers to the future of Thai politics under the junta. This cover compares the soccer team with the junta’s 20-year development and political plans designed to prevent elected governments from diverting from major development plans. The last elected government’s unprecedented spending funneled money directly to rice farmers in price supports. This cover laments that it will be long time before political parties can really control the nation’s budget again.]

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Thaksin’s servant

From Thairath, June 24, 2018
Thaksin: I would not allow my sister to be in jail even one day or one second! [after Yingluck fled, the media cited confidential sources as contending that Thaksin said this about his sister]
Man in cell: You must understand, Boonsong… you are just his servant… not his sister.

[The man is former Commerce Minister under the Pheu Thai. He, and several other officials, including PM Yingluck, were facing jail time for the rice price support scheme.
Yingluck’s lawyers repeatedly said she was happy to let the courts decide and would never flee the country like Thaksin had. Red Shirts and other Thaksin supporters at the time also played up the idea that the Pheu Thai was in the right and was willing to demand their day in court.
However, on a critical court date, Yingluck suddenly vanished. The other Pheu Thai officials were in court and were jailed. So while Thaksin is unwilling to have his family members in jail, there is no protection at all for his supporters.
This attitude caused disappointment. It once again left Thaksin loyalists holding the bag and facing long prison terms while Yingluck presumably left for luxury shopping trips in Europe.
It also recalled earlier incidents where many Thaksin supporters ended up in jail for a variety of complaints including corruption and lese majeste while Shinawatra family members were seemingly unwilling to submit themselves to the same risks as their supporters.]

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Pheu Thai defectors

From Thairath, June 30, 2018
Title: Seeing the truth
On legs of soldier from left to right: Coup person; Destroy political parties
On men’s suits from left to right: Politicians; former MPs
On a sign held by two men at left: Political parties that will be side by side with the people and hate the dictator
Phi Nooring: Trying to please for their own benefit
Mouse: Betray the people

[Refers to politicians from many existing parties switching to pro-military parties before the elections. This apparently will hit Thaksin’s Pheu Thai Party hard.
Realizing that Thaksin built his majorities in parliament by buying up existing parties and their MPs, there was always a danger these politicians, who are electorally unassailable in their districts, might one day switch allegiance once it was clear Thaksin would not be allowed to return to power. Apparently, this eventuality is finally happening.]

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The next generation will continue the task…

From Thairath, July 4, 2018
Title: Mournfulness of Kanin Boonsuwan…
On Kanin’s bag: Democracy at the end of tunnel
Mouse man: The next generation will continue the task…
Mouse: Revise the constitution, making it democratic.

[This cartoon pays tribute to Kanin Boonsuwan. He was one of the authors of the 1997 “People’s Constitution” and later a legal expert for the Pheu Thai Party.
A return to the fully elected parliament of the 1997 charter has long been a goal of Thaksin and the parties he has led. His political factions have chaffed under post-coup charters specially designed to prevent any single party from dominating government.
Despite the present veneration of the 1997 charter, Thaksin’s party at the time, the Thai Rak Thai, worked tirelessly to make sure the independent checks and balances stipulated by the charter (a novel innovation in the Thai world) were neutered or fully under party control.
In the present day, all major parties seem determined to somehow amend the military-written charter which greatly curtails the powers of political parties.]

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Little Sarit

From Thairath, June 26, 2018
Title: Ask to change the cover.
On gluestick: glue
On magazine cover: Return happiness democracy 99.99% [mocking the junta’s slogan]
Mouse: Go inter. [The news goes international.]
Mouse man: The truth from the international media.

[Refers to the Time magazine cover which declared him “Democrat. Dictator.” The issue was not distributed in Thailand–supposedly because of government pressure.
As Prayuth’s term as coup-PM lengthened, opponents have began calling him “Little Sarit” after Sarit Thanarat, Thailand’s quintessential cold war dictator.
The cartoonist shows the prime minister trying to edit the text on the cover of the magazine to something more acceptable to the junta.]

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They violated the rules!

From Manager, July 1, 2018
Left: Srivara… why did you come here? To arrest whom?
Right: I’m coming here to wait for arrest those 13 people with an allegation of going the cave without a certificate… and violating the law for staying nights at the cave without a permission from the officers… These violate an article…… of the national park act…

[Refers to national deputy chief Pol. Gen. Srivara Rangsibrahmanagul who came under attack for what is seen as an act of intimidation toward officials working to save the lives of the 12 young footballers and their coach trapped in Tham Luang Cave.
During his visit, he asked rescuers whether they had permission to fly drones and drill in the cave to save the boys.
The officials trying to rescue the boys were stunned and Srivara’s use of unsympathetic language and stern manner cause the incident to go viral.
During his visit, Srivara also met with PM Prayuth. PM Prayuth mocked him, asking him if Srivara had come to arrest him.]

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He was once innocent

From Thairath, June 27, 2018
Left: Amnesty International take into account every event [in a suspect’s life] to help forgive Wut who cut his victim into 14 pieces…
Middle: …because he was not a criminal since he was born. They have a witness to confirm this.
Woman: Who is the witness?
Righ: A midwife confirmed he did not carry a knife with him {when he was being born].

[Refers to Amnesty International which condemned Thailand for carrying out the death penalty in a recent case.
This cartoon points out another case in which Thanakrit ‘Wut’ Prakob killed his ex-girlfriend and cut her body into 14 pieces.
The cartoon ridicules Amnesty’s opposition to the death penalty in all cases joking that they would contend Wut should be spared since at one point in his life he was innocent.]

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Another team trapped in the cave

From Thairath, July 5, 2018
Title: There is another team in the cave… waiting for help.
On man at left: Member of Parliament
On man at center: Politician
On woman: Member of Parliament
On man on right: Former Politician
At left in the background: Being stuck with NCPO [the junta]; Moving forward to destroy the political party [referring to new rules that restrict parties]; Section 44 [the articles that allows the junta absolute power]
At right background: Orders of NCPO
The trapped people are saying (from left to right): Please help us out. Please bring us out of here! Please save our lives!

[This compares the plight of the trapped soccer team to the plight of politicians who are banned from political activity by the government. Meanwhile the junta appears to be making alliances with politicians that undercuts political parties.]

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Fight on Wild Boars!!!

From Manager, June 27, 2018
People: Fight on Wild Boars!!!
On people’s t-shirts: Wild Boars
On TV: Tham Luang Nang Non cave
Caption: This year’s World Cup… This is the team which Thais support the most.

[Refers to the Wild Boars soccer team trapped in Tham Luang Nang Non cave. Thai people have been transfixed by the crisis and are rooting for the team to be rescued.]

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Can I be a Shinawatra and escape too?

From Manager, June 26, 2018
Left, former Foreign Affair Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul: Boss… I’m transgendered… changed my family name to Shinawatra… and announced that I am your sister.
Thaksin: Why did you do that?
Right: Because you said you wouldn’t let your sister be jailed even for one second.
Caption: The only way to survive for Ping

[Refers to former Foreign Affair Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul (nicknamed “Ping”) who was sentenced to two years in prison for his actions after the Pheu Thai Party took power in 2011.
One of the first acts of government was the covert reinstating of fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra’s passport.
When this was discovered it left little doubt as to who controlled the government despite claims that Thaksin as not involved in politics.
The cartoonist is pointing out how Shinawatra family members can never be jailed while many of their political henchmen end up languishing in jail.]

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Weekly News Magazines: Lost Boys, July 6-13, 2018

From Matichon Weekly, Jul 2-12, 2018
Main cover picture: Team Spirit
[Refers to boy soccer team trapped in Tham Luang Nang Non cave.]
Top: Phra Khuva Boonchum correctly predicted like he saw with his own eyes that the cave would open and lead 13 people to return home.
[Refers to well-respected local monk Phra Khuva Boonchum (pictured) who visited the Tham Luang Nang Non cave where the soccer team was trapped. He performed religious rites and prayed for those missing. Then he predicted that the lost boys were still alive and would be found soon. Later, the rescue team could found them as he predicted.]

From Siamrath weekly review, Jul 6-12, 2018
Main cover reads: The situation [red] creates the hero.
[Refers to former Chiang Rai governor Narongsak Osotthanakorn (pictured) who was praised by the public for his leadership in leading the mission to rescue the soccer team from Tham Luang Nang Non cave. He had been transferred to another smaller province to manage. This is seen as either punishment for corruption or political payback for his actions in office. In Narongsak’s case, it is believed that Narongsak was demoted to another province for resisting the junta’s plan for a controversial waste burning plant in the province. However, after his time in the spotlight as the lead figure in the rescue operation, many commend him as an example of a good government officer who the public approves of.]

From Manager Weekly, Jul 7-13, 2018
Main cover reads: Commander of Tham Luang Vs [red] Commander of waste plant
[This cover compares two leaders. One is former Chiang Rai governor Narongsak Osotthanakorn (pictured right) who was praised by the public for leading the mission to rescue the lost soccer team. Recently, he was been transferred to another smaller province. It is believed that this was because he because resisted the waste-to-energy plant that was under the supervision of Interior Minister Anupong Paochinda (left).]

Top: Endless contracts “inheritances of ML Moo” [black] support “BTS” to be a “sleeping partner” “Rich man Keeree” complains it is not worth enough for investment. If he can’t bear with it, then he should return the concession. “7-generation contract”
[Refers to the recent delays in Bangkok’s BTS Skytrain owned by Keeree Kanjanapas, causing several delays.
The public seemed dissatisfied with the BTS public relations over the issue which blamed business problems and lack of investments for the problems.
The BTS concession was given during the time of Bangkok governor ML Sukhumbhand “Moo” Paribatra (pictured). Under the concession, BTS would provide a service without any competitors. In the light of the Skytrain delays the public began to compare this monopoly with the increased rider fees of the BTS SKytrain.
In Thai, “สัญญา 7 ชั่วโครต” is an idiom that means endless. An exact translation is “7-generation contract” meaning a very very long period which in the headline is a complaint about the concession the BTS has.]
Bottom left: Super teams
[Refers to the World Cup.]
Right: “Najib Rasak” house raided
[Refers to former Malaysia PM Najib Rasak who is under scrutiny for corruption in Malaysia. Also pictured are Thaksin and Yingluck. Thai-language articles often contrast the impunity of Thai leader with the Najib case where the former Malaysian prime minister has been banned from leaving the country and is now under arrest.]

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Amnesty helps the killer

From Manager, June 20, 2018
Top left: Give me all your possessions!… or… hmm!
Top right: We are the sound of good soul inside you, please don’t do it, please have mercy or you will be punished.
Bottom left: Do it… even if you are being punished I will help you, I will be beside you.
Bottom right: You… are the sound of the bad soul inside me?
Bottom right: No… I am… Amnesty [International].

[This cartoon ridicules the protests of Amnesty International against the recent execution of a person convicted of murder. In Thailand, media coverage of gruesome killings often creates an atmosphere of great public indignation towards crime.
Like the mass extra-judicial killings in 2003, execution remains popular with the public.]

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The most dangerous party

From Manager, June 17, 2018
On the banner in the background: Communist Party of Thailand
Man: They didn’t allow us to establish a party… This party’s policy is more dangerous than ours by ten times. But they allow them to set up the party.

[Refers to the Communist Party of Thailand which was refused by the election commission in its attempts to establish a political party.
In the cartoon, the communist members contend that the Future Forward Party led by Thanathorn Jungrungreangkit (pictured on TV) is more threatening to Thailand than the communists.
This opinion is likely due to the Future Forward Party’s use of Red Shirt rhetoric to describe its leader, the inclusion of many lese majeste opponents in its ranks, and its desire to ditch the junta-written charter.]

Earlier cartoons on the Future Forward Party:
Destroy the charter
Constitution must come from the people
Baby Party
Move to the Jurassic era
Talking to the snake
A politician can get rich

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Thailand normal and 4.0

From Stephff, June 2018

From Stephff, June 2018

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Which MPs to choose?

From Thairath, June 22, 2018
Title: This time is not difficult–only two persons to choose
Sign on the left: MP from the political party who is side by side with the people
Sign on the right: MP from the political party who is side by side with the NCPO [the junta]
On a hand: Return the happiness [the junta’s motto]
Phi Nooring: A clear announcement
Mouse: The future of the country

[Refers to the upcoming election. The cartoonist warns people to choose MPs who are not shackled to promises to return the present junta to power again.]

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The desire for Article 44

From Thairath, June 21, 2018
Left top: Liar
People: The junta must stop using Article 44 because it is a dictatorship’s power!
Caption: Those days they said like this…
Right: Please tell the junta to use Article 44 to end the primary vote for this coming election.
Caption: …today they say different.

[Refers to opposition politicians who used to be against Article 44 as it gives absolute power to the PM. Recently opposition politicians called on the junta to use Article 44 to change the primary voting system as they fear they might not be able to get organized in time to compete properly in the coming election.]

Absolute power is a seductive thing. Most everyone opposes it except for issues they desire quick action on. Below are some past cartoons referencing the desire for absolute power and Article 44:

2017: Everyone wants to use Article 44!
2015: Everyone loves Article 44
2015: Who is bothered by Article 44?
2015: Prayuth: “I cannot use Article 44 to solve every problem” after pressed to solve EU concerns on fishing
2015: We need help from Article 44!
2015: The Withering of Article 44

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Sleeping supporters

From Thairath, June 12, 2018
Title: Supporting group… sleeping group
On bag held by PM Prayuth: Budget of 62 [the year 2019] 3 trillion baht
On the table behind: NLA [National Legislative Assembly, the junta’s legislature]
On shirt at bottom left: Uncle Tu [PM Prayuth] Supporting Group Pracha Rath farmer. FOS
Mouse man, Phi Nooring: People’s tax [The mouse man is artist Sia’s caricature of activist Sombat Boongamanong, whose nickname is Nuling (or “mouse”). He always appears at the edge of Sia’s cartoons, often calling for human rights and reform.]
Mouse: Using without any shame.

[Refers to a photo of a member of the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) sleeping during a session discussing the massive new national budget.
As the NLA is the junta’s rubber-stamp assembly, packed with cronies who get large salaries as well as funds to hire relatives and friends as assistants, the spectacle of fat assembly members napping while momentous budget issues are explained is yet another stain on the junta’s attempt to show they a serious governing force of dedicated, nonpartisan people.
After facing pressure from the public, a group of farmers appeared calling themselves “FOS” or “Friends of Somkid.” These people are farmers who benefited from the junta’s “Prach Rath” policy to improve the plight of farmers which was instituted under Deputy PM Somkid Jatusripitak.]

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All eyes on the PM

From Stephff, June 2018

From Stephff, June 2018

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Thailand’s toxic waste

From Manager, June 11, 2018
Left: Why did your country send this toxic waste to my country?
Right: Because you sent this toxic waste to our country first.

[Refers to the realization that Thailand has become a prime site for dumping toxic waste from electronics. The cartoon jokes that foreigners sent the waste to Thailand in retaliation for the arrival of Thai fugitives such as Thaksin, Yingluck and senior monks Dhammachayo and Phra Phrom Methee who fled Thailand to avoid legal charges.]

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Mediums everywhere

From Thairath, June 7, 2018
Left: Because there are a lot of silly Thai people, those mediums can take advantage of the silly people easily.
Middle left: It’s worthless to tell people to turn the mediums into the police. The police can’t arrest them.
Right: Why?
Right: Because there are a mob who was medium, the politicians also were medium, party leaders were medium and there are someone behind this.

[We do not exactly get the joke of this cartoon. The cartoon refers to medium in Thailand who have a lot of followers. On the right, the cartoon talks about politicians who also are mediums. This may refer to the influential people playing behind-the-scenes role of those who seek to collect and control politicians before the next elections–such as Thaksin and the military junta.]

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Hope

From Stephff, June 2018

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Stephff | 1 Comment

To carry failure home

From Manager, June 7, 2018
Caption: Who said the police chef returned to Thailand with nothing in his hands?

[Refers to Pol. Gen. Chakthip Chaijinda who visited Germany to coordinate with German police to return wanted senior monk Phra Prommedhi back to Thailand.
Phra Prommedhi escaped Thailand to Germany after the court approved a warrant to arrest him on charges of embezzling state funds.
In Thai, the word “truffle” is also a symbol meaning “failure” or “disappointment” and thus the police chief returns to Thailand with his failure to extradite Phra Prommedhi from Germany.
Western powers appear to view the recent monk crackdown as part of the ongoing junta push to dismantle Thaksin-leaning powers in the country. Thus, they see the charges as possibly politically oriented. Thaksin and Yingluck attempted to push this point home with their open travel around the world despite facing many charges in Thailand.]

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Weekly News Magazines: Suriya leaves Phea Thai, June, 2018

From Manager Weekly, June 23-29, 2018
Main cover reads: Jung [red] ‘rungreang’ kit
[Refers to a difference of political opinions in the Jungrungreangkit family. Suriya Jungrungreangkit (left), is a former Pheu Thai member and Thaksin supporter. Recently he announced that he would join the Pracharath Party. This is a new party that will support PM Prayuth in the coming election.
In contrast, his nephew Thanathorn (right) established a new political party named the Future Forward Party that uses Red Shirt rhetoric and vows to rip up the new charter.
The headline uses the word ‘rungreang’ in their family name which means prosperity. It implies that despite the related persons helming different parties, they both are help to support family’s prosperity.]

Top: “Big Tu” [PM Pryuth] visits UK-France with a warm welcome from economic partners to [red] push forward FTA. [black] Eastern Economic Corridor
Bottom left: RIP “Pol. Gen. Wasit Detkunchon” [yellow] The trusty police [white] and a master of crime novel author.
[Refers to a passing away of well-respected senior police officer and author Wasit Detkunchon.]

From Matichon Weekly, June 22-28, 2018
Main cover picture: Digital vs Analog, building a star, but different one
[Another reference to the political split in the Jungrungreangkit family. While Thanathorn (left), has started the Future Forward Party, which is dedicated to removing the military from power and rewriting the charter, Suriya Jungrungreangkit, former Pheu Thai member, announced he was leaving Thaksin’s Pheu Thai Party to join the Pracharath Party which will support PM Prayuth to continue as prime minister.]

Top: Latest roadmap from ‘Prayuth Chan-ocha’ the election will be held after the ‘coronation’
[Refers to PM Prayuth who recently announced that elections have to wait until after the coronation of King Maha Vajiralongkorn. This is still stirring fresh doubt about the timeline of the elections. Presently, it is expected that elections will be held in February 2019.]

From Lokwannee, June 22-28, 2018
Main cover reads: Dictators never die. 86 years after 24 June 1932 [the date of the overthrow of the absolute monarchy], there were 12 coups, tearing the constitution [canceling the constitution] and rewriting 20 constitutions. There were 29 PMs, 16 from elections, 13 military of which 11 came from coups.
[Refers to dictatorship and Thailand’s politics. After the Siamese revolution on 24 June 1932, Thailand faced persistent dictatorship and coups that overthrew elected governments.
This sort of cover is meant to remind the readers that a military government is in power now and voters should make sure it does not continue to be in power.]

From Siamrath Weekly Review, June 22-28, 2018
Main cover reads: Power of [red] 3S
[Refers to three politicians who will be key persons to support PM Prayuth to maintain power after the coming election.
Deputy PM Somkid Jatusripitak (left) is known as the key political strategist for the junta in the coming election.
Influential Pheu Thai party member Suriya Jungrungreangkit (middle) and Somsak Thepsuthin (right), leader of Wang Nam Yom faction, left their parties to join the new party Pracharath Party which will support PM Prayuth to reclaim the premiership after the election.
“3S” comes from the first letter in Somkid, Suriya and Somsak.]

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Finding lottery numbers


From Thairath, June 6, 2018
Left, a Thai: The foreigner does not care when there is an accident on the road…
Middle, a Thai: Thai people like to watch the situation and that makes the bad traffic.
Foreigner: Why?
Right: To watch the number plate to buy a lottery ticket.

[Refers to the Thai tradition of looking for lucky lottery numbers by looking at license plates on cars of famous people, cars involved in accidents or cars that appear on television in some way.]

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Prayuth’s ‘Time’ Moment Deemed Inappropriate For Thailand

Prayuth’s ‘Time’ Moment Deemed Inappropriate For Thailand – Khoasod, June 25, 2018
…At the popular Books Kinokuniya, an employee at its Siam Paragon branch was even more evasive. She said the Bangkok-based supplier has told the shop it would not be sending this week’s magazine.
Asked why it would be censored, the employee replied:
“Please excuse us for not clarifying.” Asked for her name, she said: “Please excuse me for not telling.”

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Washing away past words

From Manager, June 5, 2018
Left: Why is Kamnan crying?
Right: Ooh…
On the wall: “I won’t establish a political party”

[Refers to Suthep Thaugsuban (pictured), one of the leaders of the People’s Democrat Reform Committee (PDRC). Suthep is often nicknamed “Kamnan” which refers to his post of village headman which was one of his first political roles.
After protests by the group led to a coup that overthrew the Pheu Thai-led government, Suthep promised not to return to the politics. This sort of promise is usually made to indicate that the intentions of the protest leader are not to get into political power himself.
However, Suthep broke his promise and joined the Action Coalition of Thailand (ACT) Party.
In the case of Suthep, he cried publicly to indicate the difficult choice to break his promise and reenter politics. These are seen as fake tears and part of his political game often referenced as the Thai proverb “crocodile’s tears” meaning that someone pretends to cry to show others of their difficult situation.
Pictures of Suthep crying as he announced his plan were on all the front pages of newspapers.
This cartoon ridicules Suthep as not really regretting breaking his promise. Instead, he uses his tears to scrub away what he said before about not entering politics.]

More here: Suthep’s Tears: Weekly News Magazines

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Anniversary of the End of the Absolute Monarchy in Thailand

1932: Siam Tries a People’s Party

1932: New Asia dictates the future of the world

Bangkok skyline in 1932

Photos From the Last Days of the Absolute Monarchy in the 1930s

This year: No More Annual ‘Plaque Ceremony’ for 1932 Revolt – Khaosod, June 21, 2018
…The plaque went missing in early April 2017, and the authorities have repeatedly rejected calls to look for it or explain its disappearance…

2004: The first coup and the last absolute king

A rare editorial cartoon from 2012 referencing the date: Elite Red Shirts Bring Back a Royal Figure

Editorial cartoon from 2015: Blocking out June 24

2015: No political activities to mark anniversary, police chief warns
…Supakorn also said both the military and police were explaining to local people they should think of the June 24, 1932 revolt in a positive light and not use it as an excuse to demonstrate because it could disturb law and order.
In a related development, Pongkwan Sawasdipak and few other academics, including Somrit Luechai, symbolicallycleaned the “plaque of democracy” at the Royal Plaza ahead of the anniversary.
“We cannot deny that the 1932 incident was a stepping stone towards the development of democracy in this country,” said political scientist from Thammasat University Pongkwan Sawasdipak…

2015: Activists gather to commemorate 1932 revolution
…The activity started out with activists and political observers arranging flowers for adorning the Memorial Peg of Siamese Revolution of 1932 near King Rama V’s monument to pay tribute to the promoters of Siamese revolution for bringing democracy to the country
…Among the participants were prominent political activists like Phra Maha Praiwan, Sirawit New Serithiwat, and Champ who were arrested last year for reading George Orwell’s 1984…

2015: Govt denies that new flag raising marks the 1932 revolution
…Renu Tunkachivangoon, deputy secretary-general to the prime minister for political affairs, denied that the flag-raising ceremony started at Government House today to mark the 83rd anniversary of the Siam Revolution of June 24, 1932 which brought democracy to the country. She said that the flagpole was just built and tested, so its use normally started today.

2015: ‘Magnificent Seven’ Dao Din students activists show up at Pathumwan station
…During the rally in front of the Pathumwan Police station Wednesday, Rangsiman Rome, read a statement before the police station.
In the statement, he said the seven students refused to acknowledge the charges against them and other student activists.
The seven said they showed up at the station to provide moral support to the group of nine students who are wanted by the Pathumwan police station…

Analysis from 2017: The Missing Marker and Thai Democracy

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June 1995: Thaksin takes over the Phalang Dharma Party


(Source: Full page ad in Bangkok Post, June 1, 1995)

June 1995: Thaksin takes over the Phalang Dharma Party

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