Aug 21st, 2017

They fight for democracy

From Manager, August 1, 2017
Aung San Suu Kyi statue at left: I’m getting sick of her… She likes to pretend to fight for democracy
On sign on base of statue: Aung San Suu Kyi
Nelson Mandela: It’s like her elder brother
On sign on base of statue: Nelson Mandela

[This cartoon ridicules Thaksin and his younger sister Yingluck for claim that they are like the world’s famous democratic fighting figures, such as Aung San Suu Kyi and Nelson Mandela. Their opponents contend that Thaksin was an autocrats who disdained democratic norms and that Yingluck was merely a symbolic PM how made no actual decisions.]

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No one cheered them

From Manager, August 1, 2017
Somchai: Damn it.. We did for them… We didn’t even receive one flower.
Sign: Court
Caption: Superstar… with 6 dogs

[Refers to the court’s rulings on cases related to Yingluck and other Thaksin supporters.
Yingluck received flowers and was cheered by her supporters at the Supreme Court on August 1, 2017 when she went to the court due to her rice pledging scheme.
One day after, former PM and Thaksin’s brother-in-law Somchai Wongsawat, former deputy prime minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, former national police chief Patcharawat Wongsuwan and former metropolitan police commissioner Pol Lt-Gen Suchart Muenkaew listened to their verdict at the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Officers over the crackdown on Yellow Shirts at the parliament in 2007.
Others, such as former commerce minister Boonsong, first man on the right, and other 27 defendants, will hear their verdict on August 25 on the alleged fake government-to-government rice deal with China.
The joke here is that Red Shirt attention has been focused on supporting Yingluck while other members of previous Thaksin-directed governments have received little public Red Shirt attention.
This perhaps suggests the calculated use of Red Shirts to focus on popular Yingklcuk while leaving other old-school political figures to twist in the wind.]

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Weekly News Magazines: Yingluck’s fight, August, 2017

From Matichon Weekly, August 4-10, 2017
Main cover reads: Is it because of ‘destiny’
[Refers to the fate of Yingluck and the Supreme Court’s ruling on the rice-pledging scheme on August 25, 2017. Yingluck is lauded by her supporters as a PM who helped money get to farmers because of the program. They believe that Yingluck is a victim of the politics and is receiving unfair justice from the court.
The headline perhaps suggests that as a pawn of Thaksin, Yingluck is destined to be ruled against by the courts.]

Top right: Gone with the ‘river’ Question of the missing of ‘Ko Tee’ under the hand of the man in black
[Refers to the rumor among Red Shirts that hard core Red Shirt Wutthipong Kotchathamkhun (known as Ko Tee) was abducted or killed by a shadowy force of commandos.
Ko Tee had been running a radio station broadcasting into Thailand calling for the armed overthrown of the country and its monarchy and the establishment of a republic. Ko Tee’s extreme rhetoric was not in sync with the mainstream of the Red Shirt movement which exists merely to enable Thaksin to return to political power in Thailand.
Thus, another leading theory is that Ko Tee had to be eliminated as his activities were providing the junta with a rationale to endlessly delay elections under the idea that the country was still at risk of existential unrest.
Others contend that Ko Tee purposely staged a disappearance, in keeping with Red Shirt strategy, so that groups such as Human Rights Watch would focus more attention on the country.]

From Siam Rath Weekly Review, August 4-10, 2017
Main cover reads: The chicken [white] sees the snake’s legs, and the snake sees the [red] chicken’s [white] breast.
[Refers to Thai idiom “the chicken sees the snake’s legs, and the snake sees the chicken’s breast” meaning two parties know each other’s secrets or know each other very well.
This refers to the fight between the junta and Yingluck on the rice-pledging scheme. It seems to imply that both camps have been locked in battle for a long time trying to exploit the weaknesses of the other.]

From Manager Weekly, August 4-10, 2017
Main cover reads: It’s still beating in our heart
Men on the cover: Somchai Wongsawat, Patcharawat Wongsuwan, Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, Suchart Muenkaew
[Refers to the Supreme Court’s ruling on acquitting former PM Somchai Wongsawat, former deputy prime minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, former national police chief Patcharawat Wongsuwan and former metropolitan police commissioner Pol Lt-Gen Suchart Muenkaew in the case of ordering a crackdown on anti-government protest People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), known as the Yellow Shirt in 2008. Due to this ruling, the PAD submitted an appeal to the National Anti-Corruption Commission on the Supreme Court’s ruling.
At this publication is allied with the Yellow Shirts and opposes Thaksin, it decries the acquittal.]

Top: Great at music. Disclose the life and Buddhist thoughts of [yellow] Odd-Kiriboon
[Refers to the life and way of living of well-known singer of the band Kiriboon, Ronnachai ‘Odd’ Tomyapariwat.]

Bottom left: A case of crackdown on a protest. PAD and NACC weakly fight… Lost since the beginning.

[The man is Pol Gen. Watcharapol Prasarnrajkit, NACC chief.
Refers to the Supreme Court’s ruling on acquitting former PM Somchai Wongsawat, former deputy prime minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, former national police chief Patcharawat Wongsuwan and former metropolitan police commissioner Pol. Lt. Gen. Suchart Muenkaew in the case of ordering a crackdown of the anti-government protest People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), known as the Yellow Shirts, in 2008.
This case was raised by the PAD and the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC).
Some believe that the ruling was favor to those defendants as they had close ties with the junta, particularly former national police chief Patcharawat who is a younger brother of Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan, considered the most powerful single figure in the junta.]

Bottom right: Learning from the lesson of flooding in Isan [northeastern Thailand] in 2560. “Only the water erosion, (no) broken dam” with the same question on the warning systems which never has any answer

[The man is PM Prayuth Chan o-cha. Refers to the flash flooding Sakon Nakhon province in the northeast of Thailand. The flooding caused massive damage amid the concern of dams breaking. The government and relevant agencies dismissed the concerns. However, the public has criticized the effectiveness of the warning system which did not work during the flooding.]

From Lokwannee, August 5-11, 2017
Main cover reads: Fight… Fight
On the water: Sorry for this inconvenience. This is the real natural disaster different from the year 54 [2011] which was mismanagement.

[This cover encourages Yingluck (symbolized by here nickname “Boo” or “Crab”) to fight the charges she is facing in the rice pledging scheme. The cover also points out that Yingluck was criticized for the flood of 2554 (the year 2011), but the flood in 2017 under junta rule was blamed only on natural forces. This is a joke nearly identical to this editorial cartoon.]

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This flooding is not our fault

From Thairath, August 3, 2017
Title: Believe, believe in us please.
On the boat: Return happiness [the junta’s motto]
On paper held by soldier: Many polls says “return happiness” shall stay longer. [meaning polls apparently show support for the military junta remaining in power longer]
Solder with bullhorn: The 2011 flooding was because the government managed [water] incorrectly… The flooding this year is all because of natural disasters, not the government.
Mouse: Flooding politics
Mouse man: Good at making others at fault.

[This cartoon points out that the flooding in 2011 was blamed on mismanagement of the then-Phea Thai government. However, the flooding this year, under the rule of the military junta, is blamed on natural disaster, not mismanagement.]

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It’s a frame up–and unfair to Yingluck

From Thairath, August 1, 2017
On hand at left: MC [Ministry of Commerce]
Words below hand: Fine rice, make it [grade it] cheap and rotten
On rice sack: Rice from warehouse
On hand at middle: Merchant
Words below hand: Rotten rice becomes fine rice with an expensive price
On rice sack: Rice from warehouse
On hand at right: CCL [Constitutional Court Judiciary]
Words below hand: Good people don’t need to plead guilty [beneath is the hooded figure of death used by Red Shirt cartoonist to refer to the Democrat Party and other authorities who cleared the Red Shirt protest in 2010 resulting in deaths and injuries]
Caption: Sacred things or magic that fools people
Mouse: Thai miracle.
Mouse man: If you do not believe, do not be disrespectful.

[This cartoon contends that claims that rice stockpiles were bad are false and thus charges against the former PM Yingluck are unfair–particularly considered that those who caused deaths during the 2010 Red Shirt protest have never been brought to account.]

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Difficult to take action

From Arun, August, 2017
Title: Law/Politicians
On man: Politicians
On traps: Politics

[This seems to illustrate the highly restrictive environment that politics must be conducted in.
The junta has hauled many into court over their activities in the previous government while future governments will have to act under extremely tough restraints including an appointed senate.
While some Thaksin opponents might have tolerated the coups and other actions related to halting Thaksin’s return to power, a sobering reality is setting in. The future political landscape will have the military as arbiter.
This essentially returns Thailand to the political system of the 1980s and erases a 20-year experiment with fully elected governments.]

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Make Bangkok a sea of tears

From Manager, July 23, 2017
Yingluck: Our brothers and sisters… On 25 August, everyone goes to Bangkok and bring a bottle of tears… We will make Bangkok become a sea of tears.
Caption: Next month… wait to see the drama of the drama.

[This refers to the court’s ruling on Yingluck’s rice pledging scheme on August 25.
In the cartoon, Yingluck’s announcement mocks the infamous Red Shirt call in 2010 for Thaksin supporters to travel to Bangkok with bottles of gas to turn Bangkok into a sea of fire unless the then-government stepped down.
Those who oppose Yingluck have criticized her for her emotional and tearful pleas in front of the media to gain support.]

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Don’t want to have an August this year

From Manager, July 25, 2017
People’s thoughts: Don’t want this year to have an August.
People from left to right: Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, ?, Somchai, Boonsong, etc.
Title: The club of people who hate August

[Refers to members of Thaksin’s political clique (from Pheu Thai and previous parties) who are facing court rulings in August. Yingluck will face a rice-pledging scheme verdict.
A group of 28 people including former commerce minister Boonsong Teriyapirom and deputy minister Poom Sarapol will face a ruling on their involvement in the government-to-government rice sales to China.
Former PM Somchai Wongsawat, former Deputy PM in charge of security Chavalit Yongchaiyudh and former police chief Patcharawat Wongsuwan faced cases for their respective roles in the crackdown on People’s Alliance for Democracy protesters in 2008.
Since this cartoon was published, a verdict was reached clearing Somchai, Chavalit and others in the 2008 crackdown. This verdict shocked the political world and stunned Thaksin supporters who were already touting the expected verdict as evidence of how unfair the legal process was to Thaksin.
It was thought that a guilty verdict against the officials behind the 2008 crackdown would neatly remove Somchai and Chavalit as possible PM candidates for the Pheu Thai.
While the court ruling seemed clear–the 2008 protest was not a “normal” peaceful protest (but a violent one for political purposes) and thus the clearance orders were justified–speculation swirled about the verdict.
Some saw the verdict as more of the junta’s backdoor trade offs that would see a Pheu Thai government seated after the next elections while ensuring Thaksin would not be able to control it. Others pointed to the connections of some of the accused to figures in the military junta. Another theory is that Chavalit is simply too powerful a figure to chastise legally and was insisting on a blanket acquittal.
Whatever the reason, the expected very bad month for Thaksin started with a surprise positive verdict.]

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Weekly News Magazines, July 21-28, 2017

From Siamrath Weekly Review, July 21-27, 2017
Main cover reads: August [red] horrible

[Refers to the month of August in which the Supreme Court will rule on former PM Yingluck Shinawatra, who is accused of creating huge losses while PM in the Pheu Thai rice subsidy scheme. The result of this case will impact not only Yingluck, but also her brother Thaksin (who directs the party from overseas) and the Pheu Thai Party. A guilty verdict would send a signal to future leaders of the party not to enact similar programs that pander to party supporters, but which are actually meant to maintain government popularity to enable Thaksin’s return to power.]

From Matichon Weekly, Jul 21-27, 2017
Main cover reads: Road map over road map 19 Aug 61 ‘Election’

[Refers to the attempt of the Election Commission, led by its president Supachai Somcharoen (pictured), to set the time frame for elections on Aug 19 2018. This “road map” conflicts with the “road map” of the junta which apparently intends to extend military control for as long as possible.]

Top right: Pae ‘TALENT’ [red] showing a disclose of the 8-people-kill betting with his position of the police chief

[Refers to an investigation of the killing of eight family members including children of Vorayut Sanglang, a village headman in Ao Luk district, Krabi province. As case has received a lot of attention from the public, National police chief, Pol. Gen. Chakthip Chaijinda, whose nickname is Pae, traveled to Krabi to investigate the case himself.]

From Lokwannee, July 22-28, 2017
Main cover reads: Law. Law person cheats. Law person did.
Close to the red crab (representing former PM Yingluck whose nickname is “Poo”): 6 million Likes

[This covers implies that Thai law is unjust as it targets former PM Yingluck for the rice-pledging scheme. This is despite her being an elected PM with strong support as she has 6 million people likes on her Facebook page.
Behind this reasoning is the Red Shirt assertion that no non-elected and non-political force should be able to interfere with the activities of an elected government. Such interference would be considered non-democratic.]

From Manager Weekly, July 22-28, 2017
Main cover reads: A hungry ghost of Suthat temple-[black] Monk has a habit like a crow [white] with hundred billions of wealth

[Refers to an investigation carried out by the National Office of Buddhism (NOB) on temple corruption. This investigation caused a conflict between the head of temples, led by Suthat Thepphaararam temple’s abbot, and the NOB director and seemed to show that government bodies were disrespectful to the monks.
The hungry ghost of Suthat temple is an old legend and the name of a famous drama as well. The hungry ghost is believed to stay at the temple waiting for the donations from the people.
The cover shows a famous and controversial painting titled “Monk has a habit like a crow” by Anupong Chantorn illustrating monks who behave inappropriately.]

Top left: Jailed ‘Kotong-Gen.Manas’ but [yellow] ‘Paween’ [white] who disclosed this case must be exiled in Aussie.
Man on the left: Police Major General Paween Pongsirin
Man on the right: Gen. Manas Kongpan
[Refers to the court’s ruling to sentence Gen. Manas Kongpan and Kotong (Patjuban Aungkachotephan) due to the trafficking of Rohinya people.
The investigator who embarrassed the junta and government by making sure this case came to light, Police Major General Paween Pongsirin, has had to hide out in Australia in a fear of his life.]

Top right: Consider the case of ASTV on the way of satellite TV
[Refers to an intense competition in the satellite TV business.]

Bottom left: Disclose the problem of “Super Power” A group of new sponsors not related to [red] Mae Kim Lai – Get ready to fight the next year

[Refers to the problem inside Thailand’s football league team “Super Power” Samut Prakan F.C. and the bad performance of the team. Also, the team denies the rumor that well-known desert brand “Mae Kim Lai” will be the new sponsor of the team.]

Bottom right: Sell HD to AIS [black] ‘Pravit’ joins hands ‘Khun Dang’ exploring SD to rescue Channel 3

[The man is Pravit Maleenont and the woman is Suran Prempree. Refers to the huge loss of Channel 3 due to the HD TV business. To solve this, Channel 3 hired the former executive team from AIS to help. This led to the rumor that Thaksin would take over the channel. Channel 3 executives denied the takeover.
Meanwhile, former Channel 3 executive Pravit joined hands with media mogul Surong Prempree, known as Khun Dang, to manage Channel 3’s SD TV business with the aim to increase profit to compensate the loss from HD TV.]

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The military should reform itself!

From Thairath, July 14, 2017
Title: Big cleaning day
Bottom held by constitution writer Meechai Ruchuphan: Sterilize
On shirt of man in bath: Politician [The other man is the bath is a police officer]
On shirt of man at left: Justice
On the soldier’s shirt: Return happiness [the junta’s motto]
On the bath tub: Reform the police. Reform politics.
Phi Nooring: Don’t forget to wash yourself.
Mouse: Their turn.

[The military junta has established committees to reform many things including the police and politics in general. Doing this is meant to strike at the power bases of deposed PM Thaksin and maintain military oversight (or dominance as their critics would contend) over the country.
The cartoonist contends that the military should next show its sincerely by reforming itself with the same vigor they applied to other groups.]

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The next PM must be a military man

From Arun, July 14, 2017
Title: Searching for Cinderella (PM)

[Refers to the next prime minister after elections. There is intense speculation that the military is maneuvering to ensure a military man continues in the post of PM leading a coalition government. This would be to stop another Thaksin-directed government from taking power.]

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Don’t take any our bribes!

From Manager, July 10, 2017
On TV: We’ll reform the police by stopping the post buying.
Caption: You really want to hit the rice cooker of the high ranking police.

[Refers to the issue of promotion-buying in the Royal Thai Police. It is a traditional practice for police officers to have to pay bribes for obtaining their promotions. Deputy PM Prawit, who supervises the police, vigorously denied any such practice and threatened to sue those who made the claim. This created howls of derision from the media and public and called into the question the military’s commitment to reform the police force.
“Hitting the rice cooker” is a Thai idiom meaning as doing something that impacts one livelihood. Here it means that high ranking officers who receive the bribes would find their standard of living cut of the practice is stamped out.]

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Thaksin is the political victim

From Thairath, July 20, 2017
Title: Across the world law
On flag held by Thaksin: Political victim
On arrow at left: Politicians who are exiled because of the charge
On arrow at right: Politicians who aren’t exiled because of the charge
A judge is holding Suthep and a robed figure representing the Democrat Party. Suthep was leader of the anti-Yingluck protest groups who used whistles as a symbol. The Democrat Party led by Abhisit Vejjajiva was criticized for allowing to use of violence to crack down on the Red Shirt protest in 2010.
On the gun: The charge has not expired. [meaning the law has been changed so fugitives cannot wait out the statue of limitations]
On judge’s robe: Law on considering the charge behind the defendant
On the skulls from left to right: Do nothing wrong. Have power. Dismiss the charges. [refers to the past political battles in Bangkok where protesters died, but no one was brought to account]
Phi Nooring: Escape from the injustice
Mouse: Don’t wrap up the lesson learned

[This cartoon criticizes the alleged injustice in Thailand’s judicial system. It shows that while the justice system is trying to attack Thaksin and his supporters overseas, those who support the junta, such as Suthep Thaugsuban and the Democrat Party, have faced preferential treatment.]

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Seizing more of Thaksin’s money

From Manager, July 12, 2017
On the newspaper Thaksin is reading: Found only 1 million in Maew’s [Thaksin’s] account
Caption: This news reminds Maew… that his transportation is still not efficient.

[This refers to a recent ruling that attempted to seize more of Thaksin’s assets. When they attempted to seize his accounts they only found one million left.
We think the joke is that Thaksin’s local staff must have drained this accounts.
The truck also brings to mind the events of 2010 when billions of baht were withdrawn from accounts of Thaksin’s children (During Red Shirt rally, Thaksin children withdraw more than 10 billion baht). The allegation being that the money was meant to pay protesters as well as pay off MPs to remain loyal to Thaksin during the violent protests.]

Also from 2010: Shinawatras withdraw B1bn cash – Accounts siphoned ‘to avoid tax levy’
Also from 2011: Disappearing Article? “B10bln baht cash disappears from system”

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Monks too high to be touched

From Manager, July 20, 2017
Monk: A monk is high… untouchable
Hungry ghost: A hungry ghost is also high!
Caption: The same height and can’t see the difference.

[Refers to an incident which senior monks criticized the director of the National Office of Buddhism for an investigation of the temple’s funds. There was a report that some senior monks made a complaint that monks had a high status in society and were well respected by the people and should not be investigated.
This cartoonist notes that some temples have corruption problems with donations–using the donations for their own sake.
It compares the corrupt monk who steals donations with a hungry ghost. The hungry ghost is traditionally believed to stay around temples to suck up people’s donations of merit.
Thus, both are parasites of the people’s goodwill.]

Posted in Buddhism, Editorial Cartoons - Manager | 1 Comment

No need to reform the police, they solve every case immediately!

From Manager, July 17, 2017
Above the door: Police reform committee
Pol. Gen. Chakthip shouting on a megaphone: In only one week… We investigated.. and arrested the gunman who killed 8 people to end the case… As we worked very well, do you still want to reform us?
Caption: Here… Pae… [nickname of Gen. Chakthip] you must show them here.

[Refers to the junta’s pledges to reform the police. Here, National police chief Pol. Gen. Chakthip Chaijinda grabbed the national spotlight for immediately arresting the gunman who killed 8 people in Krabi.
It is a peculiar feature of developing nations that their law enforcement bodies often instantly capture high profile lawbreakers–and obtain full confessions from all involved.
The cartoonist jokes that this fact would be paraded before the reform committee to emphasize that the Thai police do not require reform at all.]

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Blood on his hands

From Manager, August 1, 2017
On August 2, whatever the result will be, it can’t wash the blood of the PAD from his hands.

[Refers to the verdict of the case of former PM and Thaksin’s brother-in-law Somchai Wongsawat and other three defendants, former deputy prime minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, former national police chief Patcharawat Wongsuwan and former metropolitan police commissioner Pol Lt Gen Suchart Muenkaew on the case of the crackdown the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) protesters, known as the Yellow Shirts, at the parliament in 2007.
The court acquitted all the accused. This pro-Yellow Shirt publication continues to denounce Thaksin’s brother-in-law Somchai, PM at the time, for approving the clearance of the protesters.]

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Not fair to Thaksin

From Thairath, July 19, 2017
Title: More dreadful than the 8 family members shot dead [referring the mass murder in Krabi]
Judge in black: An act to testify at hearing on plaintiff with no limitation on the case
On the paper that has a silhouette of Thaksin: One who ran away to another country [referring to a change in law so that Thaksin may be tried in absentia and that those who flee from court cases cannot wait out a statue of limitations and return]
At left above, man kissing: Good people party
He says: Dismiss the case
Center on shirt: Friends
He says: Sued in the wrong court [This points out a common way Thai cases are dismissed. They are never dismissed on a point of law, but always on absurd technicalities such as a case being brought in the wrong venue or in the wrong way. Courts strive not to make definitive rulings in high profile cases that one side is wrong. If they can they will dismiss on procedural technicalities instead.]
Man at right on shirt: FSRA [Financial Sector Restructuring Authority]
He says: The case is dismissed as it is expired.
Below: Powerful people
Right below: Never do things wrong
On hand: No standard
Mouse man: Retrospectively revisiting every case
Mouse: Especially politicians

[This points out that laws have been changed so that acts of politicians, even those covered under previous laws, can be tried even if the politician has fled the country. It also prevents them for waiting out the statue of limitations.
This is clearly designed to target Thaksin.
The cartoon also contends that friends of the junta and those who oppose Thaksin are treated differently from the law.]

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Weekly News Magazines: Who will lead the Pheu Thai, July, 2017

From Siamrath weekly review , July 14-20, 2017
Main cover reads: Good will [red] but aims to attack

[Refers to the rumors that yet another obscure Thaksin family member might head the Pheu Thai Party.
This contradicts earlier rumors that Sudarat Keyuraphan (pictured) would lead. This would have been a watershed moment for the party as Sudarat is a respected political veteran with a faction of her own and, most importantly, is not a Shinawatra family puppet who would be directed by Thaksin from overseas.
However, Sudarat is hated by the party’s rural kingpins who do not have any synergy with a female who has a political clique based around Bangkok.
All of this signals the tussling within the party over its leadership going into the next election.]

From Matichon Weekly, July 14-20, 2017
Main cover reads: Was trapped by ‘Tu’? [Meaning the PM forced the US to cater to Thailand.]
[Refers a talk between PM Prayuth and US President Donald Trump. Trump invited PM Prayuth to visit the White House. This illustrates an improvement in the relationship of those two countries after the Obama’s administration perceived pressure that was put on the junta and Thailand’s increasingly close relationship with China.
There is concern that Trump may have to ignore the issue of democracy and human rights in order to expand the relationship with Thailand to counterbalance China and North Korea in the region. Due to these global circumstances, Thailand under the junta would benefit from this power competition.]

Top right: Sister Noi dismissed the rumor on promoting to fight and insists the PTP still not decide who will be the ‘leader’
[Refers to the rumor that Pheu Thai Party will appoint Sudarat Keyuraphan, whose nickname is Noi, to be leader of the party.]

From Manager Weekly, July 15-21, 2017
Main cover reads: Order from the boss to kill the whole family in Ao Luk.

[The photo shows family members of Vorayut Sanglang (the man in white). Refers to the killing eight members including children of Vorayut Sanglang, a village headman in Ao Luk district. The cause of the massacre is thought to be local business conflict.]

Top: Disclose the relations between [orange] “ThaiHealth-TPBS” [black] husband and wife and the question about the conflict of interest.
Logo on the right: ThaiHealth
Logo on the left: Thai PBS
The man is Dr. Supreda Adulyanon and the woman is Dr. Wilasinee Phiphikul.
[Refers to the concern about an alleged conflict of interest between the ThaiHealth and Thai PBS. Dr. Supreda Adulyanon, CEO of the ThaiHealth and Dr. Wilasinee Phiphikul, Director of Thai PBS, are a couple and their two organizations have business links. Also, the selection of the new Thai PBS director has been criticized over transparency and unfairness.]
Below left: ‘Neung-Jakkawal’ isn’t afraid of change in the music industry. ‘Klongtoey slum’ is more cruel.
[Refers to a story of well-known pianist Jakkawal ‘Neung’ Saothongyuttitum. Although he had a difficult life when he was young, later he has become well-known and respected person of the music industry.]
Bottom right: From #under the mud, to #An aunt who love to pay. Drama in the Club Friday. Open another side which “Four” didn’t speak all of things.
Couple on the left: Saithip Montrikul Na Ayudhaya and Worarit ‘S’ Waijernnai
Couple on the right: Sakolrat Four Woraurai and Pitch Kachai
[Refers to popular TV show by the ATime media “Club Friday.” Former teenager singer Sakolrat Four Woraurai disclosed her love story with her ex-boyfriend singer Pitch Kachai. This led to Pitch making a hashtag on his Instagram “under the mud.” People guessed that this hashtag is to criticize Four as “under the mud” meaning “very low and very silly.” Due to this case, people started to bring up the old love affairs of the hosts of the TV program–Saithip ‘Chod’ Montrikul Na Ayudhaya and Worarit ‘S’ Waijernnai. In this case, the woman is older than the man. People thought that “S” was romancing her for reasons other than love.]

From Lokwannee, July 17-21, 2017
Main cover reads: Now the military has already reformed
[This cover is an editorial cartoon (like all Lokwannee covers). Amid the loud calls that the police must be reformed, the cover message makes the case that the military are the ones who should be reformed.
The chicken refers to a nickname, Kai-Ou of Maj-General Sansern Kaewkamnerd, the government spokesperson.
Behind the photo are symbols of the controversial military purchasing deals that have been derided by critics.]

Posted in Thai Newspapers and Magazines | 1 Comment

Shinawatra family drama

From Manager, July 13, 2017
Thaksin’s sister Yaowapa Wongsawat: Who are you? We know nothing of where you come from… how dare you come to get all of our assets!!!
On the chair: Leader of Pheu Thai party.
Caption: Baan Sai Thong 4.0

[This cartoon shows Thaksin’s relatives, including this ex-wife Pojaman, his children and brother-in-law ex-PM Somchai, confronting yet another sibling, Monthathip Kovitcharoenkul, who is apparently being picked from obscurity to lead the Pheu Thai Party.
As both the Pheu Thai Party and the Red Shirts are essentially family businesses owned by the Shinawatra family, it is important that only a loyal family member lead the party. Allowing any outsider who has their own political faction and loyalties to lead the party risks a drift from Shinawatra control.
The danger of drift is even more likely considering the new constitution that allows the military to hold sway over politics. This means elected MPs will know a pardon from Thaksin is impossible and thus there is little reason to back up his desire to force one by any means.
This cartoon jokes that there are divisions even within the family as some would not want another political novice to gain control of the family assets. This family battle alludes to the Baan Sai Thong TV drama.
The story of the show is that the main actress comes to a house called “Baan Sai Thong” on order of her dead father. The owner of the house is the sister of her dead father.
This plot seems remarkably similar to the Shinawatra family where Thaksin sister Yaowapa and ex-wife Pojaman hold the political power of the family and would likely be wary of an outsider holding party power.]

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Return happiness to soldiers

From Thairath, July 14, 2017
Title: Return happiness to all.
A policeman carries a soldier. In the soldier’s hand: Reform the police.
Mouse man: Please do not slobber [meaning the soldiers are excited about the new military hardware].
Mouse: Make it [reform] for people [not soldiers].

[This cartoon contends that the junta’s slogan “Return happiness to all” actually means to make only soldiers happy. It sites the expensive purchase of military hardware for soldiers and the bashing of the police as being corrupt.]

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Weekly News Magazines: Long Live the King, July, 2017

From Siamrath Weekly Review, July 28-August 3, 2017
Main cover reads: Long Live the King
[black] Siamrath [grey] Weekly Review

From Matichon Weekly, July 28-August 3, 2017
Main cover reads: [red] Matichon [top blue] Weekly
Cover picture: H.M. King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun

From Manager Weekly, July 29-August 4, 2017
Main cover reads: Celebrate his birthday at the first reign
Picture: A special stamp of King Rama X

[Refers to the 65th Royal Anniversary of Birth King Rama x on July 28 2017. This marked as first celebration of King Vajiralongkorn as the monarch of the realm while Thai people still continue to mourn his father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej who passed away in October last year.]

From Lokwannee, July 29-August 4, 2017
Main cover reads: Decline of justice?
Tiger: It says “Maew… Maew..” Fierce… and very scary.
Cat: Maew… Maew
On the yellow sign: Be careful of the bad cat! It’s a threat to the country.

[“Maew” is Thaksin’s nickname and means “cat.” The cover ridicules claims that Thaksin is a threat to the nation and that he and his family must be stopped.
Thaksin supporters have long contended Thaksin is not involved in politics at all.]

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Getting the chair

From Thairath, July 5, 2017
Title: It’s called very serious [meaning that instead of reforming the country as they promised, the junta is focused on building post-election coalitions to maintain their power]
On the chair in the left: PM from the coup
On the chair in the right: PM from the election
On the ladder: MPs cozying up with the NCPO [meaning many potential MPs are making deal to join the a junta-led coalition after the next elections]
On the tractor: 250 Senators [referring to an appointed senate that will elect the PM along with elected MPs]
On the carpets from left to right: NRSA [National Reform Steering Assembly, a board to direct Thailand’s policy into the future], flatter, NLA [National Legislative Assembly, the junta’s governing body], pro-junta parties, establish the party to support
Phi Nooring: Chaotically searching for an ideal PM
Mouse: Ashamed to appoint [someone from] their own group [meaning that the MP factions would normally push one of their own for PM, but this time they will join to support a military candidate]
[This cartoon points out the current mad rush to use the tools of the new charter to create a new government. This government is designed to prevent another Thaksin-directed from taking power.]

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Workers returning home

From Manager, July 5, 2017
Man: We all just return home at the same time… Then, the employers will pressure the junta to dismiss the law and ask us to return… ha… ha…
Sign above houses: Restaurants
Sign on the right: The border of Thailand
Caption: You’d better know it.
[Refers to the enforcement of the tough Management of Foreign Work Act that has caused a massive departure of workers from Myanmar and Cambodia back to their home countries. Due to complaints from the workers and Thai business owners, the junta decided to delay the enforcement of the law for four months.]

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Plow to squeeze

From Manager, July 4, 2017
The police: Wowwww… the fine is 800,000 [baht]… So powerful… smoothly plows!
On the plow handle: Management of Foreign Work Act
Caption: New tool for living
[Refers to an enforcement of the Management of Foreign Work Act. In the cartoon, it raises concern that it would provide a new opportunity for the police to squeeze money, in the form of bribes, from employers who might want to violate the act.
The cartoon plays with the word “plow” which is used as a slang work to mean “squeeze” (as in “extort”).]

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Sucking Ghost

From Daily News, June 30, 2017
Title: Wearing suit…. Absorb the temple’s money
On the monk’s bowl: Temple’s money

[This shows a hungry ghost dressed in a typical politician’s suit. Thai folk beliefs contend that, when a person who does bad things dies, they will become a “hungry ghost.” The hungry ghosts are thought to gather around temples waiting to suck up the merit made by people.
This cartoon comments on the perception that the Thai political class uses temples as a way manage the movement of financial graft.
This would bring to mind the longstanding accusations that Dhammakaya Temple is acting as a front to launder political graft.
This goes all the way back to the late 1990s when strong independent oversight agencies were strictly enforcing anti-graft laws by banning politicians. These bans felled some of the giants of Thai politics–many of who where the most connected and untouchable people in the nation.
These bans involved declaration discrepancies. As political parties in Thailand are designed to reap “benefits” (i.e kickbacks in many forms) from large projects, this banning struck at the very economic heart of the way politics worked.
Shortly after winning his first big election, Thaksin himself was able to reverse this trend when, despite having his holdings in the names of his household staff, he was not banned and continued as prime minister.
Subsequently, a plan to legalize casinos in Thailand was believed to be the first effort to create a laundering mechanism for the spoils of politics. At the root of the vigorous resistance to this plan was the fear that a political party in power–connected to the local casino industry–would possess a way to claim (and thus launder) the receipts of gambling. This would be a cover for ill-gotten gains of politics and could be funneled back to politicians through structured investments, offshore holdings, etc.
After Thaksin was deposed in 2006, accusation were made that temples were being used as conduits for shifting and legalizing funds related to political life.
This is the long story that leads us to the crusade against Dhammakaya as a suspected vessel of financial graft acting for the Thai political class.]

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Thai police are the best

From Thairath, July 7, 2017
Left, Thai man speaking to a foreigner: Your country has a company that makes income from renting rooms worldwide without having their own hotel… [referring to Airbnb]
Middle: [Your country] …has a taxi rental company worldwide without any taxis, but in that way you are still not better than Thai people.
Foreign man: How are Thai people that smart?
Right: Because if they only have a police uniform, they can go anywhere collecting bribes from Thai people and aliens [foreigners] without any technology. [or “without needing an app”]

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Weekly News Magazines: Police Reform is Too Hard, July, 2017

From Siamrath Weekly Review, July 6, 2017
Main cover reads: Dig a hole for [white] ‘Big Tu’ to fall

[Refers to the power competition between the junta and anti-junta groups to prepare for the next elections. Some might wish for PM Prayuth to spectacularly fail, but this might open the way for a new military PM to be installed and provide a more neutral choice to head a post-election government. Thus, politicians and, in particular, Thaksin’s cliques must be cautious.]

From Matichon Weekly, July 7-13, 2017
Main cover reads: Tier and Tears

[Refers to the enforcement of the Management of Foreign Workers Act which caused a number of Myanmar migrant workers to return to their country. The face on the cover is that of a Burmese worker, covered in powder in a traditional pattern. However, due to the pressure from Thai owners and the negotiations with the Myanmar and Cambodia governments, the junta decided to delay the enforcement of this law for four months. The junta took these harsh measures against foreign workers to appease the U.S.’s Trafficking in Persons Report which currently ranks Thailand in the Tier 2 watch list.
Observers view the junta’s tough law and order campaign as temporary–once there is a return to democracy, it is thought that political parties will again have little desire to enforce politically unpopular laws.]

Top: Participate–Don’t participate in the election. ‘It’s my own business’ Ending the news–but the news has not done yet. Investigate who will be the ‘outsider’
[Refers to PM Prayuth who recently denied the rumor that he would participate in the next election. However, there is concern that the military will try to maintain their power after elections.]

From Manager Weekly, July 8-14, 2017
Main cover reads: Touch on ‘police’
The men on cover from left to right: Gen. Boonsang Niampradit, Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan, Pol. Gen. Patcharawat Wongsuwan

[Refers to the junta’s attempt to reform the police. This headline plays with the sound of two words in Thai; ปฎิรูป and ปฎิลูบ.
The first one means to ‘reform’ which is the goal of the junta, but the second one ‘ลูบ’ means to ‘touch on’ which shows concern. This means that the reform team which led by Gen. Boonsang Niampradit under the supervision of Deputy PM Prawit will only touch on this issue of reform, but will not make any change. Recently, there was the public raising of the issue about police buying their promotions. Deputy PM Prawit’s brother, former police chief Pol Gen. Patcharawat Wongsuwan, certainly knew of this, but the junta issued a blanket denial and threatened Thaksin-style libel suits against those who made the claims.
Due to this, and past failures to reform the force, the reform of the Thai police seems to be beyond the grasp of the ruling junta.]

Top: Back to the legend of Nakhon Si Thammarat’s city pillar shrine. [black] It is very sacred. Everyone has to visit to pay respect.
[Refer to the holiness of the city pillar shrine in Nakhon Si Thammarat province where a lot of people make a visit to pay respect to it.]

Bottom left: “Justin’s” model. “Jay” sends “Jaonaay” to the teen’s market without any support from the big company.
Top picture: Justin Bieber
Below picture: Jinjett Jaonay Wattanasin

[Refers to former teen singer Jetrin Jay Wattanasin who supports his son Jinjett Jaonay Wattanasin to launch his first single without joining any big music company. This is similar to famous teen singer Justin Bieber who first became known from YouTube videos he posted.]

Bottom right: Very cute! [white] “Maki Shima’ [yellow] a reporter who is crazy in [white] ‘Messi J’
The woman in the picture: Half Thai-Japanese reporter Maki Shima
Man in the picture: Thai national football player Chanathip Songrasin

[Refers to an interview of half Thai-Japanese reporter Maki Shima who reporting the news about Thai national football player Chanathip Jay Songrasin (known as Massie J) now playing in the Japanese football league.]

From Lokwannee, July 8-14, 2017
Main cover reads: Elect or not… you still get us.
On the board: [green box] good people 4.0 party. [black] 3 years are not enough. We want 20 years more… don’t need to elect.

[Refers to the junta’s future plans. Many people have been curious about the junta’s future power as they are afraid that the junta is planning to maintain control after elections. The constitution is one of the tools to maintain their power.
The picture on the billboard refers to PM Prayuth as the man is wearing a North Korean-style coat. The longan and the golden jar head refers to sexy country singer Lamyai (or “longan”) Haitongkam (of “golden jar”). Due to her sexy looks and young age, PM Prayuth criticized on her as being a negative model to other youth.]

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The big traditional Thai dramatic performance of politicians

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

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

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

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

[A frog under the coconut shell is a Thai proverb referring to a person who is in a narrow world, but believes they are in the wider world and know everything. This comparison is often made to describe junta supporters.]

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