The junta will win the reform battle

From Thairath, July 5, 2014
Title: Everyone wants to receive a trophy.
On the left: World cup 2014
On the right: Political reform 2014
On the trophy held by Gen. Prayuth: NCPO’s constitution
Phi Nooring: Being a world champion
A mouse: Return democracy
[Now, the junta led by Army commander Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha is preparing the new constitution which is one of their missions on reforming the country. It is expected that the constitution will cement the junta's control of politics.]

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

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

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Obama and Yingluck

From Naewna, July 5, 2014
Yingluck: Since the day I met you… my life was immediately damned…!! Not long after that, the NCPO [the National Council for Peace and Order] seized my power.
Obama: Yes…mines too…!! In ‘Merica [America]…, they accuse me…of being the worst president…
On the woman’s back: Yingluck
On the man’s back: Obama
[This aludes to President Obama's trip to Thailand, after which Yingluck opponenmts accused her of flirting. More about this here: The Burden of Being a Prominent Thai Woman--and Being Called a Slut]

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U.S. Ambassador Kristie Kenney is the best Red Shirt

From Manager, July 6, 2014
U.S. Ambassador Kristie Kenney, giving the three-fingered anti-coup salute from The Hunger Games: What!?… Are you afraid of them so much that you dare not wear red shirts? Dare to uphold your principles… Like me!
Caption: There is only one true Red left in Thailand
[From left are Red Shirt leaders Thida Thavornseth, Dr. Weng Tochiarakarn, Nutthawut Saikua and Jatuporn Promphan. These are core leaders of the Red Shirt movement. The cartoonist ridicules the Red Shirt leaders for giving up their principles as they have not supported Thaksin nor advocated an uprising against to the junta as they had long threatened.
Photos circulated on social media have shown U.S. officials meeting with Red Shirt grassroots groups amid calls for Thailand to hold elections quickly. This has aroused anger that those who support the coup and its intentions to destroy Thaksin influence.]

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Boycott U.S. goods

Above: Thai giant: Don’t stick your nose into other people’s business for just once, will you?

Examples of more anti-American graphics being circulated in social media.
More: Uncle Sam: Hold elections now!
More: Is the United States the puppet master?

Above: Raise a warfare flag, boycotting every kind of consumer products from the U.S.

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American vulture or eagle?

From Komchadluek, July 4, 2014
Bird: He said he’s an eagle. He comes to help us know democracy.
[The cartoon reflects an opinion that the US has attempted to protect its own benefits in Thailand by using the democracy as an excuse to intervene in the Thai political situation. This is expressed by showing the American eagle as a vulture.]

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The bouncing man

From Thairath, July 3, 2014
Cartoon title: Bouncing man, Thailand only
On back of men bounced out: Civil servants
On chair, from front left: Civil servants; state enterprises’ executives; Civil servants; Transferred; Transferred
Yingluck Shinawatra: Poo transferred just one person, and is being sued.
Mouse: C’est la vie.
[This refers to executive-level civil servants and state enterprises' employees who were transferred by the junta--mainly for continuing to take orders from Thaksin or having obtained their positions due to political contacts originating in the Pheu Thai Party. In Thai, the word for this sort of transfer is colloquially referred to as a "bounce."
Yingluck in the cartoon refers to a legal case brought against her for one of the most notorious appointments of all. Yingluck removed Thawin Pliensri, secretary-general of the National Security Council, from his post and replaced him with a powerful police general in a scheme to make sure a Thaksin relative could take control of the police force. As the police acted as a counterweight to the military and also control the administration of legal cases, it was key for the Pheu Thai-led government to control the organization.
The cartoonist says the junta has "bounced" many people, but former PM Yingluck got in trouble for just one transfer--the removal of Thawin.]

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“Thailand itself is on trial” – Slavery Scandal Tests Thailand Legal System

Slavery Scandal Tests Thailand Legal System – maritime-executive.com, July 19, 2014
The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) has described Thailand as being ‘on trial’ for allowing a company to prosecute a human rights defender who exposed modern day slavery in its canned fruit and fishing industry…

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Washington Post predicts the majority will reject the junta and unrest will rise

Can Thailand save its democracy? – Washington Post, July 19, 2014
[This articles foreshadows the next great political battle--the re-branded Red Shirts will demand a referendum on the new constitution that is being written to forever block Thaksin from power by ensuring military domination of the political system for years to come.]
…The junta can continue down its repressive path, which will likely lead to unrest. Or, mindful of public opinion, it can restore civil liberties and return the country to democratic rule before fall 2015, as promised. This latter option must come with a constitution approved by referendum, with an elected legislature and mechanisms to ensure neutrality in the judiciary…

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Weekly News Magazines, July 11, 2014

Nation Weekend_11 July 2014

From Nation Weekend, July 11, 2014
Cover reads: “Killing train crushing her on the way”
[Reference is to the notorious case of a 13-year-old girl was raped and threw out of a window of a train she rode with her sister to visit their grandmother in Bangkok. The accused, Wanchai Saengkhao, 22, an employee of the State Railway of Thailand, had a long history of criminal acts including drug trafficking. Nonetheless, he was recruited under the State Railway of Thailand patronage system, one of many other problems rotting the organization, and his background was never checked.]

Matichon Weekly_11 July 2014

From Matichon Weekly, July 11, 2014
Cover reads: Made-to-order dish; Retro-politics
By the small cartoon figure: The real iron wok chef
[Reference is to Dr. Vishnu Khruangam, a Thai law expert and scholar who was appointed by the National Council for Peace and Order to draft an interim constitution. Here is he shown as a chef who is cooking up a made-to-order charter for the junta. According to the article, the constitution is suspected to be a "retro" document on two major points. One is an interim prime minister nominated by the national legislative council. This will open the opportunity for the council to nominate Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha (an unelected person) to be prime minister. The other point is that the interim constitution may stipulate that the junta has authority above the interim government. This is seen as a gaming of the constitution in the tradition of other interim constitutions after each coup in Thailand's political history.]

ASTV Manager Weekly_12 July 2014

From ASTV Manager Weekly, July 12, 2014
Cover reads: “Accursed”
On the cover, left: Wanchai Saengkhao, rapist and killer of a 13-year-old girl
Middle: Mother of the rape victim who unwillingly presented a bouquet of flowers to Pol. Gen. Aek Angsananont, Deputy Commissioner General
Right: Prapas Jongsanguan, former governor of the State Railway of Thailand
[Refers to the rape and murder of a 13-year-old girl while she was sleeping on a train. Once this became news, Prapas refused to resign as governor of the SRT when asked (he was later fired by the junta). Meanwhile, the Royal Police Bureau, always keen to maintain their own image above all else, staged a ceremony showing the mother of the victim presenting flowers to Pol. Gen. Aek to show her gratitude to the police for their quick action. The family harshly criticized the police for forcing the grieving family to participate in the media event for the benefit of the police.]

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Super Too!


From Manager, July 2, 2014
Title: If it is not Super Too, it can’t be done.
[Refers to the release of Veera Somkwamkid, a Yellow-shirt activist who was arrested in Cambodia on charges of espionage and trespassing into Cambodian territory in 2010. After negotiation between Thailand under junta Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha (whose nickname is Too) and Cambodia's Hun Sen, Veera was granted a royal pardon. This was seen as part of the junta's move to cement relations with Thailand's neighbors and deny Thaksin allies in combating the junta.
Gen. Prayuth is seen as a superman by those who look to him to follow through with combating corruption and initiating reform that had languished in recent years as moves to provide Thaksin amnesty overshadowed other activities.]

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Politician’s shit

From Komchadluek, July 3, 2014
The words read: Politician’s shit.
[In the cartoon, after overthrowing the Pheu Thai-led government, the junta resolved to tackle persistent problems represented here as feces on Democracy Monument.]

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The United States understands democracy

From Komchadluek, July 2, 2014
Uncle Sam, to Thailand’s junta: In past, Iraq was governed by dictatorship, but we brought democracy to the country.
[The cartoon illustrates the annoyance of some Thais with the seemingly simplistic U.S. response to the coup. The cartoonist lampoons the U.S.'s shortsighted approach to places like Iraq and Afghanistan where quick elections and "democracy" did not result in peace and freedom.]

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Bad news for energy slaves


From Manager, July 1, 2014
On the door: Whoosh!
On bucket in Piyasvasti’s hand: Saline
On middle dispenser: Fuel
The three slaves: Piyasvasti!! [Piyasvasti Amranand is the former secretary-general of the Thai National Energy Office Policy. He was recently appointed a director on PTT's board and is expected to be elected as chairman of the board.]
Caption: Bad news for energy slaves
[Bad news because Piyasvasti does not support populist energy price intervention reasoning that real market prices will make consumers be more careful in using energy.]

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Please help return safety to the Thai people

From Thairath, July 11, 2014
Title: Please help return safety to the Thai people
A woman carried by Gen. Prayuth: victims of crime.
On the figure on the right: Criminals
Phi Nooring: Horrible cases happen everyday.
A mouse: People’s morals are declining.
[Refers to the recent horrible crime when a railway worker raped and killed a girl who was traveling on an overnight train to Bangkok. This cartoon calls for the junta led by Gen. Prayuth to promptly solve the problems in order to bring back the security to the people.]

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Lady Liberty bullies Thailand

From Komchadluek, July 2, 2014
Statue of Liberty: I told you to be democratic or you will be hurt!!
[Refers to the Thai perception that the U.S. does not understand the thinking behind the coup and is mindlessly pressuring Thailand without understanding the issues of the country. This is ironic, because, like in similar situations in Egypt, the U.S. is only giving lip service to democratic rule and has not put massive pressure on the junta.]

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Who used the guns?


From Manager, June 29, 2014
Gun: I wonder why you can seize many of us–a huge number–but those guys who used us… you cannot arrest any of them?!!
Caption: We also have the same question as this gun.
[Since the coup, the military has seized huge caches of war weapons, many of which are thought to be the caches of arms the Red Shirts and Pheu Thai boasted they had stockpiled for a civil war in the event Yingluck was deposed. The cartoonist wants the military to also arrest the people who used the guns in confrontations during political demonstrations in past years.]

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Must resign

From Komchadluek, July 9, 2014
Teacher: Prapas, spell it correctly and loudly!!
On the board: La-og [meaning 'resign']
Prapas: Uh! L-a-Laam…
[This is meant to mock Prapas Jongsa-nguan, former governor of the State Railway of Thailand. Asked if he would consider resigning to show his accountability concerning the case of a 13-year-old girl who was raped and killed by an SRT employee on a train, Prapas refused. He was later fired by the junta.]

From Manager, July 9, 2014
Prapas: I won’t quit… It’s not my fault.
Caption on the left: This man has already confessed.
Caption on the right: …but this man is still refusing.
[On the left is the confessed murderer. On the right is Prapas.]

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Nine Years Ago: Privy Council president rebukes Thaksin

Nine Years Ago: A tale of two newspapers: Prem’s ‘rebuke’
…Prem accuses Thaksin of employing “double standards”…

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These are dangerous animals


From Manager, June 27, 2014
Junta chief Gen. Prayuth Chan-och: Try keeping these animals in your parliaments for just a day… and you’ll understand why the Thai people don’t want elections.
Caption: The easiest way to make foreigners understand
[Note the long-nosed foreigners next to BBC and CNN cameras in the foreground.
"Tiger-lion-bull-rhinoceros" is a Thai saying that refers to wily and experienced people who are likely to take advantage of a situation and reap rewards and thus can be dangerous to be around. They are often used to symbolize and denigrate Thai politicians.]

Here are some other “Tiger-lion-bull-rhinoceros” references in recent years:

2011: Tiger-lion-bull-rhinoceros headed figures for new year’s

2011: Tiger-Lion-Bull-Rhinoceros enter parliament

2011: The nasty billboard

2011: Wild animals escaping parliament

2013: Thaksin and the Fierce Animals

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The caged media sings the junta’s tune

From Thairath, June 28, 2014
Bird: I’m happy… I’m free… I’m happy.
Song: Freedom of the press
Phi Nooring: It’s used to being a little bird in an orange farm.
A mouse: Return happiness to the press
Caption: Freedom in a golden cage
[The cartoon refers to the suppression of the press under the military junta. In Thailand, the press is called "the little bird in the orange farm." This means that the press, like a bird, has a responsibility to protect an orange grove from insects in the same way the press has to be a watchdog for the people. However, under the control of the junta, the press is like the bird in the golden cage, which is also a Thai proverb meaning to have an easy life, but without freedom.]

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Fixing the Democrat’s police station project

From Arun, June 20, 2014
NCPO [the National Council for Peace and Order] spends more than a billion baht on a budget to revive the police station construction project. Thank you, sir.
Left side of the uniform: Police stations under the Thailand’s strength of the Democrat Party
Right side of the uniform: NCPO’s police stations
[This concerns new police station construction across the country. This project was initiated under the Abhisit government. The contractor was unable to complete the project leaving many incomplete structures along with charges of corruption in the handling of the tender.
The uniform represents the he two sides of the uniform: the left side represents the project under the Democrat Party's authority which is untidy because of corruptions. The right side represents the project under the NCPO which is neater due to strict supervision.]

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Cookie Run… Dangerous!

From Thairath, June 26, 2014
Title: Cookie Run… Dangerous!
On a paper held by Cookie run: Kids are charged with a 100,000 baht phone bill.
Mouse: Kids are still innocent.
[Refers to the news stories referring to children unwittingly running up phone bills while playing the popular game Cookie Run.]

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Just one year ago: Those who oppose Thaksin running scared


From Thairath, July 13, 2013
Cartoon title: It’s the apocalypse for these people
Full translation here

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Weekly News Magazines, July 4, 2014

Nation Weekend_4 July 2014

From Nation Weekend, July 4, 2014
Cover reads: A call from the motherland
[Reference is to the release of Veera Somkwamkid from a Cambodian prison on July 1, 2014. The release was a result of talks between junta head Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, chairman of the National Council for Peace and Order and Hun Sen, the Prime Minister of Cambodia. Gen. Prayuth has been working hard to cement relations with neighboring countries--particularly with Cambodia whose actions have seemed to be in support of Thaksin initiatives in recent years.
Veera Somkwamkid was arrested by Cambodian soldiers with five other Thai people on the border for trespassing a few years ago. He returned to Thailand on July 2 and promised to continue guarding the borders of the country.]

Matichon Weekly_4 July 2014

From Matichon Weekly, July 4, 2014
Cover reads: Transformer, democracy
[Reference is to the response of Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, chairman of the National Council for Peace and Order, to criticisms from the U.S. and the E.U. over the coup. The article suggests that though his reaction may seem tough, he was like a transformer and soon announced a road map to an interim government and a return to elections aimed at reducing pressure from other nations.]

ASTV Manager Weekly_5 July 2014

From ASTV Manager Weekly, July 5, 2014
Cover reads: Veera Burus
['Burus' means a man. Putting these two words together, it forms a new word meaning "hero". Veera's full name is Veera Somkwankid.
Reference is to the release of Veera Somkwamkid by the Cambodian government on July 1. He is being praised as a hero by his supporters. Veera and six other Thai people were arrested on December 29, 2010 while visiting a Thai village in Srakaew Province situated on the border between Thailand and Cambodia. The arrest occurred during a time when the Democrats controlled the government and Veera and his supporters felt that the government did not do much to help them.]

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Arun’s “Grand Cycle”

From Arun, June 25, 2014
Cartoon title: Coup d’etat in Thailand on June 25, 2013
From top, clockwise:
1933, Praya Monopakorn suspended some sections of the constitution;
1933, Gen. Praya Phahol seized power from Praya Manopakorn;
1947, Lt. Gen Phin seized power from RAdm. Thawan;
1948, Lt. Gen. Phin forced Mr. Khuang to resign;
1951, Chief Marshal Plaek seized his own power;
1957, Chief Marshal Sarit seized power from Chief Marshal Plaek;
1958, Chief Marshal Sarit seized power from Chief Marshal Thanom;
1971, Chief Marshal Thanom seized his own power;
1976, Chief Marshal Sa-ngad seized power from M.R. Senee;
1977, Adm. Sa-ngad seized power from Mr. Thanin;
1991, Gen. Sundhorn seized power from Gen. Chatchai;
2006, Gen. Sonthi seized power from Thaksin;
2013, Gen. Prayuth returns happiness to people
[... and it starts all over again. The "snake eating its tail" is a Thai metaphor here representing the never-ending cycle of political excess and coups. It also explains the Thai's matter-of-fact acceptance and lack of surprise when these events continue to occur.]

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World book capital?

From Khaosod, June 25, 2014
Caption: City of Readers
On chain: 2557 [2014]
[Refers to the incident which the police charged a student who conducted a symbolic protest again the coup by reading George Orwell’s book ‘1984’ in front of Siam Station. This is ironic as, last year, authorities announced that Bangkok would be a world book capital with the aim to promote reading in the country.]

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Only two Red Shirt rebels?

From Manager, June 24, 2014
Caption: Attention… The government in exile was formed.
From top: Jakrapob Penkhae, prime minister; Jarupong Ruangsuwan, deputy prime minister; Jarupong Ruangsuwan, secretary; Jakrapob Penkhae, interior minister; Jakrapob Penkhae, defense minister; Jarupong Ruangsuwan, transportation minister; Jakrapob Penkhae, commerce minister; Jarupong Ruangsuwan, finance minister; Jarupong Ruangsuwan, foreign minister; Jakrapob Penkhae, education minister; Jarupong Ruangsuwan; justice minister; Jarupong Ruangsuwan, energy minister; Jakrapob Penkhae, labor minister; Jarupong Ruangsuwan, tourism and sport minister; Jarupong Ruangsuwan, public health minister; Jakrapob Penkhae, industry minister; Jarupong Ruangsuwan, science minister; Jarupong Ruangsuwan, culture minister; Jakrapob Penkhae; ICT minister
[This ridicules the fact that apparently only two prominent political figures who support Thaksin have followed through with plans to resist the coup.]

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Cleaning up the mess of democracy

From Komchadluek, June 24, 2014
Above the man’s head: Politician
On the small model of Democracy Monument he is holding: Democracy
Above the trash at left: The country’s problems
[This cartoon illustrates a very Thai notion that is not usually apparent to Western observers who simply describe the coup as anti-democratic. The cartoonist shows the military cleaning up problems created by greedy politicians who abused democracy to enrich themselves and rewrite the rules to cement their power. This illustrates a widespread Thai unease with democracy and politicians who are assumed to act for their own interests and underlines the difficulty of building robust democratic institutions in Thailand.]

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Nine Years Ago: Thaksinomics takes the bang out of Bangkok

Nine Years Ago: Thaksinomics takes the bang out of Bangkok

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