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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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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Worse than the tech students!

From Manager, July 23, 2019
Politicians: Those junior must move… The senior will fight.
Blue flag: Government side
Red flag: Opposition side
Caption: Bloodier than the tech students’ fight

[Refers to the fiery parliamentary debate on the government’s policy manifesto. It was PM Prayuth’s first time attending such a debate in an elected government. He was relentlessly attacked by the opposition during the debate and seemed to be caught off guard by being questioned so intensely.
As this was the first sitting of the new government, the ferocity of the attacks from both sides seemed to indicate the lack of good faith all around and the unthinking animosity that exists in politics.
Violent fights between groups of students enrolled in technical colleges is a longstanding and peculiar cultural tradition of Thailand. Such fights often cause fatalities while not being about anything important.
The cartoonist contends that the vicious political debate in parliament was even worse than the unreasoning fighting of tech students.]

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Clean-living Chalerm

From Manager, July 22, 2019
Chalerm: Legal marijuana?… So crazy!!! Then, we will all get deadly high…

[Refers to politician Chalerm Yoobamrung who recently criticized the government’s plan to legalize marijuana as an crop for medical purposes. This cartoon mocks Chalerm’s negative image as a wine drinker prone to violent behavior and suggests he is being hypocritical to be concerned about marijuana.]

Chalerm is one of old-school tough guys of Thai politics. Here are just a few of his past antics:
Who is Chalerm Yoobamrung?
2001: Chalerm and “the brawling brats of the Thai Elite”
2011: Chalerm denies warning about bomb attacks
2012: Was Chalerm drunk?
2013: Chalerm vows Thaksin will be home this year – Behead me if he isn’t, deputy PM tells reds

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The Bangkok bombs

From Manager, August 5, 2019
The politicians say: Your side is the one… who did it!!!
Caption: After the bomb, the conflict groups still say the same thing.

[Refers to the recent series of bombs in Bangkok during the ASEAN Security Summit. The cartoonist shows that every time bombings occur, both Prayuth’s side (on the left of the cartoon) and Thaksin’s side (on the right) accuse each other of being behind the bombs.
There is no doubt that the recent spate of bombs is in the tradition of Thai “political intimidation bombings” in Bangkok and its major cities–whether they are due to party politics or the murky insurgency in the Thai Deep South.
These displays of unrest are characterized by multiple tiny bombs set to go off late and night or early in the morning so as not to create mass causalities. They are timed for maximum political benefit (such as in 2006 when the new year’s eve bombings punctuated a long period of ineptitude by the then junta government) and are intended to express Thai-style dissatisfaction at the political situation. And there is never any statement that takes credit for the bombs.]

From Naewna, August 5, 2019
Above the bombs at left that PM Prayuth examines: Bombs to create the chaos in the city.
Above man at right: Those revenge groups.
Caption: Be careful… The next bombing is happening next!!!

[This cartoon warns the government led by PM Prayuth to be careful as the government opposition is on the lookout for methods to attack the government.]

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Please intervene

From Manager, July 21, 2019
Title: Business in the U.S.
Left: Mom’s business [this shows the family business that Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn is heir to]
Right: Son’s business

[Refers to the Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn attempting to lobby other nations to put pressure on the current government led by PM Prayuth. The cartoonist ridicules this as Thanathorn selling the country and encouraging other nations to intervene in its affairs.]

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Thanathorn’s complaint

From Manager, July 14, 2019
Left: The election has already been conducted… Then, what information do you have to indicate that Thailand is not democratic?
Right: I’m not the PM.

[Refers to the Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn and party spokesperson Pannika who visited EU countries to lobby for support for legal and political battles they are facing back in Thailand.
This cartoon reflects a traditional Thai view of democracy–that democracy is elections. This means that once elections take place democracy is achieved and there is no room for complaint anymore no matter what the behavior of the government afterwards.
The cartoonist thus jokes that Thailand, by completing an election, has achieved democracy so Thanathorn’s complaints to Western nations only reflects ego.
The cartoon also perhaps the betrays fears of the Thai establishment of the inevitability of a Thanathorn rise to power. He achieved a stunning victory, if only that many of his party’s winning MPs were political novices–not longstanding political bosses that normally hold posts while switching parties from time to time.
Westerners still laud Thaksin for displaying some sort of organic popularity due to his elections wins. However, his majority was gained by merely buying out existing parties and being supported by the same rural kingpins who would always be in power one way or another.
Thanathorn’s party seems to have displayed a new kind of truly organic success and represents a wildcard to the otherwise triumphant junta that has managed to live on in a new government.]

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Trump loves Prayuth

From Naewna, July 19, 2019
Left: The U.S. sent a message to congratulate the Thai government.
Right: Thanathorn on tour to criticize Thailand
Caption: Didn’t you boast that you would criticize the country so the world would pressure us, Thanathorn?

[Refers to the Future Forward Party’s leader Thanathorn who visited many democratic countries to lobby over the unfair political situation under PM Prayuth.
However, the U.S. still sent a statement assuring the Thai government that a strong relationship exists between the two countries and that the U.S> is looking forward to cooperating with the new government.]

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Weekly News Magazines: Different Covers, July-August, 2019

From Manager Weekly, July 27-August 2, 2019
Main cover reads: Long Live the King
[Refers to H.M. the King Maha Vajiralongkorn birthday. This is the first birthday celebration of Thailand’s monarch since his Coronation in May.]

From Matichon Weekly, July 27-August 1, 2019

From Lokwannee, July 26-August 2, 2019
On the left screen: 2489 [1946]
At left a person yells: Pridi killed the King!
On the right screen: 2562 [2019]
At right side in back: Why don’t you stand up?
At right side in front: Why do you secretly take the picture?

[Refers to two situations occurring at different times, but supposedly sharing a similar aim.
The left side refers to an incident in 1946 when a person yelled in a cinema that former PM Pridi killed King Rama VIII. Later, it was found that the person was hired to discredit Pridi.
In the current year (symbolized by the Buddhist-era year on the screen) well-known actor Sarawut Aont Martthong took a photo in the cinema to call out people who did not stand up for the national anthem which is played before each film. He was praised by some for shaming those who did not stand, but he was also criticized for bringing a camera into a cinema which is illegal.
Obviously some political movements are worried that shaming over incidents like this will be blamed on them and used for the political benefit of others.]

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Hanging with a trend

From Manager, July 8, 2019
Thanathorn: Stop it… Hanging on for a long time, but it doesn’t work. Can’t create a mob!!!
Caption: Then those who are hanging… have started to get down.

[Refers to a case of political activist Sirawithy ‘Ja New” Seritiwat who was severely attacked in public, presumably for his lobbying against the government.
Anti-military and anti-government groups publicized the case to show how their activities were being curtailed. Those skeptical of anti-military and anti-government groups suspected that the waters were being tested for yet another mass demonstration (or “mob” as Thais call it) to attempt to bring down the new government. Ultiamtely it seems there was not enough public sentiment to justify open anti-government protests again.
The cartoon uses the Thai’s proverb “hanging with a trend” meaning trying to use a trend for one’s own benefit.]

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Kick him again

From Manager, July 3, 2019
Ja New: I was deadly hit by the dictator.
Left caption: A victim needing to be sympathized with
Suriya: I was kicked from the position of the Energy Ministry by the dictatorship.
Right caption: A victim needing to be kicked again

[Refers to a comparison of political activist Sirawithy “Ja New” Seritiwat and Palang Pracharat party member Suriya Jungrungreangkit. Although both are from different political camps, both they were attacked by PM Prayut’s administration.
Ja New was publicly beaten more than once and has accused the government of being behind this attack.
Tycoon Suriya Jungrungreangkit, once a stalwart Thaksin supporter, was drawn into the new pro-military party, no doubt with promises of controlling a “gold” ministry. This is a ministry with budgets of several hundred million baht thought ripe for embezzlement and bribery. Political parties fight for such ministries as the proceeds enrich the party and its top members.
Once the fractious creation of the cabinet was completed Suriya found himself appointed as Industry Minister instead of the expected Energy Minister. The loss of heading this key ministry resulted in a storm of public complaint from Suriya and his allies.
The cartoonist contends that no one should feel sympathy for these tycoons fighting over public money.]

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Ghost mask

From Thairath, July 5, 2019
Title: Afraid or Funny
On his shirt: Continue the power
Above the Phitakhon mask: Threaten politicians
On the chairs: Asking for seats [meaning “asking for ministry posts”]

[In the midst of forming his government, PM Prayuth warned politicians to stop intensively competing for ministerial positions.
This happened during the time of the “Phi Ta Khon” ghost mask festival and the cartoonist uses this to illustrate his point.]

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

Split the country

From Naewna, July 1, 2019
Jatuporn: Hitting Ja New’s head is similar to hitting Thai people
Caption: Making a rift is our work.

[Refers to the case of political activist Sirawithy “Ja New” Seritiwat who was beaten multiple times apparently for his anti-government lobbying. Many anti-Prayuth groups are pointing to this case and blaming the government or military for the attacks.
The cartoonist, who opposes Thaksin and the Red Shirts, takes issue with anti-government figures using the case to attack the government. He shows former Red Shirt leader Jatuporn using the case to split the country.]

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A ghost is grinding flour

From Thairath, June 27, 2019
Title: Having power means one can order the ghosts to grind flour.
On the ghosts on the back: Independent agencies
On the ghost in the front: Injustice
On the left basket: Political opposition
On the right basket: Democratic group
Phi Nooring: Grinding until having blood
Mouse: Become a slave

[The cartoonist laments that independent agencies as well as other agencies which support Prayuth’s government are being used to harass government opponents. This is yet another parallel to Thaksin’s years in power–the legacy of which the military has vowed to eradicate.
The cartoon references the Thai proverb “a ghost is grinding flour” meaning a person does thing without considering if it is right to do or not. They do it only for their own benefit.]

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Weekly News Magazines: Govt Stability, July, 2019

From Manager Weekly, July 13-19, 2019 Main cover reads: Surely longer
On the boat: Cabinet [yellow] Prayuth 2

[Refers to PM Prayuth and the struggle it took to form his cabinet. Critics are hoping for a quick collapse of the government and new elections. However, many analysts are confident that the new government will be able to serve out its term.]
Top: Very active in the local–intense in Bangkok [red] “Narongsak” vs “Chatchat” [black] Prove who will stronger in the land

[Refers to the coming local elections, particularly the election of the new Bangkok Governor. This year will highlight competition between the Pheu Thai Party and Palang Pracharat.
Younger generation politician Chatchat is thought to be the candidate of the Pheu Thai Party. It is rumored that Palang Pracharat is wanting to send Nan Province Governor Narongsak to run for governor in Bangkok. Narongsak became a national celebrity for his professional and effective management during rescue of the football team trapped in a cave when he was Chiang Rai governor.]

From Matichon Weekly, July 12-18, 2019
Main cover reads: No one [yellow] wants to see [orange] “us” look better
[Refers to the Future Forward Party’s key figures, Thanathorn and Pannika, who recently have been criticized, especially by pro-royal and pro-Prayuth groups, due to their past political stances. Thanathorn and Pannika have become very popular among young people who are sick of old-style politics and dictatorship.
The headline means that they are surprisingly popular and everyone is jealous of this popularity.]
Top: Lock ‘Uttama’ as the first queue for a motion of no-confidence in a case of Krungthai lending. Be careful, it may affect “Prayuth.”
[Refers to Palang Pracharath Party leader Uttama who will face a motion of no-confidence during the coming parliament meeting due to the 2003 Krungthai Bank lending scandal.]

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