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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Instead of cutting, try sucking!

From Manager, July 25, 2018
Above: To remove it… [Thaksin’s influence] I don’t need to use this.
On chainsaw: Section 44
Below are letters to indicate the sounds of sucking.

[Contrasts the use of the junta’s absolute power in Section 44 (here, here and here) with the Thai political tradition of “sucking” politicians up (here, here, and here).
Early in the junta’s rule, people on all sides of the political spectrum were excited about the prospect of absolute power that could be used to address intractable legal issues.
Opponents of Thaksin demanded the junta start using the power to make sure Thaksin’s influence of Thai politics would be ended.
However, Thaksin’s influence (often represented as a tree that needed to be cut down) continued despite the junta’s ability to do anything it wanted.
In the last year the military has finally found success in employing Thaksin’s own tactics of sucking up or absorbing MPs from other political groupings.
While causal foreign observers attributed Thaksin’s electoral success to the popularity of this policies, his ability to gain power and maintain power was due to his buying up of existing political groupings in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
It was these collections of existing electing MPs, as well as the sense that everyone wanted in on Thaksin’s apparently unassailable majorities, that account for Thaksin’s parties’ absolute majorities in parliament over the years.
The actions of two different military juntas (2006 and 2014) were designed to send the message that Thaksin was finished and that MPs should switch allegiances.
It appears that the current junta has finally made a convincing enough argument as there are constant signs that MPs who once supported Thaksin are switching their allegiance to military parties.]

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Weekly News Magazines: Secret Plan to Destroy Thaksin, August, 2018

From Matichon Weekly, August 3-9, 2018
Main cover reads: Jack Nakorn Machim
On picture at bottom right: Jack and the Beanstalk

[Refers to former Democrat Party member Nakorn Machim. It compares him to Jack in “Jack and the Beanstalk.” He disclosed a conspiratorial plan of anti-Thaksin groups consisting of political parties, the elite, and military groups to destroy Thaksin’s influence. He also apologized to Thaksin for joining those groups to destroy him. Nakorn’s actions are believed to pave the way for him to join the Phea Thai Party for the coming election.
The headline compares Nakorn, who is not a particularly influential politician, to Jack because by disclosing the conspiracy to hurt Thaksin he was like Jack who killed the giant in the fairy tale.]

At top right is an article about the collapse of the Xepian-Xe Nam Noy hydropower dam in Laos.

From Lokwannee, August 3-9, 2018
Main cover reads: “Completely crazy”
On megaphone: Disclose a secret
On man: Nakorn
On red crab: Extradition

[Refers to former Democrat Party member Nakorn Machim who apologized to Thaksin and Yingluck for joining an anti-Thaksin conspiracy to destroy Thaksin’s power.
This cover represents a stereotypical stage play. It is mean to say that Nakorn’s revelation, about a plan to disadvantage Thaksin, is already well known and has been going on for some time.
The dinosaur refers to the “old thinking” people of anti-Thaksin groups. It wears a traditional mask on its head and carries a crab purse that represents Yingluck (whose nickname is “boo” or “crab”).]

From Siamrath Weekly Review, August 3-9, 2018
Main cover reads: Being in [white] ‘spotlight’ [red] to avoid a [white] ‘bullet’

[Thaksin (pictured) has recently been in the spotlight again. He has attempted not to keep his followers by his side in the face of defections of MPs to support the junta. If his influence wanes and he becomes isolated, he becomes vulnerable to legal challenges from the junta and attempts to extradite him and his sister back to Thailand.]

From Manager Weekly, August 4-10, 2018
Main cover reads: Let’s run away [white] what do you wait for?

[This headline mocks former PM Yingluck (pictured) who is now exiled in UK to avoid a jail sentence due to corruption charges. The junta recently has sought the extradition of her from Britain.]

Top left: “Silent tiger” was surprised [black] when a ten billion project can’t push forward. Too risky for “locals-officers” who won’t join it.

[Refers to Deputy PM Anupong Paochinda (pictured), a part of the influential Eastern Tigers military clique. He is pushing a controversial waste-to-energy project. This project has been criticized by the public and the NGOs because of environmental concerns and its massive budget.
His personality is very quiet and he does not get much attention from the media, so this cover refers to him as a “silent tiger.”]

Top right: Faith crisis of “Thai league” soccer fans decline; Political group don’t push forward and there is no fund support
[Refers to the declining popularity of Thai soccer league after there is little support from political groups and even less funding to promote the soccer league.
In the last ten years, politicians built regional soccer teams to maintain their political bases in the face of Thaksin’s overwhelming political dominance. Now that Thaksin has weakened and politicians can openly defect from Thaksin’s camp, the need to maintain the teams has dwindled.]

Bottom left: “Father jumped off the building – Kill Nong Ying-Sia Auan ordered to kill” [yellow] Those incidents occurred due to the “police bribes”

[A father jumped to his death from the criminal court building after a lower court ruled to dismiss a case involving the murder of his son. The father’s suicide led the police to re-investigate the case.
Meanwhile, the murder of a 19-year old Nereekarn “Nong Ying” was under investigation after there was an allegation that the man involved in the case tried to bribe the police to not pursue a murder charge and instead say it was an accident.
In yet another case, bar owner Panya ‘Sia-Auan’ Yingdang was alleged to be involved in a slaying in Chonburi.
All of them are thought to illustrate the mistrust the Thai public has in the police force.]

Bottom right: “The type of woman I like is a woman older than me” Disclose a story of [blue] “Film” [white] #national husband2018

[Refers to new actor Thanapat “Film” Kawila. After he appeared in the drama titled “Wife2018,” he became popular and gained a lot of attention, particularly from women. This led to the hashtag on social media #nationalhusband2018.]

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Chinese cartoonist

From Stephff, The Nation, August, 2018

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Willing to be sucked in

From Thairath, July 25, 2018
Title: Come from the same house.
Pile of skulls: Wish you all the best.
Sign above pile of skulls: Ratchaprasong; Khok Wua intersection [these are places were protesters died during Red Shirt protests in Bangkok in 2010]
On Red Shirt man hugging the soldier: Willingly to be sucked in
Mouse: The vow can be withdrawn. [the Red Shirt vow to demand retribution for those who died protesting]
Mouse man: They [the military] look down upon politicians.

[This pro-Thaksin/pro-Red Shirt cartoonist is lamenting the state of politics in the lead up to next year’s elections.
The ruling junta has succeeded in getting formerly pro-Thaksin MPs to switch to pro-army political parties.
Most alarming is that even a top Red Shirt leader–one who is an elected MP–has abandoned the Phua Thai and is siding with the military.
“Sucked in” refers to the Thai tradition of absorbing MPs from other political groups to create a majority in parliament. More about this here, here, and here.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Thairath - Sia | Leave a comment

Time to buy submarines

From Thairath, July 24, 2018
Title: Whose play first?
At left Prawit thinks: Yuan class.
Sign on Prawit’s hand: Buy it from China.
Prayuth thinks: Cha-la-wan class. [Cha-la-wan means crocodile.]
Sign on Prayuth’s hand: Thai Navy made.
Mouse: Use people’s taxes.
Mouse man: They love it so much, the submarine.

[This refers to the competition within the ruling junta of the path to take to rebuild Thailand’s submarine capability.
With the junta appearing firmly in control of government and with Red Shirt politicians defecting to their camp there is surely a sense that the military can spend whatever it wishes. This will allow them to finally buy the submarine fleet which was resisted by elected civilian governments in the past.]

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Cables Detail C.I.A. Waterboarding at Secret Thai Prison

Cables Detail C.I.A. Waterboarding at Secret Prison Run by Gina Haspel – NYT, August 10, 2018
In late November 2002, C.I.A. interrogators at a secret prison in Thailand warned a Qaeda suspect that he had to “suffer the consequences of his deception…”

Past articles on the Secret Thai Prison

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Political scapegoats

From Thairath, July 19, 2018
Title: Amazing, but it is a fact, it happens in Thailand
On a poster held by the police officer: Say a lie to defame innocent people and use power inappropriately.
On a sign on jail bars: Being alleged to be jailed. A victim of injustice. Political scapegoats.
Phi Nooring: They should be replaced.
Mouse: Start from injustice.

[Refers to the general perception that police round up innocent people or trump up charges on those who criticize the junta.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Thairath - Sia | Leave a comment

Two were killed

From Manager, July 26, 2018
Caption left: A suspect to kill a son
Caption right: A suspect to kill a father
On a book held by man: Prosecutor
On the building: Criminal Court

[Refers to the incident when a father jumped to his death from the 8th floor of the Criminal Court building after the court acquitted a defendant accused of stabbing his son to death.]

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More violence from the Yoobamrung family

From Manager, July 24, 2018
Wan Yoobamrung: Oh, dad… Why you lost your charisma like this… Threaten to hit their heads and let me out like the past… Make them know… who my dad is!!!
Caption: Then, Wan has realized… this time his dad is not big anymore.

[Refers to Chalerm Yoobamrung’s son Wan who was recently arrested on an assault charge.
In his younger years he popularized the saying “do you know whose my dad is?” This saying was used to face down police who attempted to stop him from his frequent brawling.
Chalerm always managed to get his sons out of trouble, but the scandals, which included the public murder of a police officer, certainly impacted his political fortunes.
Chalerm used his close association with the ever-popular Thaksin to gain appointments for his sons in both People Power Party and Pheu Thai governments, much to the dismay of critics who lamented the impunity of the Thai elite to escape justice.
Chalerm was always an odd man out in politics, even in Thaksin’s camp, hated for his opportunistic brashness and seen as ever on the lookout to gain the prime minister’s post for himself.
In the present political climate, Chalerm’s power is even more diminished as both the Red Shirts and Pheu Thai fragments, many joining pro-junta parties.
Thus, the cartoonist jokes that, this time, he does not have the influence to get his “brawling brat” son out of legal trouble.]

More: Who is Chalerm Yoobamrung?
From 2001: Chalerm and “the brawling brats of the Thai Elite”

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Top Red Shirts join with the military

From Naewna, July 23, 2018
Left: Let’s go burn and I will take the responsibility for it.
Right, Supaporn: Being together we survive but if not, we will die.
Red Shirt leader: Hey… Isan Rambo, we asked you to burn the city not us…

[Refers former Pheu Thai Party member and Red Shirt leader Suporn Atthawong who recently announced he would join a pro-junta party to complete in the coming election.
Suraporn is known as the “Isan Rambo” for his combative and fearless speeches. He has great influence in the northeastern region.
He was one of the firebrand protesters who issued threats in 2010 when the Red Shirts were protesting in Bangkok. As recently as 2014 he announced he would lead tens of thousands of Red Shirts into Bangkok and “fight to the end” if the courts ruled against the Phea Thai-led government.
Not only is he one of the top Red Shirts who openly made such threats at key times, he has been accused of lese majeste and connected with weapons allegedly found at a safe house he had been using.
Most importantly, he is an actual long-time elected MP. This is in contrast to other Red Shirt leaders who were somehow appointed to their posts and then were rewarded with MP party list posts after elections to shield them from prosecution.
This makes Suporn, the “Isan Rambo,” an unexpected addition to the junta’s supporters.
The saying “Let’s go burn” was used by the Red Shirts during rallies in 2010. (Burning links here, here, and here)]

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Collecting Red Shirts for the military

From Arun, July 23, 2018
Title: Festival of using sticks to gather the Red Shirts
On the shirt: Issan Red Shirt
On a sign behind the motorcycle: New party

[Refers the coming election in which many political groups, particularly pro-junta groups, are working hard to attract Red Shirt MPs and their supporters to their side.
Red Shirts, in particular those who have history as elected MPs, have been supposedly abandoning their former pro-Thaksin groupings and defecting to pro-military parties.
This indicates that those who have a real interest in winning elections have calculated that their interests are better served by joining the ranks of pro-military parties.
In the cartoon, it looks as if passing thieves on a motorcycle are grabbing the shirts that symbolize defecting Thaksin supporters.]

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Withdraw from the deep south!

From Naewna, July 19, 2018
Thanathorn: If the Future Forward has a power and become a government, we will withdraw the soldiers from the southernmost provinces immediately.
On his shirt: Future Forward
Above the gun: Southern separatist militant group
Caption: He visits the area for only one day and will give the land to the militant group.

[Refers to Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, co-founder of the new Future Forward Party who visited the southernmost provinces and vowed that he would withdraw the military from those provinces if his party forms the next government. Then, he would let the local people to decide their future.
This is yet another controversial proposal from the new party that has already vowed to rewrite the constitution and that includes many anti-lese majeste activists in its ranks.]

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Weekly News Magazines: Long Live the King, July-August, 2018

From Matichon Weekly, July 27-August 2, 2018
[Refers to the celebration of King Rama X’s birthday. King Maha Vajiralongkorn turned to 65 on July 28, 2018. The government announced this day as the national holiday and conducted grand events nationwide.]

From Siamrath weekly review, July 27-August 2, 2018
Main cover reads: Long Live the King

From Lokwannee, July 28-August 3, 2018
Main cover reads: “A lot of reading… is not good.”
On a book: Book on absorbing. 800 lines
[This pro-Thaksin and pro-Red Shirt magazine cover refers to the military junta’s success at causing defections from the opposition camp to support the military. This is often referred to as absorbing or sucking.
This headline mimics a contradictory series of quotes from PM Prayuth.
First, he encouraged people to read a lot of books as he reads a lot of books. He said he read more than 800 lines a day which is more than the average 8 lines a day for Thais. However, on another day, PM Prayuth told people not to read newspapers since they always criticize him.]

From Manager Weekly, July 28-August 3, 2018
Main cover reads: Long Live the King

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Do not corrupt the election!

From Thairath, July 18, 2018
On man on left: ECT [Election Commission of Thailand]
On man on right: Media
Ballot being put in the box: Corrupt power
Ballots inside the box from left to right: Corrupt election; Corrupt law; Sucking politicians; Corruption; Corrupt election budget
Mouse man: [We are] Not afraid of [those who are] smart, but afraid of corruption.
Mouse: Keep an eye on…
Caption: Do not corrupt the election…!

[Refers to the many strictures and conditions surrounding the upcoming polling that foes of the military contend make it impossible to have a fair election.]

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Media vultures

From Manager, July 15, 2018
On lables on the vultures’ backs from left to right: web [in English], media, game show, variety, live! [in English], game show, commercial
Vultures: We must be the first…
Sign on the building: Chiang Rai Prachanukroh Hospital
Caption: When they get out… the wild boars must be in trouble.

[Refers to the release of the “Wild Boars” youth soccer team from the hospital after being rescued from a cave. The cartoonist criticizes the media frenzy surrounding the rescued boys.
The cartoon refers to Thai proverb “the vultures pluck” meaning people who grab something for their own benefit.]

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Practice to wash underwear

From Manager, July 17, 2018
Army officer: Practice to wash the boss’s wife’s underwear…. ready, go! 1..2..3..1..2..3
Caption: The army should train military recruits in the proper jobs.

[Refers to the revelation that army recruits were assigned to be personal household servants of top military brass. This has long been a tradition in the army, police and bureaucracy. Recently, social media, and the desire to embarrass the ruling junta, suddenly made this an embarrassing issue for the military.]

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Weekly News Magazines: Raising Chickens for the Military, July, 2018

From Matichon Weekly, July 20-26, 2018
Main cover reads: Absorb ‘red’ destroy the ‘ground’
[Refers to PM Prayuth who is attracting Red Shirt politicians to pro-military political parties. This would tend to eliminate the grassroots support that has enabled political parties controlled by Thaksin to win elections.]

Top right: Check the regulation ‘in the cave’ sending the military conscripts to raise the chickens. Trend for a call to reform the military.
[Refers to a video posted on the Facebook complaining about military conscripts who were ordered to raise chickens for a higher-ranking military officer’s personal benefit.
“In the cave” is an idiom to refer to old-style people. This phrase ridicules the old-style corrupt actions of those in the military.]

From Siamrath Weekly Review, July 20-26, 2018
Main cover reads: Cut [white] arms [red] cut [white] legs
[Refers to Thaksin and his Pheu Thai Party. “To cut (someone’s) arms and legs” is Thai saying that means to metaphorically cripple someone.
In this case, it refers to Thaksin and his Pheu Thai Party which are struggling with defections. These surprising defections even include elected Red Shirt MPs who are jumping to pro-military parties.]

From Lokwannee, July 20-27, 2018
Main cover reads: What should I do… they lent me.
Col. Sanders: Raising chickens gives more benefits than we expect
[Refers to a case of video of the military conscripts complaining about being ordered to raise chickens for higher-ranking military officers’ personal benefit.]

From Manager Weekly, July 21-27, 2018
Main cover reads: Trash is invading!
[Refers to Deputy PM Anupong Paochinda, a soldier from the influential Eastern Tigers military clique who is a pushing a controversial waste-to-energy project. This project has been criticized by the public and the NGOs as it causes environment concerns and requires massive budgets. Regional politicians who have dared resist the project have been transferred to other posts.]

Top: “Pheu Thai” [black] was broken. Don’t be surprised. [red] “Thaksin” [red] threw the card to be surrendered. “Jae Dang” didn’t want to spend.
[Refers to the current situation of the Phua Thai Party which is facing members leaving the party to join Prayuth-supporting groups. The headline mentions “Jae Dang” who is Yaowapa “Dang” Wongsuwan, Thaksin’s sister.
Despite denials, it is common knowledge that Pheu Thai MPs are on the payroll of the Shinawatra family and the cohesion of the political grouping owes much to the willingness of the family to pay MPs for their loyalty.
In recent months word has spread that the Yaowapa, who served as the party paymaster within the country, began to be unwilling to dole out the under-the-table payments that the family had used for almost 20 years to hold its political power base together.
This is apparently one of the main factors that has finally led to the defection of Pheu Thai MPs.
The headline implies that, in this political game, Thaksin plays his first card, but it is a losing one as his MPs are deserting him.]
Bottom left: Revive [blue] “Italian Serie A” [white] Keep eyes on Ronaldo’s [white] effect.
[Refers to famous soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo (pictured) who recently has joined Italian soccer club Juventus. This not only helps to revive the popularity of Italian Serie A, but other famous soccer players are now considering to join the Italian soccer league.]
Bottom right: Open Warp of [blue] BNK 48 Generation 2 [white] who will be the most [yellow] “popular” [white] next?
[Refers to the famous girl group “BNK 48.” After gaining huge popularity from fans, the group is now launching their next round of performers.]

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The mini-Trumps of Southeast Asia

Why South-East Asia is fertile ground for mini-Trumps – The Economist, July 26, 2018
…From an ornate sofa, Mr Thaksin laments Thailand’s enduring wealth gap. “The economy is only good for a few, not for all,” he says. Yet he also claims to have seen the light, and to have turned against majoritarianism. Asked what he would do differently if he had another shot at running the country, he says he would not follow a “winner takes all” policy but an “embrace all” one instead. That is easy for him to say, of course, now that he is not winning.

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Gather them up

From Arun, July 16, 2018
Title: Tour “Lotus City”
Sign: Politician’s pool
On lotus bucket: Politicians

[Refers to the stunning turn of political fortunes for the junta as even Red Shirt politicians flock to political groupings that will support the current military-installed prime minister.
The cartoonist likens this gathering of politicians to a person collecting lotus flowers.
This phenomenon, also know as “sucking” or “absorbing,” has been likened to how Thaksin was able to create this parliamentary majorities.]

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Sending moral support to Japan

From Thairath, July 12, 2018

From Thairath, July 12, 2018
Title: Sending moral support to Japan.
Mouse man: Step over the tragedy. [meaning something like “get through the tragedy”]
Mouse: If a friend suffers, we suffer.
[Referencing the recent flooding in Japan.]

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Big Jiew is getting sucked in

From Manager, July 12, 2018
Caption: Ying Louis’s party is also getting sucked in.
Ying Louis: Help please… P’ Jiew is getting sucked in!

[Big Jiew is Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, former army chief and prime minister. Ying Louis is Big Jiew’s ex-wife.
This cartoon references Big Jiew’s recent marriage characterized here as the new wife sucking up Jiew in a vacuum cleaner.
This characterization makes a joke on the recent political upheavals than have seen mass defections of prominent politicians mainly to pro-military parties. This was the way Thaksin once built his political majorities.
Now many of these same MPs who were on Thaksin’s payroll will be elected once again, but will switch to supporting pro-military parties.
So the joke is that Jiew is being sucked away from his old wife’s political party and into the camp of the new wife.]

More on Thai-style political sucking or absorbing:
From 2002 during the Thaksin years: Political vacuum cleaners
2018: Who is sucking in whom?
2018: Absorbing is the Thai Way
2018: Fertilizing the junta party with crap of the past

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Chavalit is very fit

From Daily News, July 13, 2018
Title: Very fit…!!!
Chavalit: Don’t stop at this stage…!!
On Chavalit’s chest: Big Jew
On the stage: 4th marriage
PM Prayuth: Awful… Wish you luck…!!

[Refers to former PM Chavalit Yongchaiyudh who has recently married for the fourth time at his age of 86 to a 53-year-old woman after divorcing his previous wife about 10 years ago.
This cartoon is sarcastic by saying that a very fit (or very healthy) man at the age of 86 years old has gotten married for the fourth time.
Chavalit has long been a major military and political figure who has sided with Thaksin at key times, trying to give the impression that the military is divided and that some support Thaksin.
He has also recently been floated as a compromise PM candidate after the next elections.]

Posted in Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, Editorial Cartoons - Daily News | Leave a comment

Who to blame?

From Manager, July 10, 2018
Deputy PM Prawit: This is about Chinese tourist agency who did it to the Chinese… then how should I be responsible about it?
On the island: Phuket
President Xi Jinping: Give Phuket island to my country… then I will be responsible for it.
Caption: Be careful, or they will be responsible. [meaning China will be responsible for the ferry tragedy if they take over Phuket]

[Refers to Deputy PM Prawit’s remarks about the Chinese tourist ferry accident in Phuket.
During his interview, he blamed the ferry company operated by an illegal Chinese company implying that it was Chinese people who did it to Chinese people and that Thais were not responsible.
The remarks sparked anger on Chinese social media. Later Deputy PM Prawit apologized for his remarks.]

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11 Years Ago: First Red Shirt Move: Surprise Raid on Privy Council President’s House

First Red Shirt Move: Surprise Raid on Privy Council President’s House

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Not moving anywhere

From Manager, July 5, 2018
On the BTS Skytrain: Gosh…the traffic is so heavy, it is not even moving…
On the road: Gosh…the traffic is so heavy, it is not even moving…

[Refers to the recent delays and stoppages of the Skytrain system. These events were the talk of social media and garnered the Skytrain company much criticism.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Manager, Skytrain | Leave a comment

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.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Manager, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

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.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Thairath - Sia | Leave a comment

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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