The Missing Marker & Thai Democracy

The missing marker &
Thai democracy

Do all Thai roads lead to Singapore?

Do all Thai roads
lead to Singapore?

Who will come crawling?

Who will come
crawling?

Analysis: Thailand’s Half Democracy

Analysis: Thailand’s
half democracy

Thaksin shifts puppets

Thaksin shifts puppets

How many died in the Thai drug purges?

How many died in the Thai drug purges?

Remembering
Black May 1992

Remembering the Red Shirt protests of 2010

Remembering the Red Shirt protests of 2010

Remembering the checks & balances of the 1997 charter

Remembering the checks & balances of the 1997 charter

During Red Shirt rally, Thaksin kids withdraw 10 billion baht

During Red Shirt rally, Thaksin kids withdraw 10 billion baht

Posted in 2Bangkok News | Comments Off on

It’s all dictatorship

From Manager, October 29, 2018
Left, rapper: My country has a military dictatorship which blocks freedom…!! Yo… yo…
Right, rapper: My country has an elective dictatorship… Yo… yo…
Caption: My country… has everything.

[Refers to a rap song titled “Prathet Ku Mee” (“What my Country’s got”) criticizing the junta led by PM Prayut. This song by the Rap Against Dictatorship was released on the YouTube and received million of views.
The cartoonist ridicules the message of the song which, like most pro-Thaksin, anti-junta opposition, paints the political situation of the country as only an issue of removing the military from power and returning to democracy. Here, the cartoonist claims that the elected governments under Thaksin tended to be as dictatorial as the military ones.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Manager | Leave a comment

Your behavior is worse than interference

From Thairath, October 26, 2018
Title: Your behavior is worse than interference
From the tablet with Thaksin on it, an announcer says: Gives an interview with Japanese media about the politics from a person who is far away
On men’s suits at left: Pheu Thai
Center Deputy PM Prawit: Dissolve the party [meaning the junta is calling on the Pheu Thai to be dissolved because of Thaksin’s involvment]
On PM Prayut’s hand: Tu Digital [referring to the PM’s social media accounts]
On the bag at right: National budget used for campaigning [meaning the government is allowing taxpayer money to be used to support the campaigning of pro-junta political parties]
On a sign held by a man with glasses on the right: Four ministers under the PPP [the Phalang Pracharat Party; meaning several current government ministers are also executives of pro-military political parties]
On a sign held by a man with glasses on the right: No resigning, no shame, and don’t care [meaning the government ministers who are are also part of pro-junta political parties should resign so there is not conflict of interest]
On a sign held by hooded man: Carry out a campaign through the election of the party’s leader [the cartoonist uses this figure to represent the Democrat Party to call attention to those who died during the 2010 protests in Bangkok, contending the protesters were peaceful and only wanted democracy and that the Democrat Party wanted them to die; here the figure is openly campaigning despite a political ban which refers to the Democrat Party leadership battle that critics contended violated the political ban]
Phi Nooring: Being furious since the case of “clung to the table.” [Thaksin recently mocked Deputy PM Prawit by saying he “clung to the table” meaning he begged for his post of army chief from Thaksin.]
Mouse: Too much bulling

[This cartoon refers to the Election Commission’s warning that the Pheu Thai Party could be dissolved if it were found to have let Thaksin interfere with its internal affairs.
The EC’s reaction came after Deputy Prime Minister Prawit called on the agency to look into Thaksin’s interview with the Japanese media about how the Pheu Thai Party would fare in the upcoming elections.
The cartoon contends that the military and the the junta are interfering more in party political far more than Thaksin ever has.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Thairath - Sia, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Can they dissolve the party?

From Naewna, October 26, 2018
Lion: Don’t worry that the EC [Election Commission] will indict on your dominance of the party, boss.
Tiger: Yes, sir… We don’t see how the EC will find the evidence to dissolve our party.
Caption: The party turns a blind eye to it. The evidence is clearly seen, but they pretend like it is a hair too small too see.
Thaksin is on the screen. This refers to the open secret that Thaksin addressed various governments via SKype of video conferencing after he fled into exile.

[This refers to the Election Commission’s recent warning that Pheu Thai Party could be dissolved if it were found to have let Thaksin interfere or control its internal affairs.
Thaksin clearly controls the party and thus new laws enacted after the coup have been specifically set up to allow a party to be dissolved if such an overseas figure interferes in its operation.
This cartoon shows the “dangerous animals” flattering Thaksin and turning a blind eye to the EC’s warning and the new rules than could cause the party to be disbanded.]

More about the attempt to “Target Thaksin”
More on the “Dangerous Animals”

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Naewna | Leave a comment

Weekly News Magazines: Rap Against Dictatorship, November, 2018

From Matichon Weekly, November 20-8, 2018
Main cover reads: Prathet Ku [red] Mee
[Refers to a controversial rap song titled “Prathet Ku Mee” or “What my country’s got” in English. This song criticizes the country under the junta.
After PM Prayuth urged the public to judge the song’s accuracy for themselves and said he would ignore it, the song’s views on Youtube skyrocketed and it became a source of debate in the country.
We are not sure why Prayuth is on a swing. “Mee” (in red) also has a “high voice” tone mark over it instead of the normal one. We are not exactly sure why this is, but something like this might signify to Thais that the person speaking is lying as it is said that those who lie speak as if they are using the “high voice” tone mark.]

Top: Leicester City doesn’t have… Thailand doesn’t have Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha anymore.
[Refers to the passing away of Thai billionaire and owner of UK football club Leicester City Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha. He was died in a helicopter crash after taking off from the King Power Stadium in the UK. Vichai brought Leicester City in 2010 and helped the football club to win a championship in 2016.]

From Siamrath Weekly Review, November 2-8, 2018
Main cover reads: Get stuck in the mud
[Refers to the junta led by PM Prayut facing a challenge on dealing with the rap song title “Prathet Ku Mee” by the Rap Against Dictatorship. This song criticizes the junta and calls for free and fair elections soon.
First, the police threatened people who shared the song on social media. This helped rapidly increase the number of views online and the public strongly criticized the junta’s petty attack on freedom of speech. Later, the police back down and said that sharing the song does not violate the law.]

From Manager Weekly, November 3-9, 2018
Main cover reads: Life goes on

[Refers to owner of King power UK’s football club ‘Leister City’, Mr. Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha who died in a helicopter crash.
After his passing away, his son, Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha (man with sunglasses) announced that he would now try carry on his father’s “big vision and dreams” for Leicester City and as well as the family’s business King Power.]

Top: “Dissect” [red] Prathet Ku Mee [black] the truth was set.
[Refers to controversial rap song titled “Prathet Ku Mee” that criticizes the junta. Music video of the song shows pass incidents of violence against protesters. The rap group and music video producer insisted their intention was to express their view on Thai politics and call for the election. However, critics questions their hidden intention since they used past sensitive political events in their music videos. Thai culture tends to desire to quickly smooth over such violent events and try to stress unity and harmony so those that bring up or refer to past events can be harshly criticized for somehow creating division.]

Bottom left: Broken jar. Drama on the conflict between “Arm-Haithongkhum”
[Refers to the contract conflict between teen singer and composer Arm-Haithongkhum (or Arm Chutima) and the manager of Haithongkhum Records, Prajak Naowaras. The headline mimics the Thai proverb “broken home” by swapping in the artist’s name “Haithongkhum” or “golden jar.”]

Right: Extraordinary becomes the negative. Misery from bad deeds of a person who betrays his ideology. A lesson from Uncle Thaug to Uncle Tu
[Refers to the current political situation of former leader of the defunct People’s Democrat Reform Committee (PDRC) Suthep Thaugsuban. Suthep promised when he led the protest against the Yingluck government and the elections that had been called that he would not be involved in politics again.
This was important to many of his supporters who wanted to block Thaksin from giving himself a pardon, but felt uncomfortable in following a political leader like Suthep who might just want to block elections and overthrow the Yingluck government to further his own political career (i.e. for “selfish reasons”).
Suthep broke his promise by setting up a political party, “Action Coalition for Thailand,” expressly to support the military junta’s PM to stay in power after elections. His actions caused disappointment to his supporters and recently his popularity has declined.
The headline notes that his life when from extraordinary (as the leader of the PDRC that was widely praised by those who hated Thaksin for his selfless actions in prevent amnesty) to the negative after he broke his promise and is now attempting to capitalize on the coup he provoked. This cover warns that PM Prayuth (Uncle Tu) may encounter the same fate as Suthep (Uncle Thaug).]

From Lokwannee, November 2-9, 2018
Main cover reads: Good people are wriggling.
Skeleton: Jak!! [a sound of suffering from the hot water]
On a kettle: # Prathet Ku Mee
[Refers to a rap song titled ‘Prathet Ku Mee [or “What my Country’s got” in English] criticizing the junta. This song by the Rap Against Dictatorship was released on the YouTube and received million views. It becomes controversial as some agree and disagree with it. At first, there was a warning of violating the law for who shares this song. Later, the police revoke their word. The cover is sarcastic to the junta, who claims that they are good people to come to help the country. It illustrates that the junta can’t bear with these facts written on the song.]

Posted in Thai Newspapers and Magazines | Leave a comment

Hard to get the Pheu Thai Party away from the Shinawatras

From Manager, October 25, 2018
Left, Sudarat: Boss should put me in the safe zone rather than promoting to be the new party’s leader.
Boss (meaning Thaksin): Why? Are you afraid of the NCPO? [the military junta]
Right: No… I’m afraid of boss’ younger sister!
Caption: Reasons why Noi [Sudarat] wants to stay in the safe zone.

[Refers to an intense competition to be the leader of the Pheu Thai Party.
Sudarat “Noi” Keyuraphan has long been a candidate, thought to favored by Thaksin who was toying with allowing a non-family member from leading the party.
Her candidacy was resisted from many quarters, particularly other Shinawatra family members such as Thaksin’s younger sister Yaowapa who was pushing her husband, former PM Somchai, to be party leader.
Finally, an 86-year-old minor political non-entity, Pol. Lt. Gen Viroj Pao-in, won the leadership post.
However, all the major candidates like Sudarat were afforded party status that would allow them to be selected as prime minister if the party controls the next government. This indicates that the party’s strategy on who might be its prime minister is still being hotly contested.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Manager | Leave a comment

Whose army?

From Thairath, October 23, 2018
Title: People’s army?
On the bag carried by Gen. Apirat: If there is chaos, then a coup will take place.
Sign close to PM Prayuth: Extend the power line of the NCPC [the junta]
On the bag: Pracharat, Thai Niyom Yangyuen. Without an investigation and can operate freely [meaning pro-military political parties seem to be allowed to conduct political activities despite the ban]
Phi Nooring: Be neutral and not involved with politics
Mouse: A huge burden mission

[Refers to army chief Gen. Apirat Kongsompong who recently insisted that army remains neutral and will not intervene if politics is stable after the election. However, if there is political chaos the military would not rule out a coup.
This angered anti-junta and pro-Thaksin politicians eager to have free reign in politics after the next elections.
The cartoonist further shows that Gen. Apirat attitude is supporting the ascension of pro-military parties and politicians.
The people being carried by Gen. Apirat are (from left to right) Suthep, Deputy PM Somkid, Deputy PM Prawit and PM Prayuth.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Thairath - Sia | Leave a comment

Why can’t they praise me?

From Manager, October 23, 2018
Prayuth: Here’s that… here’s that… only having a curse [for me]… why they can’t they praise?!
Man at the door: Go to the computer to store up more [computers].
Caption: Tu uses Facebook?… computer sales must go up.

[Tu is nickname of PM Prayuth. After Prayuth opened his own official Facebook page he has been deluged with attacks by netizens. This is an amusing turn of events for a junta that has been loathe to tolerate dissent.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Manager, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

It’s the people’s fault for voting

From Thairath, October 20, 2018
Title: The people’s fault.
On the soldier’s shirt: Return happiness [the junta’s motto]
Soldier: Do not blame the soldier, if there is no riot, there would be no revolution [coup] [this statement paraphrases comments of the new army commander who refused to rule out another coup, saying that it would only be done to prevent political chaos]
On the board: The power of benefit [meaning that the military has special power because of its position in society and government]
Under the board from left to right on the suits: Alliance group; Freeze the country [groups that wished to “freeze politics” to stop Thaksin’s electoral power]; the political party that loses elections [meaning parties that lost to the Pheu Thai]; Shutdown Bangkok PDRC [protest that derailed the Yingluck government and triggered a coup]; Capitalists [business interests that have prospered under the political peace the junta has created]
Flag on the tank: Overthrow 13 times [referring to the frequent coups]
Left, on signs: Democracy government; from the people’s election [note the man holding the photo of Thaksin]
Mouse: The rifle is from the people’s taxes.
Mouse man: They always penalize the politicians.

[This is an overview of both anti-junta and pro-Thaksin perspectives. This view is that the military, supported by a coalition of groups who have self interest in opposing elections, are preventing free and fair elections that would return the people’s choice–Thaksin–to power.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Thairath - Sia | Leave a comment

No alliance for the Democrats!

From Manager, October 16, 2018
PM Prayuth: Phalang Pracharat… Thai Citizen… People’s Reform… Action Coalition for Thailand… [political groupings that are pro-junta]
Thaksin: Pheu Thai… Pheu Tham… Pheu Chat… Prachachat… Future Forward… [political groupings that are pro-Thaksin]
Abhisit, leader of the Democrat Party: Prachathipat… Prachathipiek… Prachthipod… Prachthipeuay… Prachathipood… [these are nonsense words describing various negative attributes of the Democrats]
Caption: Three groups checking their alliances

[Refers to the three major political leaders–PM Prayuth, Thaksin and Abhisit. All consequential political cliques and parties can be confidently grouped under these three leaders (except Chartthaipattana which is a political party designed to be able to be a part of any government coalition).
In the cartoon, the leaders are counting their alliances. With the new constitution essentially penalizing larger parties, both the junta and Thaksin have cleverly organized their supporting PMs into smaller political parties.
The cartoonist notes that Abhisit, leader of the Democrats, does not seem to have any such alliances. Apart from “Phachathipat” (which is the name of of the Democrat Party in Thai) the other parites do not exist.
The cartoon uses the word “prachathi” and adds words at the end to describe the Democrat Party’s assumed weaknesses. For example, “pod” means “lying,” “peuay” means “weakness,” and “pood” means “disclose a secret.” We are not sure about “piek.”]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Manager | 1 Comment

Destroy democracy to destroy corruption

From Arun, Matichon Weekly, October 12-18, 2018

“Corruption is a big problem but an anti-corruption is a bigger problem for the democracy when the anti-corruption program destroys the democratic system.” Prof. Yoshifumi Tamada, expert on Thai study, Kyoto University
On the apple: Corruption

[The cartoon refers notes that the junta that always gives the reason for conducting the coup because they wanted to reform the country and end corruption.
Here it shows the military destroying democracy to stamp out corruption.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons – Arun | Leave a comment

The Shinawatras lie about fleeing

From Manager, October 11, 2018
Left, Thaksin: I will fight the charge and never flee!
Middle, Yingluck: I will fight the charge and never flee!
Right, Thaksin’s son Panthongtae: I will fight the charge and never flee!
Caption: Look at his dad… and aunt… then we know whether what he is saying the true.

[Refers to Thaksin’s son Panthongtae “Oak” Shinawatra, who has been charged with money laundering. Entangling him in a legal case in the run up to the elections effectively prevents Thaksin from appointing him to head the Pheu Thai party and narrows his options to find a family member he can rely on.
The cartoonist makes the case that Thaksin and his family members always claim they will face the courts and never go into exile–but they always do.
Such claims were especially damaging in Yingluck’s case as she fled the morning of the reading of her verdict leaving other co-defendants who had believed her pledge not to flee to face long prison sentences alone.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Manager | Leave a comment

As long as the accused is not a billionaire

From Manager, October 10, 2018
Left, Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan: I believe Gen. Srivara will investigate the case of binturong transparently…
Right: Because the alleged offender is only a deputy district chief, not a billionaire…

[A group led by deputy district chief Watcharachai Sameerak was arrested for allegedly hunting binturong in Sai Yok National Park, Kanchanaburi province. Deputy National Police commissioner Gen. Srivara Ransibrahmanaku has been assigned to lead this case.
This case raised concern among the public as it might turn out like the earlier case of well-known construction tycoon Premchai Karnasuta who was alleged of killing endangered animals including a black panther in a wildlife sanctuary. His case seems to be taking forever with most assuming that such a rich and connected person cannot be prosecuted.
However, Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan ensured the public that Gen. Srivara will not disappoint the public. The cartoonist ridicules the apparent difference in justice for those who are lowly officials vs a tycoon.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Manager | Leave a comment

Weekly News Magazine: Prayuth on Facebook, October, 2018

From Manager Weekly, October 20-26, 2018
Main cover reads: [left] Online [right] Offline
On the left: Prayut Chan-o-cha [list top to bottom] About, Videos, Posts, Photo, Community, Info and Ads [green] Create a Page
Above PM Prayth’s picture (from left to right): Like, Follow, Share

[Refers to different political actions between PM Prayut (left) and army chief Gen. Apirat Kongsompong (right). Recently, PM Prayut, who used to refuse to join social media, has actively participated to gain support from the public in the coming election.
On the other hand, Gen. Apirat, who is staying away from all social media, seems to cut a more dignified figure (at least on this cover).
It shows that Prayuth is not reduced to a common politician while Gen. Apirat is in the realm of officialdom.]

Top: When the war ends, kill the knights. [red] A future of “Red Shirt leaders” have no future. “Big boss” [black] disconnect-ignore.

[This uses the Thai proverb “Kill the buffalo after finishing farming and kill the knights after ending the war” with a meaning like the English proverb “butcher the donkey after it finished his job at the mill.”
This refers to the uncertain future of Red Shirt leaders.
Some have been exiled and suffered from serious illness, such as Wisa Khanthab (left), Jaran Ditapichai (2nd from left with black hair), Somsak Jeamteerasakul (middle front) and Apiwan Wiriyachi (who died in 2014 the Philippines, third from the left in the back). Jatuporn Promphan (right) already served a jail term and have been released.
Most of these men started out as low-level politicians or desirous of political office, leaping to Thaksin’s defense and staging protests for him in the past.
However, their often revolutionary rhetoric along with the extreme outcomes of the protests (including sieges of Bangkok in 2009 and 2010) means that mainstream politicians have distanced themselves from these men who are seen as paid political agitators.
While some Red Shirt leaders had temporary protection from legal consequences by being made MPs under Phea Thai’s party list MPs in the past, this was when the party was fully in the hands of the Shinawatras.
Now it seems that political groupings are accepting the new reality of politics under the thumb of a military untied in preventing Thaksin bids for amnesty to paralyze the country again.
Some in Thaksin’s own party are probably relishing a chance to finally govern and reap the spoils of holding the reigns of power without being required to risk another showdown with the military over Thaksin’s desire to return.
Political grumbling from the Red Shirt leaders has been rumored as well with anger over being cut lose from the “big boss” (Thaksin) who no longer wishes to fund their activities in this new political reality.
As their political protection and finances dwindle, these men may face, not only legal problems, but violent reprisals over the many contentious acts and speeches they were involved in during past times of protest.]

Bottom left: Disclose the benefits of “Wild Boars The Movie” The copyright fee shall be divided transparently.

[Refers to the movie title “Wild Boars The Movie” which is about the Wild Boars soccer team that became trapped in a cave. The article expresses concern over the money made from this movie and that it should be divided fairly.]

From Matichon Weekly, October 19-25, 2018
Main cover reads: Welcome to Cyberism
The saying behind: I open my personal Facebook account to be another channel to communicate about the policy and work as well as to interface with the public easier. [red] If you have any suggestion, want to exchange views or want me to deal with the problem, you can share with me. Prayut Chan-ocha

[PM Prayut recently joined social media with the aim to promote his activities and gain support from the public. This can be dilemma for him as he cannot then avoid comments from critics of anti-junta groups.
The red text illustrates this concern and raise the question whether people can make comments different from the junta’s policy.
“Cyberism” expresses sarcasm about PM Prayut’s recent activity on social media where there is still doubt about freedom of expression by the public.]

Top: Set a flag for the future. Set the flag for world’s challenges. Biographical book Thanathorn Juanroongruangkit
On the book: Set a flag for [yellow] the future

[Refers to the release of the biography Future Forward Party founder Thanathorn Juanroongruangkit. He announced that he would fight against the dictatorship and bring the country back to democracy.
Such biographies, always lauding their subject, are common as political figures seek to build their reputations.]

From Siamrath Weekly Review, October 19-25, 2018
Main cover reads: Variable

[Refers to Thaksin’s son Panthongtae Shinanwatra who has been formally charged with money-laundering. The title means that the case of Panthongtae will impact the future of the Pheu Thai Party and Thaksin’s political direction.
It was recently suspected that Panthongtae would be maneuvered into being the next head of the Pheu Thai as it is critical for a Thaksin family member head it.
Another line of thought was that a non-family member might give the party more credibility and mute the junta’s plan to paint it as a vehicle for Thaksin amnesty.
However, if someone outside of Thaksin’s family headed it, it might lead to forego controversial goals such as a rewrite of the constitution to provide a Thaksin amnesty or other path for his return to power. Complicating this, the leading figure for party boss outside of Thaksin’s family, Sudarat, is hated by the rural party bosses that represent the major political cliques of the party.
Thus, the legal cases hounding Panthongtae are a complicating factor for Pheu Thai Party leadership.]

From Lokwannee, October 19-26, 2018
Main cover reads: Ocha… isn’t it? [small] Welcome to ‘Tu’ digital
[Refers to PM Prayuth, who once insisted he would stay away from social media.
Now, with elections coming, PM Prayuth joined social media with the aim to promote his activities and gain support from the public.
The headline uses the word “Ocha,” part of PM Prayut’s surname meaning “tasty.” The headline means that people are relishing the drama of the PM on social media as he will face not only good comments but negative comments as well.]

Posted in Thai Newspapers and Magazines | Leave a comment

Poo can deal with them

From Manager, October 8, 2018
Yingluck: See… Poo can deal with them.
Caption: This time she can ‘deal’

[Refers to three Democrat Party politicians consisting Theptai Seanapong (left), Sirichok Sopha (middle), and Chavanond Intarakomalyasut (right) who apologized to former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra (nicknamed “Poo”) in writing for making sexually offensive comments against her on TV while she was serving as prime minister in 2012.
This was related to the great lengths the Pheu Thai went to to make sure Yingluck was not present at important parliamentary meetings. This was to ensure that any controversial decisions made at the meetings could not lead to legal rulings that would remove her as PM and thus imperil the government.
During one meeting it was said Yingluck could not be there because she was meeting with business leaders at a hotel. This was ridiculed by the Democrat MPs to imply something sexual.
In the cartoon it shows that the former political novice, often clumsy in political affairs, has shown she is fully capable of responding to slander against her and even forced the MPs to apologize.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Manager | Leave a comment

Different kinds of animals

From Manager, October 9, 2018
Left: Black panther; Protected animal
Right: Binturong; Protected animal
Middle: Premchai, Deputy District Chief; Unprotected animals
Caption: Those two can be hunted. It does not violate the law.

[Recently, a group led by deputy district chief Watcharachai Sameerak was arrested due to the alleged hunting of binturong in Sai Yok National Park, Kanchanaburi Province.
This is similar to the case of construction magnate Premchai Karnasuta who was arrested and accused of killing endangered animals including a black panther in a wildlife sanctuary.
This cartoon implies that the authorities should hunt down these men who like to hunt endangered animals.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Manager | Leave a comment

Weekly News Magazines: Two Political Systems, October, 2018

From Matichon Weekly, October 12-18, 2018
Main cover reads: ‘Franchise’ of politics
[Refers to two political systems; dictatorship under the National Council for Peace and Order led by PM Prayuth (left) or elected parties represented by Thaksin (right).
As the election is coming, the junta has launched several initiatives to win the public’s support. Some are similar to the populist policies of Thaksin.]

Top: Double S.E.A. Write woman ‘Veeraporn Nitiprapha’ and ‘magic realism of manga’, a symbol in novel of ‘hiding’ of history.
[Refers to novelist Veeraporn Nitiprapha, who won the S.E.A. Write Award this year for her novel collection “Descendant of the century and the memory of the memory of the back-rose-cat.” This is her second award after her first winning in 2015. This headline describes her novel. In the story, she illustrates a human’s story through a cat’s view of various incidents in history.]

From Siamrath Weekly Review, October 12-18, 2018
Main cover reads: Missing you and looking up at the sky. Still seeing you there. Your theories and teachings. Your ideas are like blessings. People who follow your path will be prosperous.

[Refers to the 1st anniversary of the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej (King Rama IX). His Majesty is known as Thai beloved king and the father of the nation as he did so many things to help his people have better lives. Even though he has passed away, his teachings, particularly on the sustainable economy, are still being used to help people live their lives in peace and happiness.]

From Lokwannee, October 12-19, 2018
Main cover reads: Everyone loves me.
Words beside dinosaur: Ho… Ho… Ho… [the sound of booing or jeering in Thai]

[Refers to Deputy PM Prawit who denied he was being jeered when he attended a motorcycle race in Burirum province. He said that he was welcomed by the people.
The cover uses a dinosaur to represent the junta adn indicate it is old-fashioned.]

From Manager Weekly, October 13-19, 2018
Main cover reads: [Left] Escape [mid] Escape [right] don’t escape?
[Refers to Thaksin’s son Panthongtae Shinawatra (right), who has been charged with money laundering. There is a concern that finally he will be exiled like his father Thaksin (left) and his aunt Yingluck (middle) whom fled to escape corruption charges.]

Top: Disclose a ten billion deal [orange] GPSC-GLOW [black] failed. This is just the first round of [orange] “a war of energy business group”
[Refers to the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) which did not approve the deal to purchase of GLOW stocks by PTT’s company GPSC.
PTT exists almost as a law unto itself. Such a ruling against them indicates the titanic divisions behind the scenes that wish to block the deal.]
Bottom left: Watch boxing program “ONE” in 2019; raising the fund 166 million USD to expand in Japan and enhance the alliances
[Refers to the ONE Championship program which is about a mixed martial arts, Thai boxing kickboxing, boxing, etc.
After huge popularity, the company is planning to raise USD 166 million through joining hands with investors to expand to other markets, such as Japan.]

Right: Collecting a tax [yellow] ‘Dog-cat’s slave’ [white] is in chaos. ‘Uncle Tu’ loses face and orders to review it again.
[Refers to a proposal to tax pet owners per pet they own.
After a huge outcry from the public, the junta, led by PM Prayuth (whose nickname is “Tu”), backed down and said they would review the proposal.
Thais call people who love dogs and cats “slave of those animals” as they are willing to do everything to please their pets.]

Posted in Thai Newspapers and Magazines | Leave a comment

Not only a dog howls at the bell

From Manager, October 7, 2018
Dog: Browwwwww [sound of howling]
Woman: Browwwwwww [sound of howling]
Caption: Currently not only a dog howls at the bell.

[Refers to the controversial issue in which a temple was ordered to lower the noise level of its pre-dawn bell tolling after people from a condo close to the temple filed a complaint saying that they were disturbed by the noise.
The cartoonist makes the point that Thai people are used to the pre-dawn bell tolling as this has long been a custom. Normally, when the monks do it, dogs will howl as it disturbs them. The cartoonist jokes that modern people have become like these dogs who are disturbed by the bell tolling.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Manager | Leave a comment

Targeting Thaksin

From Matichon Weekly, October 12-18, 2018
Main cover reads: ‘Franchise’ of politics
[The Thai-language media have always openly discussed the battle royal between Thaksin and those trying to prevent his political return.]

Pheu Thai denies Thaksin links – Bangkok Post, October 24, 2018
…”Former [Pheu Thai] MPs meeting Thaksin overseas was because they have a personal respect for the ex-premier and their meetings were regarding personal matters. The party wasn’t involved,” he said…

Pheu Thai could be dissolved if Thaksin is found to be interfering, EC warns – The nation, October 24, 2018
…In an interview to Japanese TV channel NHK in Hong Kong last week, Thaksin made several comments about the upcoming election, including one predicting that Pheu Thai would win some 300 out of 500 seats in the House of Representatives. Thaksin is not a member of the party nor does he hold an executive post, but he is viewed as Pheu Thai’s patriarch and some say he has retained much influence among its politicians, with many of them referring to him as “Big Boss”.
Many Pheu Thai politicians including senior figures met Thaksin in Hong Kong earlier this month. Similar meetings took place in May in Singapore. The former leader has lived in self-imposed exile since 2008. While in Japan in March, Thaksin predicted a “landslide victory” for Pheu Thai in the next election, and earlier this year, he was also heard condemning party defectors and predicting their election loss…

[At least on the pro-Thaksin side, all the normal things were happening that one has repeatedly seen in the lead up to an election cycle.

These included Thaksin’s interviews with the foreign media to tout Pheu Thai’s future and paint the upcoming battle as one between democracy and military rule. Thaksin’s repeated overseas meetings with key Pheu Thai members have also been documented in the media–presumably to send the signal that Thaksin was still in charge and defectors from his party would pay the price.

Chavalit Yongjiyut, once again acting as a Thaksin mouthpiece, came forward to allude to a bombing campaign and warn the junta to step down.

There has also been months of posturing and open speculation about which family member Thaksin will choose to lead the Pheu Thai–or if he could even afford to continue this practice.

All these events were entirely typical for an election season. However, it did seem odd that Thaksin has been doing all the things he has before with such openness considering that the constitution and other rules have been specifically written to target Thaksin’s remote-control hold over Thai politics.]

Earlier: How many times has Thaksin quit politics?

Posted in Thai Politics | Leave a comment

The junta should follow Chavolit’s example

From Manager, October 2, 2018
Red Shirt leader Jatuporn Promphan: Prayuth should follow Big Jiew [the nickname of for army chief and PM Chavolit Yongjiyut]… he resigns from all the positions in order to enter the politics with dignity… and honor.
Caption: The best example ever

[Refers to Chavolit Yongjiiyut who called on the junta to immediately step down from power.
Junta government ministers are indeed contravening political etiquette in retaining in their posts while preparing a political party to support the ruling junta.
The cartoonist make the point that Chavolit’s statement calling on the junta to step down also threatened a bombing campaign which is typical of his public pronouncements on behalf of the pro-Thaksin opposition.
Thus, the cartoonist contends that Chavolit is the last person who has the honor to call on others to do the right thing.]

Posted in Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, Editorial Cartoons - Manager | Leave a comment

Chavalit awakens form the grave

From Manager, September 30, 2018
On sign: Political graveyard.
Left grave: Big Jiew [nickname of Chavalit Yongjiyut]
Right grave: Big noh [nickname of Sanoh Thienthong]
The right zombie says: Pee Jiew, wait for Noh please.
The words in the background is the sound of flute and drum: Tum tum tum, tang tang tang.
Caption: When flute and drum of politics goes loud… the ghost awakens from the grave.

[Refers to former army chief and prime minister Thaksin Chavalit Yongjiyut who appeared out of apparent political retirement to once more allude to violence he could unleash–this time if the junta did not immediately step down from power.
As a frequent mouthpiece of Thaksin, Chavalit has often spoken up to suggest chaos and violence could begun. This is invariably in support of the pro-Thaksin opposition.
Coming from the former head of the military, Chavolit’s statements are also meant to show that not all of the military is united in opposing Thaksin’s return.]

Posted in Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, Editorial Cartoons - Manager | Leave a comment

21 Years Ago: Thousands of Thais Protest Bangkok’s Inaction in Crisis

Thousands of Thais Protest Bangkok’s Inaction in Crisis – NYT, October 22, 1997
[Thanks to Tom pointing this out.]
…”Thousands of people rallied in the streets of Bangkok for a second day today, furious at their Government’s vacillation in the face of a severe economic crisis. Farmers and factory workers in sandals, bankers and stock brokers in neckties — people from both sides of Thailand’s sharp economic divide mingled in the hot sun to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh.”
“The demonstration today followed an extraordinary rally by businessmen that closed off Silom Road, home to many banks and financial institutions. It was the largest rally by the middle class since mass protests in 1992 that led to widespread violence and caused the fall of a Government…”

Posted in Thai Politics, Today in History | 1 Comment

Chavalit will make the change with bombs

From Naewna, October 4, 2018
Thanathorn: I will use the idea of “Thailand 2X.” Equality–equal with the world to change the country…
The globe: You are good only using the beautiful words for your campaign, but you keep up with old man Jiew. He use only 20 people to change Thailand.
Above baby Jiew: Idea of bombing to make chaos in the country
Caption: An innocent young man beat the old codger.

[Refers to Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit who promoted the idea of Thailand 2X to promote equality among Thais and make the country become equal with others to compete in the international world.
This cartoon jokes that even thought he has bright ideas, his political experience is childish compared to veteran former PM Chavalit “Jiew” Yongchaiyudh.
Chavalit recently called on His Majesty the King to remove the junta to prevent the country from descending into chaos. Chavalit suggested that another option would be to order 20 people to bomb many places in the country to create chaos and remove the NCPO, but this option was impossible to do.
Such remarks have been typical of Chavalit who has consistently raised the political pressure on Thaksin’s behalf at various times.
In Thai, “old codger” is เฒ่าทารก which combines with the word ‘เฒ่า’ (old) and ‘ทารก’ (baby). That’s why the cartoon illustrates Chavalit as a baby.
The portrayal of the globe perhaps reflects a certain Thai feeling that foreign powers are hostile to its customs and especially its monarchy. The pronounced nose here and in other Thai editorial cartoons could possibly be interpreted as a racist portrayal indicating Jewish people.]

Posted in Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, Editorial Cartoons - Naewna | Leave a comment

Chavalit coughs up bombs (again)

From Daily News, October 4, 2018
Former PM Chavalit: Cack cack cack… [sound of a cough]
On his suite: Big Jiew [the nickname of Chavalit Yongchaiyudh]

[Refers to 86-year old-former PM Chavalit Yongchaiyudh who recently held the media briefing calling for His Majesty the King to remove the National Council for Peace and Order and replace the junta with a royally appointed interim government to organize the general election. The reason for this, predictably, was to prevent the country from being in chaos.
During the media briefing, he said that only the King has the power to remove the NCPO. Chavalit said he himself could order 20 people to bomb many places to cause chaos in the country to remove the NCPO, but this option was impossible to do. That is why he called on the King to help.
Such allusions to his ability to create violence is nothing new for Chavalit. He has long spoken on behalf of Thaksin at certain key times, often alluding to violence or chaos in an attempt to pressure the government.
As a former army chief, his pronouncements are also meant to indicate that the military is not united and that some military men support a return of Thaksin to power.
Even before he became an apparent Thaksin shill, Chavalit was known, like several other rural political kingpins, for boasting about his power and ability to cause chaos in the country if he wanted to.
As Thailand’s prime minister, Chavalit led first Thailand and then the world into the 1997 currency crisis. Now as Thailand’s elder statesman, he continues to embody the ego of the “big man” who just might be forced to unleash chaos if certain demands are not met (for more on this concept overall, a free chapter is available for download from my book, The Thai Book, A Field Guide to Thai Political Motivations, “Big Men Always Go Too Far”).
Here are just a few of his past pronouncements, allusions and threats:
2010: Gen. Chavalit to lead Red Shirt “People’s Army”
2014: Gen. Chavalit warns: Junta constitutional reforms could trigger counter coup
2105: Dead Dog Chavalit
2016: Again, Chavalit]

Posted in Analysis, Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, Editorial Cartoons | Leave a comment

They don’t like Phalang Phacharat

From Manager, October 3, 2018
Somkid to PM Prayuth: I ordered those four people to be lures in order to check what will happen when we go out.
On the sign: Phalang Phacharat

[Refers to the recent official launch of new political party Phalang Pracharat Party. This group announced it would support PM Prayuth to become the PM again after the next elections. Deputy PM Somkid Jatusripitak is known as the man behind the sformation of this party.
In the cartoon, the four founders of the party are Industry Minister Uttama Savanayana as the party’s leader, Commerce Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong, Minister of Science and Technology Suvit Maesincee and Minister Attached to the Prime Minister’s Office Kobsak Pootrakool.
Thais would interpret these government ministers coming out and revealing their party and its support for Prayuth as a trial balloon to gauge public opinion for the junta.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Manager | Leave a comment

Eager for more conflict

From Daily News, September 27, 2018
On Man: Thanathorn
His tongue: Discourse [or rhetoric]
He says: Hungry…
On bowl: The Democrats are bloodstained.
Left: Conflict
Center: Cheat
On the sign: Corruption
Right: Burning city [showing one of the Red Shirts burning the city]

[This negatively refers to Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, leader of the Future Forward Party who recently criticized the junta as part of a vicious repeating cycle in Thailand’s politics and called on PM Prayuth to debate his policies.
The cartoonist is contending that Thanathorn’s many pronouncements and political positions are always presented in the most controversial manner–with many bold positions made that are sure to provoke conflict again.
Among these are promises to once again remove the military from handling the violence in the south along with an immediate rewrite of the constitution and amnesty for “political prisoners.”
As such issues were at the root of past political strife, the cartoonist seems to think Thanathorn must be eager for more conflict.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons | Leave a comment

Mark sinking

From Arun, September 25, 2018
Title: “Boss Mark” today.
On boat: Democrat party.
Water at the back of boat: Sucking group.
Shark around the boat: Opposition group.

[“Mark” is the nickname of Democrat leader Abhisit.
Recently, his party has been rocked by defections to other groupings (“sucking”) and challenges to his leadership which would result in the Democrats supporting the junta to remain in government after the elections.
Meanwhile, anti-junta parties such as the Pheu Thai rely on blaming Abhisit for the protest deaths in 2010.
All of this is leading to the feeling that perhaps the Democrats would be better off without Abhisit at its helm.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons – Arun | Leave a comment

October, 1974: Overthrowing the dictators

October, 1974: Overthrowing the dictators

Posted in Today in History | Comments Off on October, 1974: Overthrowing the dictators

There was a bribe too

From Naewna, September 24, 2018
Thaksin: When he is clinging to my table and begging for the position, his voice was so humble… But it was not enough.
On the paper: Position of the army chief
Caption: Prisoner Maew [Thaksin] disclosed about Uncle Poom [Prawit], but did not say it all…?

[Refers to a recent war of words between Thaksin and Deputy PM Prawit sparked by Thaksin’s call for talks and reconciliation.
Deputy PM Prawit suggested Thaksin should clear all legal cases against himself first before thinking about talks with the government. Thaksin then posted a message on the social media to mock criticize Deputy PM Prawit saying that his stance and manner seems official now, but he was humble when he “clung to my table” and begged for the army chief post. Deputy PM Prawit was army commander-in-chief from 2004 to 2005, when Thaksin was prime minister.
This admission by Thaksin shows how he had the ultimate power in deciding top posts at the time.
The cartoonist suggest that, in keeping with all official promotions in government, the winner must supply bribes.
For the highest posts, colossal amounts of money changes hands with the expectation that the post will provide the holder many opportunities for graft to be able to gain the money back.
Thus, the cartoonist says Thaksin told only part of the story about Prawit being awarded the post.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Naewna | Leave a comment

The sadness day of people

From Thairath, October 13, 2018
Title: 13 October Memorial day for the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej. His Majesty will live in our hearts eternally.
On a sign held by a mouse: The sadness day of people

[Refers to the anniversary of the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej (King Rama IX). His Majesty is known as Thai beloved king and the father of the nation as he did so many things to help his people have better lives.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Thairath - Sia, The Monarchy | Leave a comment

Rutting Dogs/Rutting Politicians

From Manager, September 24, 2018
Left: Behavior of animals in the 12th month
Right: Behavior of political animals during the coming election

[On the left, the image refers to the old Thai belief about a dog’s seasonal breeding being in the twelfth month of the year. This then became a proverb to criticize people who have bad sexual behavior.
At right this idea is extended the political parties that form and reform and create alliances based solely on the aim to be part of a governing coalition. This, coupled with the lack of ideology in Thai politics, makes politicians seem very self-serving to many voters.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Manager | Leave a comment