Thaksin shifts puppets

The last time a coup
leader became PM
after a return to
democracy

Prem Tinsulanonda in Context

Prem
Tinsulanonda
(1920-2019)

Who will come crawling?

Who will come
crawling?

Analysis: Thailand’s Half Democracy

Analysis: Thailand’s
half democracy

Do all Thai roads
lead to Singapore?

The Missing Marker & Thai Democracy

The missing marker &
Thai democracy

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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More absorbing

From Thairath, September 26, 2019
Left side heading: Iron charms
Katathep: Value things never thinking about selling [meaning he placed a huge value on “iron charms” he owned, but could never sell them at that price]
Right side heading: Trots of pig’s poo [something like “pig’s diarrhea” to mean the supposedly dirty business of poaching MPs from other parties]
Prawit (in the middle, wearing the expensive watches he was criticized for possessing)–he calls out to the Pheu Thai members: Don’t know who will be absorbed… but he who can be absorbed, I will get them. [this means the main government party is welcoming oppositions MPs to join it by “absorbing” them into the government party]
Above the door: PT [Phea Thai]
On the truck: Sewage car. PPRP [the initials of the main ruling party]
On the bags on the truck: Budget for giving. Budget for absorbing. [this means funds are set aside to bribe opposition MPs to join the government]
Phi Nooring: Never stop absorbing.
Mouse: Shameless people get it, but people who have shame won’t. [This is a Thai proverb meaning that people who are shameless can get everything they want as they do not hesitate to ask for it or take shameful action on their own. On the other hand, people who have morals and can be shamed are too shy to do thing they want or ask for others to help.
This implies the shameless government sucks up Phea Thai MPs while the Pheu Thai would never do such a thing. This is ironic, however, as Thaksin-directed parties that were the predecessors to the Pheu Thai were created by absorbing MPs from other parties.]

[Refers to the criticism of pro-Prayuth party Palang Pracharat (PPRP) since it is engaging in the longstanding practice of absorbing MPs from other parties to join their side.
Such “absorbing” or “sucking” is often symbolized by a sewage truck sucking up sewage.
Meanwhile, Katathep Techaruangsakul, MP of Palang Thai Rak Thai, one of the nine single-member “micro parties,” reported that he owned iron charms he valued at 1 billion baht. This is a sort of ridiculous over-estimation that brings into focus the rules requiring MPs reporting their assets.
“Trots of pig’s poo” comes from Thai proverb “Rainy day, trots of pig’s poo and bad people meet each other.” It means an incident that gathers many bad people together.]

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Don’t be so open about it

From Manager, September 23, 2019
Man: Because your mouth can’t be shut. If you don’t say it… no one know you gave money to the party for borrowing… now we are all in trouble.
Caption: If this party is disbanded, this is the thing that the party members should do.

[Refers to the current situation of the Future Forward Party after leader Thanathorn admitted that he lent around 100 million baht so the party could be in place to contest elections. This is counter to the intent of laws that force parties to raise money organically and thus prove their popularity. Due to this loan, the party risks bring investigated and possibly dissolved.
Laws governing political parties are likely to be strictly enforced especially as the Future Forward Party is both a vocal military and government critic and also is alleged to harbor radical opinions.
At far right is Pannika Wanich, Future Forward Party spokesperson. Her actions, both in the present day and in the past, including controversial gestures toward a photo of King Rama IX, also open her and the party up to further investigations. Even her explanations of her gestures toward the photo were not a denial of negative feeling, but an explanation of the context and reasoning of her actions at the time.
Thanathorn’s and Pannika’s statements are probably seen by some as needlessly forthright since they give their opponents ammunition to attack the Future Forward Party.]

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Believe in Thaksin

From Manager, September 23, 2019
On the sign: FAKE NEWS Thaksin donates 100 million USD to help floodings! [flood victims]
Caption: Even an shallow hole… it still can trap a number of buffaloes.

[Refers to rumors spread among Thaksin supporters that the exiled PM donated huge amounts to help people affected by flooding. This would be in contrast to the sitting government which was heavily criticized for its supposedly slow response to the crisis.
To refer to a person as a “buffalo” is an insult meaning they are stupid. Here it is used to refer to the pro-Thaksin Red Shirts.
The cartoon uses the Thai idiom “a hole for trapping the buffalo” meaning only a silly, stupid person will fall into the lie or trap.]

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It’s bad

From Manager, September 18, 2019
Left: Chor: Crap bad in every article!
Caption: From Chor…
Right: …to ba chor

[Refers to Future Forward spokeswoman Pannika ‘Chor’ Wanich who criticized the current constitution using a word indicating something very bad or inferior–perhaps akin to saying something is “crap” or “shit” in English.
She gave multiple interviews using this phrasing and received a negative reaction from the public especially from pro-government groups, because of her choice of language.
The undertone of this is that the Future Forward Party seems like past parties like the People Power Party and the Phea Thai that intently focus on rewriting the constitution.
Considering the military clique that controls politics, it seems unlikely that the charter will be rewritten–at least in the way the Future Forward Party desires.
This cartoon compares the name “Chor” with the name of the food, “moo ba chor” (or marinated pork chop). It compares her harangue against the charter with the insistent chopping used to create the food. It perhaps also warns that her high profile along with the controversial opinions she is thought to hold might get her chopped up.]

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Whatever happens

From Manager, September 15, 2019
Thaksin: As I told Kie… do your best and whatever happens, then we can be exile…

[Refers to former Pheu Thai MP and Red Shirt member Arisman ‘Kie’ Pongruangron (seated left), one of the highest profile provocateurs during the Red Shirt protests in 2009 and 2010. He has served jail time already and is embroiled in many other legal cases.
Thaksin’s comment in the cartoon is based on the traditional Thai concept that a leader will take responsibility for the violent actions of those serving him. Commonly a protest leader might tell his followers that “whatever happens, I will take responsibility.” This is to give the followers permission to act violently or irrationally– thought of as the natural response to an untenable situation.
The cartoonist turns this around by having Thaksin say that, instead of taking responsibility for what his followers do on his orders, he will instead let them rot while he goes off shopping in foreign capitals.
Yingluck is perhaps an even better example of this as she continuously vowed to face charges against her in court until one day she vanished leaving other members of her government who were charged along with her facing decades-long sentences.]

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How to escape an economic downturn

From Manager, September 11, 2019
PM Prayuth: The government has already injected a hundred billion… the economy will recover…
Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn: Must amend the constitution… then the economic problems will be solved.
Stove: Carry me in the car… close the windows tightly… Then, there will be no economic problem.
Caption: To solve the economic problem… Who we should believe?

[Refers to the current economic slowdown in Thailand. This cartoon mocks the efficacy of the actions of the government (spending money) and the actions of the opposition (demanding a rewrite of the charter). The cartoonist implies they are both trying to take advantage of the economic situation to benefit themselves.
At the right is a crockery device used with hot coal to heat food. Recently, using it to commit suicide has become popular. People place it in their cars to suffocate. The cartoonist suggests that this might be the only real way to escape an economic downturn.]

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Feeding the monkeys

From Thairath, September 10, 2019
Title: Feed them up… then they won’t be disagreeable.
On bananas held by Thamanat: Positions
On bananas held by PM Prayuth: Benefits
On monkeys’ shirts: Seat-allocated parties, small parties, unexpectedly-seat awarded parties

[Refers to Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives Thamanat Prompow. He was appointed by the Palang Pracharat Party to coordinate the small parties and keep them in line. Thamanat compared his work of dealing with the small parties in the coalition government with feeding bananas to monkeys. This means that the government has to give the small parties benefits, such as postings and control over lucrative projects, in order to ensure their support. His statement caused anger among the smaller parties who thought his comment condescending. Some parties announced they were considering leaving over the insult which resulted in another round of the Palang Pracharat Party trying to placate them.]

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Out of the red barrel

From Manager, September 10, 2019
Man: Get out quickly!… Billy was killed during the democratic government not dictator government!!!
Caption: After falling in the red oil barrel for a while

[Refers to the case of missing Karen right activist Billy. The Department of Special Investigation confirmed his death after finding a fragment of his burnt skull in an oil barrel in the reservoir of the Kaeng Krachan dam in Phetchaburi Province.
This cartoon references the Red Barrel killings of the early 1970s when the military dictatorship liquidated suspected communists by burning them alive in oil drums.
The cartoonist contends that those with supposedly more revolutionary views feel safer to express them during times of elected governments when the military’s hand is stayed in dealing with them.
Billy’s killing seems to have taken place during the Yingluck-era government thus contradicting the conventional wisdom that the military will not act against agitators if they are not controlling the government in a dictatorship.
As there has been an apparent uptick in brash demands from parties alleged (or accused) of having radical intentions, the cartoonist jokes that they will retreat from these positions now that they know that Billy was liquidated during the Yingluck government years when even the most radical Red Shirts were protected from prosecution by being given posts in the government.]

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Beset

From Naewna, September 6, 2019
On the left: Drought
On the right: Flood
The drought says: Uncle Tu stays longer… We will visit you every year…!!!

[Refers to natural disasters in Thailand which are increasingly severe and which challenge the government’s efforts to mediate them.
PM Prayuth’s administration has been criticized for slow action in assisting people affected by heavy flooding and drought.
Those who supported Prayuth to remain PM after elections are said to be those wanting him to “stay longer” (as opposed to anti-junta/pro-Thaksin forces that demand he “get out”). In the cartoon the drought notes that Prayuth (Uncle Tu) is staying longer and thus he will have to deal with the increasingly variable weather.]

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Some will commit suicide

From Manager, August 29, 2019
Caption: We believe… as long as this government stays… there will be an increase in people committing suicide.
On the sign in the back: PT Pheu Thai party
On the sign at left: People think. Pheu Thai does. Maew-Poo escape [the motto of the party modified to note that the party leaders–Thaksin (Maew) and Yingluck (Poo)–have fled the country to escape legal cases]

[This cartoon makes a joke of the pro-Thaksin/pro-Red Shirt tradition of publicizing people who commit suicide–either from financial woes or over political angst–and warning that more suicides will occur unless pro-Thaksin/pro-Red Shirt parties are returned to power.
The cartoonist notes that the longer the military-backed government holds on to power, the more dire things will be for the opposition Pheu Thai.
Rumors have been swirling that the overseas support for the party–meaning from Thaksin and his family–has dried up. This has led to defections and the loss of key party members that failed to win in the last election.
While the Pheu Thai has touted progressive ideas and steadfastly opposed military rule, it was always seen as a political vehicle for Thaksin’s ambitions. Thus the flashy Future Forward Party has stolen popularity from the Pheu Thai, especially from the younger generation.]

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Hold your temper

From Arun, September 17, 2019
Title: “Tighten your stomach”
On PM Prayuth’s stomach: Temper
On the stone: Parliament debate

[This is joking advice to PM Prayuth to control his temper while being attacked by the opposition during the parliamentary debate. PM Prayuth, a military man not comfortable with being questioned, is known for being impatient and moody.]

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Closing the cases

From Naewna, August 26, 2019
Top: Person who ordered [showing Thaksin]
Mid: Persons who encouraged [showing the Red Shirt leaders]
On the hammer: 19.3 million compensation for encouraging the Red Shirts to burn the buildings.
Bottom: Person who burned [showing a buffalo; To refer to a person as a “buffalo” is an insult meaning they are stupid. Here it is used to refer to the pro-Thaksin rank-and-file Red Shirts.]
On the ball and chain: Jail [meaning the low-level henchmen are caught for actions ordered by those who cannot be touched by the law]

[Refers to the leaders of the Red Shirts Jatuporn, Nattawut and Arisman who were ordered by the Supreme Court to pay 19.3 million baht plus 7.5% interest in total of an estimated 30 million baht for damages caused by fires set in a commercial building during the the 2010 Red Shirt protest in central Bangkok.
The cartoonist gleefully shows the Red Shirt leaders being smashed. However they were actually let off the hook. Several of them have began cooperating with the government so it is likely that the former junta would want to quickly close out legal cases against them from incidents nearly 10 years ago.
In a Thai-style facing-saving compromise, the Red Shirt leaders were acquitted of the arson that followed their protest, but held responsible for their repeated public threats during the protests that Bangkok would burn if the authorities acted against them.]

Previous editorial cartoons referencing the “greening” of the Red shirts:
Top Red Shirts join with the military
Collecting Red Shirts for the military
From Red Shirts to Green Shirts
Dyeing the Red Shirts green

From Manager, August 28, 2019
Jatuporn and Arisman: You must ask only him to pay 30 million*… He said for people let burn it and he would take responsibility!
*Payment for damage 19.3 million plus 7% interest per year in total of 30 million

[Refers to three Red Shirt leader Jatuporn, Nattawut and Arisman who were ordered to pay compensation for inciting the burning of buildings in Bangkok during the 2010 Red Shirt protest.
The cartoon refers to a quote where a Red Shirt leader Nattawut Saikua made a very Thai-style boast that if protesters take violent action he would take responsibility. The idea of a leader telling his followers or employees to do something outside the bounds of law and that he would take responsibility for it is a common concept in the Thai world.]

From Manager, September 3, 2019
Jatuporn: Boss!!… Three of us have been ordered to pay 30 million because of you… Don’t you think you should help?
Thida: We are lucky, Weng.
On the pipe: Financial support pipe from Dubai [meaning the money Thaksin provided to finance and direct the Red Shirt protests in 2009 and 2010; in Thai editorial cartoons the influence of money is depicted as water coming from a pipe]

[This cartoon show Red Shirt leaders Jatuporn, Nattawut and Arisman who were ordered by the court to pay around 30 million baht for inciting the arson during protests in 2010. This illustrates the belief that the leaders were betrayed by Thaksin who should now help them pay their debt.
In the background Red Shirt leader Thida and her husband congratulate themselves for safely remaining in the background of the movement during the protests and refraining from making bold threats on Thaksin’s behalf.]

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Those who expose corruption

From Manager, August 22, 2019
Left: This… Swagger MP… a braggart!!!
Caption: After kicking him…
Right: Because of MP Sira… We know there is a group trying to illegally own the land in Phuket.
Caption: …don’t forget to praise him as well.

[Refers to the case of Phalang Pracharath Party’s MP Sira who went to Phuket to investigate irregularities in the issuance of land ownership documents for a condominium project. A clip was posted on social media showing him scolding the local police for allowing the situation. This clip caused him come under fire for grandstanding on the issue (expressed on the left side of the cartoon). The reaction also demonstrates the Thai view of public criticism as being rude and undesirable.
The cartoonist points out that, due to this incident, the public has been made aware of the illegal ownership of the land.
All of this shows the contrast between old and new values. The old stresses harmony and non-confrontation. The new is a growing intolerance of traditional Thai corruption–now more easily exposed through online media.]

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Coming after Prayuth

From Manager, September 5, 2019
The Opposition: No!!! It must be broadcast. Our fans will see Prayuth’s blood.
Caption: 18 Sep… Sensitive people shouldn’t watch the TV

[Refers to the parliamentary debate on September 18 in which PM Prayuth must attend to answer the opposition regarding his peculiar incomplete oath of office in which he omitted a line about following the constitution.
As Prayuth as prickly military man not used to being criticized it is thought he my act angrily when attacked.
The cartoonist criticized the oppositions for mounting the attacks jsut to increase their own popularity.]

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We will help him burn himself

From Manager, August 19, 2019
Sudarat: The PM is like a boy who plays with the fire and then is stuck into it… The opposition only wants to help in… we don’t have any bad intentions.
On cans carried by the MPs: Petrol

[Refers to the situation of PM Prayuth in the parliament. After years of absolute power to rule the country and as a military man used to ordering people around he has little patience for people criticizing him. Now that is is a politician, the opposition can legally attack him in parliament which has caused him to show his temper and frustration at his new role as politician.]

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Economic suicides

From Thairath, August 27, 2019
Title: Thai people in 2562 [2019]
Left: People who don’t want to be poor
On the papers: Debts
Right: People who want to be poor
On the bag held by PM Prayuth: Stimulate popularity
On the bag held by Deputy PM Somkid: Stimulate the economy
On the papers held by people: The poor card [government-issued card issued to the poor]
Phi Nooring: Who said Thai people are happy?
Mouse: Economic slowdown

[This refers to the current situation in which ordinary people are facing an economic slowdown and higher household debt. Suicides are increasing including the current fad of people placing a food heater in their closed car (illustrated at the bottom left).
Depicting or claiming many economic suicides is a perennial talking point of pro-Thaksin/pro-Red Shirt media.
On the other hand, PM Prayuth’s government is spending huge amounts of money on schemes his opponents say are only to cement his own popularity. The beneficiaries of such policies have been criticized as not being the real poor.]

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His own worst enemy

From Naewna, August 19, 2019
Above the Molotov cocktail: The debate on the PM’s incomplete-oath taking.
Caption: Each fuel makes the parliament become fired up.

[Refers to the opposition’s move to grill PM Prayuth in a general debate in the House of Representative over his peculiar incomplete oath-taking during the cabinet’s swearing-in ceremony. During the oath he omitted the part about adhering to the constitution.
This cartoonist expects that the impatient and hot-tempered PM Prayuth will give the opposition ammunition against him when he is questioned in parliament.]

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Prime Minister forever

From Thairath, September 5, 2019
Man in the chair: Checking your fortune, you will be here for two terms.
On his shirt: Fortune teller
On his chair: Political officer
Man standing: I see the picture of you being the PM forever
On his shirt: Thai fortune teller
On the signs held by people: Revise the constitution; the poor in the whole country; the government with a slight vote in parliament; corruption problem; political problem; society; economy
Phi Nooring: God of black magic
Mouse: Political trick

[Refers to the fortune tellers predicting PM Prayuth will be stay in power for two terms or eight years. This cartoon criticized PM Prayuth for checking his fortune, instead of solving the country’s urgent problems.]

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Weekly News Magazines: Grilling Prayuth, September, 2019

From Manager Weekly, September 3-13, 2019
Main cover reads: Don’t you sympathize with me?
[Refers to a well-known political fortune teller predicting PM Prayuth will maintain his power for eight years. Such predictions are usually front page news in Thailand and reflects the current wisdom–in this case that the former junta, despite its missteps, has cemented itself into power. This cover mocks this rosy prediction as PM Prayuth has endured withering attacks by the opposition, investigations of his government, and an embarrassing lack of loyalty from government coalition partners.]
Top: Disclose every issue [orange] “Sondhi” was released. No order-not related to politics. Everything complies with the [orange] “law”
[Refers to ex-boss of the Manager media group Sondhi who was released from prison after more than three years due to violating securities and stock market laws. He insisted that the release was in compliance with the law not due to influence or a close relationship with the government.]
Bottom left: [Yellow] Han Kwang-Song Juventus’s football player
[Refers to North Korean football player Han Kwang-Song who recently joined famous football team Juventus. He is the first North Korean football played to play in the Italian Serie A League.] Right: “Can’t find any voice like this”
[Refers to singer Maj. Gen. Prapas, a retired soldier who known for his singing voice. His renditions of old Thai songs can be heard in many Thai soap operas. The quote is from a compliment from former PM M.R. Kukrit Pramoj.]

From Lokwannee, September 6-13, 2019
Main cover reads: The floods are increasing, hurry up to fetch water.
[Refers to the Thai proverb “the water is increasing, hurry up to fetch it” meaning that there is an opportunity and you need to grab it quickly. The headline is sarcastic meaning that politicians are using the current flood situation to increase their popularity as well as request budget increases to prevent floods in the future.]

From Matichon Weekly, September 6-12, 2019
Main cover reads: ‘Chuan’ Sappaya
[Refers to PM Prayuth who will be grilled in parliament over his incomplete oath of office when he omitted the line about abiding by the constitution. This cover praises House Speaker Chuan Leekpai, a government ally, for doing his duty by scheduling the debate and requiring the PM for attend the session. This is consequential because PM Prayuth is the former junta head that overthrew the elected government. As a military man he has displayed that he is not used to being criticized or investigated. Although Chuan’s Democrat Party is part of the ruling government coalition parties, he is doing the nonpartisan, democratic part of his job by setting the debate and requiring the PM to face questioning. The word “Sappaya” is the name of the new parliament building–‘Sappaya-saphasathan” meaning a place where one should do good things.]
Top: Drought gone–storms are coming; ‘Debts’ flood higher to the half level of houses. Economy down–Politics in chaos; “Metal ship” was interrupted.
[Refers to PM Prayuth’s government which is now facing the several issues such as natural disasters, growing household deb, economic slowdown as well as political instability within its own coalition. “Metal ship” was first mention by Deputy PM Wissanu Krea-gnam as he compared PM Prayuth’s elected government to a big strong ship that was powerful enough to carry out the duties of the government for the country and the people.]

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No bathroom breaks

From Arun, Matichon, August 16-22, 2019
On the cliff: Coalition government
Top: Sir, can we go to the rest room?
Bottom: No, I don’t allow it.

[Refers to the razor-thin majority of PM Prayuth’s government and the coalition parties during the parliament. This has caused difficulty for the coalition government in voting for its policies in parliament. Recently, the coalition government lost a vote because some of their MPs were not the room, presumably in the bathroom or milling around, during the voting.]

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Intervene here first!

From Manager, August 15, 2019
Joshua Wong: America… Please intervene Hong Kong to help it become a democracy… Hurry!!
Thanathorn and Pannika: Hey!! Wong… I came first!
Caption: Oh!! Cut in line!

[Refers to the current protest in Hong Kong. Some protesters called on the U.S. to intervene in the situation.
Similarly, Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn and MP Pannika traveled to the U.S. and Europe to lobby those countries to pressure PM Prayuth’s government over its anti-democratic nature. The cartoon criticizes them for trying to bring other nations into Thai affairs.
The cartoonist expresses a Thai-style ridicule at those who seek to get outsiders involved in Thai internal affairs. This sort of thinking extends to ASEAN whose members studiously adhere to the idea that other member states should not cast judgement on the actions or activities of other states.]

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There will always be coups

From Thairath, August 14, 2019
Title: Secrets, Trickery and Camouflage
Left: 2549 [the year 2006]
Gen. Sonthi: No coup
Mid: 2557 [the year 2014]
PM Prayuth: No coup
Right: 2562 [the year 2019]
Man: No coup
Phinooring: Should we believe it?
Mouse: Always trying to make us trust.

[This shows how every army chief vows they will not conduct a coup. However, coups occur again and again. such as in 2006 and 2014 as shown in the cartoon.
The cartoonist implies that current army chief Gen. Apirat’s pledges are no more true that those of army chiefs in the past and that the army always holds out the option of a coup if it thinks it necessary.]

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Don’t get distracted by marijuana

From Manager, August 13, 2019
Newin: Noo [Public Health Minister Anutin] is now making those people high with marijuana… Next, you must hurry to extend the operating service of passenger vans for rich businessman.
Saksayam: Yes, bro.
Caption: Don’t become addicted to marijuana

[Refers to the Bhumjaithai Party led by Public Health Minister Anutin (whose nickname is Noo) and political veteran Newin who is known for playing complex political games behind the scenes.
One of the party’s campaign promises was to promote marijuana for medical purposes. Transport minister Saksayam, Newin’s brother, is considering extending the operating time for passenger vans from 10 to 12 years.
This plan has been criticized as it only serves those operating van transport businesses and not the passengers. Van companies have come under harsh criticism for their spectacular crashes in the past. Thus, Anutin’s relaxation of regulations on the companies is seen as catering to big-money interests while the party distracts the public with their pro-marijuana stance.]

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Fake news

From Manager, August 12, 2019
Gen. Apirat: Are we facing the new threat?
Caption: Weapons we brought now become old-fashioned.

[Refers to army chief Gen. Apirat who recently said that the country is now facing a threat of fake news designed to destroy the country’s security and stability.]

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It is so fruitful

From Arun, August 8, 2019
Caption: It is so fruitful.
[Refers to the bombings in Thailand which took place during the ASEAN foreign ministers’ summit. There were conflicting reports about these Thai-style small-scale bombings designed not to injure mass groups of people. In keeping with Thai tradition, no group claimed responsibly. Some claims were made that they were related to the separatist movement in the Thai Deep South.
Here the cartoonist draws a tree in the shape of Thailand showing that violence in the south has borne fruit in Bangkok. Separatists in the south subsequently denied they were responsibility for the blasts.]

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Some are on protected land

From Thairath, July 25, 2019
Title: Noisy Forest again
On the sign: Resort encroached on forest
On the sign close to people sitting down: People have allegedly encroached on the forest even they have been there since their ancestors. [this shows the authorities arresting poor villagers who are accused of living or farming on protected land; however many of these homesteads exited in the area long before the land was protected]
On the man’s shirt: Call for the return of forest [this is probably a forest officer]
On the house: PPRP
Phi Nooring: Party in the illegal area.
Mouse: The owner is still fine. [The owner of the property maintains his business without any charges. The owner of the resort is believed to have strong ties with officials to deal with any allegations.]

[Refers to the Palang Pracharat Party (PPRP) seminar held at the 88 Garmonte Resort in Nakhon Ratchasima province. This resort allegedly encroaches on forest land. The party has been strongly criticized by the opposition on having their event on the illegal resort.]

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Who is really destroying the country?

From Thairath, July 23, 2019
Title: Who should be called “[Those who] Overthrow the government,” who should be called “[Those who] destroy the country–hate the country”
On the tank: Destroy the country’s image
Flag held by Thanathorn: Change the country through the parliamentary system
On the signs: Establish the dictator state [refers to the coups of 2006 and 2014], Shut down Bangkok [refers to the 2008 anti-government marches], Establish the unjust power [probably refers to court verdicts against political parties], Close the airport [refers to the 2008 anti-government marches], Close the Government House [refers to the 2008 anti-government marches], Destroy the people’s government, Destroy democracy, Killing people in the city, Ratchaprasong [refers to the bloody end of the Red Shirt protests in 2012]
Gen. Sonthi [who conducted the 2006 coup]: Even I die, I can’t say it. [famous saying of Gen. Sonthi when asked why he conducted the coup to overthrow Thaksin’s government; such a saying is an allusion to Thai “elites” who cannot be spoken of in political contexts]
Sign held by Gen. Sonthi: A coup is necessary.
Book held by Meechai: Constitution to extend power
Phi Nooring: Ruined from 2549 to 2562 [the years 2006 to 2019]
Mouse: Good people who destroy the country

[Refers to the result of the coups from 2006 by Gen. Sonthi Boonyaratglin until now by PM Prayut in 2019. This cartoon illustrates that the result of the coup is worse than what they accuse Future Forward Party leader Thanothron of since the military worked hard to destroy the democratic system of the country.]

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Watch your verdict!

From Naewna, July 23, 2019
Thanathorn: I have already considered that based on the Article 49, the court does not have the power to dissolve the Future Forward Party. If it does, it means the court uses power beyond its limitations.
Caption: The court of “Fah’s daddy” has already made a judgment.

[Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn announced to his followers that if the courts dissolved their party, it meant that the court was acting beyond is purview.
In the context of Thai politics, such a pronouncements, while obviously being designed to stave off a party dissolution, would be viewed as an attempt to set up a pretext for Thai “dissatisfaction.”
This would prime the party followers to view an expected dissolution verdict as an unfair if not illegal act and thus set the stage for protest (protest being seen as a sad chaotic result of people being pushed too far).
This cartoonist, which detests Thanathorn and his party, accuse him of trying to make the verdict himself before the court does. The axe symbolizes the implied threat of dissatisfaction and chaotic protest that an “illegal” verdict would create as well as the pressure this outcome puts on the court.
“Fah’s daddy” is Thanathorn’s nickname. It is based on a soap opera where a young lady named Fah is the lover of an older man, but they are keeping the affair a secret so she calls him “dad” in public. Thus Thanathorn’s young supporters who idolize him call him “dad” as well.]

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We had no choice: Prayuth causes bombs

From Thairath, August 7, 2019
Title: Words stops the bombs [meaning Prayuth only keeps speaking instead of really dealing with all these issues]
On the bombs left to right: Succeeding the power [meaning the coup generals are still holding power]; dominate power; economic problems; recite the full oath of office [referring to curiously truncated oath of office the PM took where he omitted that he would follow the constitution]; government officer [Critics charge that, according to the constitution, Prayuth and other military men cannot have a government jobs (being in the military or serving as bureaucrats in the old junta government) and participate in politics.]; revise the constitution; bombs
Phi Nooring: Violate the constitution
Mouse: Pretend like not doing any wrong

[The title of the cartoon implies that PM Prayuth only speaks instead of really dealing with all the injustice of his government and its hold on power.
Having these problems and injustices represented as bombs also alludes to the recent spate of bombs in Bangkok.
Prayuth is facing several problems and pressures, both from within his coalition and from the opposition.
As a seeming crescendo to these problems, a wave of bombs was set off to embarrass the government. This is a nearly identical set of circumstances to the 2006 Bangkok bombings that was intended to discredit the then faltering post-coup government.
Despite initial coy pronouncements that the bombs were due to Thailand’s troubles in its restive Deep South provinces, it was clear from the beginning that the bombings–their timing and form–were likely political in nature.
This cartoon illustrates a very Thai attitude that PM Prayuth, by virtue of his seizure and continuing hold on power, has created a situation where his government’s legitimacy is being shaken by bombs and arson. Behind this is the idea that those who placed the bombs due to their “dissatisfaction” with the state of politics were justified or even forced to do so because of Prayuth’s ongoing actions.]

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Weekly News Magazines: Burning Future, August, 2019

From Lokwannee, August 9-16, 2019
Main cover reads: Don’t want to take it… Don’t want it like this.

[Refers to the opposition’s demand that the current constitution be scrapped. The headline means people do not want the fake democracy. The image shows military dinosaurs (meaning they are old-fashioned) propping up a cutout of Democracy Monument to symbolize democracy the military offers.]

From Matichon Weekly, August 9-15, 2019
Main cover reads: Master MY

[Refers to recent bombings in Bangkok. This cover plays with the word “Mastermind.” It implies that normally when the bombs go off, authorities have to investigate who is a mastermind. Instead of doing this, the military, led by army chief Gen. Apirat Kongsompong, quickly insited that the same anti-government group was behind it and it was meant to embarrass the government which was hosting ASEAN Foreign Ministers. So, “MY” in the title means that the immediate explanation for the bombs was simply Apirat’s personal musing about who was the mastermind.]
Top: Recite the oath of office-Important thing; ‘Prayuth-cabinet’ want to end [the controversy] 7 opposite parties don’t [want this controversy to subside] Keep an eye on ‘Wissanu’ who will make it over?
[Refers to PM Prayuth and his cabinet. Opposition parties have questioned whether he and his government violated the constitution by reciting an incomplete oath of office during the cabinet swearing-in ceremony last month. Deputy PM Wissanu, law adviser for the government, initially denied there was any issue. Later, after being pressured by the opposition, PM Prayuth apologized to the parliament and said that his government is trying to fix this problem. He also denied rumors that he was resigning.]

From Manager Weekly, August 10-16, 2019
Main cover reads: Burning Future: Hong Kong Model
[Refers to the unrest in Hong Kong due to fears its political status is being eroded by the central government in Beijing. Most of the protesters are young people openly calling for the democracy. The protest has increasingly become intense and violent after protesters occupied the airport and called on the U.S. for assistance.
This cover plays with the sound of “Burning Future” in Thai and the name of the Future Forward Party which sounds similar.
This cover illustrates the concern that the party may use the Hong Kong model to fight the PM Prayuth government and call for democracy.]
Top: Introduce Myanmar’s hottest model Paing Takhon; Upcoming Asian superstar
[Refers to Myanmar’s rising star model Paing Takhon who has become a sensation on social media recently for his good looks.]
Bottom left: Overture of “UK’s Premier league” 5 things to keep an eye on in this new season.
Right: Climbing up seemsdifficult. But climbing down is more risky!!! Explore the tough route of Thailand’s first woman who reached “7 Summits”!!
[Refers to Dr. Napassaporn ‘Eem’ Chumnarnsit who has recently become the first Thai woman to complete the world’s seven highest summits including Mount Everest.]

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