If you don’t respect us, please think about people who died

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From Thairath, October 15, 2014
Title: If you don’t respect us, please think about people who died.
Chaianan: I want the unelected PM.
On his suit: NRC
On a paper: To reduce the number of MPs who come from elections
On a cloth: People-students-university students who died in order to call for democracy from 14 Oct 2516 [1973] to 19 May 2533 [1990]
Phi Nooring: Love to dominate.
A mouse: To reform politics
[Mr. Chaianan Samuthuancha, a member of the National Reform Council (NRC), proposed the idea to reduce the number of the MPs who come from elections and that the PM does not need to be an elected MP in order to decentralize power.]

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Same cartoon from pro- and anti-Thaksin cartoonists

141015manager

From Manager, October 15, 2014
ML Panadda: This microphone has made the color fade. We have to be careful using this. We only have one year left. It may not enough.
On the bucket: White
Caption: This job uses a lot of budget.
[Refers to the costly microphones installed at the Government House’s conference room and the junta's reluctance to investigate the issue. The cartoon shows Ge. Pryauth turying to whitewash the microphones. The microphone issues is thought to uncover the hypocrisy of the junta that came to power vowing transparency in all things.]

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From Thairath, October 16, 2014
Title: Gold microphone is not expensive. Golden man is not at fault.
ML Panadda: I don’t see corruption, but it has to be re-procured.
On his shirt: Permanent Secretary, Minister
Below the microphone: Government House’s microphones
Left signs: The quality is the same as the White House and the price is about at Mars’ level. Not corruption, but it’s not good to have the large price gap.
Right signs: Installed before setting the price. The media, please understand. It’s just makes people concerned. [These mock official statements and excuses over the procurement scandal.]
Phi Nooring: Good man can’t cheat.
A mouse: To oppose corruption
[Refers to the purchase of expensive microphones installed at the Government House conference room. ML Panadda Diskul has been questioned about this issue amid the attempt of the junta and Government to promote its claims that it will fight corruption.]

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Let’s burn it. I will take a responsibility for your actions.

141013manager

From Manager, October 13, 2014
A man holding the megaphone: You don’t need to bring anything with you. Flowers to be placed on the site of cremation can be found later. Millions of people will join. The crematory will be like a sea of fire!!
Man at right: Let’s burn it. I will take a responsibility for your actions.
Caption: Encouragement is needed even to bring people to a funeral ceremony.

[Refers to the funeral of former Phea Thai MP and Red Shirt supporter, Col Apiwan Wiriyachai, who was died from a lung infection in the Philippines while in exile following the coup and lese majeste charges.
The turnout for his funeral was typical of Thai protests with thousands of rural people passively being bussed to the event and having food and drink provided for them. The resulting crowds are then held up as proof of the continuing strength of the movement.
The cartoonist uses statements made by Red Shirt leaders in 2010 calling on followers to burn down Bangkok as if they are rallying grassroots Red Shirt supporters to attend the cremation ceremony.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Manager | 1 Comment

Rice audit finds 90% substandard, State loss from scheme could rise to B700bn

Rice audit finds 90% substandard, State loss from scheme could rise to B700bn – Bangkok Post, October 29, 2014
…On Tuesday, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha revealed the outcome of a nationwide rice audit led by ML Panadda Diskul, permanent secretary for the Prime Minister’s Office, that reported only 10% of the 18 million tonnes of rice was of good quality.
“The report shows 70% of the rice is tainted with a yellow colour, while the rest is in bad condition and not edible and should only be allocated for ethanol production,” said Gen Prayut.
The inspection also found about 100,000 tonnes of rice missing…

Posted in 2Bangkok News | 1 Comment

British activist acquitted of defamation over slave labor claim

Andy Hall acquitted of defamation – Bangkok Post, October 29, 2014
…”The court hearings were yet another confirmation that, as Finnwatch’s report revealed, there are serious problems in working conditions at Natural Fruit. The question that now must be asked is why Thailand’s authorities have not taken action against the company however,” Ms Vartiala said.
Mr Hall’s report investigating working conditions at a fruit processing factory belonging to Natural Fruit in southern Thailand levelled accusations of forced and child labour, unlawfully low wages and long hours.
Natural Fruit, a major supplier to the European drink market, denies the allegations…

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Tornado near Amata City Industrial estate

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Tornado near Amata City Industrial estate at 4:30pm on October 28
Here, here, here, and here

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Thailand Approves Kunming-Singapore Rail Line

Thailand Approves Kunming-Singapore Rail Line – Forbes, October 27, 2014
Rail lines running north from Bangkok to Chiang Mai have become so decrepit that derailments occur regularly. But plans to upgrade are also sidetracked with high frequency. So Asian transportation experts, and railway buffs everywhere, were surprised by the Thai military government’s sudden approval in July of a $23 billion plan to upgrade and expand rail lines and other infrastructure. Included were two lines that could revolutionize the region’s freight service, linking ports around Bangkok and in Singapore with China and onward to Europe…

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The goal is to destroy Yingluck

141011tharaisia

From Thairath, October 11, 2014
Title: We have to follow the ‘goal’ set
On the flag: To destroy Yingluck
On the papers from left to right: Legal methods, rice pledging scheme, crime, dismiss.
On the chairs from left to right: OAG, NACC
Phi Nooring: Call for a return of the justice
[The cartoon alleges that both the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) and the Office of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) are looking for ways to destroy former PM Yingluck by unfairly charging her over issues that occurred during her premiership.]

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Col. Pia died because the elite ate his lung

141012manager

From Manager, October 12, 2014
Left: Mr. Apiwan died because of a lung infection.
Caption: The explanation from a doctor
Right: Col. Pia died because the elite ate his lung.
Caption: The explanation from the Red Shirt leader
[Refers to former Phea Thai MP and Red Shirt supporter, Col Apiwan Wiriyachai (nicknamed Pia), who passed away due to a lung infection. The Red Shirts denied they would use his funeral for political purposes. The joke is that Red Shirt leader Jatuporn is known for his hyperbole in assigning blame for everything that happens to Thai aristocrats.]

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One year ago: Battle lines drawn over Thaksin amnesty

One year ago: Battle lines drawn over Thaksin amnesty

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Building the cult of Prayuth

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The book cover reads: The biography of Gen. Prayuth Chan o-cha, the 29th PM who followed his dream from being a temple boy to meteorically grow at Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy and finally became the army leader who was behind seizing power twice.
[The title of the book] His name is ‘Tu.’
From the army to the Government House
Nation Weekend Editorials
[Refers to the book ‘His name is ‘Tu’ or ‘Khao Cheu Tu’ in Thai written by the Nation Weekend editorials. It is a biography of PM Prayuth whose nickname is 'Tu.'
Thaksin has also been maintaining and growing his brand as well: The heroic story of Thaksin continues: Feet on the ground, eyes to the stars]

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Being caught by their own traps

141010tharaisia

From Thairath, October 10, 2014
Title: Being caught by their own traps.
On box held by the police: Asset account for funds supporting intelligence missions
On box held by the military man: Asset account for government funds
On bag held by man in background: Normal rich
On shirt of the man: NLA
Phi Nooring: Set your own traps and then being caught.
A mouse: How did you get the money?
[Refers to the National Legislative Assembly (NLA). All the members including some from the military and the police are required to disclose their assets in order to show their transparency and honesty to the public. This allegedly has raised trepidations among NLA members about having to reveal their assets.]

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FromKomchadluek, October 12, 2014
On the bags: Assets
On the sign: Declare the assets
[Refers to the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) members who have to declare their assetsin order to show their transparency. Some NLA members come from the military and it is thought that many are extremely wealthy based on their influence peddling over the years.]

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The Super Tower

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Here is a dramatic video (with menacing music as the building rises) of the Super Tower to be built behind Central Rama 9 (which is across the street from Fortune town).

This brings to mind a theory about the top of a growth cycle. In economics when a city/country/region builds the tallest building in the city/country/region, it is sometimes is the sign of the end of a boom cycle–and a bust immediately follows the commencement of construction. Groundbreaking on the Super Tower is due this year.

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Pressure mounts on BMA to help solve Silom line bottleneck

BTS ready to demolish station – Pressure mounts on BMA to help solve Silom line bottleneck – Bangkok Post, October 26, 2014

[This is related to the larger issue of Taksin Bridge. This bridge is a low-hanging structure that put an end to large cruise ships being able to journey up the Chaoprahya River.
In the pre-jet travel age, the area around the Oriental Hotel (presently being restored) was the equivalent of an international airport as a major embarkation point for travelers and mail.
During the 1990s there was a plan to construct a new high bridge at the end of Chan Road and route all existing Sathorn Road traffic over it. The Taksin Bridge would then have been demolished, allowing large boat traffic up the river once again. This plan died in the 2000s as political squabbles over the blocking of projects related to opposition political parties became the norm again.]

…The two main options that the BTS has put to the Bangkok Metropolitan Association are to knock down the station completely, or to move a section of the King Taksin Bridge to allow room for a second rail line to be built. The second option would be considerably more expensive and time consuming.
Commuting on the Sukhumvit line during peak hours is easy and predictable, Mr Anat said, while BTS management has been struggling to handle rising passenger numbers on the Silom line.
Mr Anat said trains on the Sukhumvit line run every two to three minutes in peak hours and six to nine minutes off peak. During rush hours on the Silom line, however, trains only arrive every four minutes. Mr Anat said the sole cause of the delay is Saphan Taksin station.
The station has only one platform, which must serve trains going in both directions. Because the station is wedged in a narrow gap between two elevated roads, there is no room to expand it or add a second platform.
If the station were demolished, however, a second rail line could be built, allowing more frequent services along the entire Silom line. Saphan Taksin was only ever meant to be a temporary station and was due to be demolished as soon as the Silom line extension was completed…

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1 year ago: Editorial cartoon: No one can stop Yingluck as she develops the country!

1 year ago: Editorial cartoon: No one can stop Yingluck as she develops the country!

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U.S. military cooperation more important than coup punishment: Cobra Gold 2015 set for February

Kenney: US did not downgrade ties after coup; Obama-Prayut handshake possible – The Nation, October 25, 2014
…Prime Minister and coup leader Prayut Chan-o-cha and President Barack Obama are scheduled to attend the Asean Summit in Myanmar’s new capital Nay Pyi Taw on November 12-13. The Thai and US leaders are expected to sit next to each other under the seating arrangement.
Despite US disapproval of the takeover, the US ambassador said the coup leader-turned-prime minister could expect the US president to treat him as per diplomatic protocol.
“The president is always gracious and will never be rude. He values protocol over political disagreement,” she said in reply to a question on whether the two leaders would shake hands with each other…

Cobra Gold 2015 set for February – Bangkok Post, October 21, 2014
…The future of Cobra Gold, first held in 1982, was threatened briefly by the May 22 military coup. US- and Thailand-based rumour mongers tried to spread false reports in June that the US military was considering moving the exercise to Australia, a move that never was contemplated…

Another U.S. take on Cobra Gold and the coup: US Scales Back ‘Cobra Gold’ War Games in Thailand – VOA, October 24, 2014
The United States has confirmed it is scaling back a major annual defense exercise in Thailand, where Washington has criticized a coup by the country’s military.
A spokesperson for the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok told VOA on Friday the so-called Cobra Gold 2015 exercise set for February will be “refocused and scaled down…”

Also: Remembering U.S. Ambassador Kristie Kenney
Also: U.S. diplomatic drift and Thailand

Posted in 2014 Coup, Thai Military | 1 Comment

The heroic story of Thaksin continues: Feet on the ground, eyes to the stars

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[This is part three of a new cartoon series on Thaksin. This shows the redefinition of Thaksin as is often seen in Red Shirt publications--Thaksin as a relatable person who suffers and strives just like the rural poor. In the series, Thaksin is essentially a humble provincial man who tried and failed many times in business before succeeding.]

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10 Years Ago: The Tak Bai Incident


Above: Thaksin addressing the nation on October 30, 2004 following the Tak Bai Incident.

The Tak Bai VCDs – October 30, 2004

PM says Post report ‘awful’ – Bangkok Post, October 31, 2004
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra yesterday slammed the Bangkok Post for damaging international confidence in Thailand’s democratic system with its report that southern Muslim religious and community leaders will ask for a royally-appointed government from His Majesty the King to replace his administration…

Nationalism & Right-wing Politics – 2004 [There are several mentions of the Tak Bai incident on this page. While pro-Thaksin groups have been successful in associating Thaksin with liberal democracy, in his heyday, Thaksin embraced right-wing nationalism to temper the media, suppress criticism of the Tak Bai incident, and sanction hard-line action against separatism in the Thai deep south. Like most of his initiatives during the Thai Rak Thai years, it was generally popular with the public.]

A tale of two newspapers: Krue Se and Tak Bai reports ‘censored?’ – April 25, 2005

Editorial cartoon from the southern separatists – November 20, 2006

The outrage of Tak Bai – Bangkok Post, October 25, 2010
…The members of the Thaksin government and the army have strongly defended the actions against the demonstrators, and have rejected all claims of malfeasance or even errors during the violence or in transporting the prisoners. Under the military junta which ousted Thaksin, then-prime minister Surayud Chulanont travelled to Pattani and issued an apology. “What happened in the past was mostly the fault of the state,” he said. He announced several procedural changes in administration. Reparations were made to some families of the dead, and the government dropped the laughable charges of instigating the riot against 92 people who survived the violence…

Posted in The Thaksin Years, Today in History | 1 Comment

Reopen Akeyuth’s case

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From a post on social media: Reinvestigate the past case which can impact Thaksin’s regime!
There is a new evidence! It is a hard disk stored with data from the CCTV cameras installed in Akeyuth’s house. It has the clear picture of the persons who killed him.
“Mr. Ball said that he kept the hard disk of the CCTV cameras installed in Akeyuth’s house. On the hard disk it will show the image of persons who killed him and how many of them. He also kept a white gold necklace, an amulet and Rolex platinum white gold watch.”

[This refers to the murder of Akeyuth (sometimes Ekkayuth) Anchanbutr, one of Thaksin’s most persistent critics. Police quickly wrapped up the case claiming he was killed by his chauffeur, Santiparb Pengduang, whose nickname is "Ball." Akeyuth's website of political gossip also vanished as well. Many questioned the real motive of the murder.
After the military seized power, many cases have been reopened and calls have been made to reopen Akeyuth’s as Santiparb has claimed that he has the new evidence to disclose.]

2013: Killing a Government Critic as a Warning
2013: The hasty open and shut liquidation of anti-Thaksin critic Akeyuth
2013: 2 murderers… 1 mastermind
2013: The Wheel Begins to Turn: Weekly Rallies and Disapproving Academics
2004: Akeyuth targeted by the government

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When I draw a sword… the Red Shirts will be afraid and faint

141008manager
From Manager, October 8, 2014
PM Prayuth: When I draw a sword… the Red Shirts will be afraid and faint.
On the sword: Martial law
On the sign held by Thaksin in the background: Pretend to be afraid and faint
[The cartoon reflects the belief that the Red Shirts are being purposely restrained by Thaksin and not because they fear martial law or wish reconciliation. Reports indicate that Thaksin ordered his Red Shirt supporters to keep silent during the junta government period and wait until a future time when elections will return his political party to power.]

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Nine Years Ago: Aura of fear pervades Thai media

Nine Years Ago: Aura of fear pervades Thai media
If Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra had hoped, as critics suggested, to scare Thailand’s journalists by filing libel lawsuits that seek more than $12 million in damages from a media group owner and his partner, he has at least partially succeeded.
Senior newspaper editors and publishers plan to gather in a Bangkok hotel Thursday for an emergency meeting called by Thailand’s Press Council to discuss the plight of the media under a government they fear is determined to crush their independence and, in the process, change the country’s political landscape…
…Thailand once boasted of having one of the liveliest and freest media in Asia. A Constitution introduced in 1997 set out to protect the public’s right to know from attempts to interfere with the press by power-hungry generals.
But the election of Thaksin, a billionaire tycoon, in 2001 has presented the Thai media with challenge. In addition to a mass electoral base and a dominance of Parliament that leaves opposition parties little leeway to shape legislation, Thaksin has powerful allies in business. Some say he appears all too willing to deploy his political, financial and legal weapons against the more independent-minded of the Thai press…

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Vintage images of King Chulalongkorn

Vintage images of King Chulalongkorn (King Rama V)


Above: From a series of French caricatures of world leaders, 1905
Left: Ruling monarchs postcard (King Chulalongkorn is at the upper left.)

Left and above: Rama V and Bismarck

Above: Rama V at the inauguration of Petchaburi railway station

Above: Rama V in Paris


Above: Rama V in 1881

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Brave Apiwan has died

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From Thairath, October 9, 2014
Text at top right: The democratic heart is still alive.
Brave Apiwan has already died. He said goodbye to all his friends on 6 October. Even though he passed away, his democratic heart is still with us.
Written by MP Sunai Julpongsthon
Mouse: Rest in Peace
On wreath: People who love democracy
On Apiwan’s shirt: Democracy
Sign on his statue: Apiwan Wiriyachai
[Refers to former Pheu Thai MP Apiwan Wiriyachai who died while in exile while fleeing lese majeste charges after the coup. He was an outspoken supporter of Thaksin and the Red Shirt movement. He left the country after the military took the power in May 2014.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Thairath - Sia | 1 Comment

Myanmar goats

141007manager
From Manager, October 7, 2014
Left: Now it is difficult to find Thai laborers… so I have to hire Myanmar laborers instead. [This is the claim of many Thai factory owners who need labor for strenuous or dirty jobs.]
Right: Now it is difficult to find Thai goats… so I have to catch Myanmar goats instead.
[Refers to the case of the Koh Tao murders. Although the police charged two migrant workers from Myanmar with the murder of the two British tourists, the case quickly fell apart under media scrutiny and charges that the migrants were scapegoats.]

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Is it a populist program?

141006manager
From Manager, October 6, 2014
Farmers: We insist that to Ui’s policy to give money to us is not a populist policy because it only gives us a thousand baht per rai! We don’t like it! [A rai is a Thai unit of area, equal to 1,600 square metres.]
Caption: A confirmation from those farmers… may help Ui.

[Refers to the government policy to provide a supporting fund of 1,000 baht per rai to rice farmers in order to help the farmers survive as the price of rice decreases. Deputy Prime Minister M.R. Pridiyathorn Devakula, whose nickname is Ui, insists that this policy is not a populist like the previous government's rice pledging scheme. Instead, it is part of the government’s economic stimulus plan with the aim to help rice farmers who have lower incomes.
Of course, observers scoff at this fine distinction of claiming the free money is not the same as a populist program. The cartoonist notes the howls of protest from rice farmers, used to getting much more free cash from governments, as humorously supporting the present government's claim that a paltry 1000 baht per rai does not quality as a populist program.]

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If elected politicians are dismissed, the Red Shirts won’t help them

141005manager
From Manager, October 5, 2014
Former Pheu Thai MP Worachai Hema: NCPO, if you dismiss us… I will call for a protest to fight your martial law!
Signs held by other Red-Shirt leaders behind (L-R): I’m not involved with him for so long.; We’re not the same group. He’s crazy!; I don’t know and I’m not involved with him.; I don’t know about this.; I’m not involved. I’m not involved with him.; I don’t know and I’m not involved.

[Worachai Hema, a Red Shirt leader and a former MP from the Pheu Thai Party, threatened that if the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) is given the power to dismiss elected MPs, he will call out the Red Shirts to protest the junta despite the continuing martial law. The Red Shirts quickly distanced themselves from the threat, leaving Worachai embarrassed and isolated.]

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5 Years Ago: Red Publications – October 2009
5 ปีที่แล้ว : สิ่งตีพิมพ์ของกลุ่มเสื้อแดง – ตุลาคม 2552

5 Years Ago: Red Publications – October 2009

[Interesting month for Red Shirt publications as all the propaganda themes of the movement are fully formed: telling Privy Councillor Prem to go to hell, praising Cambodia's Hun Sen, pressuring the monarchy for a "peaceful revolution," equating Thaksin's return to a return of democracy, cursing opponents with blood, portraying Abhisit as a Nazi, and having the right to fight when disenfranchised.]

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The person who destroys the sand castle

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From Thairath, October 2, 2014
Title: The person who destroys the sand castle
Girl: You lie to me!
Phi Nooring: Who said he would harmonize?
On the hand representing the military: Reform Thailand
On the man’s suit: NRC, 40 senators
On the man’s trousers: PDRC [People's Democratic Reform Committee]
On the sand castle: Harmony
Mouse: Return the happiness to 40 senators and the PDRC [This ridicules PM Prayuth's slogan that he will "return happiness to the people."]

[The cartoon refers to the selection of members of the National Reform Council (NRC). The members of the NRC are expected to be people who have a good relationship with the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO, the military junta) and not be really representative of the various groups in the country.
The cartoonist means that the reform council will only create laws to make things better for those who tried to overthrow the previous government (like the People's Democratic Reform Committee).]

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Bangkok may have one of the tallest buildings in the world by 2019

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Tallest skyscraper in Asean planned for Bangkok – Bangkok Post, October 15, 2014
…The 18-billion-baht 615-metre “Rama IX Super Tower” is set for completion by 2019 on 73 rai of land in the Grand Rama 9 mixed-use development site near the intersection of Ratchadapisek Road, the company, known as G Land, said at a press conference…

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Who is stronger? Prem or Prawit?

141002manager
From Manager, October 2, 2014
Gen. Prawit: The size of our feet may be the same.
Caption: On that day, there is a person who is keen on knowing the size of Pa Prem’s feet.

[Refers to Thai proverb "to measure the feet" meaning to compete with people who have more power. Gen. Prawit Wongsuwan, a senior officer to PM Prayuth, was appointed to be the Deputy PM and Defence Minister--both formidable positions. Gen. Prawit is believed to be one of the most powerful people in both politics and the army. In the cartoon, he is comparing his power with Privy Council president Prem Tinsulanonda, known as Pa Prem.]

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