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 next generation will continue the task…

From Thairath, July 4, 2018
Title: Mournfulness of Kanin Boonsuwan…
On Kanin’s bag: Democracy at the end of tunnel
Mouse man: The next generation will continue the task…
Mouse: Revise the constitution, making it democratic.

[This cartoon pays tribute to Kanin Boonsuwan. He was one of the authors of the 1997 “People’s Constitution” and later a legal expert for the Pheu Thai Party.
A return to the fully elected parliament of the 1997 charter has long been a goal of Thaksin and the parties he has led. His political factions have chaffed under post-coup charters specially designed to prevent any single party from dominating government.
Despite the present veneration of the 1997 charter, Thaksin’s party at the time, the Thai Rak Thai, worked tirelessly to make sure the independent checks and balances stipulated by the charter (a novel innovation in the Thai world) were neutered or fully under party control.
In the present day, all major parties seem determined to somehow amend the military-written charter which greatly curtails the powers of political parties.]

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Little Sarit

From Thairath, June 26, 2018
Title: Ask to change the cover.
On gluestick: glue
On magazine cover: Return happiness democracy 99.99% [mocking the junta’s slogan]
Mouse: Go inter. [The news goes international.]
Mouse man: The truth from the international media.

[Refers to the Time magazine cover which declared him “Democrat. Dictator.” The issue was not distributed in Thailand–supposedly because of government pressure.
As Prayuth’s term as coup-PM lengthened, opponents have began calling him “Little Sarit” after Sarit Thanarat, Thailand’s quintessential cold war dictator.
The cartoonist shows the prime minister trying to edit the text on the cover of the magazine to something more acceptable to the junta.]

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They violated the rules!

From Manager, July 1, 2018
Left: Srivara… why did you come here? To arrest whom?
Right: I’m coming here to wait for arrest those 13 people with an allegation of going the cave without a certificate… and violating the law for staying nights at the cave without a permission from the officers… These violate an article…… of the national park act…

[Refers to national deputy chief Pol. Gen. Srivara Rangsibrahmanagul who came under attack for what is seen as an act of intimidation toward officials working to save the lives of the 12 young footballers and their coach trapped in Tham Luang Cave.
During his visit, he asked rescuers whether they had permission to fly drones and drill in the cave to save the boys.
The officials trying to rescue the boys were stunned and Srivara’s use of unsympathetic language and stern manner cause the incident to go viral.
During his visit, Srivara also met with PM Prayuth. PM Prayuth mocked him, asking him if Srivara had come to arrest him.]

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He was once innocent

From Thairath, June 27, 2018
Left: Amnesty International take into account every event [in a suspect’s life] to help forgive Wut who cut his victim into 14 pieces…
Middle: …because he was not a criminal since he was born. They have a witness to confirm this.
Woman: Who is the witness?
Righ: A midwife confirmed he did not carry a knife with him {when he was being born].

[Refers to Amnesty International which condemned Thailand for carrying out the death penalty in a recent case.
This cartoon points out another case in which Thanakrit ‘Wut’ Prakob killed his ex-girlfriend and cut her body into 14 pieces.
The cartoon ridicules Amnesty’s opposition to the death penalty in all cases joking that they would contend Wut should be spared since at one point in his life he was innocent.]

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Another team trapped in the cave

From Thairath, July 5, 2018
Title: There is another team in the cave… waiting for help.
On man at left: Member of Parliament
On man at center: Politician
On woman: Member of Parliament
On man on right: Former Politician
At left in the background: Being stuck with NCPO [the junta]; Moving forward to destroy the political party [referring to new rules that restrict parties]; Section 44 [the articles that allows the junta absolute power]
At right background: Orders of NCPO
The trapped people are saying (from left to right): Please help us out. Please bring us out of here! Please save our lives!

[This compares the plight of the trapped soccer team to the plight of politicians who are banned from political activity by the government. Meanwhile the junta appears to be making alliances with politicians that undercuts political parties.]

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Fight on Wild Boars!!!

From Manager, June 27, 2018
People: Fight on Wild Boars!!!
On people’s t-shirts: Wild Boars
On TV: Tham Luang Nang Non cave
Caption: This year’s World Cup… This is the team which Thais support the most.

[Refers to the Wild Boars soccer team trapped in Tham Luang Nang Non cave. Thai people have been transfixed by the crisis and are rooting for the team to be rescued.]

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Can I be a Shinawatra and escape too?

From Manager, June 26, 2018
Left, former Foreign Affair Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul: Boss… I’m transgendered… changed my family name to Shinawatra… and announced that I am your sister.
Thaksin: Why did you do that?
Right: Because you said you wouldn’t let your sister be jailed even for one second.
Caption: The only way to survive for Ping

[Refers to former Foreign Affair Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul (nicknamed “Ping”) who was sentenced to two years in prison for his actions after the Pheu Thai Party took power in 2011.
One of the first acts of government was the covert reinstating of fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra’s passport.
When this was discovered it left little doubt as to who controlled the government despite claims that Thaksin as not involved in politics.
The cartoonist is pointing out how Shinawatra family members can never be jailed while many of their political henchmen end up languishing in jail.]

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Weekly News Magazines: Lost Boys, July 6-13, 2018

From Matichon Weekly, Jul 2-12, 2018
Main cover picture: Team Spirit
[Refers to boy soccer team trapped in Tham Luang Nang Non cave.]
Top: Phra Khuva Boonchum correctly predicted like he saw with his own eyes that the cave would open and lead 13 people to return home.
[Refers to well-respected local monk Phra Khuva Boonchum (pictured) who visited the Tham Luang Nang Non cave where the soccer team was trapped. He performed religious rites and prayed for those missing. Then he predicted that the lost boys were still alive and would be found soon. Later, the rescue team could found them as he predicted.]

From Siamrath weekly review, Jul 6-12, 2018
Main cover reads: The situation [red] creates the hero.
[Refers to former Chiang Rai governor Narongsak Osotthanakorn (pictured) who was praised by the public for his leadership in leading the mission to rescue the soccer team from Tham Luang Nang Non cave. He had been transferred to another smaller province to manage. This is seen as either punishment for corruption or political payback for his actions in office. In Narongsak’s case, it is believed that Narongsak was demoted to another province for resisting the junta’s plan for a controversial waste burning plant in the province. However, after his time in the spotlight as the lead figure in the rescue operation, many commend him as an example of a good government officer who the public approves of.]

From Manager Weekly, Jul 7-13, 2018
Main cover reads: Commander of Tham Luang Vs [red] Commander of waste plant
[This cover compares two leaders. One is former Chiang Rai governor Narongsak Osotthanakorn (pictured right) who was praised by the public for leading the mission to rescue the lost soccer team. Recently, he was been transferred to another smaller province. It is believed that this was because he because resisted the waste-to-energy plant that was under the supervision of Interior Minister Anupong Paochinda (left).]

Top: Endless contracts “inheritances of ML Moo” [black] support “BTS” to be a “sleeping partner” “Rich man Keeree” complains it is not worth enough for investment. If he can’t bear with it, then he should return the concession. “7-generation contract”
[Refers to the recent delays in Bangkok’s BTS Skytrain owned by Keeree Kanjanapas, causing several delays.
The public seemed dissatisfied with the BTS public relations over the issue which blamed business problems and lack of investments for the problems.
The BTS concession was given during the time of Bangkok governor ML Sukhumbhand “Moo” Paribatra (pictured). Under the concession, BTS would provide a service without any competitors. In the light of the Skytrain delays the public began to compare this monopoly with the increased rider fees of the BTS SKytrain.
In Thai, “สัญญา 7 ชั่วโครต” is an idiom that means endless. An exact translation is “7-generation contract” meaning a very very long period which in the headline is a complaint about the concession the BTS has.]
Bottom left: Super teams
[Refers to the World Cup.]
Right: “Najib Rasak” house raided
[Refers to former Malaysia PM Najib Rasak who is under scrutiny for corruption in Malaysia. Also pictured are Thaksin and Yingluck. Thai-language articles often contrast the impunity of Thai leader with the Najib case where the former Malaysian prime minister has been banned from leaving the country and is now under arrest.]

Posted in Thai Newspapers and Magazines | Leave a comment

Amnesty helps the killer

From Manager, June 20, 2018
Top left: Give me all your possessions!… or… hmm!
Top right: We are the sound of good soul inside you, please don’t do it, please have mercy or you will be punished.
Bottom left: Do it… even if you are being punished I will help you, I will be beside you.
Bottom right: You… are the sound of the bad soul inside me?
Bottom right: No… I am… Amnesty [International].

[This cartoon ridicules the protests of Amnesty International against the recent execution of a person convicted of murder. In Thailand, media coverage of gruesome killings often creates an atmosphere of great public indignation towards crime.
Like the mass extra-judicial killings in 2003, execution remains popular with the public.]

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The most dangerous party

From Manager, June 17, 2018
On the banner in the background: Communist Party of Thailand
Man: They didn’t allow us to establish a party… This party’s policy is more dangerous than ours by ten times. But they allow them to set up the party.

[Refers to the Communist Party of Thailand which was refused by the election commission in its attempts to establish a political party.
In the cartoon, the communist members contend that the Future Forward Party led by Thanathorn Jungrungreangkit (pictured on TV) is more threatening to Thailand than the communists.
This opinion is likely due to the Future Forward Party’s use of Red Shirt rhetoric to describe its leader, the inclusion of many lese majeste opponents in its ranks, and its desire to ditch the junta-written charter.]

Earlier cartoons on the Future Forward Party:
Destroy the charter
Constitution must come from the people
Baby Party
Move to the Jurassic era
Talking to the snake
A politician can get rich

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Thailand normal and 4.0

From Stephff, June 2018

From Stephff, June 2018

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Which MPs to choose?

From Thairath, June 22, 2018
Title: This time is not difficult–only two persons to choose
Sign on the left: MP from the political party who is side by side with the people
Sign on the right: MP from the political party who is side by side with the NCPO [the junta]
On a hand: Return the happiness [the junta’s motto]
Phi Nooring: A clear announcement
Mouse: The future of the country

[Refers to the upcoming election. The cartoonist warns people to choose MPs who are not shackled to promises to return the present junta to power again.]

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The desire for Article 44

From Thairath, June 21, 2018
Left top: Liar
People: The junta must stop using Article 44 because it is a dictatorship’s power!
Caption: Those days they said like this…
Right: Please tell the junta to use Article 44 to end the primary vote for this coming election.
Caption: …today they say different.

[Refers to opposition politicians who used to be against Article 44 as it gives absolute power to the PM. Recently opposition politicians called on the junta to use Article 44 to change the primary voting system as they fear they might not be able to get organized in time to compete properly in the coming election.]

Absolute power is a seductive thing. Most everyone opposes it except for issues they desire quick action on. Below are some past cartoons referencing the desire for absolute power and Article 44:

2017: Everyone wants to use Article 44!
2015: Everyone loves Article 44
2015: Who is bothered by Article 44?
2015: Prayuth: “I cannot use Article 44 to solve every problem” after pressed to solve EU concerns on fishing
2015: We need help from Article 44!
2015: The Withering of Article 44

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Sleeping supporters

From Thairath, June 12, 2018
Title: Supporting group… sleeping group
On bag held by PM Prayuth: Budget of 62 [the year 2019] 3 trillion baht
On the table behind: NLA [National Legislative Assembly, the junta’s legislature]
On shirt at bottom left: Uncle Tu [PM Prayuth] Supporting Group Pracha Rath farmer. FOS
Mouse man, Phi Nooring: People’s tax [The mouse man is artist Sia’s caricature of activist Sombat Boongamanong, whose nickname is Nuling (or “mouse”). He always appears at the edge of Sia’s cartoons, often calling for human rights and reform.]
Mouse: Using without any shame.

[Refers to a photo of a member of the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) sleeping during a session discussing the massive new national budget.
As the NLA is the junta’s rubber-stamp assembly, packed with cronies who get large salaries as well as funds to hire relatives and friends as assistants, the spectacle of fat assembly members napping while momentous budget issues are explained is yet another stain on the junta’s attempt to show they a serious governing force of dedicated, nonpartisan people.
After facing pressure from the public, a group of farmers appeared calling themselves “FOS” or “Friends of Somkid.” These people are farmers who benefited from the junta’s “Prach Rath” policy to improve the plight of farmers which was instituted under Deputy PM Somkid Jatusripitak.]

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All eyes on the PM

From Stephff, June 2018

From Stephff, June 2018

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Thailand’s toxic waste

From Manager, June 11, 2018
Left: Why did your country send this toxic waste to my country?
Right: Because you sent this toxic waste to our country first.

[Refers to the realization that Thailand has become a prime site for dumping toxic waste from electronics. The cartoon jokes that foreigners sent the waste to Thailand in retaliation for the arrival of Thai fugitives such as Thaksin, Yingluck and senior monks Dhammachayo and Phra Phrom Methee who fled Thailand to avoid legal charges.]

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Mediums everywhere

From Thairath, June 7, 2018
Left: Because there are a lot of silly Thai people, those mediums can take advantage of the silly people easily.
Middle left: It’s worthless to tell people to turn the mediums into the police. The police can’t arrest them.
Right: Why?
Right: Because there are a mob who was medium, the politicians also were medium, party leaders were medium and there are someone behind this.

[We do not exactly get the joke of this cartoon. The cartoon refers to medium in Thailand who have a lot of followers. On the right, the cartoon talks about politicians who also are mediums. This may refer to the influential people playing behind-the-scenes role of those who seek to collect and control politicians before the next elections–such as Thaksin and the military junta.]

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Hope

From Stephff, June 2018

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Stephff | 1 Comment

To carry failure home

From Manager, June 7, 2018
Caption: Who said the police chef returned to Thailand with nothing in his hands?

[Refers to Pol. Gen. Chakthip Chaijinda who visited Germany to coordinate with German police to return wanted senior monk Phra Prommedhi back to Thailand.
Phra Prommedhi escaped Thailand to Germany after the court approved a warrant to arrest him on charges of embezzling state funds.
In Thai, the word “truffle” is also a symbol meaning “failure” or “disappointment” and thus the police chief returns to Thailand with his failure to extradite Phra Prommedhi from Germany.
Western powers appear to view the recent monk crackdown as part of the ongoing junta push to dismantle Thaksin-leaning powers in the country. Thus, they see the charges as possibly politically oriented. Thaksin and Yingluck attempted to push this point home with their open travel around the world despite facing many charges in Thailand.]

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Weekly News Magazines: Suriya leaves Phea Thai, June, 2018

From Manager Weekly, June 23-29, 2018
Main cover reads: Jung [red] ‘rungreang’ kit
[Refers to a difference of political opinions in the Jungrungreangkit family. Suriya Jungrungreangkit (left), is a former Pheu Thai member and Thaksin supporter. Recently he announced that he would join the Pracharath Party. This is a new party that will support PM Prayuth in the coming election.
In contrast, his nephew Thanathorn (right) established a new political party named the Future Forward Party that uses Red Shirt rhetoric and vows to rip up the new charter.
The headline uses the word ‘rungreang’ in their family name which means prosperity. It implies that despite the related persons helming different parties, they both are help to support family’s prosperity.]

Top: “Big Tu” [PM Pryuth] visits UK-France with a warm welcome from economic partners to [red] push forward FTA. [black] Eastern Economic Corridor
Bottom left: RIP “Pol. Gen. Wasit Detkunchon” [yellow] The trusty police [white] and a master of crime novel author.
[Refers to a passing away of well-respected senior police officer and author Wasit Detkunchon.]

From Matichon Weekly, June 22-28, 2018
Main cover picture: Digital vs Analog, building a star, but different one
[Another reference to the political split in the Jungrungreangkit family. While Thanathorn (left), has started the Future Forward Party, which is dedicated to removing the military from power and rewriting the charter, Suriya Jungrungreangkit, former Pheu Thai member, announced he was leaving Thaksin’s Pheu Thai Party to join the Pracharath Party which will support PM Prayuth to continue as prime minister.]

Top: Latest roadmap from ‘Prayuth Chan-ocha’ the election will be held after the ‘coronation’
[Refers to PM Prayuth who recently announced that elections have to wait until after the coronation of King Maha Vajiralongkorn. This is still stirring fresh doubt about the timeline of the elections. Presently, it is expected that elections will be held in February 2019.]

From Lokwannee, June 22-28, 2018
Main cover reads: Dictators never die. 86 years after 24 June 1932 [the date of the overthrow of the absolute monarchy], there were 12 coups, tearing the constitution [canceling the constitution] and rewriting 20 constitutions. There were 29 PMs, 16 from elections, 13 military of which 11 came from coups.
[Refers to dictatorship and Thailand’s politics. After the Siamese revolution on 24 June 1932, Thailand faced persistent dictatorship and coups that overthrew elected governments.
This sort of cover is meant to remind the readers that a military government is in power now and voters should make sure it does not continue to be in power.]

From Siamrath Weekly Review, June 22-28, 2018
Main cover reads: Power of [red] 3S
[Refers to three politicians who will be key persons to support PM Prayuth to maintain power after the coming election.
Deputy PM Somkid Jatusripitak (left) is known as the key political strategist for the junta in the coming election.
Influential Pheu Thai party member Suriya Jungrungreangkit (middle) and Somsak Thepsuthin (right), leader of Wang Nam Yom faction, left their parties to join the new party Pracharath Party which will support PM Prayuth to reclaim the premiership after the election.
“3S” comes from the first letter in Somkid, Suriya and Somsak.]

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Finding lottery numbers


From Thairath, June 6, 2018
Left, a Thai: The foreigner does not care when there is an accident on the road…
Middle, a Thai: Thai people like to watch the situation and that makes the bad traffic.
Foreigner: Why?
Right: To watch the number plate to buy a lottery ticket.

[Refers to the Thai tradition of looking for lucky lottery numbers by looking at license plates on cars of famous people, cars involved in accidents or cars that appear on television in some way.]

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Prayuth’s ‘Time’ Moment Deemed Inappropriate For Thailand

Prayuth’s ‘Time’ Moment Deemed Inappropriate For Thailand – Khoasod, June 25, 2018
…At the popular Books Kinokuniya, an employee at its Siam Paragon branch was even more evasive. She said the Bangkok-based supplier has told the shop it would not be sending this week’s magazine.
Asked why it would be censored, the employee replied:
“Please excuse us for not clarifying.” Asked for her name, she said: “Please excuse me for not telling.”

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Washing away past words

From Manager, June 5, 2018
Left: Why is Kamnan crying?
Right: Ooh…
On the wall: “I won’t establish a political party”

[Refers to Suthep Thaugsuban (pictured), one of the leaders of the People’s Democrat Reform Committee (PDRC). Suthep is often nicknamed “Kamnan” which refers to his post of village headman which was one of his first political roles.
After protests by the group led to a coup that overthrew the Pheu Thai-led government, Suthep promised not to return to the politics. This sort of promise is usually made to indicate that the intentions of the protest leader are not to get into political power himself.
However, Suthep broke his promise and joined the Action Coalition of Thailand (ACT) Party.
In the case of Suthep, he cried publicly to indicate the difficult choice to break his promise and reenter politics. These are seen as fake tears and part of his political game often referenced as the Thai proverb “crocodile’s tears” meaning that someone pretends to cry to show others of their difficult situation.
Pictures of Suthep crying as he announced his plan were on all the front pages of newspapers.
This cartoon ridicules Suthep as not really regretting breaking his promise. Instead, he uses his tears to scrub away what he said before about not entering politics.]

More here: Suthep’s Tears: Weekly News Magazines

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Anniversary of the End of the Absolute Monarchy in Thailand

1932: Siam Tries a People’s Party

1932: New Asia dictates the future of the world

Bangkok skyline in 1932

Photos From the Last Days of the Absolute Monarchy in the 1930s

This year: No More Annual ‘Plaque Ceremony’ for 1932 Revolt – Khaosod, June 21, 2018
…The plaque went missing in early April 2017, and the authorities have repeatedly rejected calls to look for it or explain its disappearance…

2004: The first coup and the last absolute king

A rare editorial cartoon from 2012 referencing the date: Elite Red Shirts Bring Back a Royal Figure

Editorial cartoon from 2015: Blocking out June 24

2015: No political activities to mark anniversary, police chief warns
…Supakorn also said both the military and police were explaining to local people they should think of the June 24, 1932 revolt in a positive light and not use it as an excuse to demonstrate because it could disturb law and order.
In a related development, Pongkwan Sawasdipak and few other academics, including Somrit Luechai, symbolicallycleaned the “plaque of democracy” at the Royal Plaza ahead of the anniversary.
“We cannot deny that the 1932 incident was a stepping stone towards the development of democracy in this country,” said political scientist from Thammasat University Pongkwan Sawasdipak…

2015: Activists gather to commemorate 1932 revolution
…The activity started out with activists and political observers arranging flowers for adorning the Memorial Peg of Siamese Revolution of 1932 near King Rama V’s monument to pay tribute to the promoters of Siamese revolution for bringing democracy to the country
…Among the participants were prominent political activists like Phra Maha Praiwan, Sirawit New Serithiwat, and Champ who were arrested last year for reading George Orwell’s 1984…

2015: Govt denies that new flag raising marks the 1932 revolution
…Renu Tunkachivangoon, deputy secretary-general to the prime minister for political affairs, denied that the flag-raising ceremony started at Government House today to mark the 83rd anniversary of the Siam Revolution of June 24, 1932 which brought democracy to the country. She said that the flagpole was just built and tested, so its use normally started today.

2015: ‘Magnificent Seven’ Dao Din students activists show up at Pathumwan station
…During the rally in front of the Pathumwan Police station Wednesday, Rangsiman Rome, read a statement before the police station.
In the statement, he said the seven students refused to acknowledge the charges against them and other student activists.
The seven said they showed up at the station to provide moral support to the group of nine students who are wanted by the Pathumwan police station…

Analysis from 2017: The Missing Marker and Thai Democracy

Posted in June 24, 1932, Today in History | 1 Comment

June 1995: Thaksin takes over the Phalang Dharma Party


(Source: Full page ad in Bangkok Post, June 1, 1995)

June 1995: Thaksin takes over the Phalang Dharma Party

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Bangkok’s Central Park becoming a reality?

Wisarut notes: Even though Makkasan central is likely to be developed as a part of High Speed train connecting 3 Airports, at least the old railway land which have been 3 connecting parks will be combined to form a Giant Chatuchak Park – but Kamphaengphet 3 road behind the existing Chatuchak park has to be closed for good while the contract for Chatuchak Green market willl not be renewed – BTW, The thre parks has the size as follows 1. existing Chatuchak park 155.1415 Rai (24.82264 Hectares) 2. Queen Sirikit park 196.91475 Rai (31.50636 Hectares) 3. Rotfai park 375.79575 Rai (60.12732 Hectares) – the combined Chatuchak park will be 727.852 Rai (116.45632 Hectares) – Twice the size of Lumphini park (360 Rai – 57.6 Hectares) – Bangkok version of Central park indeed!

ปิดถาวร ถ.กำแพงเพชร 3 เชื่อม 3 สวน เป็น ‘อุทยานสวนจตุจักร’ – prachachat.net, June 20, 2018

We first proposed this in 2003: Idea for a Bangkok Central Park

And 10 years later in 2013: Let’s Make Bangkok’s Central Park!

Also: Makkasan Depot

Posted in Thai Railroads | 1 Comment

On a higher plain

From Manager, June 4, 2018
Thaksin, speaking to the monk beside him on the cloud: Do not worry Tummy… Thai police can fly to arrest only just in the world…
On the cloud is Yingluck, Thaksin and Dhammachayo (Tummy), all high-level Thai fugitives who, having escaped Thailand, seem immune to Thai prosecution.
Sign on the cloud: Goddess level
Sign on the lower cloud: World level

[This refers to those of very high level of power and/or wealth. Thaksin, Yingluck and Dhammachayo are of this rank and cannot be touched. Phra Prommathee did not seem to have the influence to escape as others have.
This cartoon’s joke was based on the expectation that Phra Prommathee would be sent back to Thailand from his exile in Germany. However, this did not happen after all.]

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Weekly News Magazines: Tears of Suthep, June, 2018

From Matichon Weekly, June 8-14, 2018
Main cover picture: It’s raining, tears are falling.
[Refers to Suthep Thaugsuban (pictured), one of the leaders of the People’s Democrat Reform Committee (PDRC). After protests by the group led to a coup that overthrew the Pheu Thai-led government, Suthep promised not to return to the politics. This sort of promise is usually made to indicate that the intentions of the protest leader are not to get into political power himself.
However, Suthep broke his promise and joined the Action Coalition of Thailand (ACT) Party.
In the case of Suthep, he cried to indicate the difficult choice to break his promise and reenter politics. These are seen as fake tears and part of his political game often referenced as the Thai proverb “crocodile’s tears” meaning that someone pretends to cry to show others of their difficult situation.
This cover alludes to the times of rain. These times are supposed to make people think that fresh and new things will come after the rain. In the case of Suthep’s rain of tears, what will come is more old-fashioned politics and not something new a fresh.]

Top: Police catching [those] crossing the horizon. ‘Robe is flying’ Block the game to exile in ‘Germany’
[Refers to the attempt of the police to stop the plan to help fugitive senior monk Phra Prommedhi (pictured) from gaining exile in Germany after facing charges of embezzling state funds for temples. “Robe is flying” means the monk is flying to other countries or fleeing.]

From Siamrath Weekly Review, June 8-14, 2018
Main cover reads: Price [white] that has to pay
[Refers to Suthep Thaugsuban (pictured) and his broken promise to not to reenter politics (as explained above). His change of heart has caused some of his supporters to be disappointed.]

From Lokwannee, June 9-15, 2018
Main cover reads: Political drama (allow to be on aired)
Close to the crocodile: Small crocodile’s tears
[Refers to Suthep Thaugsuban who cried during his announcement of to join the Action Coalition of Thailand (ACT) Party (as explained above).
The headline refers to Thai’s proverb “crocodile’s tears” meaning that someone who pretends to cry to show others of their difficult situation. The cover derides Suthep as only a small crocodile.]

From Manager Weekly, June 8-15, 2018
Main cover reads: No one loves it. (crossed out) Reform before the election
[Refers to Suthep Thaugsuban (pictured) who broke his promise not to return to politics (as explained above).
Suthep has strongly supported the junta, but his recent actions seems to be ironic (in the ways Thais would look at it). The junta has said that elections should be postponed until after important reforms are complete, but Suthep launched his new party to compete in a future election and vowed to support PM Prayuth to remain PM. To the writer of the headline, the joke is that even Suthep who always supports the junta to stall elections, he is planning for elections and this would indicate he really cares for electoral power over reform.]

Top: Disclose the network [black] “former Phra Prommedhi” is exiled. From “Seega Jum” in Tongkah to “Dhamakaya” in Germany?
[Refers to senior monk Phra Prommedhi who is now believed to be exiled in Germany after the court approved a warrant to arrest him due to charges of embezzling state funds for temples. Recently, an arrest warrant was issued for five suspects for helping former Phra Prommedhi flee from Thailand to Lao PDR and then on to Germany.
Sasi-orn Jeamwijitkul or Jum, a businesswoman and major shareholder of the mining company Tongkah is one of five suspects. Dhammakaya temple’s branch in Germany is also suspected to be part of this network. In Buddhism, “Siga” is used by a monk to refer to a woman.]
Bottom left: Watch “Anne JKN” [white] Will she be a new major shareholder of Channel 3 replacing [yellow] “Pravit Maleenont”??
[Refers to Jakkaphong “Anne” Jakrajutatip (pictured), an executive of JKN Global Media, who is expected to become a new major shareholder replacing Channel 3 executive Pravit Maleenont.]
Right: “Thai children=guinea pig of educational system” [orange] Open a lecture of “Pee Latte” Kind’s minister
[Refers to an interview with the editor of the popular Thai educational website Dek-D. Manus “Latte” Onsang discusses the new controversial university entrance system, Thai University Center Admission System (TCAS), comparing it with the old systems. The TCAS has been criticized due to giving an advantage to the well-heeled. Also, due to the error in the online system, many students were prevented from studying at the university they prefer.]

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Destroy the charter

From Thairath, May 30, 2018
Title: Come to help for monitoring… hitting the ones who destroy the future
On the Democracy Monument plinth: Constitution’ 60 of the NCPO [the military drafted charter]
On paper held by PM Prayuth: Extending the power
On paper held by head of the Constitution Drafting Committee Meechai: Destroy democracy
On a sign held by a mouse: Future forward

[This shows Thanathorn Juangroongru-angkit and his followers advancing on the military drafted charter to destroy it with sledgehammers. Thanathorn’s party uses the flashlight from mobile phones as a symbol that they will monitor politicians and the junta.
Thanathorn, who calls himself “billionaire Phai” in the style of Red Shirt slang, set up the Future Forward Party and vowed to dump the constitution because it is written for advantage of the junta.
As this cartoonist always reflects Thaksin and Red Shirt ideology, the multiple times Thanathorn has been featured indicates that the Future Forward Party is likely part of Thaksin strategy to maintain political power.]

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Sorry for using excessive force

From Thairath, May 29, 2018

Title: Sorry for the police using excessive force on you.
Phra Buddha Isara: Yes… being in jail for the country.
On the hand: former Phra Buddha Isara
At top right is Dhammachayo: Is there anyone to apologize to me?
On his robe: Dhammakaya
Phi Nooring: Have you apologized to them? [meaning those killed in the 2010 Red Shirt protests]
Mouse: April-May 2553 [the 2010 Red Shirt protests in Bangkok]

[Refers to PM Prayuth Chan-o-cha and Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwon who apologized for the handling of the arrest of Phra Buddha Isara. Phra Buddha Isara was charged with illegal association for his role in the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) protests and also for using royal initials without permission on a series of amulets.
Phra Buddha Isara is a senior monk respected by the Eastern Tigers military group (consisting of PM Prayuth, Deputy PM Prawit and Deputy PM Anupong Paochinda, among others). His participation in protests against the Pheu Thai-led government was instrumental in creating conditions that led to the 2014 coup. His arrest led to many theories about why this military ally was being targeted.
This cartoon calls on the junta to treat other groups equally. For example, the authorities used massive force in their attempt to arrest Dhammakaya’s abbot Dhammachayo. There is also still not accounting for deaths of Red Shirt protesters in Bangkok in 2010.]

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