Jan 14th, 2021

Which lady brought the party down?

From Naewna, December 16, 2020
Women: Tuttu, please say clearly which Jae destroys the Phao Thai Party?
Jatuporn: Ha… ha… it will be every Jae.
On the sign: Phao Thai Party

[“Tuttu” is Red Shirt leader Jaturporn. “Tu” is his nickname. Nowadays, it is a trend to add additional syllables to people’s formerly short nicknames. Thus “Tu” becomes “Tuttu.” This is supposed to sound like the “cute” speech of the young. “Jae” is a Chinese word meaning “elder sister.”

This cartoon mocks the Pheu Thai Party by calling it the Phao Thai Party (the “Burn Thai Party”). This means that the series of political parties controlled by Thaksin and his family have only resulted in violent political provocations including the burning of Bangkok and some provincial areas in 2009 and 2010.

The cartoon illustrates a comment made by former Pheu Thai Party member and the leader of the Red Shirts Jatuporn. He recently talked about the conflict in the Pheu Thai Party.

Since August when the student protests started in an organized way, the party has undergone a series of shakeups. Some of this was intended to ensure that the party was not too closely aligned with the student protesters and the Progressive Movement’s attempt to confront the monarchy.

Another rupture dethroned Sudarat as de-facto head of the party after Thaksin’s ex-wife was brought in to purge anti-monarchy elements. Sudarat later left the party entirely, taking her faction with her.

Much of this realignment apparently disappointed Red Shirts and some provincial factions in the party that had hoped that, as the leading opposition party, it would forge a new path away from being a Thaksin-family business. It is also likely that Red Shirts felt they should be standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the students as the bold demands for reform no doubt matched much of Red Shirt ideology.

All of this recent party churn saw powerful women in major roles. The cartoon shows influential women in the party.

From left to right: Sudarat (non-Thaksin family member ousted from her leadership role in the party), Yingluck (exiled former PM and Thaksin’s sister; not thought of as a power-broker, but more of a naive pawn of Thaksin), Potjaman (Thaksin’s ex-wife brought into the party in August 2020 to ensure it was insulated from the anti-monarchy provocations of the emerging student protesters) and Yaowapa (Thaksin’s sister, often referenced as an interfering figure in party politics; she is a major power-broker in the north; her husband was PM of Thaksin’s People Power Party).

Jatuporn mentioned there was a “lady” who brought the party down. The cartoonist shows that the powerful women, all trying to apply their vested interests, are all responsible for the chaos within the party.]

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The thing that is broken is named the world

From Arun, December 16, 2020
Title: Somdet Phra Nyanasamvara
Caption: The thing that is broken is named the world. The thing that exists is named the dharma.

[This is a quote of the former Supreme Patriarch of the Thailand, His Holiness Somdet Phra Nyanasamvara.
At the end of the chaotic and historic 2020, it is meant to remind that nothing in the world can remain forever except for the dharma.]

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More on the new logo

From Naewna, December 11, 2020
People’s shouting: Long Live Communism.
Caption: Really a democracy in this country.

[Refers to the pro-democracy group Free Youth’s controversial new logo. Although the group cheekily said its new logo only came from the words “Restart Thailand,” the design of it clearly shows a hammer and sickle. To the delight of its critics, this logo was heavily reported on and held up to show the revolutionary bent of the student protesters. However, the main student protest leaders disavowed the Free Youth group and said they have nothing to do with them.]

From Thairath, December 12, 2020
Title: Communism… my dear.
PM Prayuth: Admire the Chinese President.
On the book: Xi Jinping [the PM recommended government leaders read the Chinese President’s book]
Prawit: Submarines made by the Communist China
On the flag: Repentant Communists [This is a way to point out the many people in politics, government, bureaucracy and military that were once communist sympathizers in the 1960s and 1970s. Part of the genius (or trickery, depending on your viewpoint) of the Thai system is that it easily reabsorbs rebellious elements back into its mainstream, with revolutionaries ending up revering the monarchy.]
Protesters: Want RESTART THAILAND [as opposed to allegation that the letters refer to “Republic of Thailand”]
Phi Nooring: ฺBring back the communism to the kids. [meaning the military dominated government, which is close to communist China, is actually blaming the the students for being communist.]
Mouse: So crazy

[This references the new logo of the Free Youth. Its hammer and sickle design raised a question as to the real objective of the student protest movement.

However, the cartoonist notes that it is the government that has drawn the nation close to communist China. Thus it is hypocritical to blame the protesters, who have constantly espoused democracy, for actually wanting communism.

This tilt towards China has been referenced even back in 2015: The Thai Junta Embraces Communists.]

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Support from the U.S. senate II

From Manager, December 9, 2020
Uncle Sam: I-Guin! [this is a name referring to the person holding the sign, protest leader Penguin; “Guin” is his nickname and “I” is an impolite pronoun used with it to show anger or irritation] I bought you cheesecake… gave a fund to support including a scholarship… Then, you want to be a communist… Damn it!!
[The “cheesecake” remark refers to the photos that emerged of the protest leaders being feted at the U.S. embassy and eating cheesecake.
The “scholarship” refers to an unfounded rumor that the protest leaders had a backup asylum plan with the embassy and would receive a scholarship in the U.S. to pursue their study if exiled for their protest activities. The U.S. Embassy in Thailand denied this rumor.]
Caption: This person [meaning Uncle Sam] will be the most disappointed one.

[This cartoon refers to the Free Youth’s new logo that made the letters “R” and “T” (for “Restart Thailand”) into the communist hammer and sickle symbol. Shortly after, the hashtag #RepublicofThailand started trending on Twitter. Later the group defended the economic system of communist countries and posited that a communist system would not have to be a dictatorship.

Shortly after, the main leaders of the students protesters (pictured above) distanced themselves from the Free Youth and reaffirmed they desired democracy.

The appearance of the new logo came at a bad time, just as news of the U.S. senate’s proposed resolution, supporting the protesters, was circulating through the news. One of the senators, Senator Bob Menendez, even issued a statement assuring the world that “Thailand’s reformers are not seeking a revolution…”

The student protesters had received glowing coverage over the past months in the international press, with nearly every outlet using “man on the street” articles where a series of earnest and innocent-sounding students told of their hopes for democracy and for an end to enforced disappearances.

The cartoonist seems to be saying that the emergence of the logo, when U.S. lawmakers were attempting to support the protesters and their goals, was a gaffe that interfered with the narrative the U.S. was pushing.]

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Support from the U.S. senate I

From Thairath, December 8, 2020
Title: Like a hero coming to help.
On the book held by Captain America: Resolution of the U.S. Senate
On water splash: Dictatorship
On shield: Democracy
Protesters: Too gets out. [A slight play on the nickname of the PM, “Tu,” telling him to leave office immediately. Not using the right word can be considered indirect speech or even an insult.]
Phi Nooring: Threaten. Attack. Give legal charges [meaning the government constant assaults the protesters in one way or another]
Mouse: Don’t want a coup.

[Refers to a recent U.S. Senate resolution proposed by a group of US senators, including Thai-born senator Tammy Duckworth, to support the protesters in Thailand in their call for democracy.]

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Great Wall of Thailand

From Thairath, December 15, 2020
Title: Amazing Thailand. The Thai Great Wall
Phi Nooring: Only place in the world
Mouse: Silly wall

[Refers to the government creating barriers consisting of shipping containers to prevent anti-government protesters from approaching the Grand Palace.
The barrier became an instant attraction. Anti-government figures mocked the government for creating the spectacle and for their overreaction.
Considering the Thai protest tradition of trying to stage provocative circumstances and then dare the authorizes to act, it was probably the government’s thinking that they did not want risk an occupation of the Grand Palace or Wat Pra Kaew by student protesters.]

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Another tact that does not work

From Manager December 14, 2020
Penguin: Oh!.. someone told us to hold these two… then, more people will join the mob.
Caption: Fail again.

[Refers to the controversial new logo of the Free Youth designed like to evoke the communist hammer and sickle. This surprised some protest supporters as it seemed to indicate that the student protesters were seeking a revolution, contrary to even the U.S. Senate resolution proposal being touted at the time that included supporting statements from a senator assuring the world that the Thai protests were not about revolution.
The Free Youth movement attempted to clarity their position that a communist state would not be a dictatorship and defended the economic system of communism.
Within a few days, the main protest leaders, pictured here, disavowed the Free Youth movement and communism and said the main student protest groups have nothing to do with them.
The cartoonist mocks the debacle, implying this fits with the ineffective protests thus far that have been unable to unseat the military-dominated government.]

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Uniforms are Abuse

From Manager, December 3, 2020
Man: Madam Somporn, your son said… wearing a uniform is abuse…
Caption: Which company has a uniform?… [Then] resign.

[This cartoon refers to the call from the student-led protest to ban student uniforms and ridicules former Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn.
Thanathorn is a billionaire and heir to the Thai Summit auto parts empire. He started the Future Forward Party and led it to a surprising victory in the last elections before it was disbanded by the courts.
Earlier in 2020, after the party was disbanded, its executives announced their own Thaksin-style angry protests (“If we burn, you will burn with us”), but these were unavoidably stalled by the pandemic.
Many, like this cartoonist, believe that the well-organized and funded rounds of current student protests are being managed by former executives of the Future Forward Party.
His mother, Somporn, is the CEO of Thai Summit and a well-known figure, particularly as she was involved in the controversy over exactly when Thanathorn transferred his shares in a media company to her–either before he registered as a candidate or just before the election. This led to his disbarment as MP and to the dissolution of the party.
The cartoonist jokes that legions of Thai Summit workers are required to wear uniforms. If they were to follow Thanathorn’s philosophy, they should ditch their uniforms too.]

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Cracking open the Crown Property Bureau

From Manager, December 6, 2020
Thanathorn: There are many nice title deeds inside… Once it opens, my brother will have lands for development… and become rich.
On the safe: The Crown Property Bureau
Caption: That’s why… he encourages the kids.

[Refers to Thanathorn’s brother Sakulthorn Juangroongruangkit who is facing questioning over allegations as to whether he was associated with two people who were jailed for taking bribes to bypass the Crown Property Bureau’s land-leasing process.
Anti-government protest leaders Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak and Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul and Arnon Nampa (shown trying to get into the safe) have strongly criticized the management of the Crown Property Bureau.
The cartoon illustrates the belief that politicians are behind the protests and are eager to capitalize on the sacrifices of the students.]

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Beckoning the kids to impose the charges

From Thairath, November 27, 2020
Title: Nang Kwak, for harmony and compromise.
On Wissanu’s shoulder-strap: Harmony
On sign held by the protester: Stop threatening people. Too [PM Prayuth] get out.
On sign held by PM Prayuth: Arrest them and impose all charges.
Phi Nooring: ฺBeckoning the kids to impose the charges.
Mouse: True or false.

[Refers to the proposal from the parliament to set up a committee to create reconciliation between the anti-government student protesters and the government.
The cartoon illustrates Deputy PM Wissanu as Nang Kwak, a woman spirit or household divinity of Thai folklore (Deputy PM Wissanu denied that he would be the head of the committee). This spirit has a beckoning arm, which swings back and forth with a palm-down gesture to indicate it is beckoning all the good things to it. In this case, beckoning all parties to participate in this committee.
In Thai style, some one committing a crime in public is not arrested and dragged away on the spot, but paperwork is done and then this person is summoned (sometimes the authorities say “invited”) to the police station so they may be charged. The cartoonist makes a joke that the government reconciliation committee is really beckoning the students to it so that the government can charge them with crimes.]

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High-Stakes Gambit

From Arun, November 27, 2020
Inside the white box: Adopted from The Queen’s Gambit

[Refers to Netflix’s popular chess drama, “The Queen’s Gambit.” The cartoon shows the high-stakes struggle between the government and the student-led protests as the world watches.]

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Red Shirt pacifists?

From Thairath, December 1, 2020
Jatuporn: Holy fucking shit!!!
Phi Nooring: Today’s amazing story.
Mouse: Who’s more handsome.

[Here, former Red Shirt leader Suporn (left) is in the mirror. Suporn has switched sides to support PM Prayuth.

Jatuporn (right) has been criticized for not strongly supporting the protesters. While he has made supporting statements, it is noted that Jatuporn has kept relatively quiet, at least for him, in contrast to his previous fire-brand image where almost no statement was out of the question.

Despite foreign and even some local media outlets that seemed to indicate the Red Shirt movement had joined with the protesters, this is not true.

Since September, when a rally commemorating Thaksin’s ouster was converted to a rally demanding a reform of the monarchy, the party has undergone a purge of executives to ensure that it is not ensnared in court cases related to the protests that might disband it. Donations were also made to the royal family after the September protests when party members were seen among the crowd.

Red Shirts were the political muscle of Thaksin’s political parties when he was attempting to return to power. His present party, the Pheu Thai, has given lip service to the students to ensure the Pheu Thai is seen as the most consequential part of the opposition, but it has also made sure that it is not seen to be directly involved in the protests.

Previous violent and provoking protests by Red Shirts, stretching over months, failed to shake the previous government. The present government was able to write its own charter and thus would seem even more unshakable. The thought may be that these limited and peaceful student protests are not going to be enough, considering the previous Red Shirt experience. (For more on the “unusual tactics” of peaceful Thai protesters, see here.)

With the departure of outsider Sudarat, the Pheu Thai shifts firmly back into the Thaksin camp of control. However, it could also be argued that the party’s main MP blocks, controlled by rural kingpins, are looking to also wrest the party from Thaksin-family control.

Whatever the internal dynamics, it seems that the party is positioning itself to be the more reasonable opposition, at least from the military view, and will let the firebrand elements of the former Future Forward Party continue to cheer-lead the demonstrations, while the Pheu Thai awaits an opportunity to swoop in during a crisis situation.]

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When the dictator occupies the country

From Thairath, November 20, 2020
Title: When the dictator occupies the country.
Left: In B.E 2553 (2010), called for democracy, but got a sniper and real bullets.
On paper: Call for democracy with an election
Phi Nooring: We are the citizens.
Mouse: Cruel government
Right: In B.E. 2563 (2020), called for people’s constitution, but got chemical water, tear gas and rubber bullets.
On paper: Call for people’s constitution

[Refers to crackdowns on anti-government protests of the past the present–the Red Shirt protests of 2010 that ended in blood and the present day protests addressed with water cannons.]

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Thai Trojan Horse

From Arun, November 20, 2020
Title: Gifts from the NCPO 250
On the Trojan horse: Constitution 60

[Refers to the current constitution that came into force in the year B.E. 2560 (2017). This constitution returns Thailand to its fully appointed senate with the power vote for the PM. This effectively gives the military a veto over an prime minister candidate.
Such an arrangement is not unusual for Thai politics, but it was thought that the process of democratization would wipe out such unrepresentative bodies. Indeed, much of the political churn since the early 1990s was aimed at ensuring a fully elected senate.
Thus the charter is portrayed like a Trojan horse with the senate inside that prevents any real change and gives power to unelected bodies.
See also: Thailand’s Half Democracy
See also: Do all Thai roads lead to Singapore?]

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Bitter men

From Manager, November 17, 2020
Preecha: Lottery was mine… Pol. Lt. Jaroon stole it.
Thanathorn: Democracy was mine… Prayuth stole it.
Caption: Old stubborn men
Trump: The president’s seat is mine… Biden cheated.
Caption: …new stubborn [man].

[Refers to those who lost in their legal fights and were bitter afterwards.
Precha were arrested in Kanchanaburi on charges of filing false information with police, claiming that a set of five winning tickets from the November 1 drawing belonged to him, and accused retired officer Pol. Lt. Jaroon Wimool of theft. Disputes over lottery tickets like this are not uncommon.
Thanathorn was disappointed after being disqualified as an MP and having his party disbanded.
The cartoonist adds Trump to these men as Trump also remains bitter from his election loss.
The point of this cartoon is to equate Thanathorn to other “bitter losers” and imply that the current season of political unrest is due to his seeking revenge on the present government.]

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Tired of protesting

From Manager, November 26, 2020
Penguin: Gods, please make the military conduct a coup… We, who are now so damn tired, will be able to find the way to end it… Please.
Caption: This group… wants to have a coup.

[Refers to the prolonged anti-government protests led by [left-to right] Anon, Mike, Parit “Penguin” and Panusaya “Rung.” This cartoon is ridiculing the protesters who, in traditional Thai protest style, floated rumors that a coup was imminent. The cartoonist jokes that they may have done as they are tired of the protracted protests.]

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New kids are no good

From Manager, November 23, 2020
Boy: We are the future of this house… We must make it good for our living!!
Words on the wall: Fucking; Dick; Dinosaur; We are the leader of all.

[Refers the anti-government protests which largely consist of students. It has become a custom of these new protests for participants to try to splash paint on police officers and paint graffiti around the protest site, especially over the signs of the government agencies they are protesting against. Thus it has become a new and surprising sight to see frank words in graffiti insulting the government and the royal family.
The cartoonist disapproves of this conduct, likening the protesters to unruly kids.]

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The election is a referendum

From Thairath, November 16, 2020
Title: Go and fight at the election… Don’t mess with Too. [The cartoonist uses “Too” instead of “Tu” as a sort of insult to avoid directly using Prayuth’s nickname.]
Fighting men: Local election race; PAO Council; Chief Executive of PAO
On the money bag: Spending Prayuth’s popularity budget freely
Protesting students: Calling Too; To fight; Get out
Phi Nooring: The NCPO has been frozen for a long time.
Mouse: After the election, let’s join to overthrow the election. [meaning the sitting government my overturn or invalidate election results it does not like]

[Refers to the intense local election race, especially the provincial administrative organizations (PAOs), which will be held on December 20.
Many parties are now focusing on the PAO election as the local level administration will be significant in strengthening the power of political parties in the general election.
The cartoonist contends that the government, led by the Palang Pracharath party, is spending a massive amount of money on the elections. This has tended to shift the public focus from toppling the government to the results of the election.
The results will be held up as a referendum on the ongoing protests. A big win by opposition parties will be used contend that the majority of people wish far-ranging reforms of the nation’s institutions.
Those opposing the protests contend that the reforms being demanded are only supported by young people who have a big presence on social media.]

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Democracy in Thailand is fake news

From Thairath, November 23, 2020
Left: Fabricated news
On bag: Resign
Right: Fake news
On the statue: Democracy

[At left the cartoonist shows an example of fabricated news. As is traditional before Thai protests, rumors are circulated that the government is collapsing, a coup is underway, or, in this case, that PM Prayuth was giving up and resigning. Such rumors are meant to encourage participants in protests and shake the government.
The government made a big show of mocking the clearly fabricated rumors of the PM resigning that were blatantly spread by the protest leaders.
The cartoonist jokes than an even bigger scandal is the state of democracy itself in the country. Despite its proud Democracy Monument, the cartoon contends that news of democracy existing in Thailand is fake news.]

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Repeated accidents in a mysterious land

From Thairath, November 13, 2020
Title: No sympathy for “younger brothers” [in Thai organizations like the military or police, low-ranking officers are thought of as “younger brothers” of their superiors, perhaps to foster some sense of caring or protection for them]
Above the dead bodies of new soldiers: There were three conscripts who died in military camps within one week.
Nattacha: This is a fate of the younger brother in the military.
On a paper held by Move Forward Party MP Nattach: Reform the military
Military man: Being a military [man] can become so many more things than you expect.
Phi Nooring: Repeated accidents
Mouse: Mysterious land [meaning that deaths are usually written off as accidental and it is a “mystery” why this nation has such deaths]

[Refers to the recent hashtag calling for the end of military conscription. This trended in Thailand after the deaths of conscripts.
This is part of the push on all fronts to pressure the government by reminding people of the continuing injustices that are endemic to the nation.
This cartoon mimics the military’s recruiting slogan “Being a military [man] can become so many more things than you expect.”]

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Maybe Protests Don’t Work

From Manager, November 24, 2020
Red Shirt Jatuporn speaking to anti-government protest leaders Anon, Mike, Parit “Penguin” and Panusaya “Rung”: The way of bringing tens of thousands of people to yell has never been a success… but I believe that if 15 people inside quietly overthrow… I-Tu will get out surely.
On the door: Constitutional court
People: I-Tu get out! I-Tu get out!…
Caption: A veteran teaches the newcomers.

[Refers to former Red Shirt leader Jatuporn recently warning PM Prayuth to be careful of the decision of the Constitution Court as its decision could remove him from office. However, the court finally ruled that there was no wrongdoing.
The cartoonist points out that the Red Shirts conducted much more prolonged, larger and violent protests, setting up fortifications in central Bangkok, threatening violence, etc. However, they were never able to cause the government to fall nor provoke a coup. Even the final violent dispersal of their camp, which included military snipers, was largely shrugged off by the international community.
So it is suggested that legal measures and complications might be a better way of bringing down the current government.]

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Is there no safe place for the kids?

From Thairath, November 23, 2020
Title: Is there no safe place for the kids?
Sign held by the police: Violate the emergency act.
Sign held by the boy: Call for a better future.
Sign held by the girl: I was sexually harassed by the teacher. School is not a safe place.
Phi Nooring: Adults are so wicked.
Mouse: Good teachers, please help.

[Refers to the recent student-led anti-government protests. At the protest, a girl dressed as a student shared her experience of being sexual harassed by teachers. This become widely discussed and many called for the relevant agencies to solve this problem. Others tried to say it was a setup as the girl was no longer a student and thus should not be wearing the student uniform. Like all of the cartoons from this artists, a call is made for the authorities to stop harassing the students for just expressing their opinions and political views.]

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I’d prefer an anti-mob vaccine

From Manager, November 16, 2020
Foreigner: We have a COVID vaccine… aren’t you happy?
PM Prayuth: No!… I’d prefer an anti-mob vaccine!!!

[Refers to PM Prayuth who is now facing prolonged-mobs by anti-government groups. While the world is happy with the good news of having COVID-19 vaccines becoming available, PM Prayuth is beset by well-organized and ongoing political protests.]

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He misjudged

From Manager, November 13, 2020
Thanathorn: Why does the outside world have only yellow!!??
Yellow people: Get out… We don’t want one who overthrows the monarchy!!!
Caption: The world which the “PM of the social media” doesn’t understand.

[Refers to Thanathorn who began to face mobs of pro-royalist groups when he went out to the provinces to support his team in the upcoming local elections.
This cartoon contends that Thanathorn misjudges his popularity by depending on the opinions on social media and thinking this represents the prevailing will of the people.
He is called the “PM of the social media” as he has amazing popularity there. The cartoonist says this gives him a skewed view of the popularity of attacking the monarchy.]

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The dictator must watch out in the Biden era

From Arun, November 13, 2020
On the white box: There is an expectation that Biden’s era will be a restoration of the “Free World Community” for building the alliances to fight against dictators.
Title: The dictator must watch out.

[Refers to the hope that the U.S.’s foreign policy under President-elect Joe Biden will restore multilateralism and an emphasis on human rights.
This is in contrast to Trump’s “American first” policy which saw the U.S. exit international organizations and spur strategic alliances.
Thailand under PM Prayuth had closer relations with the U.S. under Trump.
Many are expecting that Prayuth will face more pressure from the U.S. for democratization and human rights protection under the incoming administration.]

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Mouth stopped up

From Naewna, November 13, 2020
On the TV: Being ashamed around the world. Anti-monarchy mob attack people who think different. The foreigner was bloody hit in front of his kid. [Thai media showed photos of the foreigner’s child crying uncontrollably after the attack.]
Above the bald man’s head: Amnesty Thailand.
Caption: Keep a pestle in the mouth… what they are waiting for?

[Refers to the pro-democracy group that got into a fight with a foreigner during a protest in Pattaya. Due to this incident, the protest group was criticized for hurting the country’s image.
This cartoon insults Amnesty Thailand as they supposedly kept silent on this violent incident. This implication being that the organization is designed to support one side and not the other. The saying “keep a pestle in the mouth” is a Thai saying meaning to keep silent like one’s mouth is stopped up. It further insults the organization by showing them using a sanitary napkin as a face mask.]

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It’s not cute anymore

From Thairath, October 28, 2020
Title: It’s not cute anymore.
Students: Too get out. Overthrow Too. Get out. [“Tu” is the nickname of PM Prayuth. Students using the similar sounded “Too” is supposed to be insulting, we think. Does any reader know the meaning of “Too” vs “Tu” here?]
On signs held by students: Good politics. Reform.
Minions: Slander. Distort. Traduce. Threat to slap your face. Hit the kids.
On a gun held by PM Prayuth: Urge one mob to clash with another.
Phi Nooring: Tu is a problem
Mouse: Don’t preserve the power.

[In recent months, protests have arisen calling on PM Prayuth to resign, to rewrite the current constitution and to reform the monarchy. Counter-protesters in yellow shirts (and also identical military haircuts) conducted a rally to show their support for the government and the royal family.

Here, those pro-government protesters are represented by characters from the Minion films as they not only wear royalist yellow, but also follow their leader to the death.

The student protests were initially called “cute” as a way to diminish their efforts. However, this characterization did point out the new character of their activism. The student protesters seemed to forswear the threatening rhetoric of traditional Thai protest. They also used cartoon and pop culture references in their protests.

The cartoonist says the protests are no longer cute now that violence is happening.]

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No Hong Kong Asylum

From Manager, November 3, 2020
Tony Chung: The U.S. and U.K. told us to fight… Then they would help us with asylum. Don’t believe it… When we lost, they left us!!!
Caption: Must learn from Hong Kong

[This refers to rumors that Thai protest leaders including Panupong “Mike” Jadnok, Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak, and Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul (pictured lower left) plan to ask for asylum from the U.S. embassy now that they are facing many charges.
This rumor is based on recent incidents in Hong Kong. Hong Kong protests have become more closely associated with the Thai protests in recent months with student participants on each side sending out their good wishes and moral support to the other side.
In October, some Hong Kong protesters, including activist Tony Chung, were arrested near the U.S. consulate in Hong Kong after supposedly seeking asylum there.
The line “The U.S. and U.K. told us to fight” comes from Chinese claim that the U.S. is encouraging the Hong Kong protests. (This perhaps ignores the point that new laws undermining the “one country, two systems” status of Hong Kong sparked the protests in the first place.)
The cartoonist seems to take delight in telling the Thai student protesters that any dreams of seeking asylum with the U.S. or U.K. are impossible.]

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Fears for the future

From Arun, November 18, 2020
Title: How will the future be?
On the man’s coat: Senator

[Refers to hopes for reform from the younger generation after senators dismissed draft constitution amendments as proposed by iLaw. The iLaw proposal was among the most sweeping of proposals. The senators, whose power it would limit, predictably turned it down.
In the cartoon, the plank is balanced on Democracy Monument as the appointed senators, under the present system, hold the balance of power and can stymie reform.]

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More signs of injustice

From Thairath, November 2, 2020
Title: Just hold it for fun, but it’s true.
On the sign held by the police officer: Work hard, but the boss takes a commission off.
Signs on the right from top to bottom: Bribe for illegal lottery; Gambling den; ฺBrothel
Students: Don’t be a slave of the dictator.
Phi Nooring: [The police] being strongly insulted by the kids
Mouse: Feeling of the police

[Refers to a recent incident when a fed-up police officer held up a sign in public to protest the kickbacks that police officers have to give up to their immediate superiors.
This incident was immediately seized upon by student protesters to call on the police to support their demands for the PM to step down and to reform the monarchy.
This would be a return to the circumstances during and after the Thaksin years when the police seemed to be siding with Thaksin and the Red Shirts, being unwilling to quickly arrest the Red Shirt movement’s leaders.
In the cartoon, student protesters call on the police to side with the students and their demands due to the corruption and injustice endemic within police ranks.]

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