Jul 21st, 2017

The big traditional Thai dramatic performance of politicians

From Thairath, July 1, 2017
Title: The big traditional Thai dramatic performance of politicians
Below right on chair: The high society of politics
On the soldier’s shirt: Return happiness [the junta’s logo]
On the paper on the right: Road map [referring to the junta’s plan for elections]
On suit of man center bottom: NLA [National Legislative Assembly, the junta’s parliament]
On the sword he holds in his left hand: The law of destroying [meaning the NLA’s laws are meant to destroy politicians]
On the suit of the man the sword is pointing at: Politician
On the sword he holds in his right hand: endless NCPO [National Council for Peace and Order, the ruling junta; this means that the junta is not handing back power]
On suit of man at top right: NRSA [National Reform Steering Assembly]
On his sword: Continue [this refers to the long-term plan the junta is putting into place that elected politicians will be required to follow]
Man top center is constitution drafter Meechai. On his suit: CDC [Constitution Drafting Committee]
On the sword in his left hand: Empowering
On the sword in his right hand, stabbing the man: Set zero
On the man being stabbed: ECT [Election Commission of Thailand; this refers to the removal of the Election Commission members so they can be replaced with members more loyal to junta goals]
Mouse man: Deceive people these days.
Mouse: Serve with all their hearts. [mocking the junta’s pledges to work hard for the good of the country]

[The cartoonist attempts to show that the apparently sincere and very busy activity of various junta-appointed groupings is merely a show coordinated by the military according to their script.]

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You will follow the junta’s plan for 20 years!

From Thairath, June 30, 2017
Title: It’s very easy to cover
Frog: We are present.
People under the soldier’s hat: We are the future.
On the helmet: National strategy for 20 years.
On the sleeves and hands: Happy; Class; Elite [meaning the elite are attempting to force people to say they are happy]
Phi Nooring: Thai people are obedient and patient.
Mouse: No one resists.

[This is sarcastic to Thai people who are pro-junta. A flog under the coconut shell is a Thai proverb referring to a person who is in a narrow world but believe he/she is in the wide world who know everything. The anti-junta group likes to compare an opposite group as a frog under a coconut shell. While the pro-junta praises for the recent National Strategy but the anti-junta group think that this strategy will be a tool for maintaining the junta’s power over the elected government.]

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Junta reforms on life support

From Naewna, June 30, 2017
On the corpse: Thailand 4.0
Corpse: Are you sure Doctor, that you can make me revive?
PM Prayuth holding heart defibrillator paddles: The hundred-thousand million project; developing the country

[The cartoon contends that the junta’s high aspirations are practically dead after its approval for Chinese interests to develop infrastructure in Thailand without adhering to Thai law.
Such a situation has elicited howls of protest from those who recall the junta’s promises of restoring and reforming the adherence to rules and regulations.
The secretive deal-making of the junta–quickly given the the ok by the junta’s own hand-picked bodies–instead smacks of business as usually for Thai politics.]

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Giving up on the Red Shirts

From Manager, June 29, 2017
Yingluck holds a sign that reads: 6 million already. [meaning she has 6 million likes of Facebook]
Red Shirt leader Jatuporn: Oh!… Khun Poo has used the Facebook “like” mob instead of ours!!!
On the left: Water support tube [this symbolizes the flow of money to someone of some organization; here it specifically refers to the money Thaksin pays to the Red Shirt leaders for running the movement and following his orders]
Man with glasses: That is why… the water has stopped for years.
Caption: New mob of Poo

[This cartoon demonstrates a new reality that appears to be emerging. This is a shift by Thaksin away from relying on the Red Shirts in favor of the power of social media to mobilize support.
The Red Shirt movement has been diminished by the historical perspective of their activities as the years pass. Their threats and use of arson, the political opportunism of their activities, and anti-monarchy rhetoric means conventional politicians are hesitant to be too closely associated with them.
Pheu Thai politicians, dealing with the new political reality of military domination after the next elections, will likely be wary of aligning themselves with a movement seen as a political front for the Shinawatra family.
Foes of the junta have refused to fold their discontent into Thaksin’s Red Shirt movement, but instead have successfully mobilized support online–free of the political Red Shirt baggage.
Even the Shinawatra family seems to be following this lead, with former PM Yingluck amassing a huge following online. As she was popular across the political spectrum when PM and is likely being perceived as being treated unfairly–even by some Thaksin foes–creating a support base outside the Red Shirts allows for people to sympathize with her even if they reject the tactics and ideology of the Red Shirts.
The cartoonist contends that this means that the necessity for Thaksin to fund, and thus control, the movement has diminished.]

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All About Yingluck and Thaksin: Weekly News Magazines, July 2017

From Manager Weekly, July 1-7, 2017
Main cover reads: Don’t buy it.
[Refers to the rumor about former PM Thanksin Shinawatra would take over BEC World Plc., the operator of Channel 3 TV. However, BEC executives denied this. The rumor was started after former executives of the AIS, founded by Thaksin, began working with the BEC world.
Thaksin’s time as prime minister was noted for his attempts to buy up and thus control media that might be critical of his rule.]
Top: Big Pom’s younger brother, Big Dong’s relatives in the ‘alternative energy business’ use Article 44 proving their ways
The men from left to right: former Gen. Nipon Sitabutr, Mr. Sithawat Wongsuwan, former police chief Pol Gen. Patcharawat Wongsuwan
[Refers to men who have close ties with the junta who became executive board members of many alternative energy companies. Recently the junta has used Article 44 to allow the companies related to alternative energy development to use land in a land reform area. Former Gen. Nipon is a relative of Deputy Defense Minister Udomdej Sitabutr while Mr. Sithawat and former police chief Pol Gen. Patcharawat are younger brothers of Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan.]
Bottom left: The governor race is too small. Maybe the dream of [orange] ‘Madam Pang’ is far more than that.
[Refers to former manager of national women soccer team Nualphan Lamsam’s future in politics after there is a rumor that she plans to contest the Bangkok governor election or join the same team with former ASEAN Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan to compete in the race. However, due to her popularity, some people think she may dream to return to the politics and become a government minister in the future.]
Bottom right: “It will be getting better.” Stop drinking to help liver.
[Refers to a health column about the campaign from the Thai Health Promotion Foundation to encourage people to stop drinking during Buddhist Lent day]

From Matichon Weekly, June 2-8, 2017
Main cover reads: 21 June Crying
[Refers to former PM Yingluck Shinawatra who celebrated her birthday on 21 June. Surrounded by her supporters, Yingluck was crying while she was wishing on her birthday that the junta will treat her fairly. She is facing charges over her government’s rice-pledging scheme. Her on-camera crying was widely discussed in the Thai world with critics claiming she was simply playing to the public for sympathy.]

Top: ‘Rip out’ [meaning something like] the unclear line of a [white] ‘sexy’ [yellow] of 3 famous models [white] Cherry-Mookies-Argie
[The women from left to right are Mookies-Argie-Cherry–three sexy internet idols who are now very popular.
“Rip out” meaning something like to “bring out” to delineate or judge between the sexiness of the girls. “Unclear line” means it is not certain which is the sexiest.]

From Siamrath Weekly Review, June 30-July 6, 2017
Main cover reads: Drama of [white] politics
Woman in cover: Former PM Yingluck Shinawatra
[Refers to former PM Yingluck Shinawatra who celebrated her birthday on June 21. She cried as she wished for fairness from the junta over her court cases related to the rice-pledging scheme.]

From Lokwannee, July 10-16, 2017
Main cover reads: Having good governance… then what you have to be afraid of?
[Refers to the controversial deal to buy high-speed trains from China. This deal has been criticized by several groups including experts, academics and other business groups questioning the benefits Thailand would get from the deal. The government used Article 44 to expedite this deal raising concerns about the transparency of the deal.]

Posted in Thai Newspapers and Magazines | 1 Comment

China ate Thailand

From Manager, June 28, 2017
Left: Sir, hurry please call the Thai PM, asking him to come visit the White house… before they bend more to China!
Trump: Ok!
At right the phone for Thailand is ringing inside the stomach of the Chinese dragon.

[Another cartoon that notes the drift of Thailand into China’s orbit. The junta has green-lighted several huge infrastructure projects to be constructed by Chinese firms. These firms will be exempted from Thai laws and regulations that would normally apply to such projects.]

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Go back to the old constitution

From Thairath, June 29, 2017
Left: No matter how we write the new constitution the politicians still prefer the old one which they are familiar with.
Middle: So, we’d better write it like the old one.
Foreigner: Which old one?
Right: The one for temporary use and later the military tears it up.
[Refers to Thai constitution and coups. Frequently, after a coup, they will write a temporary charter with powers to create legitimacy for themselves and their actions.]

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Before Thaksin: Remembering the Checks and Balances of the 1997 Charter

Remembering Thai Dreams of Checks and Balances

…One year before the EC swept away many high-flying senator candidates, powerful Democrat secretary-general Sanan Kachornprasart was indicted and banished from politics for faking a Bt15 million debt while declaring his assets and liabilities as a political office holder. At that time, it didn’t matter who you were. Election candidates belonging to the government side were disqualified for fun. Among them were Sanan’s wife, Newin Chidchob’s sister, provincial governors, influential military figures and close relatives of Cabinet members…

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Police on skates

From Arun, June 23, 2017
Title: Shoes for this season

[This shows the famous statue and symbol of the Royal Thai police. Refers to a season of police appointment.
The present time is one of intense lobbying and payoffs at the police jokey fro promotions.
We are not sure of the joke here. Perhaps the skates imply that a “faster” person can have close ties the person who has the power to promote them. ]

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Thailand political icon Yingluck Shinawatra has Kentucky State University roots

Thailand political icon Yingluck Shinawatra has Kentucky State University roots – state-journal.com, July 12, 2017
…What’s more, Thaksin and his wife also earned master’s degrees from a Kentucky graduate program — Eastern Kentucky’s criminal justice program in 1975 — and current Thai Immigration Bureau chief Nathathorn Prousoontorn received an MPA at KSU like Yingluck. Neither Lake nor officials at the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education could recall a formal deal across all Kentucky schools that led to the influx of Thai students.
Tulsathit Taptim, editor of The Nation, one of Thailand’s capital city newspapers, wasn’t aware of a specific deal either but was not surprised by the consistency of their attendance.
“It’s normal for Thais of Thaksin’s generation to stick to overseas institutions their families felt comfortable with,” Taptim said. “So it was common for people from the same clans would choose similar overseas institutions…”

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The Red Shirt’s symbolic pipe bomb

From Thairath, June 22, 2017
Left, probably meant to be Red Shirt leader Jatuporn: Wattana’s intention is that he only wants to oppose the junta by putting nails in the bomb; this is symbolic…
Middle: He only put the bomb in the wrong place because of his unawareness…
Another man: How did he put it in the wrong place?
Right: He put the nails in the bomb.

[Refers to Wattana Pumret who conducted a series of bombing over the years in support of the Red Shirts, but has insisted he worked alone and on orders from no one.
After being arrested for attacking a military hospital with a nail bomb, he apologized to the victims and insisted that he did intend to hurt anyone, but only wanted to show his dislike for the junta.
We think the joke here is that the bomber actually meant to put his nails inside the junta and not the bomb (?)]

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Who controls the pipe bomber?

From Naewna, June 23, 2017
Wattana: Pipe bomb!! Thaksin isn’t involved. I did it alone.
On the sign: Wattana, the bomber

[Refers to Wattana Pumret who conducted a series of bombings over the years–the latest at a military hospital. This cartoon contends that, despite Wattana’s denials, Thaksin must ultimately be behind the bombings.]

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Some bombers don’t go to jail

From Manager, June 22, 2017
Left: Wattana-pipe bomb… was jailed already.
Right: Watana-mouthbomb… is still working.

[At left Wattana Pumret suspect allegedly planted a pipe bomb in a military hospital and was recently apprehended. At right is Pheu Thai politician Watana Muangsook who seems to have a leading role in attacking the junta, but has not be arrested or detained. Is there some other meaning here?]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Manager | 1 Comment

China doesn’t need to use Thai laws

From Thairath, June 20, 2017
Title: China doesn’t need to use Thai laws
Officer on the left: Must respect the law
On his knife: Article 44 [the junta’s absolute power]
Officer on the right: Can be skipped
On his knife: Article 44
Sign held by man at bottom right: Thai laws
Sign held by mouse: Can overlook Thai engineers

[Refers to the junta using the Article 44 to expedite the Sino-Thai high-speed railway project. The cartoon illustrates the junta using the article to stop people from expressing political views freely and to expedite the railway project without listening to the public’s concerns.]

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Abhisit for leader!

From Arun, June 17, 2017
Title: Abhisit Vejjajiva. Leader of the Democrat Party
On the logo: Democrat Party
On his boxing shorts: Leader of the party
Box on the top left: Arun’s cartoon [white] Arun Watcharasawat
[Democrat Party Abhisit Vejjajiva is facing a challenge as party leader as various factions inside and outside the party get ready for the reality of post-junta politics.]

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From 2011: Red Shirt pursuers at the mercy of new government

Red shirt pursuers at the mercy of new government
…Wichean Khaokham, a Pheu Thai Party candidate who was elected in Udon Thani province, said yesterday he would attend a meeting of his party today and propose the transfer of Mr Tharit from the DSI.
Mr Wichean was among the red shirt protest leaders whom the DSI prosecuted on lese majeste charges…

This article details all the events that were eventually used to disqualify Yingluck. Chief of these was the effort to remove the chief of police to make way for a Thaksin relative to take over the post (this was to enable a draconian bill to silence the media and freedom of expression).

There are also candid admissions that the police merely “followed the policies of (their) supervisors”–namely, government politicians, either Democrats or the Pheu Thai.

With the Pheu Thai coming to power in 2011, elected MPs who were facing legal action for their roles in the protests of 2010 and for lese majeste began demanding revenge against government officials responsible for bringing charges against them.

The article mentions infamous DSI chief Tharit Pengdit as the main target of Pheu Thai wrath. Tharit also had “followed the policies of his supervisors” by aggressively prosecuting Red Shirts involved in the siege of Bangkok in 2010 while ignoring the actions of the then Democrat government and the military.

The article speculates Tharit’s job was under threat, but what ended up happening was that Tharit switched sides after the Pheu Thai came to power. He then stopped prosecuting Red Shirts and became a tool used by the government in its efforts to create an amnesty bill.

During that time, the timing of DSI charges was used as a threat when Thaksin amnesty measures were being stalled. When the Democrats refused to accede to amnesty, charges was brought against the Democrat leadership in retaliation. Some of these charges included the surprise reopening of old cases, such as issues related to Abhisit’s time as a student in the UK, thought to have been settled long ago. There were also efforts made to pinpoint the military snipers who targeted the remnants of Red Shirt supporters who took refuge in a temple. All of this legal activity was done in a Thai context, announced by Deputy PM Chalerm (who is used to deliver threats because of his bold and threatening manner) under the pretext of “we will find out the truth.”

While the Westerner might interpret this as admirable (“just tell the truth and let the chips fall where they may”), such truth telling without regard for the loss of face it might cause the involved parties (no matter the right or wrong of the matter) is interpreted as a grave threat. Indeed, the threat to focus on army snipers challenged the military to either take action to overthrow the government or back down in its blocking of an amnesty that included Thaksin.

DSI chief Tharit served this plan by bringing charges at key times as well as quickly clearing Pheu Thai figures who became embroiled in legal disputes (Red shirt pursuers at the mercy of new government).

Tharit’s ability to switch sides finally came to an end as the junta put the former DSI chief under investigation in 2015.

More: The Downfall of Tharit the Chameleon

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Thaksin’s time

From Manager, June 20, 2017
Top left, Red Shirt leader Jatuporn: 9 o’clock in the morning… It’s time to set up a mob. [a protest group]
Top right, one of the Red Shirt “men in black”: It’s 7 pm… It’s time to shoot people.
Bottom left, Red Shirt protester: It’s 2 pm… It’s time to burn the city.
Bottom right, military hospital bomber: It’s 5 pm… It’s time to bomb.
Caption: Those people use the same watch brand.

[This cartoon attempts to connect the military hospital bomber to the wider activities of the Red Shirts and thus Thaksin.
The hospital bomber suspect, while being both a Red Shirt and Thaksin supporter, denied he was ordered to carry out his bombings and was acting on his own.]

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More on police buying their promtions

From Naewna, June 17, 2017
Police on the left: I’m telling you that there is no post buying. Whoever says this, we’ll sue them.
The sign on the left: Disclose about the promotion buying and transfering the police
The sign on the right: Anti-corruption agency
Police on the right: What kind is this agency? Is it legally established?
Caption: Police’s state?

[Refers to the powerful denial from both the police and junta that police have to buy their promotions. These denials have been universally ridiculed in the media. The denials seem to indicate that the junta has no intention of tackling corruption in the Thai police.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons, Thai Police | 1 Comment

The train doesn’t follow the rules of Thailand

From Thiarath, June 22, 2017
Title: The historic high speed train. The wonder of the world.
On the soldier’s shirt who is holding the railway: Return happiness [this is the junta’s motto]
On the railway: Section 44 [referring to the absolute power of the junta enable by this section of law]
On the train: China. Accepting Thai baht, but do not accept Thai law. Bangkok-Nakhonratchasima [this indicates the route of the train to the Northeast–clearly intending to please Thaksin supporters and perhaps draw support away from the former PM]
Below the railway, from left to right: Not use engineers; Law of architecture; Thailand budget [more references to aspects of local authority that will be overridden according to the new project]
Mouse man: Sacrificial offering to China
Mouse: Going back to the third world

[Refers to the many objections from Thai professional associations that all engineers on the project have to be duly licensed by the Thai system. The terms of the project seem to waive such local regulations that have appeared to stall such projects in the past. Other aspects of Thai law that might of slowed the project like public hearing and various assessments have also been waived to expedite the project.]

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The Thai police don’t buy their promotions!!!

From Manager, June 15, 2017
Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan: The police buy their positions? No… If yes, find the evidence to prove it!!
Caption: Just only turn left… you will get it, sir.
The man on the left of Deputy PM Prawit is former police chief and Prawit’s brother Pol. Gen Patcharawat Wongsuwan.

[Refers to the common practice of police buying their promotions. This practice is universal and commonly known which made Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan’s denials appear ridiculous. Prawit’s brother Pol.Gen Patcharawat Wongsuwan, as former police chief, would surely know of such practices. For Prawit to protect this sort of police corruption calls into question the junta’s high-flown rhetoric about reforming the nation.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Manager, Thai Police | 1 Comment

More questions from the PM

From Manager, June 22, 2017
The woman wears a shirt that reads: Thai people
Above left, PM Prayuth: Please let us buy a submarine.
Woman: Yes.
Above right: Please let us build a high speed train.
Woman: Yes.
Below left: Please let the [foreign] investors have the Sor.Por.Kor. [land]
Woman: Yes.
Below right: Please let us help the poor with a rice pledging scheme at 15,000 [baht per ton].
The woman is silent.
Caption: If one day they ask this… would the answer be the same?

[This references several projects the junta has pushed through–often under unclear terms. These include the purchase of a submarine, a high-speed train deal with China, and the leasing of Sor.Por.Kor. land (Agricultural Land Reform deeded land) to foreign investors.
All of these world normally be controversial for many reasons (scale, transparency, nationalism), and junta opponents have vigorously cried foul, but the public in general seems uninterested in objecting to the deals.
However, even under this seemingly public acquiescence to big spending, the cartoonist questions whether people would even again allow a treasury-busting rice pledging scheme like the one enacted by the previous Phea Thai government.]

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Just copying Thaksin

From Thairath, June 14, 2017
Title: Difference… at the center of the regime
On the back of the military man at center: Return happiness [the junta’s slogan]
On a paper held by him: Wake up Thaksin’s ghost (again)
Signs held people at left: Cut spending; increase incomes; enhance opportunity [these represent pro-Thaksin, anti-junta demands]
Signs held by people at right: Reduce the power and rights of people; increase the spending of taxes; expand their alliance’s power
Phi Nooring: Don’t forget Thaksin’s regime
Mouse: Want to forget [Thaksin], but still remember [because of what the junta is doing]

[Refers to the junta’s policies which are often ridiculed for copying Thaksin’s populist policies. So, the cartoonist says the junta tries to “wake up Thaksin’s ghost” by copying his policies. Therefore, the difference of these current policies is that they are now conducted by a military junta instead of Thaksin.]

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The outrageous denial

From Naewna, July 14, 2017
Ostrich: Police buying their promotions is very shameful. I’m so embarrassed about this.
Deputy PM Prawit: I don’t know. It doesn’t happen. If it has, you need to find to the documents to prove it…

[Refers to Deputy PM Prawit who supervises the police force. After former Democrat MP and a key member of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee Wittaya Kaewparadai raised the issue of police having to pay bribes for their promotions, Prawit replied in a very Thai way. He completely denied this happens and challenged the whistle blowers to prove it. As the practice of police buying promotions is a longstanding and well-known tradition, Prawit’s denial was met with derision even from pro-junta media like Naewna. Underpinning this is the fear that the junta is squandering their chance to reform the police force.]

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It’s a charade

From Thairath, June 21, 2017
Title: Same genes, need to love each other.
On suit on man (representing a politician) at left: NLA [National Legislative Assembly]
Paper at the end of his suit: Sitting along with many positions; receive salary from many [meaning appointed assembly members will be able to serve in many other political and business ventures, creating a conflict of interest]
On shirt of man (representing a soldier) at right: NLA [National Legislative Assembly]
On sleeve holding the chain: Return happiness [the junta’s motto]
On paper being held by man: Not attending the meetings; taking leave; not coming to vote; not guilty [referring to assembly members who were found to be drawing a salary, but never attending meetings]
On kneeling man: Politician
On signs behind kneeling man: Making laws to destroy politicians; cutting the power of the people
Mouse man: Feel no shame
Mouse: Dictate the election

[This criticizes the junta’s appointed assembly, contending they have many conflicts of interests and some never even attend meetings. It shows that both the military members and civilian members of the assembly are controlled by the military. Ultimately it is all a charade, the cartoonist asserts, designed to hamper the power of the people.]

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Which is the bigger issue?

From Manager, June 14, 2017
PM Prayuth points at Lumyai: Open the jar to make a living like this… it is so ugly… don’t you know?!
Police officer at right holding a jar: Money buying police positions.
Caption: Hai Thong Kum… ugly, but it’s very small?

[“Hai Thong Kum” means golden jar, but also has a sexual allusion, here referring to singer Lumyai “Hai Thong Kum” who has been criticized by the prime minister for her sexy dancing.
The cartoonist accepts that the dancing is inappropriate, but contends that it is a minor issue when compared to the widespread practice of police officers buying their promotions. The underlying message is that the military with its absolute power could tackle police corruption, but instead they focus on a minor issue to divert the public.]

From Thairath, June 15, 2017
Title: Have something to sell…!!
Soldier on left holds a box on which is written: Box lid; quality guarantee; best price
At right is a police officer holding a chair to symbolize the police practice of having to buy their promotions.
Mouse man: Working diligently.
Mouse: The old career.

[This is another cartoon pointing out the continuing corrupt practice that the military junta seems unwilling or unable to stamp out.
The soldier refers to a murky scandal that revealed a military gang that smuggled weapons into nearby countries.]

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Junta Staying Longer?: Weekly News Magazines, June, 2017

From Manager Weekly, June 17-23, 2017
Main cover reads:  A compass goes wrong direction
Woman on the cover: Thitinart “Aoy” Na Pattalung
Top left: Maneerat Kham-uan
Bottom: Natee Ekwijit
Hashtag: #Be awake team
Top right: Puttachat Pongsuchat
Far right: Patcharasri Benjamas
Hashtag: Kru Aoy team [“Kru” means “teacher”]
On the book: Life compass
[Refers to a self-help guru and author Thitinart “Aoy” Na Pattalung. Recently, many entertainers alleged her company used their images to promote her Life Compass course. This led to the media investigating her assets and her claims as a self-help guru. After her husband died, she had to take care of her son and pay a million dollar debt left by her husband. She paid off the debt within two years and started to write a book series called ‘Life Compass’ to guide people on how to living peacefully.]

Top: Trading the police’s position. Being deceptive with the whole nation. [black box] ‘Kamnun’s fellows’ accused ‘Chakthip’ [outside a black box] pretending that they don’t know where they traded at “Farm Chokchai”
At left is Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan and in the middle is Police Chief Chakthip Chaijinda
[This refers to former Democrat MP and a key member of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee Wittaya Kaewparadai who disclosed information about the practice of the police buying promotions. However, Deputy PM Prawit who supervises the police denied Wittaya’s allegation as did Police Chief Chakthip Chaijinda. These are outrageous denials as it is widely known that the buying of promotions is a traditional practice in the police force.
Wittaya’s public allegations are thought to reveal a conflict between the police and the PDRC factions of the Democrat Party. The PDRC was led by Suthep Thaugsuban (nicknamed “kamnun” for his former post as district chief; referred to as “kamnun’s fellows” in the headline meaning “Suthep’s faction”). “Farm Chokchai” refers to the group that has real power over police reform and promotions. It refers to the Chockchai 4 area in Bangkok where members in the junta’s houses are located.
All of this is part of the growing frustration and alarm that the military junta is not going to tackle a real reform of the Royal Thai Police. Outside of the rampant corruption and institutional rot, the force remains a real power, particularly in terms of local intelligence, that is believed to be loyal to Thaksin.]

Bottom left: Sport Hero [pink] “Pro May” [white] Dedicated alone by herself. Be careful for some people who will take advantage.
[Refers to Ariya ‘May’ Juntanugarn, known as “Pro May,” who became the first Thai ever to be No. 1 in woman’s world golf after winning the US professional golf LPGA tournament.
Before becoming the world’s no 1, she and her family had to work by themselves with a little support from sponsors. This article expresses concern that there will be many groups trying to take advantage of her success.]

Bottom right: Closely watch [blue] “Nation” softly failed and move to next station [orange] “ThaiPBS”
[Refers to media group, The Nation Group, which recently faced difficulty in its business operations (the Nation Weekend just stopped publication this month). The article specualtes whether the business group will change direction to work with public TV station ThaiPBS instead.]

From Matichon Weekly, June 23-29, 2017
Main cover reads: Aim to attack the center
[Refers to Seksan Prasertkul’s latest speech on Thailand’s political situation. He gave a speech predicting that the junta led by PM Prayuth was planning to stay longer in power. PM Prayuth denied Seksan’s accusations.]

Top right: Cause of revenge ‘an uncle bomber’ is a military hater because of the six deaths in Wat Phratum temple. Just a personal political ideology
[Refers to 62-year old Red Shirt suspect who was arrested for a bomb attack at the army hospital Phramongkutklao which caused 20 injuries. He insisted that he did it alone due to his hatred of the military due to the death of six people at the end of the Red Shirt protests in Bangkok in 2010. Some have speculated that he did not work alone as claimed, but was working on orders from other Red Shirts.]

From Siamrath Weekly, June 23-29, 2017
Main cover reads: Compromising system
[Refers to Seksan Prasertkul’s latest speech on Thailand’s political situation. He criticized the junta as planning to stay longer in power. According to him, this means that the future of Thai politics will be like a compromising system or the “kia sia” system coined by political expert Nidhi Eoseewong. “Kia sia” is a Chinese word meaning “compromise.” Seksan says Thailand’s political situation in the future will be like a compromise system between the elites and politicians.]

From Lokwannee, June 24-30, 2017
Main cover reads: (More than) one drop of the honey
Left: Using Article 44 to get the Sino-Thai high-speed train with medium speed, but more expensive
Right: Oppose the revision of the 30-baht universal health care program?
[Refers to the Thai saying “one drop of honey.” The story goes that, on the way to the market, a trader unintentionally drops honey on the road. A lizard eats it. While it enjoys eating the honey, a cat sees it and attacks the lizard. Then, a dog nearby comes to fight with the cat. The owners of the dog and cat see the situation and they get into a fight. Thus, the moral is that one small cause can have a big impact.
Here it means that the junta’s push the Sino-Thai high speech train using its absolute power will bring up other perceived “failures” of the junta such as an allegedly revising the 30-baht universal health care program. All of this is meant to be critical of the junta and show that the popularity of the junta will suffer.]

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Police stealing the work of the gods

From Manager, June 7, 2017
Thai god: If it isn’t because of me making the car carrying the weapons crash into a ditch, then they would not gain their reputations like this
On sign: Announcement on the work of seizing weapons [this shows a common practice–for the police to have press conference touting their great work in solving a crime]
Caption: Stealing the the work again

[This refers to the case of finding the weapons in the pickup truck of an air force officer who had an accident in a ditch in Trat province near the Cambodian border. This lucky incident revealed a major arms smuggling ring.
The cartoonist ridicules the police for taking credit for the bust when an act of fate really caused the ring to be revealed.]

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America first… World last

From Thairath, June 7, 2017
Title: America first… World last
Under Trump: Industrial Factory in USA
On the smoke: Withdraw from the Paris Agreement.
Signs on the globe: 197 countries countersign on global warming
Mouse man: Worsen global crisis.
mouse: America first.
[A comment on the American withdraw from the Paris agreement on global warming]

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Dream Team for the Future of Politics

From Thairath, June 6, 2017
Title: Dream team… the best of the decade.
On the ground: Road map.
On the soldier: Return happiness [the junta’s motto]
Suthep, in the middle: Shut down Bangkok [the protest call of the anti-Phea Thai government protests]
Death figure on right: Trying to upend the parliament. Suppress the people.
Mouse man: Love? Like? Choose freely!
Mouse: Conspiracy.

[This cartoon critiques the emerging political situation. It appears that the military is being supported by factions of the protest group that helped paralyze the Pheu Thai-led government.
This cartoonist often features the hooded death figure to symbolize the forces that broke up the Red Shirt protest in Bangkok in 2010.]

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Criticizing the teen singer: Weekly News Magazines, June, 2017

[Last week marked the final issue of the venerable Nation Weekend, which finally ceased publication as the media moves more to online publications and away from printed periodicals.]

From Manager Weekly, June 10-16, 2017
Main cover reads: Burapha Eastville. Trade corridor (free arms sale)
[The man on the cover is Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan. This refers to the recent case of weapon smuggling by a military man. Burapha East are the “Eastern Tigers” military clique who makes up most of the military. This ridicules the military, which espouses lofty and idealistic goals for the country, while overlooking arms smuggling in its own ranks.]

Top: Looking closely at the cause of [pink] ‘Pu-Praiya’ vs [orange] OMEGA
[Refers to actress and model Praiya ‘Pu’ Soandokmai who was discharged from being a presenter for “Friend of OMEGA” aglledgedly due to violating her contract. The article claims to disclose all the details of the case.]

Bottom: End ‘Preaw’ with a secret behind drug trafficking
[The woman is Preeyanuch ‘Preaw’ Nonechai and the man is Thawatchai ‘Kao’ Aomchompoo. Refers to a recent sensational murder case. Preeyanuch ‘Preaw’ Nonechai and her friends admitted to be murders and later investigation linked the case to a drug trafficking network as she escaped to Myanmar with the help of Thawatchai ‘Kao’ Aomchompoo who allegedly has good ties with the drug groups. The pictures on the right show when Preaw was arrested and was photographed with police officers. Later, the photos were criticized by the public as the police seemed to be treating the suspect like a celebrity.]

From Siamrath Weekly, June 16-22, 2017
Main cover reads: Roadmap [red] ‘May’
[Refers to Ariya ‘May’ Juntanugarn who became the first Thai ever to be No. 1 in woman’s world golf after winning the US professional golf LPGA tournament. The “roadmap” refers to the junta’s roadmap to democracy. here it seems to indicate the march to a Thai gold No. 1]

Top right: A political trap
[The man in the picture is PM Prayuth. The article refers to the junta’s attempt to maintain their power longer than their promise.]

From Matichon Weekly, June 16-22, 2017
Main cover reads: The 5th question. Lamyai Haithongkham

[Refers to teenager singer Lamyai Haithongkham who was criticized by PM Prayuth for her sexy dancing and outfits. “The 5th question” refers to the four questions asked by PM Prayuth to the public earlier in what was perceived as laying the groundwork for an indefinite delay of elections.
This magazine jokes that the prime minister’s fifth question is a frivolous comment about a minor celebrity.]

Top right: Dream high and reach it (finally). Nong May is praised as No. 1 in woman’s world golf
[Refers to Ariya ‘May’ Juntanugarn who finally become No. 1 in woman’s world golf after there was an erroneous calculation that she would take over the No. 1 spot in early June.]

From Lokwannee, June 17-23, 2017
Main cover reads: A leader who loves traveling
[This headline reworks the title of the song ‘A woman who loves traveling’ by teenager singer Lamyai Haithongkham. Recently, PM Prayuth criticized the singer for provocative dancing and outfits.
The cover compares PM Prayuth to the leader of the North Korea where people are controlled by the government. The signer’s name, Lamyai means a longan (held in Prayuth’s hand on the cover) and Haithongkham means golden jar, which is also a slang term for a woman’s sexual anatomy.]

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