- Prem Tinsulanonda in Context
- Who came crawling after all?
- I’m with Pom!
- Weekly News Magazines: Coronation, May, 2019
- The best man for the job is…
- Weekly News Magazines: Thanathorn switched off, May, 2019
- To disclose is the Key, To Conceal is the Exemption
- Filling the senate
- What is needed to ruin the Future Forward Party?
- Democracy Just Doesn’t Work
- Don’t help them form a government!
From Manager, June 26, 2019
Left: A coup that overthrow the Thaksin’s regime
Right: A coup that overthrow the regime… [meaning the monarchy]
On the grave: Siamese group 2475
[The cartoonist points to the ironic action of the Future Forward Party led by Thanathron that strongly fights against the military and its coups and extols democracy.
On the other hand, he and his movement laud the coup against the absolute monarchy in 1932 as somehow being a symbol of democracy and people power. Instead, like many small nations around the world that precipitously overthrew historic monarchies, the 1932 coup led to decades of rule by repressive military dictatorships.]
From Thairath, June 25, 2019
Title: Help to disarm
On the hand: NCPO [the junta]
On the gun: Orders which violate people’s rights
Signs from the left: End the orders on violating people’s rights
Signs on the middle: End the orders on violating democracy
On man’s back: People
Sign on the right: End orders limiting media rights
Phi Nooring: Help to be free from the dictator
Mouse: This should be firstly pinned.
On the people’s backs from front-back: Political parties, people, iLAW
[Refers to a call for people to help end the orders issued by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) which are considered to violate people’s rights. These continue on into the new “democratic” era after elections.
Recently, human rights groups led by Internet Law Reform Dialogue (iLaw) has taken the first step on carrying out the activity called “Disarming NCPO” by repealing 35 announcements and orders of the NCPO which violate human rights and democracy.]
From Manager, June 24, 2019
On the cake: Debts from the rice-pledging scheme
Lyric: Competing with the dog to be born… completing with the dog to be born… completing with the dog to be born
Caption: Sing loudly to reach London. [where Yingluck lives in exile]
[Refers to former PM Yingluck’s birthday on June 21. The song uses lyrics from a Thai birthday song. This changing of the lyrics is meant as an insult to mean one is equal to a dog in the value of their life.
It is meant to mock the Pheu Thai’s populist rice-pledging scheme, steeped in corruption and economically not viable, created only to cement government popularity to enable a pardon for Thaksin.]
From Newna, June 20, 2019
Title: Trail running is not as fun as the relay race of Article 44.
On club: Article 44
On the left: ISOC
On the right: NCPO
[Refers to the Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) that will take over the functions on the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO, the junta) which ends with the formation of the cabinet. This has raised concern that the ISOC seems to be a proxy of the NCPO which controls of security on the country and will continue its absolute power symbolized by Article 44.]
The desire for Article 44
Everyone loves Article 44
From Manager, June 20, 2019
Left: Lenin: If you will teach your daughter to be the real communist… you must warn her a little bit…
Pannika’s dad: About insulting the royal family?
Right: Lenin: No!… About her costumes… Communists won’t wear a designed dress… with a price more than ten thousand!!!
[Refers to Future Forward Party’s spokesperson Pannika and her family. The party is derived from the Nitirat group, academics willing to question the role of the monarchy in Thai society and openly oppose lese majeste laws. While many in society might agree that open discussion of these topics is warranted, the movement seemed to exist in tandem with the Red Shirts, perhaps being a component of the pressure Thaksin wished to place on those who tried to sideline him. In any event, pressing these points at the twilight of the reign of Rama IX was a clearly provocative act.
Recently photos circulated of Pannika’s father allegedly wearing a communist-style hat with a red star. On top of other recent controversies surrounding her, critics have taken to demonizing her as a revolutionary.
In the cartoon Lenin jokes that she is not a real communist, because the inappropriate dress that she wore to parliament was a designer dress a real communist would never wear.]
From Naewna, June 19, 2019
Jatuporn: Rust comes from the inside. Only after one month, you can see a crack from Prayuth’s administration.
Caption: Please wait a little bit. Don’t be blown up [upset], bosses.
[Refers to Red Shirt leader Jatuporn who seemed to show his support for the junta after being released from jail. Later Jatuporn criticized PM Prayuth and his coalition parties for their allocation of the ministerial positions. The cartoonist seems to be saying the Red Shirt movement that supports Thaksin and Yingluck are as fractured as the government coalition.]
From Manager, June 18, 2019
Left: Shepherd’s kids
Right: Uncle tends…
Caption: I get sick of… whom I should support? [meaning the cartoonist himself is sick of both sides]
[This cartoon is the perfect evocation of the image of democracy in Thailand.
It references the political situation between the Future Forward Party led Thanathorn and the party’s spokesperson Pannika and the government led by PM Prayuth and his coalition parties.
The Future Forward Party has been criticized for trying to get attention from their supporters and the media with dire proclamations about justice and rolling back military rule. Their simple message of getting the military out of politics is also a willful misreading of the junta’s motivations. The military’s actions are motivated by the desire to freeze Thaksin out of power. The cartoonist compares this to the Aesop’s fable “The Shepherd Boy and the Wolf.”
Thanathorn and Pannika have also been attacked for bad behavior and rule breaking, but their public comportment is always civil.
On the other hand, PM Prayuth and the military, in their self-described mission of being good people who can administer the country better than venal politicians, has put together a support base including the most old-fashioned and rapacious politicians. In the cartoon they are insultingly described as water monitors.
No Thai thinks that the bickering over governmental posts is an attempt to do a good job for the people, but instead knows it is a fight for political spoils which will give the parties that hold the posts an opportunity to pay themselves back for their campaign expenses and to wield influence. Even those who support the military’s move to block Thaksin’s return must feel that the Prayuth hardly deserves to rule based on his performance.
Thus it is no surprise the cartoonist does not know who to support.]
From Lokwannee, June 28-July 5, 2019 Main cover reads: [No headline news]
[This cover expresses hopeless on a double-standard of the government and its alliance on attacking their opponents. The government can express anything and attack opponents though various legal cases. the opposition receives unfair treatment compared to government allies who face the same cases.
The government here is insultingly represented as a water monitor and shown to be the heaviest and most powerful force in the country.]
From Manager Weekly, June 28-July 5, 2019
Main cover reads: —like a porridge.
[Refers to Former Immigration Bureau chief Police Lt. General Surachate. Hakparn, known as “Big Joke,” was once a prominent rising star in the police force, but was suddenly transferred to the Royal Thai Police Operations Center.
Recently, there is a rumor that Joke would return to his high-ranking position again. The government dismissed this news.
In Thai, “porridge” can be called “joke.” This cover uses Surachate’s nickname “Joke” with the Thai proverb “being mushy like a porridge” meaning “extremely pained.” Thus Col. Joke is extremely pained by his mysterious political transfer with no public comment even on why it was done.
This sort of transfer emphasizes to all Thais how government positions–positions of real power–are not gained and held on merit, but through back-door deals and bribes.
The positions themselves do not function to carry out the tasks they are designed to do, but exist as bargaining chips to placate connected individuals or as power plays to accomplish an unrelated end (such as the imperative for a Thaksin relative head the police department when one of his parties is in power).]
Top: Clearing all queries [black] “double standard of holding media shares” The difference between “Thanathorn” vs 32 MPs
[Refers to a comparison between the case of Thanthorn (right) and 32 MPs including Nataphol (left) and Korn (middle), all accused of owning media companies while running for office. The article explains the differences between the cases. The Future Forward Party is trying to put pressure on the courts with the disclosure of the “double-standard treatment” when dealing with accused government MPs.]
Bottom left: “Aoffy Maxim” [white] from a beer girl to no. 1 model and drama queen!!!
[Refers to Orapan Dansiriwttanakun known as Aoffy Maxim. Recently, she was accused of having an affair as well as cheating on donations raised for helping a sick girl. This has raised the profile of a once obscure “pretty” to that of a top gossip star.]
Right: “Wrists,” dead spots of golfer “Michelle Wie” “How long until she will be strong enough to return?”
[Refers to professional golfer Michelle Wie who is facing health problems, particularly her wrists.]
From Matichon Weekly, June 27-July 4, 2019
Main cover reads: Magicalism
[We are not sure if this is the best translation. This is a new word frequently used by Matichon to explain the “magic laws” which the government uses to help its allies escape charges. On the cover is Deputy PM Wisanu, a key legal expert in the government.]
Left: New blood “Thailand” “Big Dang” builds “new generation of ROTCS” in parallel with followers of “Fah loves dad”
[Refers to the military led by army chief Apirat Kongsompong known as “Big Dang.” A new training program has been started called the Reserve Officer Training Cops student (ROTCS). Under this program, students do not have to cut their hair in a military-style haircut. The new program is believed to be intended to attract a new generation to support the military in competing with those who support the Future Forward Party and its fight against the junta.
The party’s incredible success in the polls, its roots in the Nitirat group, and its hostility to the junta’s attempts to block Thaksin and his Pheu Thai from returning to power have the military scrambling to make sure the Future Forward Party does not become even more of a societal phenomenon.
Future Forward Party supporters use the phrase “Fah loves Dad” to express their love of the party head Thanathorn. This phrase comes from a popular TV drama where a starry eyed young girl named Fah begins a romance with a much older man. To hide their affair she calls him “dad” and expresses her love with “Fah loves Dad.”]
From Manager Weekly, June 15-21, 2019
Main cover reads: E ‘Chor’ orange guard
[Refers to the Future Forward Party’s spokeswoman Pannika ‘Chor’ Wanich who has been under fire due to her Facebook photos showing her allegedly making gestures at a portrait of Rama IX. Her actions and attitude toward the royal family caused concern from conservative groups that she and her party may be like China’s Red Guard. Thus, this cover shows her as part of the “Orange Guard”–orange being the color of the Future Forward Party. Placing ‘E’ before her name is an insult.]
Top: Disclose the mystery of “Pneumothorax” through a case of [pink] “Numtarn” The Star
[Refers to the unknown cause of an illness that led to the death of actress and singer from the TV program “The Star,” Butsaran ‘Numtarn’ Thongchio.]
Bottom left: “Mike Tyson” proudly presents [yellow] a premium “marijuana” business serving luxury resorts.
[Refers to former boxer Mike Tyson’s new marijuana business.]
Right: Beauty-smart “Best” Somrak’s daughter. Struggling YouTuber with an income more than hundred thousand.
[Refers to Rakwanee “Best” Khamsing, daughter of famous boxer Somrak. She become a YouTuber and thanks to her channel’s popularity she helped support her family come back from bankruptcy.]
From Lokwannee, June 14-21, 2019
Main cover reads: This Chor… is very stinky.
[This covers shows the junta-dominated new government portrayed as a dinosaur to represent its old-fashioned thinking and actions.
In Thai, “Chor” means “bouquet” as well as being the nickname of MP Pannika who has been accused of disrespect for her mourning outfit in parliament as well as for photos she posted on Facebook. On the bouquet is the symbol of the Future Forward Party.
This cover appears ridicules the government for its criticism of Future Forward Party leaders such as Pannika and treating the party as something undesirable. The cartoonist contends that the government itself is undesirable and a big mess–represented here by the droppings the dinosaur leaves.]
From Matichon Weekly, June 14-20, 2019
Main cover reads: Future is now.
[This refers to Future Forward Party MP Pannika’s recent controversial incidents such as her two-tone outfit during Prem’s mourning period and photos she had posted on her Facebook account.
One can see these things as accidental or minor incidents whipped up to create bad publicity, but another view is that it is a purposeful challenge being made over issues related to the future of society, such as the modern role of the royal family or the military’s influence in politics.
So the cover is saying that we do not need to wait for the future to address these issues because they are being brought to the forefront of society in the controversy facing Pannika as well as in the Future Forward Party itself.]
Top: “Promise” 2 terms. PM “Tu” 29th leader. Change his character to be more soft and less aggressive.
[Refers to PM Prayuth “Tu” Chan-ocha who extended his second term as the 29th Prime Minister. For his second term, PM Prayuth promises to change his very aggressive and combative style.]
From Manager, June 11, 2019
Left: The IO of the NCPO spread this picture to attack me!
Caption: Nang Chor [Calling a woman “Nang” is very impolite. It is the opposite of “Khun” meaning “sir/madam.”]
Right: It is not the IO of the NCPO [that spread the photo]?!! I myself spread this picture on Facebook.
Caption: Khun Chor
[Refers the Future Forward Party’s spokeswoman Pannika “Chor” Wanich.
She recently came to public notice for wearing a two-tone outfit to parliament instead of the customary black required for the death of Privy Council President Prem. Critics felt this was a sly Red Shirt-like show of disrespect for Prem.
Then the allegedly rude photo from her Facebook account was widely distributed and criticized. It showed her gesturing towards a photo of King Rama IX.
Pannika initially explained the photo in a frank and open manner saying that it was taken in 2010 in an atmosphere where politically motivated lese majeste allegations were common and her actions reflected the “tragedy of Thai politics.”
After Thaksin’s ouster in 2006 and in the subsequent ramping up of the Red Shirt movement, instances of politically motivated lese majeste were committed as part of the pushback against military rule. As the years passed, many other false or border-line accusations were whipped up against critics of the military.
However, Pannika’s photo, brought to light so many year after the fact, was seen by many as a minor instance of youthful rebellion and another example of the junta trying to destroy the Future Forward Party.
Pannika alleged that the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO)’s Information Operation (IO) was behind the controversy, setting her up by spreading the photo. Others pointed out that Pannika herself posted the photo on her Facebook account and that after she appeared in the controversial two-tone in parliament it was only a matter of time before critics would try to dig up other controversial examples of her behavior.]
From Manager, June 11, 2019
Vulture: Hurry up, we have to finish eating very quickly… before people will stop focusing on E-Chor… and turn to us!
On the buffalo: Positions [in government]
[Refers to the intense and continuing competition among coalition parties for the positions in the government.
The cartoonist ridicules the politician’s actions with Thai proverb “vultures fiercely eating a dead body.”
While the ongoing bickering has certainly impacted the government’s popularity (and the already poor reputation of democracy in Thailand), the cartoonist contends that the public is focusing on the witchhunt surrounding Future Forward Party’s spokeswoman Pannika Wanich who has been under fire for inappropriate attire in parliament and for allegedly disrespectful photos from her Facebook account.]
From Thairath, June 3, 2019
Chai: Life is a journey. To get off at some stations does not mean to end the journey.
It is just a separation to find another way in the big world. It may be lonely but challenging.
Phuyai Ma and his friends in Thung Ma Meon village would like to say goodbye and will not forget all the gratitude received from all of you.
Good for now, but not forever.
At right Phuyai Ma: …Goodbye. If you have a chance, we will meet each other again… [lyrics from a famous song]
On the sign: Bangkok
[Refers to famous political cartoonist Chai Ratchwat who recently decided to stop his long-time political cartoon titled “Phuyai Ma Kap Thung Ma Moen” which was published in Thairath.
“Phuayi” is a position equivalent to the head of the village.]
From Manager, June 6, 2019
Caption: Principles… distinguish a human from a cockroach.
[Refers to former Democrat Party leader Abhisit who resigned as an MP rather than have to break his party’s pledge and support junta chief Prayuth to remain as prime minister.
The Democrat Party has been derided as a party of cockroaches as the party has been able to survive in every political climate often taking advantage of the misfortunes of other political groupings.
The cartoonist lauds Abhisit for sticking to his pledge while the rest of the party members rush to support the junta.]
From Thairath, June 5, 2019
Title: Cruel power helps support the illegal power [meaning beatings of anti-military activists is used to keep the military in power]
On the man’s shirt who is being beaten: Ja New [an anti-junta activist]
Officer at left: He [Ja New] is not afraid of being charged [for his political activity], so go ahead and hit him on the head… [the officer’s face is hidden to indicate that the authorities are conspiring to levy false charges at anti-military activists; the officer says that since they cannot intimidate Ja New with charges they will have to physically attack him]
On the paper held by him: Giving charges to be jailed
Papers on the floor: [left] Political activist. Democracy [right] Call the senators to stop voting for the PM. Justice.
Phi Nooring: It’s considered as the world’s brutal city.
Mouse: Followers of the dictator.
[Refers to political activist Sirawith Seritiwat (known as Ja New) who was attacked by unknown persons in a probable case of political intimidation.
He and other campaigners called on appointed senators not to vote for Prayuth as the next prime minister. Anti-junta groups believe that the military is behind acttacks on political activists.]
From Thairath, June 12, 2019
Title: Give muzzles to each of them.
Left: Negotiate for seats for benefits [meaning parties are trying to get important positions in government to benefit themselves and their cronies]
Right: Compete for positions for their groups
Phi Nooring: Our seats, no one can steal [meaning that the prospective ministers are greedy and want important government positions]
Mouse: Facebook war.
[Refers to the coalition parties which are fiercely competing and negotiating for the positions in the new governments. Many of them have used social media as a tool to fight each other.]
From Manager June 4, 2019
Title: Napoleon pig… is in every era.
Left to right showing Thaksin. Prayuth, and Thanathorn: Past; Present; Future
[Refers to George Orwell’s famous book ‘Animal Farm’ which PM Prayuth suggested for people to read in order to understand the Thai political situation.
In the story, Napoleon is the more-equal-then-others pig who emerges as the leader of all animals after a rebellion.
The cartoonist contends that when a person from either the elections or a coup has power, they can be become dictator using all their means to protect their power. He suggests that no only did Thaksin and Prayuth become dictators, but that Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn with his bold promises of “Stopping, Cleansing, Destroying” will be the dictator of the future.
On the right, Thanathorn uses the three finger salute which comes from the “Hunger Games” films.]
From Manager, May 29, 2019
PM Prayuth: Tomorrow, I will send my matchmaker to send a tray of gifts to you.
Caption: Almost about to give birth, and only then just making a marriage proposal.
[Refers the attempt of the pro-junta party Palang Pracharath to form a coalition government. Only a few days before the voting for PM, the Palang Pracharath party’s representatives visited the kingmaker parties–the Bhumjaithai Party led by Anuthin [here depicted as pregnant] and the Democrat Party to invite them to join their coalition government and vote for PM Prayuth to remain PM. The ridicules the venal, last-minute negotiation between the coalition partners in the last minutes before voting.]
From Thairath, May 28, 2019
Title: An honored job for a person who trusts in the parliamentary system. [this is a sarcastic dig at Chuan Leepai rolling out a carpet for the junta chief to remain in power]
On the chair: PM who continues in power
Democrat leader Abhisit as the hooded figure of death: We want to break our promise for the country.
[Refers to House Speaker Chuan Leekpai from the Democrat Party. He took the post of house speaker which will be critical in maintaining control of the body and smooth the way for the military to maintain control of politics.
This cartoon ridicules the Democrat Party for breaking their promise by joining the pro-junta party Palang Pracharath Party to form the government.
At the bottom left is a tribute to Privy Council president and statesman Gen. Prem Tinsulanonda.]
From Manager, May 28, 2019
Title: “I’m enough.” [meaning something like “I’m done (with the job)” or “my task is complete.”]
[Refers to Gen Prem Tinsulanonda, the Privy Council president and statesman who died of heart failure at the age of 98. He was closely linked to the military and monarchy, a trusted advisor to the late King Bhumipol and a symbol of Thailand’s hybrid system of “guided democracy.” His last work was to ensure a smooth power transfer from the previous king to the current one.
He passed away after the new King’s coronation in early May seeming to signal that his life’s work was complete.]
From Thairath, May 29, 2019
Left: R.I.P. A good man of the country.
Right: Gen. Prem Tinsulanonda. B.E.2463-2562
On a sign held by a mouse: Forgiveness
[Another tribute to Privy Council president and statesman Gen Prem Tinsulanonda. According to Buddhist teaching, people need to forgive other in order to dismiss anger and resentment. Thais say “forgiveness” to someone who passes away in order to end all the bad things both parties did to each other in past.
In this case the cartoonist is pro-Thaksin/pro-Red Shirt and has long blamed Prem for Thaksin’s ouster, thus the necessity to forgive and forget.]
Also: Prem Tinsulanonda in Context
From Manager, May 23, 2019
Wan: Do you know who I am the son of?
Monkolkit: Then, do you know… where I graduated?
Caption: Finally Wan can find the same-level MP
[Refers to the Pheu Thai party’s MP Wan Ubumrung (left), son of former Deputy PM Chalerm Ubumrung. He is known with his aggressive and bullying character. (Many, many more references to the colorful Ubumrung family are here.)
In the cartoon he uses the saying his younger brother made famous and which was used when picking fights with others.
On the right is the Thai Civilized Party’s leader Mongkolkit Suksin-tharanon whose party was one of the micro-parties supporting Palang Pracharath to form the government.
Like Wan Ubumrung, Mongkolkit is an aggressive and show-off personality and got in trouble after he gave a media interview in which he said his former school was plagued by drugs and hooligans. Many alumni protested and demanded an apology from him as his interview damaged school’s reputation.]
From Thairath, May 20, 2019
On Thanos’ back: PPRP [the pro-junta party]
On his hand: Succeed the power [meaning the junta is continuing their hold on power via this party]
On Hulk’s chest: Dissolve the party [referring the Pheu Thai calls for the PPRP to be disbanded]
On Captain America’s shield: Samut Prakan
On Iron Man’s chest: Reuangkrai
Above his hand: Violate election law
[In the cartoon, the Avengers are Pheu Thai Party members such as Reuangkrai and Prasert (known as Dr. Jo) who is a member of parliament from Samut Prakarn province.
This illustrates the Pheu Thai Party’s attempt to strike back at the junta with charges that call for the voiding of the election or the disbanding of the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) over alleged election law violations.]
From Manager Weekly, June 1-7, 2019
Main cover reads: Long Live the Queen. [Refers to the celebration of Her Majesty Queen Suthida’s birthday on June 3. His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn named her as his Queen on May 1.]
Bottom left: “Our duty in life is to repay the motherland.” Well-respected Privy Council “Pa Prem”
[Refers to Gen Prem Tinsulanonda, the Privy Council president and statesman, who passed away due to heart failure on May 26 at the age of 98. The quote is a famous saying by Prem.]
Middle: Democrat-Palang Pracharath Count down for the end.
[Refers to the formation of a coalition led by pro-junta party Palang Pracharath to form the government. The Democrat Party disappointed its supporters after breaking its promise not to join the pro-junta groups.]
From Matichon Weekly, June 1-6, 2019
[Image celebrating Her Majesty Queen Suthida’s birthday on June 3.]
From Lokwannee, June 1-7, 2019
Main cover reads: When it comes to breeding season
Left: Keep raising the price. They really want it. No matter what, they will accept it.
[Refers to two king-maker parties Bhumjaithai and the Democrats. The cover ridicules the bargaining that is going on as these two minor parties that failed in the elections by winning very few seats are now able to drive hard bargains with the junta to join their coalition. The cover imagines the parties as prostitutes that must be paid for their services.]
From Manager, May 20, 2019
Reporters: Mrs. Somporn… We want to know the name of person from the Palang Pracharath Party who called you to attract 20 MPs. Please disclose the name.
Caption: This time, a son gets his mom in trouble.
[Refers to the Future Forward Party’s leader Thanathorn who is under intense pressure over charges that appear to disqualify him from office.
In an attempt to hit back at the junta, he disclosed in front of the media that someone from the Palang Pracharath Party called his mother Somporn asking for 20 MPs from his anti-junta party to support the Palang Pracharath in forming a government with the junta.
However, subsequent inquiries into this claim seemed to indicate it was a spur-of-the-moment quip made under pressure and that there was no evidence to support it.]
From Matichon Weekly, May 17-23, 2019
Title: Put in a basket and wash
On the arm: Palang Pracharath [the pro-junta party]
[Refers to Thai proverb “put in the basket and wash” meaning to clean up something dirty to become fresh or new.
This cartoon implies that PM Prayuth is being changed from an outright dictator to a democratically elected leader through the new government led by the Palang Pracharath.]
From Manager, May 16, 2019
Title: Friends of Chok must step to the left.
On the men’s backs: I’m a friend of Pom. [nickname of Deputy PM Prawit]
On the sign above the entrance door: Place for 250 senators to report
[Refers to the 250 appointed senators–a third of which who are directly linked to the military and police. This appointed senate will vote with elected MPs to choose the PM thus muting the impact of populist candidates.
The cartoon jokes about the case of a man who violated the law. He threatened the police by saying he was a friend of “Mr. Chok” who was a head of the police in that area.
However, Mr. Chok is a very minor ally next to the ally of the appointed senators. Many of them have close ties with the junta–particularly with Deputy PM Prawit.
“Must step to the left” is an idiom meaning to surrender to others. So, one must step aside to let other moves pass. In this case the “friends of Chok” must give way for the “friends of Pom” (meaning Deputy PM Prawit).]
From Thairath, May 15, 2019
Title: Whoever please help paddle the boat [meaning that the junta is inviting any party who is willing to join the government]
On the gangsters’ shirts, left to right: Cheat on investigation [referring to cases that are impacting the anti-junta Future Forward Party]; Cheat on the vote [refers to allegations of voting irregularities]; Cheat on the power [refers to the military that seized power in a coup]
On two men’s shirts on the dock: MPs; Political parties
Phi Nooring: Overthrow the boat? [the boat is common canal boat which can easily be swamped in rough waters]
Mouse: Know which is good and bad.
[Refers to the junta and his party allies which are trying to form a government. This cartoon warns the politicians and political parties not to support those groups who trying to take advantage of the power of the ruling junta to be part of government.]
Some Orwellian English from the header of the OIC website: To disclose is the Key, To Conceal is the Exemption
From Manager, May 15, 2019
On the sign: Democrat party
Caption: Look inside this party and only this man is… suitable
[Refers to the election of the Democrat Party’s new leader. This cartoon shows the party’s respectable and powerful member Korn Chatikavanij standing in the middle. Unfortunately, he failed in the election to Jurin Laksanavisit.]
From Manager Weekly, May 25-31, 2019
Main cover reads: It’s not done yet, sir.
[Refers to the two kingmakers parties–the Democrats led by new leader Jurin (left) and the Bhumjaithai party led by Anutin (right).
Although the Palang Pracharath party should be able to form a government with the help of these two parties through the support of former veteran politician Newin (middle), the future of this government is still unstable.
There are many issues, especially the allocation of the government positions to ensure support for PM Prayuth to be the PM again.]
Top: “Tycoon Eak” Money lender “darkness future” [orange] The Court accepts the “media shareholding case” causing a stop of being “MP.” Watch out for the “mob” #StandWithThanathorn
[Refers to the Future Forward Party’s leader Thanathorn who has been suspended his MP position after the court accepted his media shareholding allegation. He also may face another charge of giving a loan to his party which violates the Political Party Act.
The headline notes that his supporters who use the hashtag ”#StandWithThanathorn may come out an protest this sidelining of Thanathorn. Thanathorn’s nickname is “Eak.”]
Bottom Left: “Cannes” Everyone can go.
[Refers to the Cannes film festival. There was a controversial case on who can really attend this event as many Thai actresses and celebrities recently attended.]
Bottom right: Wash up the brutal sport MMA boxing to “Olympic”
[Refers to an attempt to push mixed martial arts to become part of the Olympic Games.]
From Lokwannee, May 24-31, 2019
Main cover reads: Stop crowding the sails for the pirate.
[Refers to an attempt to form the government by pro-junta party Palang Pracharath. This cartoon makes fun of the compromises the junta has to make to get the support of the Bhumjaithai Party and the Democrat Party, including embracing Bhumjaithai’s proposal to legalize marijuana. The Democrat Party symbol is on the top sail.
This pro-Thaksin/pro-Red Shirt publication calls the new government a pirate since it is preventing the Pheu Thai–which won more MP seats–from forming a government.]
From Matichon Weekly, May 24-30, 2019
Main cover reads: Turn off the switch, but still “lighten”
[Refers to the Future Forward Party’s leader Thanathorn who has been suspended from being a MP due to allegations of holding the media shares while a candidate. The headline means that Thanathorn announced he would work outside of parliament to help the people who vote for him despite being barred from being an MP.]
Top: Keep fingers crossed for a miracle. Keep an eye on the Democrat Party with a dilemma either to rebuild the party or decline.
[Refers to the situation of the Democrat Party under new leader Jurin Laksanavisit (pictured). After its historic election defeat, many predicted that the Democrats were finished as a party. However, the Democrats ended up a critical kingmaker in the new government indicating predictions of their demise might be premature.]
From Naewna, May 13, 2019
Crocodile: Don’t worry, sir. I’m not hungry now.
On his back: Government with above-water level seats
Caption: Can either float or drown
[Refers to the Palang Pracharath and its coalition parties which wish to form a government and support Prayuth to cintinue to be the PM. This cartoon points out that the coalition will be unstable and that the junta will have give up a lot to its coalition partners for the government to remain intact.]
As many predicted, the Democrats went back on Abhisit’s pledge never to join with the present junta in a government. Abhisit’s pledge was essentially a guarantee that the Democrats would be in the opposition since they also refused to join a Phea Thai pro-Thaksin alliance.
We are reminded of the above cartoon from early last year that predicted that the junta and Democrats would have to become allies sooner or later.
Post-election media reports largely advised that the poor showing of the Democrats indicated their irrelevance as a party. However, the Democrats ended up being the critical kingmakers (along with the Bhumjaithai) in deciding whether pro-Thaksin or pro-military parties would rule the country.
From the plumb cabinet posts the Democrats (as well as the Bhumjaithai) are rumored to have secured for themselves, it seems it was junta who had to crawl to ensure continued control of the country and shut Thaksin out of power.