- Vintage images of King Chulalongkorn
- 14 Years Ago: Thaksin reveals his political successor
- 11 Years Ago: The Coup – September, 2006
- 11 Years Ago: The Coup – Newspaper Front Pages
- 6 Years Ago: After just a few months in office, govt pushing hard for Thaksin pardon
- Remember the bullet-proof child gods who led a brief Karen insurgency into Thailand in the 1990s?
- From 1989: An article in the NYT about Rama IX
- Remembering the Downfall of Thaksin Shinawatra’s CEO-state
- 6 Years Ago: Pheu Thai govt moves fast–Proposed law gives police power to shut news media
- The network of the officials who helped Yingluck escape
- All About the Royal Cremation Ceremony for the late King
…“It’s at the full discretion of his majesty (the king),” he said in Dubai…
…“The country is now facing a crisis and is in need of capable people to deal with it. All parties should help bring Thaksin back to work for the country”, Mr Pannawat said, adding that he believed Thaksin’s return would lead to a national reconciliation.
From Manager, November 1, 2017
Top left: Will you seek asylum in our country?
Right: We can’t take it. You do this in the wrong place. You should go to…
Bottom left, fugitive PM Yingluck: Then, where should I seek asylum?
Bottom right: CITES’s London branch. Walk past two blocks and then turn right.
[This refers to the rumors that Yingluck would seek asylum in the UK. For Thaksin foes (such as Manager cartoonists) this is seen as yet another attempt for Thaksin to embarrass the country on the world stage.
The Thai word for rhino is similar to the word for slut. Thus to portray a woman as a rhino is to call her a slut.
More on this concept: The Burden of Being a Prominent Thai Woman–and Being Called a Slut]
This was part of the brief period in the 1990s when politicians were being held to account for corruption (Remembering Thai Dreams of Checks and Balances).
From Thairath, November 1, 2017
Title: Calling for the independence of the chickens in their hand.
Chickens say: Unlock
On the chickens: Politicians
Phi Nooring: Return the happiness to the chickens [mocking the junta’s motto of “returning happiness to the people”]
Mouse: Holding them tight, then they will die, but if you release them, then they can survive.
[Refers to the Thai proverb “chickens in someone’s hand” meaning someone who has fallen under the power of someone else.
This cartoon is yet another demanding that the junta lift its ban on political activities thus freeing politicians to prepare for future elections.]
From Siamrath weekly review, November 10-16, 2017
Main cover picture: Can’t cut [white] and can’t sell either
[The men in the picture are PM Prayuth Chan-ocha (left), General Chatchai Sarikulya (wearing glasses) and General Anupong Paochinda.
Refers to Thai proverb “Can’t cut and can’t sell either” referring to strong relationships that no one can break up. Such relationships are important in the Thai world where one’s position and security in business or politics is enabled by the cadre of associates one has developed over the years.
The cover illustrates the situation that PM Prayuth is now facing in his cabinet reshuffle. General Chatchai Sarikulya, Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister, and Interior Minister General Anupong Paochinda are known as persons who have strong ties with PM Prayuth. General Chatchai is PM Prayuth’s military classmate (always the sign of a mutual obligation of support) while Gen. Anupong is a senior member of Prauyuth’s military clique and thought to be even more powerful that Prayuth in the junta overall.
Both Chatchai and Anupong have been criticized for their lackluster performance in their government posts. In a normal government, both might be shuffled out of the cabinet, but the mutual military obligations they share with Prayuth makes this unlikely.
This puts a spotlight on Prayuth’s assurances that he will consider cabinet posts based on the suitability rather than friendship. It seems unlikely he will actually be able to do so.]
From Matichon Weekly, November 10-16, 2017
Main cover picture: ‘Military’ [yellow] Party
[The man on the cover is Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan thought to be the most powerful figure in the junta. This refers to a rumor that the junta will set up a military party to compete in the coming elections.]
On the right side: Ustaz ‘feel good’ ‘Toon Bodyslam’ opens the good side of the three southern provinces
[Refers to charity run project established by famous rocker Artiwara Toon Kongmalai from Bodyslam band. He is running from the southernmost tip of Thailand to the north of the country in order to raise funds for 11 hospitals. When he started his run in the Thai Deep South, where a long-running separatist conflict persists, he received warm support from the locals. This seemed to present a contrast to the Thai military’s way of dealing with the situation, which has often consisted of brutal treatment of suspects and a heavy-handed approach. This article is an interview with an Ustaz, a professor or teacher in Islam, about Toon’s run.]
From Manager Weekly, November 11-17, 2017
Main cover reads: ‘Toon-Tu’ [yellow] Take One Step Each
[The men on the cover are General Anupong Paochinda, PM Prayuth Chan-ocha and Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan. And at the bottom left is Artiwara Toon Kongmalai.
This cover jokes about the popularity of the junta vs Artiwara Toon Kongmalai. Famous rocker Artiwara Toon Kongmalai set up a charity run project named ‘Take One Step Each’ to raise the funds for hospitals. This venture has made him spectacularly popular with the Thai public–even with alienated locals in the restive Thai Deep South.
In contrast, the ruling junta, led by PM Prayuth, General Anupong Paochinda and Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan is now facing several challenges, i8ncluding declining popularity, the economic situation and a cabinet reshuffle complicated by the number of high-ranking military men in the government who cannot easily be removed from their posts.
“Tu” is PM Prayuth’s nickname. The cover jokes that both Toon and Tu are taking a step forward–but perhaps Prayuth (“Tu”) faces a harder time doing so.]
Top: Saudi arrested the royal family-elites [red] involved with ‘corruption’ [black] paving the way for the crown price to be the ‘power’
[The men are Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal.
[Refers to the current power competition among the Saudi Arabia’s royal family.]
Bottom left: ‘Miss Kaewkam’ Tai-Yai girl who wins the hearts of Thai men
[Refer a new social media idol Kaewkam from Tai-Yai, an ethnic group living in the parts of Thailand and Myanmar.]
Bottom right: ‘Chakrit-Ann’ a new perfect love because of ‘a baby’
[Refers to the marriage of actor Chakrit Yamnam and to Pattira Ann Rungroj and news of a pregnancy. This was after his divorce from a well known model.]
From Lokwannee, November 11-17, 2017
Main cover reads: Isn’t it enough?
[Refers to polls conducted by various groups that show public support for the junta declining. The word “lick” is also an slang in Thai meaning to do something to curry favor with another. Anti-junta cartoonists will often show people licking the military’s boots.
Here, the cover seems to criticize pollsters (or perhaps others) attempt to curry favor with the junta with positive coverage.]
From Naewna, November 1, 2017
Caption: When will you unlock us?
On the tiger: Political party
[Refers to the impatience that politicians feel with the junta’s continuing ban on political activities.
Here politicians are represented as a “dangerous animal” often used to symbolize cunning and dangerous people to be around.]
From Manager Weekly, November 4-10, 2017
Main cover reads: Watch the royal crematorium. The god’s heaven.
[The royal crematorium combined various types of Thai traditional arts to pay respect to the late King as well as to illustrate traditional arts and culture.]
From Matichon Weekly, November 3-9, 2017
From Siamrath Weekly Review, November 3-9, 2017
[Cover picture shows King Rama X collecting the royal relics and the royal ashes of the late King Rama IX a day after the royal cremation on Oct 26, 2017.]
From Lokwannee, November 4-10, 2017
Main cover reads: The time for flowers has passed, it is time for stones
Inside a brown box on the right: Lokwanne turns 19 years old. [referring to the magazine’s anniversary]
[The cover shows marigolds, a flower related to honoring the late King, and a rock, presumably to be hurled in protest.
This cover message insinuates that the time for people to stay their hand has passed now that the royal cremation is complete and that it is now time for active agitation against the ruling military junta.
Combining royal allusions (marigolds for the King) and a call for violent protest (rock throwing) is unusual for the Thai media in general, but typical of the pro-Red Shirt, pro-Thaksin media that are usually eager to show that they are willing to employ taboo topics for their cause.]
From Manager, October 31, 2017
A man: Hey, sis… the important event ends!! Let go out to put a pressure on the NCPO to have an election. [this means that the Phea Thai Party has been eagerly awaiting the end of the mourning period for the late king so that new elections and political activity can begin]
Sudarat: Let me alone.
On a blue sign: Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan [mimicking the sign which was on the controversial convoy she headed]
On the jar: Asiatic pennywort juice [an herbal remedy]
[Refers to Sudarat Keyuraphan, a key member of the Phea Thai party who at one point had been anointed by Thaksin as the next head of the party.
She received strong criticism after she conducted a campaign-like convoy inviting people to grow marigold flowers to honor King Rama IX.
This political misstep seems to have doomed her chances of leading the Phea Thai Party for Thaksin in the next election. Odds makers now predict another another obscure Thaksin family member will lead the Phea Thai Party.
More on Sudarat’s fall.]
Myanmar’s ‘God’s Army’ guerrilla twins reunite; 1 seeks new life, the other, fallen comrades – AP, November 2, 2013
When they were kids, Johnny and Luther Htoo were bulletproof and invulnerable to land mines — or so went the story that briefly made them famous as hundreds of guerrillas followed and even worshipped them in the southeastern jungles of Myanmar. Today, well over a decade later, their “God’s Army” is no more, and the twins’ greatest accomplishment may be that both are still alive…
Thaksin on a mission to humiliate Thai government
…From cyberspace, Thaksin tweeted to his 40,000 Twitter followers that Abhisit’s recall of the Thai ambassador was a “childish overreaction.”
“I’m asking permission from all Thai people to advise the Cambodian government … until I have a chance to serve you again,” he tweeted separately, calling his new job “an honor…”
From Manager Weekly, October, 2017
Main cover reads: Return to heaven; 26 October 2017
[Covers this week refer to the royal cremation of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.]
From Matichon Weekly, October 27-November 2, 2017
[Main cover picture shows the royal crematorium of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.]
From Siamrath Weekly Review, October 27-November 2, 2017
[Main cover picture shows the processions for the royal cremation the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.]
…In some respects, it is even worse than the original notorious Printing Act of 1941, which was the hallmark of press restriction under military dictatorship. No periodical renewal of a newspaper publishing license was mentioned. Under the new amendment, every publisher must apply for permission to have his license renewed every five years…
From Thairath, October 21, 2017
Left: ‘Vegetarian’ Festival once a year
On the flags: Vegetarian
Right: ‘Fully eat’ festival many times a year
On the bowl: Budget for the return of happiness [“return happiness” being the junta’s motto]
Phi Nooring: Never stop eating
Mouse: Getting full and become bigger
[This cartoon references the vegetarian festival held in Thailand where food stands offering vegetarian meals are marked with yellow flags.
It contrasts this with the continuing military spending spree which now includes openly bloated budgets such as the recent request to buy radar guns for up to four times the market cost. This is intended to spread graft among officials via kickbacks from the supplier.
Such blatantly corrupt budgets have been a regular and open part of political spending in the past, but the ruling junta has vowed that they are different than the elected governments of the past.
However, the graft involved in buying radar guns makes the junta look no different than the previous governments they have derided.]
From Siamrath weekly review, Oct 20-26, 2017 Continue reading
From Thairath, October 17, 2017
Title: Either twisting… or distorting… won’t be able to turn to another direction anymore
On the gate: Election. Nov 61 
Phi Nooring: We are waiting at the finish line.
Mouse: A promise of the man.
[Refers to PM Prayuth’s latest promise that elections would be held in November 2018.
The party that was deposed by the military in 2014, the Pheu Thai, had originally promised civil war and succession if a coup occurred.
However, they waited patiently and peaceful after the coup so as not to give the military any pretext to delay elections–and what is thought will then be a Pheu Thai return to power.
The junta’s continual delays in calling an election date have pro-Thaksin forces eager to nail down the military on a firm date.]
From Manager, October 10, 2017
Title and artist at top: What I said… Bancha/Kamin
Caption: The incident on expelling the hungry ghosts from the temples.
[Despite some hesitation, the junta now appears to take seriously the issue of investigating the pervasive corruption in Thailand’s Buddhist temples including the misuse of donations and monks who violate Buddhist precepts.
The cartoon shows Thailand’s corrupt monks as the same as “hungry ghosts.”
“Hungry ghosts” are thought to be spirits of those who did very bad things in life and who then hover about temples to steal merit for themselves.
The cartoonist shows them as the thieving monks who are now being driven from the temples by the investigations and reform.]
From May 21, 1989: King Bhumibol’s Reign
…In an age when monarchs elsewhere serve a ceremonial rather than a political function, King Bhumibol is a crucial stabilizing and unifying force. He has helped his 55 million people weather decades of crises, including a Communist insurgency, the rapid industrialization of recent years and a series of military coups engineered by a powerful army that has dominated if not run every Government in Thailand for more than 50 years…
A very concise schedule of main events – The Nation
From Arun, October 2, 2017
Top right: Arun’s cartoon [white] Arun Watcharasawad [name of column and the cartoonist]
Title: Don’t forget the host’s slogan
[Refers to PM Prayuth’s trip to visit the White House at the invitation of US President Donald Trump. This cartoon warned PM Prayuth to be careful when negotiating with the US as Trump’s main policy is to focus on trade and Thailand is a country with a trade surplus with the US.]
Vintage images of King Chulalongkorn (King Rama V)
From Thairath, October 6, 2017
Title: 6 Oct 19  Scar in a heart
On the arm: Democracy; Freedom
Phi Nooring: Killed the students inside the city
Mouse: Thai people have never forgotten
[This is a rare editorial cartoon referencing the massacre of students on October 6, 1976 at Thammasat University.
Pro-Red Shirt, anti-junta voices in the media (such as this cartoonist) have consistently spoken up to commemorate pro-democracy protest events and deaths in the past.
This is in keeping with Red Shirt leaders who define their cause as a grassroots pro-democracy movement against dictatorship in line with pro-democracy movements of the past in Thailand.]
From Lokwannee, October 7-13, 2017
Main cover reads: Still be in our heart forever [small] from Lokwannee newspaper
From Matichon Weekly, October 13-19, 2017
From Siamrath Weekly Review, October 13-19, 2017
Main cover reads: One year without ‘father’
[Marking the one year since Rama IX passed away on October 13, 2016.]