Jun 27th, 2017

Dream Team for the Future of Politics

From Thairath, June 6, 2017
Title: Dream team… the best of the decade.
On the ground: Road map.
On the soldier: Return happiness [the junta’s motto]
Suthep, in the middle: Shut down Bangkok [the protest call of the anti-Phea Thai government protests]
Death figure on right: Trying to upend the parliament. Suppress the people.
Mouse man: Love? Like? Choose freely!
Mouse: Conspiracy.

[This cartoon critiques the emerging political situation. It appears that the military is being supported by factions of the protest group that helped paralyze the Pheu Thai-led government.
This cartoonist often features the hooded death figure to symbolize the forces that broke up the Red Shirt protest in Bangkok in 2010.]

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Criticizing the teen singer: Weekly News Magazines, June, 2017

[Last week marked the final issue of the venerable Nation Weekend, which finally ceased publication as the media moves more to online publications and away from printed periodicals.]

From Manager Weekly, June 10-16, 2017
Main cover reads: Burapha Eastville. Trade corridor (free arms sale)
[The man on the cover is Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan. This refers to the recent case of weapon smuggling by a military man. Burapha East are the “Eastern Tigers” military clique who makes up most of the military. This ridicules the military, which espouses lofty and idealistic goals for the country, while overlooking arms smuggling in its own ranks.]

Top: Looking closely at the cause of [pink] ‘Pu-Praiya’ vs [orange] OMEGA
[Refers to actress and model Praiya ‘Pu’ Soandokmai who was discharged from being a presenter for “Friend of OMEGA” aglledgedly due to violating her contract. The article claims to disclose all the details of the case.]

Bottom: End ‘Preaw’ with a secret behind drug trafficking
[The woman is Preeyanuch ‘Preaw’ Nonechai and the man is Thawatchai ‘Kao’ Aomchompoo. Refers to a recent sensational murder case. Preeyanuch ‘Preaw’ Nonechai and her friends admitted to be murders and later investigation linked the case to a drug trafficking network as she escaped to Myanmar with the help of Thawatchai ‘Kao’ Aomchompoo who allegedly has good ties with the drug groups. The pictures on the right show when Preaw was arrested and was photographed with police officers. Later, the photos were criticized by the public as the police seemed to be treating the suspect like a celebrity.]

From Siamrath Weekly, June 16-22, 2017
Main cover reads: Roadmap [red] ‘May’
[Refers to Ariya ‘May’ Juntanugarn who became the first Thai ever to be No. 1 in woman’s world golf after winning the US professional golf LPGA tournament. The “roadmap” refers to the junta’s roadmap to democracy. here it seems to indicate the march to a Thai gold No. 1]

Top right: A political trap
[The man in the picture is PM Prayuth. The article refers to the junta’s attempt to maintain their power longer than their promise.]

From Matichon Weekly, June 16-22, 2017
Main cover reads: The 5th question. Lamyai Haithongkham

[Refers to teenager singer Lamyai Haithongkham who was criticized by PM Prayuth for her sexy dancing and outfits. “The 5th question” refers to the four questions asked by PM Prayuth to the public earlier in what was perceived as laying the groundwork for an indefinite delay of elections.
This magazine jokes that the prime minister’s fifth question is a frivolous comment about a minor celebrity.]

Top right: Dream high and reach it (finally). Nong May is praised as No. 1 in woman’s world golf
[Refers to Ariya ‘May’ Juntanugarn who finally become No. 1 in woman’s world golf after there was an erroneous calculation that she would take over the No. 1 spot in early June.]

From Lokwannee, June 17-23, 2017
Main cover reads: A leader who loves traveling
[This headline reworks the title of the song ‘A woman who loves traveling’ by teenager singer Lamyai Haithongkham. Recently, PM Prayuth criticized the singer for provocative dancing and outfits.
The cover compares PM Prayuth to the leader of the North Korea where people are controlled by the government. The signer’s name, Lamyai means a longan (held in Prayuth’s hand on the cover) and Haithongkham means golden jar, which is also a slang term for a woman’s sexual anatomy.]

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Thaksin’s slave or dog tick?

From Thairath, June 3, 2017
Title: The same blood
On the leg: NCPO [the junta]
Ticks: Preed Preed [a sound of whistle referring to the protests that paralyzed the previous Phea Thai government]
Tick on the right: Being a “dog’s tick” is better than being Thaksin’s slave!
On the whistle: PDRC [the protest group that fought against the Phea Thai government]
Phi Nooring: [They] Announce a person who they can rely on again
Mouse: Good people

[Refers to the disclosure of a Line chat between Democrat member Theptai Seanapong and his friend criticizing some party members–particularly the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) group–who seem to favor the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) leading the next government.
The cockroaches are used to represent the Democrat Party, derided by their opponents as being difficult to eradicate.
A tick has a slang meaning to indicate a person who replies on another for his own benefit. The cartoonist uses it to refer to the PDRC protesters who were instrumental in in overthrowing the Phea Thai-led government.
The title, “The same blood,” means that the Democrat Party members share the same idea about relying on others for gaining benefits and power for themselves.]

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Selfie with the Suspect

From Manager, June 5, 2017
Praew: What!… every one in the country come to arrest me?!!!
Policeman: We don’t come to arrest you… we’re just following the trend…
[Refers to the fawning behavior and selfie taking the police engaged in with the suspects of a gruesome murder. Criticism from the public resulted in some of the officers being transferred for their behavior.]

From Naewna, June 6, 2017
On the telephone screen: E’ Praew, murdered with premeditation
Police on left and right of telephone: chae chae chae chae chae chae [cheese]
Caption: Net idol of some Thai police.
[Another cartoon on the same theme, chiding the police for their friendly and unprofessional comportment around the murder suspects.]

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Revenge from the Election Commission?

From Naewna, June 7, 2017
EC member Somchai Srisutthiyakorn: I don’t want revenge.
On his shirt: EC [Election Commission of Thailand]
On grenade: Investigate nine ministers
Above the boot: Set zero the EC
Caption: Just take it for granted!

[Refers to the Election Commission of Thailand (EC) carrying out an investigation of nine ministers on their qualifications. They denied that this action was revenge after the junta’s National Legislative Assembly passed a proposal to “set zero” on the EC by removing all members from their posts.]

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Dangerous Voting

From Arun, June 2, 2017
Bomb disposal officer: Please step back. Sorry for the inconvenience.
[This cartoon appears to make the joke that authorities are fearful of the consequences of voting and would like to put off elections.]

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Don’t drop a bomb to destroy the people’s dreams

From Manager, May 31, 2017
Title: Don’t drop a bomb to destroy the people’s dreams
On paper held by PM Prayuth: Four questions which aren’t related to delaying the road map to the election
Papers around the ballot box from left to right: Democracy; elected government; a future which we can choose
On sleeves: Extend the power to stay longer
Phi Nooring: Destroy the right to dream
Mouse: Sabotage the future

[Refers four questions asked by PM Prayuth to the public. The questions were 1. Do you think you will get a government with good governance from the next election? 2. If not, what should we do? 3. An election is a part of the democracy, but if we focus only the election without caring about the future of the country and other issues. Isn’t that correct? 4. Do you think the bad politicians will win the election? If they will and cause the same problems, then what should we do?
All of this is a veiled reference to Thaksin and the political parties he controls. Essentially they are saying, “if a party controlled by Thaksin wins once again and immediately starts on trying to create an amnesty and rewriting the charter, then there will be another coup. If that is the case, then why have elections at all now?”
Many saw these questions from the PM as a sign that the junta is in favor of further postponing elections.]

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Political Conspiracies

From Manager, May 31, 2017
Title: After overthrowing the PM… they will come back to overthrow the former PM
On the wall of the building in Thai: Democrat
The man at the desk is former PM Abhisit Vejjajiva

[Refers to a rumor about a conflict between Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva and party members who were members of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) led by former Democrat member Suthep Thaugsuban. The PDRC led protests against the amnesty bill for Thaksin and the charter rewrite of the Pheu Thai led government. These protests led to a coup which toppled the Pheu Thai.
The PDRC factions are represented by colored whistles to refer to the whistle-blowing protest tactics of the PDRC.
These rumors, denied by all sides, focused on PDRC factions wishing to support moves after the elections to form a military-led government vs the core Democrat Party wishing to ensure the military is frozen out of politics.]

From Naewna, May 31, 2017
Caption: Four parties join hands against a military party..? Denounce those guys.
[Refers to the four-party model recommended by former Democrat Party’s leader Bhichai Rattakul. It called on the main political parties (Democrat, Pheu Thai, Chartthaipattana and Bhumjaithai) to join hands after the coming elections to prevent the military from exploiting the fractured political situation to appoint their own PM under the new charter.
This proposal was quickly rejected, particularly by the current Democrat leadership, who contended they could not join hands with a party (the Pheu Thai) that has tolerated slurs against the monarchy (via the Red Shirts) and used violent protests in 2009 and 2010 to topple the government.
The cartoonist is denouncing those groups of politicians because they cannot join their hands as their nature is that they are greedy dogs competing over the spoils of government.]

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Just sweep it under the carpet

From Manager, May 30, 2017
Left, PM Prayuth: If politicians come back and throw waste in this country, making it smell bad like last time, what would you do?
On the woman’s shirt: Thai people
Right: I will call you back to clean this waste and put it under the carpet like what you have done here.

[This is another cartoon questioning the depth of the junta’s self-proclaimed reforms of the country. Many feel that the military has simply manufactured a constitution that will enable them to keep a stranglehold on politics while not really changing anything substantive about the old political climate.]

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Remembering the Thaksin Shinawatra era at Man City ten years on

Remembering the Thaksin Shinawatra era at Man City ten years on – itc.com, June 19, 2017
…Shinawatra’s desperate need to sell attracted interest from Sheikh Mansour, who spent £200million on Manchester City and made them the force they’ve become. Undoubtedly, Shinawatra’s tenure gave the club the platform to build on, making City an ambitious business and giving them a step up on the world scene…

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Junta no better than a broken security camera?

From Thairath, May 27, 2017
Title: Compare the performance.
Broken sign below the camera: Hospital [referring to the bomb blast at a military-run hospital on the anniversary of the coup]
Camera at top left: Bae…bae (waste product) [“Bae bae” is the sound referring to a thing that is not working or is broken. Many non-functioning video cameras around the hospital made it hard for authorities to track the bomber.]
On military tank: Prayuth: Boa…bae (what a waste) [“Boa bae is the sound referring to a thing that is not useful and perhaps a waste of money. “200%” probably refers to the assertion that the purchase of military hardware is the right one.]
On the chair: Government comes from election
On paper to the left: Policy for people
On paper to the right: Project to develop the country
Mouse man: Destroy, don’t make them perform.
Mouse: Don’t put the blame. [Junta foes have been complaining that the prime minister is blaming Thaksin for the country’s problems.]
[On the day before the anniversary of the coup and the hospital bomb blast, former PM Yingluck warned the junta not to waste their time in power and lose a chance to reform the country.
The cartoonist invites the reader to compare the junta’s performance and their purchase of expensive military hardware with the broken video cameras in the bombed hospital.]

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Tomatoes and Watermelons

From Naewna, May 27, 2017
Title: Fate of Thailand…!!
Man on left: Turbulent city bombing. Koo Tee. [Early suspicion about the bombing at the military-run hospital turned to “Koo Tee,” a Red Shirt leader who runs a pirate radio station from Laos calling for a people’s revolution in Thailand. In his typically sensational manner, he denied bombing the hospital, saying instead he would have bombed government house and the homes of the junta instead.]
Police officer at center: Tomato police [this is nickname for the police to indicate that the police are openly “red”–that is, loyal to Thaksin and the Red Shirts.]
Military man at right: Watermelon soldiers [this is nickname for the military to indicate that they are green on the outside (wearing green uniforms) and red on the inside–that is, loyal to Thaksin and the Red Shirts]
[This cartoon implies that the military and police are not acting against fugitive Red Shirts committing terrorist attacks. However, most of the media seemed to be wondering if the military was too quick in focusing on Red Shirts as being behind recent blasts.]

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Don’t “reform” the police

From Thairath, May 23, 2017
Title: Making the two tigers get into the same cave.
Tiger on left: DSI
Behind left tiger: Ministry of Justice
Tiger on right: Police
Mouse: The origin of justice
Mouse man: Trouble squared [meaning that a “reform” of the police will cause lots of trouble]

[This is based on a saying that “two tigers cannot be put in the same cave.” The cartoonist is lobbying against the proposed reform of the Royal Thai Police.
The Royal Thai Police have long been derided for apparently acting on Thaksin’s behalf and for still being largely loyal to him and his political block. This led to hopes among Thaksin detractors that the force would be reformed.
Reform plans were put forth after the coup, but the junta later mysteriously dropped efforts to restructure the police.
This pro-Thaksin and pro-Red Shirt cartoonist takes a different view. This view is that reforming the police by putting them under the Justice Ministry (instead of the Interior Ministry or directly to the Prime Minister’s Office as Thaksin dealt with them) would lead to further injustice being meted out to Thaksin and his Red Shirt supporters.
This all goes back to to the 1997 charter and its strong independent organizations and concept of non-politicized government organizations. These ended up hampering Thaksin’s rule as prime minster at every turn.
Today it remains an article of faith for the Red Shirts that independent organizations and government bodies outside of politics should not be able to regulate the activities of an elected government.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Thairath - Sia, Thai Police | 1 Comment

Put the bomb in Prawit’s butt

From Manager, May 23, 2017
Caption: Next time, I will bomb here… let’s see whether you can catch it.

[Refers to the bomb at a military hospital that caused a number of injuries. The continuing spate of bombs, some in sensitive locations such as near Sanam Luang (where a royal cremation ceremony is going to be held) seems to point out how the junta is unable to maintain security.
The hospital bomb was in the “Wongsuwan” room, named in honor of Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan, both the most powerful person in the junta as well as the person who is conducting talks with political groups to form the next government.
The cartoonist is trying to emphasize that the bomb is indeed related to dissatisfaction over junta rules and its implications for the future of the country.]

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Time to Wake Up Thaksin: Weekly News Magazines, June, 2017

From Nation Weekend, June 2, 2017
Main cover reads: A characteristic of Thai politics (2535-2560)
In the frame is an earlier edition of the Nation Weekend: [pink] The return of Anand Panyarachun [blue] Nation
[Refers to Thailand’s patronage system under democratic rule which resulted from the 1991 coup and Black May 1992. Under this characteristic, the military overthrew the elected government and took power. After that, they tried to create legitimacy by appointed a respected outside figure as prime minister. Anand Panyarachun was such a prime minister who was appointed between 1991–1992 and once again in 1992.
This implies that present-day politics after the next elections will also feature an outsider figure a as compromise PM who is hostile to the existing political parties and cooperates with the military.]

From Matichon Weekly, June 2-8, 2017
Main cover reads: Question man
[Refers to PM Prayuth who recently asked several questions about the election to the public. His questions were implied that an election should be delayed until the reform of the country by the junta is completed.]

Top: Line’s message was ‘disclosed’ [yellow] Thunder prince supports ‘Mark’ to be the head and attacks the Democrat as acting like a slave of the ‘Big.’ [referring to junta head Prayuth]
[Refers to the disclosure of a LINE chat between Democrat member Theptai Seanapong and his friend. He expressed concern that, if the junta stayed longer, it may not be good for the Democrat Party. He was afraid that it would people to turn to support the Phua Thai Party and its strident anti-junta stance.
He also accused some party members, particularly from the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) group, for strongly supporting military rule. He advocated avoiding people from the PDRC to have power in the party and instead.]

From Manager Weekly, June 2-8, 2017
Main cover reads: Sexy murder
[Refers to the case of the grisly murder of a karaoke bar girl. This murder has gained a lot of attention from the public. Recently, all the murder suspects, Preeyanut “Prew” Nonewangchai, Kawita “Earn” Ratchada and Apiwan “Jae” Sattayabundit were arrested after initially escaping in Myanmar and Wasin Namprom and Jidarat “Benz” Promkhun were arrested as well.
The case has made celebrities out of the suspects.]

Bottom left: (Not) happy ending. Keep an eye on a future of “Ploy” in the day after leaving Channel 3.
[Refers to famous actress Cherman Ploy Boonyasak who ended her contract with Channel 3 as there was a rumor that the Channel 3 didn’t extend her contract.]

Bottom right: 4 questions which they don’t want to answer. “Prayuth” set a bomb that sends a sign to “election-supporters” that the NCPO will stay longer.
[Refers to four questions asking by PM Prayuth about if an election is needed and how to ensure that an election would bring good politicians to the country. The questions are thought to imply that the junta may postpone elections until they complete their plan of reforming the country.]

From Lokwannee, June 10-16, 2017
Main cover reads: Don’t Tu.
It’s time to wake up ‘Thaksin’s ghost’ (again)

[The undercurrent of all recent politics is that Thaksin is the cause of the country’s problems.
The cover warns the junta to stop making false claims about Thaksin. Thaksin supporters, Red Shirts and Pheu Thai alike, claim that Thaksin has nothing to do with politics at all. So, on the cover, Thaksin is like a ghost who has already died and passed from the political world. However, the junta is trying dredge up his ghost by falsely blaming him for causing the problems to the country.
The word “Tu” not only refers to PM Prayuth’s nickname, but it is Thai the word “tu” meaning “making false claims.”]

Posted in Thai Newspapers and Magazines | 1 Comment

Thaksin-related places in Bangkok that are a bombing-free zone

From Manager, May 26, 2017
Above, left to right: Baan Chan Song Lah [Thaksin’s residence in Thonburi], Shinawatra building, Phea Thai office
Bottom, from left to right: Baan Yothinpattana [Yingluck’s house], Rama 9 Hospital, Thailand Beverly Hills [is this a new development beyond Ekkamai?]
Caption: Places in Bangkok that are a bombing-free zone.

[The cartoonist jokes that Thaksin-related buildings and businesses are always off-limits to bombing attacks.
This reflects a skepticism among Thaksin opponents that posits that attacks against the junta, no matter the source, are aimed at helping Thaksin return to power. This is the idea that there is a compromised motive behind those who agitate against the junta or even call for quick elections.]

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Thailand can learn from Myanmar!

From Manager, June 6, 2017
Left, Myanmar officer: Thai government… sends their officer for a field visit to learn about our country’s technology, sir.
Boss: What kind of technology?
Right: The CCTV… They want to know why it can catch a picture of Prew very clearly.
On sign: Border of Myanmar-Thailand

[Refers to the case of a grisly murder of a karaoke bar girl. The group of suspected murderers led Preeyanut “Prew” Nonewangchai, was caught on Myanmar’s CCTV while they were escaping at the Myanmar-Thailand’s border.
This footage became the talk of the town as people compared the sharp quality of Myanmar’s CCTV image with Thailand’s CCTV which are rarely ever to clearly spot suspects. Thai security cameras are never always under repair, broken, or replaced with dummy cameras when a violent act happens or when they are required to track a suspect.
This is commonly thought to be an expression of Thailand’s corrupt culture, where cameras are conveniently off at certain times and money for maintenance is pocketed.]

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Above the sun, the police cannot do it!

From Manager May 24, 2017
Police Chief Chakthip Chaijinda: Under this sun, there is nothing Thai police cannot do!

[The saying “Under this sun, there is nothing Thai police cannot do” comes from Police General Phao Sriyanon, perhaps the most notorious Thai police officer, who was one of the pillars of the Phibun dictatorship. He is remembered in the West as “The worst man in the whole history of modern Thailand.”
It is probably not surprising that many Thais see things totally differently. Both the present-day Royal Thai Police and Thaksin have taken Phao’s declaration of absolute power as an affirmation of their duty as well as a threat to their political enemies (just as Phao meant it).
In 2003, Thaksin’s anti-drug trafficking speech boldly used Phao’s quote. This seemed to foreshadow the politicization of the police that bends to Thaksin dictates.
To the average Thai, the saying is probably met with resignation as it contains the reality of the police on the ground–that they have the legal power to control day-to-day life, decide who is charged, and often actively manage illegal activities for their own benefit.
The cartoonist makes light of the saying, showing various types of bombers–southern separatists, Red Shirts, and rouge Red Shirts (perhaps symbolized by the man in the checked shirt)–moving above the sun. This is a place where the Royal Thai Police’s self-declared absolute power cannot reach.]

See also: When did the power of the Thai police rivaled the military

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Bombs can happen anywhere

From Thairath, May 25, 2017
Title: Both help to warn each other
Man on the left (representing a Thai person warning overseas Thais about violence): Be careful of the bombs
On the suitcase: Thai people in England
Signs in the background: Bangkok, three provinces, southernmost [referring to locations of bombing violence]
Man on the right (representing an English person warning English people about the bombings in Thailand): Be careful of the bombs
On the backpack: English people in Thailand
Signs in the background: Manchester, London [referring to the recent concert bombing there]
Phi Nooring: Feeling sorry for people who are suffered from this.
Mouse: Condemn the bombers

[This cartoon illustrates that while Thai officials warn their people to be careful when they go to the UK, UK officials also warn their citizens who visit Thailand to be careful. This perhaps unintentionally illustrates the Thai defense tendency to counter any criticism of their own country by asserting that the same thing happens in other countries.]

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Criticize the junta and face legal action

From Thairath, May 19, 2017
Title: Cruel camp. People’s maze.
On bombs from left to right: Bill on organic laws, National strategy, Bill on controlling the media, Bill on computers, Bill on cyber security, Article 44
On sigh held by PM Prayuth: Work 200%. No giving up the power
Phi Nooring: It’s not a fun game.
Mouse: If fail, you may die.
[Ridicules the government’s actions that seem to be aimed at controlling the press and freedom of expression in general.]

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Bomb at the Wongsuwan Room: Weekly News Magazines, May-June, 2017

From Nation Weekend, May 26, 2017
Main cover reads: A mastermind’s name ‘power.’
[Refers to the bomb attack at the military-operated hospital Phramongkutklao Hospital which caused 20 injuries.
The cause of the attack is thought to be related with politics as it occurred during on the third anniversary of the coup and the bomb was left in the Wongsuwan Room reserved for VIP patients and guests. The room bears the family name of General Prawit Wongsuwan, who, as Defence Minister, is in charge of the country’s security and he is known as the most influential person in the junta.]

From Manager Weekly, May 27-June 2, 2017
Main cover reads: Announcement for a missing person

[This is also about the bomb attack at a military-operated hospital. “The missing person” refers to the sought-after bomber as well as Deputy PM Prawit who had not been seen in public for some time.]

Top: Blue network “Wongthanong-Vinij’ invading the media business. Open ‘The Standard’ after saying goodbye to a day.

[The men from left to right: Vinij Lertratanachai and Wongthanong Chainarongsingha. Refers to the ‘The Standard’ co-founded by a famous former DJ and businessman Vinij Lertratanachai and former founder of the famous teen magazine “A Day,” Wongthanong Chainarongsingha. Wongthanong just left ‘A Day’ due to the controversial sell off of the company’s stocks.]

Bottom left: After ‘Thai Airways’ let ‘Nok Air’ go. Keep an eye on ‘Patee-Churangkul-Singpore’s funding’
[Refers to Thai Airways, the main shareholders of the domestic airline Nok Air under CEO Patee Sarasin, deciding to reduce their stake in Nok Air. Another well-known business group–Chrangkul–and Singapore investors bought the stake to replace Thai Airways.]

Right: Illegal cars sold in Paragon, a paradise of ‘niche cars,’ Grey market, jointly raise the prices unfairly
[Refers to the sale of luxury cars in Bangkok–including Siam Paragon–which are thought to have been illegally imported to avoid taxes.]

From Lokwannee, June 3-9, 2017
Main cover reads: No 4.0, Who will be the next PM. (you can answer not more than 4)
a. Big Tu
b. Uncle Tu
c. Uncle Tu
d. Brother Tu
[Junta leader and current Thai Prime Minster is Gen. Prayuth whose nickname is “Tu.” While the military promises elections soon, the new constitution is believed to be a tool for the junta to expand their power over the elected MPs. The junta has pushed a “Thailand 4.0” strategy to move the country to become the digital economy.
The joke is that the next prime minister is sure to be Gen. Prayuth again as the rules the military have enacted can be manipulated to ensure he remains PM.]

From Matichon Weekly, May 26-June 1, 2017
Main cover reads: Shaking Wongsuwan
Sign above the door: Wongsuwan room
Cartoon boy at bottom: ‘Submarine’ Please come and help

[Refers to the bomb attack at military’s hospital Phramongkutklao Hospital causing 20 injuries. The bomb came on the junta’s 3rd anniversary of 2014 coup. The cover notes how the incident is meant to target (“shake”) Deputy PM Prawit who at the center of political power in Thailand.
The cartoon boy references the military’s controversial submarine deal that has been strongly criticized.]

Top right: Poo-Yingluck asks for a promise of the ‘NCPO.’ 3 years should not be nothing
[Refers to Yingluck’s Facebook post, posted on the eve of the coup’s thrid anniversary, calling on the National Council for Peace and Order (the junta) to govern and reform the country as their promised or the coup would be wasted.]

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The nerve of politicians!

From Naewna, May 19, 2017
PM Prayuth and Deputy PM Prawit try to stop the politicians from entering.
Ghosts: When will the election take place? Just say it. The economy will be better then.
On the door: Election
Caption: What nerve!!

[Refers to the politicians calling for elections. The cartoonist reflects a certain Thai viewpoint that politicians and elections are a negative and that all the current problems of the nation have been caused by politicians attempting to gain power for themselves.]

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You did nothing wrong!

From Thairath, May 18, 2017
Title: Good work with high standards
On the fingers from left to right:
1st, on the shirt: OAG [Office of Auditor General] On the paper: Transparency
2nd, on the shirt: NACC [National Anti-Corruption Commission] On the paper: No corruption
3rd, on the shirt: Independent agency. On the paper: No need to investigate
4th, on the shirt: Judge of the constitutional court. On the paper: Did nothing wrong
Paper on the table: Recruit these groups
Phi Nooring: Friend-picking system
Mouse: Power from the fingers

[This cartoon questions whether the ruling junta can be properly scrutinized by the many oversight agencies due its pervasive power throughout government.
This is particularity true of the military’s submarine purchase that was quickly ruled “clean” by oversight agencies.]

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What’s left for Chavalit to do?

From Manager, May 16, 2017
Chavalit: I’ve already been through everything… I could be whatever I wanted to be… did whatever I wanted to do… Now I’m 85… what else do I need to do?
On the signs from left to right: Kongmin [chancellor and regent of the state of Shu Han during the Chinese Three Kingdoms period. Chavalit is praised as “Kongmin” due to his extensive political experiences.], army chief [Chavalit was army chief and one of the few who decided to form a political party to gain political power instead of trying to wield extra-electoral power behind the scenes or conduct a coup], Prime Minister, Mekong [River]

[Refers to former PM Chavalit Yongchaiyudh who promised the Northeastern people that if he became the PM and could not solve the problems of the region, he would jump into the Mekong River.
Chavalit’s turn at PM brought the worldwide currency collapse of 1997 and impoverished the nation (as well as many others). Events turning his failed time as PM also stage the stage for Thaksin’s emergence as a political power.
Thus, the cartoonist says all that is left for him is to jump in the river for his many failures.]

More about Chavalit

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Wattana needs new shoes

From Manager, May 15, 2017
Watana: My shoes are too old now… it’s time to get the new ones.
On his shirt: I don’t accept the draft constitution. Wattana Muangsook
Caption: An inspiration bring Wattana to always critise the junta.

[Refers to former Pheu Thai Party member Watana Muangsook who has consistently criticized the junta. Recently, he called on the junta pass power to a caretaker government after the draft constitution was approved.
The joke is that, as a die-hard Thaksin loyalist, Watana is criticized for his statements that only seem to be made to ultimately benefits Thaksin’s aims.
Thus, metaphorical shoes come at him when he makes these statements and this provides new shoes for him when he needs them.]

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Things got better for some

From Manager, May 14, 2017
Top, Deputy PM Prawit: Don’t worry… My brothers and I will help you to fix the house to be good for living like the past.
On the sign: Transitional forest construction [“transitional” referring to the junta’s definition of their rule–a time to transform the government to one that is transparent and is concerned about people’s needs; we are not quite sure why “forest” is used]
Caption: That day
Bottom, on the sign: Transitional forest construction
Caption: Three years passed

[Refers to three years of Thailand under the rule of the junta.
In the cartoon, it implies that at first people had hopes that the junta could succeed in reform.
However, after three years, the lives of the people in the country are the same (or worse), while the junta has feathered their nest and spent vast amounts of money on their own organizations.]

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The way to make the media to join hands together

From Thairath, May 11, 2017
Title: The way to make the media to join hands together.
On the sleeve: NCPO [National Council for Peace and Order, the junta]
On the hand: Bill to control the media
Media’s speech bubbles, top left: Controlling media and people!
Bottom left: The government doesn’t pay our salary!
Top right: When the media losses, does the government help?
Middle right: Control the right and freedom of the media. Do you feel embarrassed to the world?
Bottom right: Stopping investigations of the government!
On the microphone: News
On the paper close to the hand: Press
On the paper under the reporter’s foot: News
Phi Nooring: Extremely afraid of the media.
Mouse: Authoritarianism

[Refers to the junta’s attempt to pass bills to regulate the media. Thailand’s media association has called on the junta to stop this bill as it would violate the freedom of press to report news to the people.]

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Have an open mind. Don’t be biased and think negatively.

From Thairath, May 10, 2017
Netiwit: Have wit, kindness, love and give me a chance
On the box: Democracy in a university; President of Student Council; Netiwit
Phi Nooring: Have an open mind. Don’t be biased and think negatively.
Mouse: Chula’s generation
Caption: Teaching the adults

[Refers to student political activist Netiwit Chotiphatphaisal who was recently elected president of Chulalongkorn University’s Student Council.
Netiwit espouses progressive views, particularly in ending the practice of prostration before the royal statue on campus.
This election shocked the government as Chulalongkorn University is known as a conservative university and it is thought that the election might indicate student unease with the constricted nature of government controlled by military men with absolute power.
PM Prayuth strongly condemned the election and urged students to maintain traditional practices at the university.]

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PM Prayuth should wake up!

From Naewna, May 17, 2017
Thaksin shows up in Laos and said he want to return home.
On the pot: Very corrupt
Caption: Now he’s coming, master…

[This refers to a recent social media rumor that Thaksin secretly visited a temple in Laos.
In the cartoon, Thaksin, wearing a convict’s striped suit, is holding a stick to symbolize the threats of violence or revolution that his movement represents to the country.
PM Prayuth is shown as a “ghost shaman,” a meditating mystic who has removed himself from the world.
The cartoonist ridicules PM Prayuth for being blind to Thaksin and tells him to wake up to capture and arrest the fugitive former PM.]

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Social media will catch “Boss” when the police won’t

From Manager, May 7, 2017
Red Bull heir Vorayudh “Boss” Yoovidhya: I bought off the police to stop coming after me!… Then why won’t you guys stop!?
Caption: Only these groups seriously are trying to catch him.

[Refers to Red Bull heir Vorayudh “Boss” Yoovidhya allegedly killed a police officer in his car. The police seemed unwilling to even question him and charges against him were delayed almost five years.
Recently, social media users put pressure on the police after exposing that Boss was living a luxurious life with no legal repercussions for his actions.
His case is a held up as a symbol of the unfairness of justice that is meted out to the rich and poor in Thailand.]

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