The Missing Marker & Thai Democracy

The missing marker &
Thai democracy

Do all Thai roads lead to Singapore?

Do all Thai roads
lead to Singapore?

Who will come crawling?

Who will come
crawling?

Analysis: Thailand’s Half Democracy

Analysis: Thailand’s
half democracy

Thaksin shifts puppets

Thaksin shifts puppets

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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The junta should follow Chavolit’s example

From Manager, October 2, 2018
Red Shirt leader Jatuporn Promphan: Prayuth should follow Big Jiew [the nickname of for army chief and PM Chavolit Yongjiyut]… he resigns from all the positions in order to enter the politics with dignity… and honor.
Caption: The best example ever

[Refers to Chavolit Yongjiiyut who called on the junta to immediately step down from power.
Junta government ministers are indeed contravening political etiquette in retaining in their posts while preparing a political party to support the ruling junta.
The cartoonist make the point that Chavolit’s statement calling on the junta to step down also threatened a bombing campaign which is typical of his public pronouncements on behalf of the pro-Thaksin opposition.
Thus, the cartoonist contends that Chavolit is the last person who has the honor to call on others to do the right thing.]

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Chavalit awakens form the grave

From Manager, September 30, 2018
On sign: Political graveyard.
Left grave: Big Jiew [nickname of Chavalit Yongjiyut]
Right grave: Big noh [nickname of Sanoh Thienthong]
The right zombie says: Pee Jiew, wait for Noh please.
The words in the background is the sound of flute and drum: Tum tum tum, tang tang tang.
Caption: When flute and drum of politics goes loud… the ghost awakens from the grave.

[Refers to former army chief and prime minister Thaksin Chavalit Yongjiyut who appeared out of apparent political retirement to once more allude to violence he could unleash–this time if the junta did not immediately step down from power.
As a frequent mouthpiece of Thaksin, Chavalit has often spoken up to suggest chaos and violence could begun. This is invariably in support of the pro-Thaksin opposition.
Coming from the former head of the military, Chavolit’s statements are also meant to show that not all of the military is united in opposing Thaksin’s return.]

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21 Years Ago: Thousands of Thais Protest Bangkok’s Inaction in Crisis

Thousands of Thais Protest Bangkok’s Inaction in Crisis – NYT, October 22, 1997
[Thanks to Tom pointing this out.]
…”Thousands of people rallied in the streets of Bangkok for a second day today, furious at their Government’s vacillation in the face of a severe economic crisis. Farmers and factory workers in sandals, bankers and stock brokers in neckties — people from both sides of Thailand’s sharp economic divide mingled in the hot sun to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh.”
“The demonstration today followed an extraordinary rally by businessmen that closed off Silom Road, home to many banks and financial institutions. It was the largest rally by the middle class since mass protests in 1992 that led to widespread violence and caused the fall of a Government…”

Posted in Thai Politics, Today in History | 1 Comment

Chavalit will make the change with bombs

From Naewna, October 4, 2018
Thanathorn: I will use the idea of “Thailand 2X.” Equality–equal with the world to change the country…
The globe: You are good only using the beautiful words for your campaign, but you keep up with old man Jiew. He use only 20 people to change Thailand.
Above baby Jiew: Idea of bombing to make chaos in the country
Caption: An innocent young man beat the old codger.

[Refers to Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit who promoted the idea of Thailand 2X to promote equality among Thais and make the country become equal with others to compete in the international world.
This cartoon jokes that even thought he has bright ideas, his political experience is childish compared to veteran former PM Chavalit “Jiew” Yongchaiyudh.
Chavalit recently called on His Majesty the King to remove the junta to prevent the country from descending into chaos. Chavalit suggested that another option would be to order 20 people to bomb many places in the country to create chaos and remove the NCPO, but this option was impossible to do.
Such remarks have been typical of Chavalit who has consistently raised the political pressure on Thaksin’s behalf at various times.
In Thai, “old codger” is เฒ่าทารก which combines with the word ‘เฒ่า’ (old) and ‘ทารก’ (baby). That’s why the cartoon illustrates Chavalit as a baby.
The portrayal of the globe perhaps reflects a certain Thai feeling that foreign powers are hostile to its customs and especially its monarchy. The pronounced nose here and in other Thai editorial cartoons could possibly be interpreted as a racist portrayal indicating Jewish people.]

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Chavalit coughs up bombs (again)

From Daily News, October 4, 2018
Former PM Chavalit: Cack cack cack… [sound of a cough]
On his suite: Big Jiew [the nickname of Chavalit Yongchaiyudh]

[Refers to 86-year old-former PM Chavalit Yongchaiyudh who recently held the media briefing calling for His Majesty the King to remove the National Council for Peace and Order and replace the junta with a royally appointed interim government to organize the general election. The reason for this, predictably, was to prevent the country from being in chaos.
During the media briefing, he said that only the King has the power to remove the NCPO. Chavalit said he himself could order 20 people to bomb many places to cause chaos in the country to remove the NCPO, but this option was impossible to do. That is why he called on the King to help.
Such allusions to his ability to create violence is nothing new for Chavalit. He has long spoken on behalf of Thaksin at certain key times, often alluding to violence or chaos in an attempt to pressure the government.
As a former army chief, his pronouncements are also meant to indicate that the military is not united and that some military men support a return of Thaksin to power.
Even before he became an apparent Thaksin shill, Chavalit was known, like several other rural political kingpins, for boasting about his power and ability to cause chaos in the country if he wanted to.
As Thailand’s prime minister, Chavalit led first Thailand and then the world into the 1997 currency crisis. Now as Thailand’s elder statesman, he continues to embody the ego of the “big man” who just might be forced to unleash chaos if certain demands are not met (for more on this concept overall, a free chapter is available for download from my book, The Thai Book, A Field Guide to Thai Political Motivations, “Big Men Always Go Too Far”).
Here are just a few of his past pronouncements, allusions and threats:
2010: Gen. Chavalit to lead Red Shirt “People’s Army”
2014: Gen. Chavalit warns: Junta constitutional reforms could trigger counter coup
2105: Dead Dog Chavalit
2016: Again, Chavalit]

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They don’t like Phalang Phacharat

From Manager, October 3, 2018
Somkid to PM Prayuth: I ordered those four people to be lures in order to check what will happen when we go out.
On the sign: Phalang Phacharat

[Refers to the recent official launch of new political party Phalang Pracharat Party. This group announced it would support PM Prayuth to become the PM again after the next elections. Deputy PM Somkid Jatusripitak is known as the man behind the sformation of this party.
In the cartoon, the four founders of the party are Industry Minister Uttama Savanayana as the party’s leader, Commerce Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong, Minister of Science and Technology Suvit Maesincee and Minister Attached to the Prime Minister’s Office Kobsak Pootrakool.
Thais would interpret these government ministers coming out and revealing their party and its support for Prayuth as a trial balloon to gauge public opinion for the junta.]

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Eager for more conflict

From Daily News, September 27, 2018
On Man: Thanathorn
His tongue: Discourse [or rhetoric]
He says: Hungry…
On bowl: The Democrats are bloodstained.
Left: Conflict
Center: Cheat
On the sign: Corruption
Right: Burning city [showing one of the Red Shirts burning the city]

[This negatively refers to Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, leader of the Future Forward Party who recently criticized the junta as part of a vicious repeating cycle in Thailand’s politics and called on PM Prayuth to debate his policies.
The cartoonist is contending that Thanathorn’s many pronouncements and political positions are always presented in the most controversial manner–with many bold positions made that are sure to provoke conflict again.
Among these are promises to once again remove the military from handling the violence in the south along with an immediate rewrite of the constitution and amnesty for “political prisoners.”
As such issues were at the root of past political strife, the cartoonist seems to think Thanathorn must be eager for more conflict.]

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Mark sinking

From Arun, September 25, 2018
Title: “Boss Mark” today.
On boat: Democrat party.
Water at the back of boat: Sucking group.
Shark around the boat: Opposition group.

[“Mark” is the nickname of Democrat leader Abhisit.
Recently, his party has been rocked by defections to other groupings (“sucking”) and challenges to his leadership which would result in the Democrats supporting the junta to remain in government after the elections.
Meanwhile, anti-junta parties such as the Pheu Thai rely on blaming Abhisit for the protest deaths in 2010.
All of this is leading to the feeling that perhaps the Democrats would be better off without Abhisit at its helm.]

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October, 1974: Overthrowing the dictators

October, 1974: Overthrowing the dictators

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There was a bribe too

From Naewna, September 24, 2018
Thaksin: When he is clinging to my table and begging for the position, his voice was so humble… But it was not enough.
On the paper: Position of the army chief
Caption: Prisoner Maew [Thaksin] disclosed about Uncle Poom [Prawit], but did not say it all…?

[Refers to a recent war of words between Thaksin and Deputy PM Prawit sparked by Thaksin’s call for talks and reconciliation.
Deputy PM Prawit suggested Thaksin should clear all legal cases against himself first before thinking about talks with the government. Thaksin then posted a message on the social media to mock criticize Deputy PM Prawit saying that his stance and manner seems official now, but he was humble when he “clung to my table” and begged for the army chief post. Deputy PM Prawit was army commander-in-chief from 2004 to 2005, when Thaksin was prime minister.
This admission by Thaksin shows how he had the ultimate power in deciding top posts at the time.
The cartoonist suggest that, in keeping with all official promotions in government, the winner must supply bribes.
For the highest posts, colossal amounts of money changes hands with the expectation that the post will provide the holder many opportunities for graft to be able to gain the money back.
Thus, the cartoonist says Thaksin told only part of the story about Prawit being awarded the post.]

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Rutting Dogs/Rutting Politicians

From Manager, September 24, 2018
Left: Behavior of animals in the 12th month
Right: Behavior of political animals during the coming election

[On the left, the image refers to the old Thai belief about a dog’s seasonal breeding being in the twelfth month of the year. This then became a proverb to criticize people who have bad sexual behavior.
At right this idea is extended the political parties that form and reform and create alliances based solely on the aim to be part of a governing coalition. This, coupled with the lack of ideology in Thai politics, makes politicians seem very self-serving to many voters.]

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Weekly News Magazines: the junta’s political party, October, 2018

From Matichon Weekly, October 5-11, 2018
Main cover reads: [top] Etiquette [bottom] Read as Et-i-quette

[Refers to the official launch of new Phalang Pracharat Party. This group vows to support PM Prayuth to become the leader again. The party consists of incumbent ministerial members under the junta.
Pictured are members led by Industry Minister Uttama Savanayana (2nd left) as the party’s leader, Commerce Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong (left), Minister of Science and Technology Suvit Maesincee (3rd left) and Minister Attached to the Prime Minister’s Office Kobsak Pootrakool.
As they are still in their governmental position, there is a question as to political etiquette–should they step down from their positions lest they be tempted to use their power to take advantage over the political parties before the next elections.
The cover uses “Et-i-quette” to emphasize that these ministers should follow the prevailing custom and step down from their government posts.]

Top: Thai tourism is in double trouble from the capsizing of the boat/slapping. Chinese tourists sharply drop.
[Refers to Thai tourist industry facing the sudden decline of Chinese tourists due to the earlier tragedy on capsizing of the tourist boat in Phuket and the recent incident of the Chinese tourist assaulted by a security guard at Don Mueang International Airport.
The number of Chinese tourists visiting Thailand during their golden week this year dropped sharply due to these incidents.]

From Siamrath Weekly Review, October 5-11, 2018
Main cover reads: Skin [red] in front of the fire

[The new pro-junta political party consists of Industry Minister Uttama Savanayana (2nd left) as the party’s leader, Commerce Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong (left), Minister of Science and Technology Suvit Maesincee (3rd left) and Minister Attached to the Prime Minister’s Office Kobsak Pootrakool. They are known as part of Deputy PM Somkid’s clique that have organized a political party for the junta.
The cover refers to the Thai proverb “skin in front of the fire” referring to a person who suffers before others. This is because Thais would interpret these government ministers coming out and revealing their party and its support for Prayuth as a trial balloon to gauge public opinion for the junta.]

From Manager Weekly, October 6-12, 2018
Main cover reads: The queens are scattering.

[Refers to the conflicts among three powerful persons including Sudarat Keyuraphan (left), Thaksin’s ex wife Potjaman Na Pombejra (middle) and Thaksin’s sister Yaowapa Wongsawat (right) regarding the selection of the Pheu Thai Party’s leader.
This cover refers to this situation using the Thai proverb “bees are scattering.” These three women are the influential queen bees of the party you are pushing among themselves to become the leader of the Pheu Thai.]

Top: To revise the master plan of Suvarnabhumi, “no one” can stop [orange] only “Uncle Tu” [black] can ignore it.
[Refers a call for stopping the controversial revision of master plan for expanding the Suvarnabhumi airport. It calls on PM Prayuth (whose nickname is “Tu”) to stop this controversial issue as PM Prayuth has absolute power under Article 44 to give any order to strengthen public unity and harmony or to stop any act that undermines public peace.]
Bottom left: “Diddi” [black] model. Running-Swimming-cycling [red] to cheat the cancer
[Refers to Thai triathlon model Passanan ‘Diddi’ Punyakuanchai who fought cancer and participated in a triathlon.]
Right: Behind the scene [red] “Fan Bingbing” agreed to pay 4 billion [black] to buy her new future in world entertainment.
[Refers to Chinese actress Fan Bingbing who was recently released after she agreed to pay nearly 884 million yuan in fines and back taxes. She was believed to have been detained by the Chinese tax authorities.]

From Lokwannee, October 5-12, 2018
Main cover: Phalang Rat [yellow] prahan [green] Pracha
On dinosaur’s tail: 20 years

[Refers to an official launch of pro-PM Prayuth political party Phalang Pracharat Party. The cover plays with the name of the party “Phalang Pracharat” meaning the “power of people” and the word “Phalan Ratprahan” meaning the “power of the coup” as this party is known to support PM Prayuth to remain in power.
“20 years” refers to the junta’s development plans for Thailand which they say cannot be changed by any political party.]

Posted in Thai Newspapers and Magazines | 2 Comments

One lotus is above the water

From Manager, September 23, 2018
Lotus with the face of PM Prayuth (or Jatuporn? see in comments section): Everything which has occurred… it has a cause and factor. If the Pheu Thai-led government was not corrupt… and excessively [grabbed] power which led to chaos… the military would not be able to have an excuse to conduct a coup!
Caption: In this pond… one lotus is above the water

[Recently, Deputy PM Prawit had a war of words with Thaksin. He denied Thaksin’s call for talks and reconciliation. Instead, he blamed Thaksin’s political manipulation for causing trouble to the country.
This cartoon refers to Buddhist teaching to divide people into four kinds of lotuses.
The lotus on the water level refers to quite intelligent people who, when using a little bit of effort to study or contemplate, are able to understand dharma in a short time. Meanwhile, the ones still in the water refers to medium or low intelligence people.
This cartoons seems to voice the opinion that the constant efforts of Thaksin to gain and hold power and then rewrite the constitution to suit himself led to events which allowed the military a pretext to seize and hold power.]

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Everyone feels down when they think of Prayuth

From Thairath, September 19, 2018
Title: If you feel down… Please think about me…
PM Prayuth: When I’m feeling down… I think only about people.
On the mask: Chill chill as Loei’s style [meaning the PM was taking it easy as is the local Loei style]
On people’s shirts on the left: Feel down on violating rights; feel down about the dictator; feel down about political problems; feel down about economic problems; feel down about the difficulty of living
On a man’s shirt on the right: Feel down on destroying Voice TV
Phi Nooring: If we remember him, then we will be cheered up?
Mouse: So ironic.

[Refers to PM Prayuth’s saying during his mobile cabinet meeting in Loei province that “When I’m feeling down… I think only about people” which means something like he feels better for dedicating himself to helping people.
The cartoon ridicules this saying that the current political situation makes people sick of the junta’s power.
In the cartoon, the mask is called Phi Ta Khon and is used in the Ghost Festival in Loei province. The PM also carried durian to represent the local produce.]

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8 Years Ago: Bombmakers in Nonthaburi

Nonthaburi Bombmakers

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Who has been holding the country back?

From Manager, September 19, 2018
On the arrow: Developed country.
Thaksin: 12 years already, has Thailand had enough suffering? …while other countries move forward… we move backward.

[Thaksin recently emerged on social media to bemoan the state of the country after 12 years of conflict and wish that the different sides would negotiate together.
Critics dismissed Thaksin’s statement as part of his regular PR build-up before elections. It was also noted that Thaksin’s offer of talks was disingenuous as the junta would never accede to what has always been Thaksin’s main demand–the dropping of all court cases and prison sentences for him.]

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Bloody October 2008

Bloody October 2008

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The black hole of Thai society

From Arun, October 6, 2018
Caption: A black hole of Thai society
On the calendar at top: October
Column from left to right: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday

[Refers to the Thammasat University massacre that occurred on October 6, 1976. Thousands protested against the return of former military dictator Thanom Kittikachorn to Thailand.
State forces and far-right paramilitaries attacked and summarily killed protesters on the campus of Thammasat University and at Sanam Luang, accusing them of being communists.
This anniversary is often downplayed in the Thai world in favor of the more palatable events of October 1973 when Thanom’s regime was ousted from power.]

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October 1976: A sea of blood


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Above: One of the iconic images of October 6: Right-wing mobs beating the corpses of lynched protestors.

1976: A Nightmare of Lynching and Burning

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Fight then fertilize

From Matichon Weekly, September 14-20, 2018
Title: Fighting fishes and “Politicians”
First: When you put in the block, each one is living in their way, peaceful.
On the block paper: Coup d’etat
Second: When you take the block out, each are fighting.
Third: When they are put together…
Fourth: …each tries fertilizing.

[This is a good representation of many Thais’ attitudes towards politicians.
As conflict and protest is seen as a shameful stain on society, a coup is often welcomed as putting the brakes on pointless political bickering.
After several years of junta rule without open politicking, some are dreading the day when the regional kingpins and billionaires that make up Thai politicians are allowed to fight for power once again–especially as all the same main issues from past years (a new constitution and amnesty) are already at the top of many parties’ agenda.
Finally, the cartoonist jokes that political parties that were once bitter enemies will merge and cooperate in gaining the spoils of the nation when it suits them.
This is similar to the sucking up of politicians which seems emphasize the venality of politicians who only seek to hold power.]

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Weekly News Magazines: All About Elections, September, 2018

From Matichon Weekly, September 21-27, 2018
Main cover reads: Social media can’t enter
On the box: Election [with yearly dates crossed out indicating the many delays to eventual elections]

[Refers to the new order from the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) that allows political parties to use social media only for contacting their members, but not for campaigning.
This unclear order has raised a question whether the junta really wants to unlock the politics as they have promised.]

Top: The sibling rivalry of the ‘Blue.’ The PDRC in the name of ‘Warong’ competes for a post of ‘leader’ from ‘Mark’ paving the way for the NCPO to occupy the Democrats?

[Refers to Warong Dechgitvigrom (pictured right) announcing he will vie with former PM Abhisit Vejjajiva (left) for the post of the Democrat Party leader.
Warong is supported by former Democrat Party Suthep Thaugsuban, a leader of anti-Yingluck People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC). Recently, Suthep has announced a new party to support PM Prayuth in the coming elections.
The headline points out how going to Warong as Democrat Party leader would result in the Democrats supporting the military-led government after the next elections.]

From Siamrath Weekly Review, September 21-27, 2018
Main cover reads: Feeling awkward

[Refers to PM Prayuth who has recently admitted interest in participating in politics. This is after longstanding rumors that he would seek to maintain the PM post after elections, despite many public denials. The headline likely refers to this long fake public denial when ultimately the admission was made that Prayuth intends to remain in politics.]

From Lokwannee, September 22-28, 2018
Main cover reads: More than “shameful”

[Refers to UN’s recent report named Thailand among 38 countries as having a “shameful attitude” in carrying out reprisals against human rights defenders. This report embarrassed the junta which always claims that they have helped improve the political situation in the country. The cartoonist illustrates the junta as a dinosaur to mean they are old-fashioned in their thinking. The pink light stick refers to the light sticks PM Prayuth carried when a famous Japanese band paid a visit to the junta. These sticks are used in audiences for pop music acts in Asia.]

From Manager Weekly, September 22-28, 2018
Main cover reads: #Poom clings to Toe
Deputy PM Prawit at left: The country is in trouble because of who? You need to clear all legal matters against yourself first.
Thaksin at right: His stance and voice look serious, not humble like when he clung my table and begged for the army chief post.

[Refers to a recent war of words between Thaksin and Deputy PM Prawit sparked by Thaksin’s call for reconciliation.
Deputy PM Prawit responded by saying Thaksin should clear all his legal cases first before thinking about talks between old political rivals.
Thaksin then posted a message on social media to criticize Prawit saying that he looks official and serious now, which was a big difference from when he was groveling at Thaksin’s feet and begging for the post of army commander from Thaksin. Deputy PM Prawit was army commander-in-chief from 2004 to 2005, when Thaksin was prime minister.
Thaksin’s post was meant to humiliate Prawat, but it also exposed the power of Thaksin, who once had the ability to appoint who he wanted to top posts that were supposed to be awarded on merit and through bureaucratic channels.
On the cover, this political exchange is compared to famous Thai rock stars Asanee and Wasan Chotikul.
At left the left is Asanee, whose nickname is “Poom.” This is the same that Deputy PM Prawit has.
At right is Wasan whose nickname is “Toe” which means “table” in English.
In the photo, Asanee (Poom) is clinging his brother Wasan (Toe), mimicking the Thaksin insult that said Prawit clung to his table to beg him for a job.]

Top: “Special mission” [black] new ERC. Settling the dispute on purchasing the stocks of [blue] GLOW [black] is only the “tip of the iceberg.” Still, there are a lot of “millions-baht” baht benefits waiting for them. [yellow] ERC
In black underneath: Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC)
[Refers to a recent appointment of the new Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) by PM Prayuth through the article 44 as he accused the previous ERC of working too slow and sparking frequent conflicts. The new members include ERC Chairman Samoechai (pictured).
One of the challenges for the new ERC is to solve the problem of the purchase of GLOW stocks by PTT.]

Bottom left: Complicated-hidden. Mysterious relationship between “Kae-Aerk-Paul”
[Refers to a mysterious cause of suicide of former sexy model Kay Lederer. She left her note accusing her business partner, Aerk Lederer (left) of fraud. Later, Aerk denied any part in her decision to commit suicide and placed the blame on her fiancé’s Paul (right).

Right: Reduce the number of new smokers to protect the youth from smoking. [inside the orange circle] Special

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Get the military out of the deep south please

From Manager, September 16, 2018
The insurgent group: When the democracy returns… Don’t forget to remove the military from the three southernmost provinces immediately… We will work more easily.
On the box held by two men: Donate 100 baht for returning democracy
Caption: Those groups will fully make a donation.

[Refers to the Future Forward Party, co-founded by Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit and Piyabutr Saengkanokkul (pictured left and right holding the donantion box).
Recently, Thanathorn urged people to elect his party to fight for the return of full democracy to the country by paying a 100-baht membership fee to the party. Thanathorn promises to bring the country back to democracy and will not allow the military to intervene like the past.
The Future Forward Party has attracted much media attention for its apparently leftist leanings, although it is still headed by a connected political billionaire and has policies in sync with Thaksin goals.
The party has floated a number of bold and controversial measures–many mimicking Thaksin politics–such as scrapping the 2017 constitution, amnesty for all “political prisoners” (perhaps even lese majeste convictions), and a repeat of Thaksin’s policies for the Deep South which saw a successful handling of tensions in the region by the military derailed by turning control over to the local police.]

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New heads for political parties

From Manager, September 13, 2018
On the signs, left to right: Pheu Thai Party; Democrat Party
Abhisit: I think your party should find a head first!

[Refers to the conflict inside the Democrat party concerning the coming election. This cartoon is ridicules Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva. While he gloats over the lack of a leader for the Pheu Thai Party, many in his own party are intent on deposing him as party leader.
The Pheu Thai and the Red Shirts have blamed Abhisit for his order to clear the Red Shirt protests in 2010. Removing Abhisit from leadership might eliminate a major divisive figure the Pheu Thai has depended on to engage its supporters.]

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Silpa Bhirasri, Father of modern art in Thailand

From Arun, September 13, 2018
Inside box at top left: Silpa Bhirasri, Father of modern art in Thailand
Green shading at left: 15 September Silpa Bhirasri’s Day
Green words: Tomorrow is too late.

[Refers to well-respected sculptor and lecturer Silpa Bhirasri. He established and taught at Silpakorn University. He is praised as the “father of modern art in Thailand.”
“Tomorrow is too late” is one of his famous quotes to encourage people to start doing their work without waiting.
Oddly enough he seems to be holding one of Salvador Dali’s melted clocks in the cartoon.]

Posted in Art, Editorial Cartoons – Arun | 1 Comment

Which the fish creel destroys the country’s image more?

From Thairath, September 10, 2018
Title: Which the fish creel destroys the country’s image more?
On the folder held by the military man: IO team
On a fish creel no. 1: Politicians
On a fish creel no. 2: Coup persons
Phi Nooring: One click sends a bad smell to the whole world.
Mouse: Click the real cause.
On a man’s tablet: Fish creel 1; Fish creel 2
Sound coming from the tablet: Click!

[This compares the coup conducted by the military to elected governments. The junta has been trying to build a good image by using the “Information Operation” (IO) strategy to promote good news related the junta online.
This cartoon uses the Thai proverb “one rotten fish makes a smell all over a fish creel.” It means that one person’s fault effects the whole group.
This means that bad members of the junta hurt its image and that they are no better than elected politicians.]

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Weekly News Magazines: Junta misspelling, September, 2018

From Lokwannee, September 14-21, 2018
Main cover reads: Unlucky
Dinosaur, representing the military: Unfortunately, it is spelled incorrectly.

[This calligraphy refers to a lottery seller man who lied about winning the lottery. He had famed calligraphy like this that he was given by a Chinese-style fortune teller.
On the cover it reads “unlucky,” instead of “รวย” meaning “rich.”
The overall joke is meant to ridicule PM Prayuth who insisted that he spelled a word correctly after the media claimed that there was a misspelling in his writing.]

From Matichon Weekly, September 14-20, 2018
Main cover reads: Kiss Kiss

[Refer to the recent picture from Thaksin’s daughter Peathongtarn (left) showing her elder sister Pingthongtha (right) drinking from the small glass with the red and yellow straw. This is to show the harmony of the Red and Yellow shirts.
This is part of Thaksin’s PR offensive that he conducts before elections to send the message that he is still a political force.]

Top: Kraben Rahu. First Thai film to win a prize from the ‘Venice’ [Venice Film Festival]
[Refers to Thai film ‘Manta Ray’ or ‘Kraben Rahu’ directed by Phuttiphong Aroonpheng. It won the Orizzonti Award for Best Film at the 75th Venice Film Festival. It becomes the first Thai movie to win the prestigious award and is about the Rohinya people.]

From Manager Weekly, September 15-21, 2018
Main cover reads: OTu

[Refers to the junta’s new campaign on inviting well-known people to help promote the junta’s TV program.
PM Prayuth (whose nickname is Tu) spoke up to defend pop group BNK48 member Cherprang Areekul (pictured), after she was criticized for appearing on the junta’s program.
The cover word “OTu” comes from the word “Otaku” mixed with PM Prayuth’s nickname “Tu.” “Ota” is the word BNK fanclub members use to refer to themselves. It is a Japanese word to refer to a person who is really addicted to something.]

Top: Business-Romance [black] or cheating. A question in the cause of [red] “Kae Lederer’s” suicide
[Refers a unclear cause that led to the suicide of sexy socialite Kae Lederer (pictured). She left a suicide note accusing her business partner, ex-model and close friend, Ongart “Aerk” Lederer (pictured), of fraud. ]
Bottom left: Why is [blue] the army team [white] popular? [orange] Count down [white] for becoming extinct in the highest league.
[Refers to the military-related soccer teams which are now facing a risk to fall out of Thailand’s soccer league.
All of this is related to politics as, during the heydays of Red Shirt power, politicians could be essentially blacklisted by the power of Red Shirt intimidation. The Red Shirt numbers were such that they seemed to be possibly able to check the power of the military.
The military and politicians poured resources and funds into soccer clubs which were envisioned as a sort of shadow political parties comprised of rabid fans who might be able to serve as a counterweight to Red Shirt power.
Now that new elections are coming and many Pheu Thai and Red Shirt politicians are supporting the junta, it indicates Thaksin and Red Shirt influence is on the wane.
Thus the need to spend resources on the clubs, their development, and promotion is ended. Where just a few years ago the clubs were taking on the character of rabid English soccer fandom, today the military men and politicians who once nurtured them have largely given up on them and are instead focusing on elections.]

Right: From [red] Jack Ma [white] to [red] Fan Bingbing [white] China is very difficult to live.
[Refers to the recent news about Alibaba founder Jack Ma announced he would step down from the business next year to focus on philanthropy and education. His surprising decision has been praised by the public.
In contrast, Hollywood-well known Chinese actress Fan Bingbing has gone missing amid rumors she had under-reported her earnings to the government.]

From Siamrath weekly review, September 14-21, 2018
Main cover reads: ‘Yak’ [white] still survives.
[Refers to a rumor that Deputy Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Dr. Wiwat “Yak” Salyakamthor a would be sacked from his job by the junta.
This was because he supports a total ban on three hazardous herbicides including Glyphosate, Chlorpyrifos, Paraquat.
As the ban would have a huge impact on big agricultural business groups, it was thought Yak’s job was in jeopardy for suggesting a ban.]

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Traits needed for the Burn Thai Party

From Manager, September 10, 2018
On the signboard: The inborn traits that one needs to have when a member of the Burn Thai Party.
1. insult the former party you were with
2. lick big boss and madam’s boots
3. inform international organizations
4. insult soldiers three times after a meal
5. call people to come out and burn the place
Surapong Tovichakchaikul at right: You have done three things already Machim… you would become our new member for sure.
Caption: Machim is proving himself.

[As if to counteract defections from the Pheu Thai to pro-military parties, the Pheu Thai Party has touted the defection of former Democrat Party MP Nakhom Machim to their party.
Machim criticized the Democrats and apologized to former PM Thaksin and Yingluck for being part of the conspiracy hatched by the military, elites, judiciary and other anti-Thaksin groups to destroy the power of the Shinawatra family.
This syncs with the list the cartoonist has created for new members. Other points on the list are to call on international election monitors or U.N. fact finding missions, insulting the military, and calling on supporters to be ready to show their dissatisfaction by burning buildings.
The cartoonist calls the Pheu Thai Party the “Burn Thai Party” as a play on Thai words that humorously transform the party name into “Burn Thai Party” to reference Red Shirt leaders who called on their supporters to burn the country in 2010.]

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Whatever Happened To Frank aka Thaksin Shinawatra?

Whatever Happened To Frank aka Thaksin Shinawatra? – manchestercity.vitalfootball.co.uk, September 24, 2018
…In 2017 he was thought to be flitting between Hong Kong and Singapore.
Why there?
He was gathering his former influential Thai friends to make a political comeback.
Did he make a comeback?
No!
This man was/is one heck of a character.
Three cheers for Frank.
Hip hip…

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Don’t sack Wiwat!

From Manager, September 6, 2018
Title: A knight who fights with the dragon
On the shirt: Deputy Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister
On a sword: Ban 3 hazardous herbicides
On the dragon’s neck: Capitalist
On the dragon’s belly: Multinational companies
On the bottles held by the dragon from left to right: Glyphosate, Chlorpyrifos, Paraquat
On the bottles on the ground from left to right: Kill insects. Kill grasses

[Deputy Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Dr. Wiwat Salyakamthorn is a supporter of organic gardening so he has been in the crosshairs of large Thai companies that sell chemicals to farmers.
However, when he recently supported a total ban on three hazardous herbicides–Glyphosate, Chlorpyrifos, Paraquat–rumors began circulating that large comapnies began lobbying the junta to sack Wiwat from his post.]

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Don’t investigate the generals!

From Manager, September 2, 2018
National Anti-Corruption Commission president Pol. Gen. Watcharapol: As long as I wear it around my neck, don’t investigate about who was corrupt on the procurement. It will protect me from getting kicked off the chair. [meaning “it will protect me from getting removed from my job”]
On the sign behind him: The National Anti-Corruption Commission
Caption: GT200 is NACC’s amulet

[Refers to the “inconclusive” investigation by the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) on the controversial military procurement of the 1.13 billion baht purchase of fake bomb detectors (known as GT200) to use in the southernmost provinces.
NACC president Pol. Gen. Watcharapol Prasarnrajki is known to have very close ties with the junta–particularly Deputy PM Prawit.
All of this reflects the idea that the military has been able to cover up investigations into wrongdoing connected to the armed forces or quickly fire those who investigate too objectively.]

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