- 8 Years Ago: Has Thaksin really quit politics?
- 12 Years Ago: Purachai book ‘outrages’ TRT faithful
- 12 Years Ago: Thai Rak Thai vows 2004 is a “golden year” for Thailand to move up on par with Singapore, Korea and Taiwan
- 10 Years Ago: As TRT falters, Chalerm sees an opportunity
- Weekly News Magazines, December 4-11, 2015
- The ambassador takes on lese majeste
- “You…ugly American you.. go home!!”
- Betrayal Pig
- Coconut Shell Land
- New York Times retracts claims about crime wave in Thailand
- Roasted Pork Democrat Party
From Manager Weekly, January 30-February 5, 2016
Main cover reads: Farewell Luang Phor Charan
On the left: Doing good thing can be done on every occasion. Negligence makes us miss a chance to do a good thing. A good thing brings you happiness and satisfaction. Bad thing bring you sadness and disappointment. Be appreciate your life without comparing it with others. – Phra Thammasing Burajarn
[The monk on the cover is Phra Thammasing Burajarn, known as Luang Phor Charan. This cover expresses sympathy over the death of well-known monk Luang Phor Charan.]
Bottom left: Chai Moo [yellow] ‘Child angel’ [white] the real one who has a power [yellow] Daddy Thaug protects.
[Left is Suthep Thaugsuban and right is Sukhumbhand Paribatra. Refers to the close relationship between Bangkok governor ML Sukumpan, whose nickname is Moo, and former Democrat Party Suthep. After being disowned from the party, Sukhumbhand Paribatra was shown support by Suthep. This leads to the joke that Sukhumbhand Paribatra is a child angel who has been raised and given privileges by Suthep.]
Bottom right: Investigate the suicide of [orange] ‘Chaokhun Sanoh’ [white] a right-hand man of [yellow] Som dej Kio [white] a senior of [red] ‘Phra Namfon’ Phra Phromsuthi is not an ordinary.
[Refers to the suicide of well-known monk Phra Phromsuthi, former abbot of Wat Saket. The police have been investigating his death to determine the possibility that he may not have committed suicide. He was a well-known monk and had close ties with many famous monks such as Som dej Kio and an abbot of Wat Pailom whom is known as Phra Namfon.]
From Lokwannee, January 30-February 5, 2016
Main cover reads: Constitution angel
On shirt: CDC
At bottom: Then! Let’s pay respect. What are you waiting for?
[Meechai Ruchuphan, head of the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC), is portrayed as Gollum and as a Thai “angel doll.”
This sarcastically refers to a new draft constitution written by CDC led by Meechai. This draft is strongly criticized as giving more power to unelected sources.]
From Matichon Weekly, January 39-February 4, 2016
Main cover reads: Don ‘Meechai’ The proposal that you can’t refuse
[The man on the cover is Meechai Ruchuphan, a head of the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC).
Refers to the new draft constitution created by the CDC headed by Meechai. The cover compares Meechai with a mafia don. Both Meechai and junta figures warned that if this version was rejected that the alternative would not be much worse.]
Top right: Chef ‘Mee’ Komkrit thinks different on [white] ‘child angel’ [yellow] carry a doll or a ghost.
[The photo shows Chef Mee and a child angel doll. The refers to a famous chef from Youtube, Chef Mee. He wrote an article about the trend of child angel dolls in Thai society. People raise the doll as their kids with a believe it brings good luck to them.]
From Nation Weekend, January 29, 2016
Main cover reads: Khun Chai Angel
[The men in the photo are Suthep Thaugsuban and Sukhumbhand Paribatra.
This cover is meant to compare Sukhumbhand Paribatra with a child angel doll kept by Suthep. There is a rumor that Suthep and ML Sukhumbhand may join hands to set up a new political party.]
Left side: Trend of [yellow] ‘Child angel’ reflects Thai society. Believe and marketing
[Refers to the trend of raising child angel dolls which they are believed to bring a good luck and fortune to the owner.]
PM erupts after questions about ‘cruel’ charter – The Nation, February 3, 2016
Longtime Political Cartoonist ‘Stephff’ Loses Work Permit & Visa – khaosodenglish.com, February 2, 2016
Defamation Suit Hits Veteran BBC Correspondent for Reports on Fraud – Khao Sod, February 7, 2016
…Head will not be in Phuket for the hearing and is publicly saying as little as possible. Fears include having his passport confiscated by the court if he is to be indicted and needing to seek bail – a move that could jeopardize the two-decade career of the veteran reporter who just finished his term as President of the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand.
“I will not comment at this stage because I have not yet been indicted,” Head told Khaosod English by telephone…
Thailand projected to be the least miserable country in the world, again – asiancorrespondent.com, February 4, 2016
What do you get when you mash together a country’s unemployment rate and inflation? You get a snapshot of how ‘miserable’ it is – that’s the general idea behind Bloomberg’s so-called Misery Index…
Use of ‘dictator law’ rises in Thailand as junta’s reforms falter – Reuters, February 3, 2016
…Last month, activists decried orders to build 14 power plants across the country, despite health and environmental concerns.
Also last month, Prayuth used Article 44 to remove seven officials from a government health promotion foundation, initially citing suspected graft. But he later apologized, and dropped the suggestion of corruption, after doctors complained of interference…
Burning bridges: Police raid threatens ‘quality’ tourism – Bangkok Post, February 7, 2016
The police raid on elderly card players in Pattaya last week may have earned Thailand international ridicule, but it also looks set to cost the country money as hundreds of “bridge tourists” threaten to cancel their holiday plans…
Thai market vendors pelt police with rocks for cracking down on counterfeits – AP, February 3, 2016
Thai police were licking their wounds Wednesday after an enraged mob of vendors chased them away when they tried to seize fake goods at a famous border market.
The Department of Special Investigation said 12 officers were injured when police and French Embassy observers went to the Rong Kluea market on the border with Cambodia to seize items such as fake perfumes that violate intellectual property laws…
Obama takes heat for inviting Thai coup leader to California summit – Washington Times, February 3, 2016
…After a brief suspension of some programs and aid after the 2014 coup, the Pentagon will be taking part in this year’s 35th “Cobra Gold” military exercises with Thailand, a 10-day, 24-country gathering starting Feb. 9 that is one of the largest annual military exercises in the Asia-Pacific region.
While that exercise is proceeding, all 10 leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations — which includes Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam — will gather at Mr. Obama’s invitation for the Feb. 15-16 U.S.-ASEAN Summit at Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage, California…
The Staying Power of Thailand’s Military – The Diplomat, February 10, 2016
…To understand the present and project into the future, it’s important to understand Thailand’s recent past. The 2014 military coup marked the crescendo of anti-government street convulsions, staged initially against an amnesty bill that would have paved the way for the criminally convicted self-exiled former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra to return to Thailand a free man under his younger sister Yingluck Shinawatra’s elected government.
Those protests later morphed into broad, if not vague, calls for cleaner governance, an end to corruption and an overhaul of democratic politics. The street protest-enabled coup, rather than an answer to a popular reform call, was clearly orchestrated by royalist elites to ensure that top generals, rather than squabbling politicians, are in control at the time of what many view will be a delicate royal succession…
Earlier: Falling in Thailand
From Manager, January 24, 2016
Woman: They left it at the right temple.
On the back of the pickup truck: Democrat Party
The man in the pickup is Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva.
On the temple gate: Transitional temple
The man inside the temple is PM Prayuth.
[Refers to Thai proverb “cutting a tail and leaving it at the temple” meaning to disassociate oneself from something or to stop a relationship.
This cartoon shows Bangkok governor ML Sukhumbhan Paribatra (whose nickname is “Moo” meaning “pig” in English). Here he is shown as a big with his tail cut off because the Democrats threw him out of the party due to his poor performance as governor. This ejection has left Sukhumbhan without political protection and it is expected this will make is easy for the junta to unilaterally take harsh action against the arrogant governor.]
From Thairath, January 23, 2016
Title: Set the scene
Phi Nooring: The power is behind the scene
Mouse: Don’t cheat the people
In a front of the wall: The NCPO will be banned for 5 years
On a suit of Wissanu Krea-ngam: Political counsel [Wissanu Krea-ngam is a Secretay-General of the Cabinet]
On the suit of the man sitting down: Independent agencies
On the baton: Justice of the Constitutional Court
On the sword: Partisan senators
Behind the wall on the sleeve: NCPO
The quilted sleeve refers to Privy Councilor Prem
The man holding the wall is constitution author Meechai’s suite: CDC
[This refers to the new draft constitution. It was mentioned that perhaps it might ban members of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO; the junta) from participating in the political activities in the future.
The cartoonist is skeptical that any prohibition would stop non-elected powers from interfering with the actions of an elected government. Even if the junta were banned, there are still many ways independent oversight agencies could be used to block an elected party from taking action.]
From Arun, January 27, 2016
Kon la rueng diew gun (This phrase means something like “different stories, but sometimes these can come together.” Here it shows the combination of the resignation of Bhichai and the “Child Angel” doll phenomenon.)
“Pu’ Bhichai” resign from the party. Feels depressed–not the same.
“Thai Smile” sells seat for “child angel.”
[Bhichai Rattakul (at left) has long supported the Democratic Party, but decided to leave the party two months ago because he thinks former PM Abhisit has created too many fractures in the party.
Former Democrat Party leader Chuan sits as right with a “child angel” doll that looks like Abhisit next to him. Perhaps this means how Abhisit is some sort of special political doll maintained by party elders like Chuan.]
From Thairath, January 25, 2016
Title: Ta board Ta sai [means a person is blind, but from the outside looks totally normal]
On the elephant: Political reformation constitution
Speech boxes from left: This hole will bring the country into serious crisis for sure!
Writing this to suppress corruption is meant to suppress our party!
No prescription for the country’s corruption cases. Don’t you think it is too much? [refers to politicians’ negative view of new rules that would ban the corrupt for life]
What is this hole under the tail? Is this the hole to let the outsource in? [meaning that the hole under the tail is big enough to have some people outside of politics to go in and oversee the elected]
Revoke the husband and wife’s council? Don’t stop the family institution! [refers to bans on family members of MPs holding other political posts. This is to prevent the notorious “couples’ parliament” when spouses of MPs ran for election for the supposedly neutral senate.]
Gives the independent entity power to go against people!
[Illustrates the way the many different critics of a new constitution will comment on it depending on their own perspective and what they might win or lose if it is passed.]
From Thairath, January 20, 2016
Left side: In front of the Metropolitan Police Bureau
At bottom: People’s guardian. [This shows the well-known symbol of the Thai police force which has been made into a statue in from of the Bangkok police headquarters building.]
Right side: All over country.
At bottom: ……. guardian. [The blank in the inscription asks “who is it that the police really protect?”]
Mouse man: This is the beginning of the process of inequity.
Mouse: Please sympathize with the people.
[Thai police are well-known for cover-ups that parade scapegoats in front of the press–all to cover for those who have money, prestige, or position.]
From Manager, January 20, 2016
Man in Chinese dress: Hmmm… one day I will definitely make you pay…
A Westerner is holding a paper that reads: Hong Kong rental contract – 99 years
Left caption: Resentment from hundred years ago.
Modern Chinese man with Chinese yuan in his hand hold a paper that reads: Thailand rental contract – 99 years
Right caption: The payback day (today).
[This refers to the nationalistic backlash against Thailand increasing it leasing terms for non-Thais to 99 years. Such terms would bring Thailand into line with standards in the region–particularly rival Vietnam. This 99-year lease policy is going to become a vexing issue for Big Too and Khun Somkid as so many PDRC men, KPT men and even several Democrat men showing strong disapproval against this 99 year lease. ]
From Manager, January 26, 2016
Jatuporn: Next protest… our new boss says that we don’t need to wear red shirts.
Monk: But you have to shave your hair too.
Caption: Seem like they will have a new job to do.
[Refers to a controversial appointment of the new Supreme Patriarch.
Somdet Phra Maha Ratchamangalacharn has been opposed by several groups due to his close relation with the controversial abbot of Wat Phra Dammakaya, Phra Dhammachayo. Wat Phra Dhammakaya is known as having a close ties with the Red Shirt and being a supporter of Thaksin.
The idea of Red Shirts as monks functioning as human shields during Bangkok protests has long been a fear: March 2010, 100,000 Dhammakaya monks to protect the marching Red Shirts?]
Nestlé admits slavery in Thailand while fighting child labour lawsuit in Ivory Coast – The Guardian, February 1, 2016
…By independently disclosing that Nestlé customers had unwittingly bought products contaminated by the very worst labour abuses, the company said it was moving into a new era of self-policing of its own supply chains. A year-long investigation by the company confirmed media reports that the seafood industry in Thailand is riddled with forced labour and human trafficking and that slave labour was involved in the production of its Fancy Feast catfood brand…
From Thairath, January 8, 2016
Title: It’s really haunted!
On the calendar: Happy New Year 2559 
Phi Nooring: They’re writhing.
A mouse: Even if you don’t believe it, you can’t disrespect it. [meaning even if you do not believe that the Shinawatra family are the nation’s saviors, you should let people respect them]
[This cartoon ridicules the reaction of the junta to the distribution of Thaksin and Yingluck’s New Year calendar to Pheu Thai Party supporters. Bugs and geckos refer to anti-Thaksin groups. The cockroach refers to the Democrat Party as this party can survive and join with any other party or a junta. For the geckos in Thai, it normally refers to people who can adjust to any situation.
The cartoonist jokes that the junta’s reaction to the calendar was with fear–as if the calendar is haunted.]
From Lokwannee, January 16-22, 2016
On the sign at top of the gate: Independent agency – Constitutional court-NACC-ECT-OAG
Signs on the gates at bottom, left to right: Legislative, Executive, Judiciary
The big words on the cover read: Agency of God?
[The refers to the new draft constitution which will be criticized for giving power to independent agencies–the gate of which in the image towers above the gates of the Legislative, Executive, Judiciary.
NACC stands for the National Anti-Corruption Commission, ECT is the Election Commission of Thailand and the OAG is the Auditor General of Thailand.
This weekly news magazine is pro-Thaksin. Thaksin and his supporters have criticized the actions of independent agencies, saying that they are used by non-elected power blocks to check the actions of elected governments.]
From Manager Weekly, January 23-29, 2016
Main cover reads: Everyone loves Por
[The man on the cover is Por Tjrisadee. Refers to a death of famous actor Por Thrisadee. He passed away due dengue virus complications. His death brought the country into sadness, because he was known as a generous celebrity who always helped out in charitable causes. The article notes he is an idol for many people since he lives his life following the King’s principles on sufficiency economy.]
Bottom left: Analyze the new supreme competition [yellow] NACC vs. [red] Dhammakaya [white] and a conclusion which [red] win [yellow] win [white] for both party.
[The man in the picture is PM Prayuth. Behind is the dome of the Dhammakaya temple.
This refers to the controversial appointment of a new Supreme Patriarch. Somdet Phra Maha Ratchamangalacharn, known as Somdet Chuang, is one of the candidates for new supreme patriarch. He has close ties with the controversial abbot of Wat Phra Dammakaya, Phra Dhammachayo.
Due to this, many groups oppose him. Dhammakaya Temple is believed to be a Thaksin and Red Shirt supporter and that is why the red color is used when the temple is mentioned on the cover.]
Bottom right: ‘Uncle Ram’s’ fever. Warm and won lady’s heart.
[The couple are Diana Flipo and Thanakorn ‘Au’ Posayanon. This refers to the popular TV drama ‘Tamrak Kheunjai’ in which Thanakorn took the role as Uncle Ram. Due to Uncle Ram’s personality as a ‘warm and nice’ guy, he is popular among the female viewing audience.]
From Matichon Weekly, January 22-28, 2016
Main cover reads: Por Thrisadee effect
[The man is famous actor Por Thrisadee. The woman and a girl are his wife, Waenda and his daughter Mali. This refers to famous actor Por Thrisadee who was passed away due to the dengue virus. News died caused much sadness around the country.]
From Nation Weekend, January 22, 2016
Main cover reads: Burirum’s fate [yellow] ‘Tridsadee’ An honor of Burirum
2523-2559 [his year of birth and death: 1980-2016]
[The man is Tridsadee ‘Por’ Sahawong who was passed away due to the dengue virus.]
Magical Laotian town preserved by UNESCO loses its soul – AP, January 28, 2016
…Scenes of workaday life are rare because as prices shot up — a small plot of land that sold for $8,000 three years ago now goes for $120,000 — residents moved into surrounding areas, selling or renting their properties to the newcomers. As former UNESCO consultant and longtime resident Francis Engelmann has said, “We have saved Luang Prabang’s buildings but we have lost its soul.”
Similar criticism has been leveled at UNESCO’s worldwide program, along with praise for having rescued irreplaceable man-made and natural treasures in 163 countries since its inception in 1972…
From Manager, January 7, 2016
Tiger: If you’re still questioning whether I swallowed Rajabhakti Park, you’re welcome to investigate it… come on!!
Caption: Who will dare?
[Refers to Rajabhakti Park corruption allegations. This scandal has impacted the junta, particularly the Eastern Tigers group, because Deputy Defense Minister Gen. Udomdej Sitabutr was in charge in the project when he was army chief.
In the cartoon, the tiger refers to the Eastern Tigers, a powerful clique of officers opposed to Thaksin and now running the country. The junta has reacted swiftly to anyone attempting tin investigate or protest its park project.]
From Manager, January 13, 2016
Left: Nominated PM
Caption: There were already three persons.
[From left right are three PMs who headed parties directed by THaksin: former PM Somchai, former PM Samuk and former PM Yingluck]
Right: Nominated supreme patriarch
In the red bubble: New
Caption: It will begin to count for 1.
[Refers to a controversial appointment of the new Supreme Patriarch. Many groups have opposed Somdet Phra Maha Ratchamangalacharn, known as Somdet Chuang, as one of the candidates for a new supreme patriarch because he is close with the controversial abbot of Wat Phra Dammakaya, Phra Dhammachayo and for his alleged involvement in a scandal involving evading tax charges on luxury cars.
This cartoon contends that Somdet Chuang can be expected to be influenced by Thaksin or act on his behalf.
All of this is related to the fear of Thaksin and his supposed desire to control all parts of the Thai world.]
Karun ordered to pay another 500,000 baht for slander – Bangkok Post, January 26, 2016
…He said Mr Karun claimed his family descended from hill-tribe people who later changed their surname. Mr Karun also accused him of posing for nude photos for a gay magazine, using money to buy votes and destroying his election banners…
From Thairath, January 9, 2016
Title: The boiling drug can cure everything in the universe
PM Prayuth: Headache, having a flu, can’t poo or pee, to solve corruption, reconciliation and failure of government.
On the sign above the door: Dispensary
On the bag: Article 44
On the pot: Return happiness [the junta’s slogan]
Mouse man Phi Nooring: Either relieve or die
A mouse: The most dangerous poison
[This ridicules the use of Article 44 which gives absolute power to the PM to solve problems–particularly those related to national security. Since the junta has used this article to deal with a variety of issues, the sacredness of Article 44 has declined in some people’s eyes.
No matter how simple the problem is, people will call on the junta to use Article 44 to solve the problem.
The cartoon shows the old folk practices of creating a drug from a boiling potion that was said to cure nearly any malady.]
From Thairath, January 1, 2016
Title: Hello the Year of the Monkey
In the year of the goat, there were good and bad things that happened
Sometimes it was good, but sometimes you had to shake your head
But for the year of monkey, don’t be afraid
Be prepared to welcome all the good things
If you wish and think for the best
Trying to do all good things
If you think and do badly
Then you will receive whatever you’ve done.
[This is a new year’s poem written by famous photographer Nitikorn Kraivixian.]
From Komchadluek, January 12, 2016
Yingluck: Just a calendar. I ask for your kindness.
[Yingluck is holding the Pheu Thai Party calendar that has she and her brother Thaksin’s photos on it. The calendar, which seems to indicate Thaksin’s continued domination of the Pheu Thai party and his political influence, resulted in a crackdown by the military on the calendar’s distribution. It also likely resulted in a hardening of attitudes of the junta towards Yingluck, who is on trial for her conduct as PM.
“I ask for your kindness” refers to the customary way that Yingluck responds to controversy. Not being a seasoned politician, she merely addresses the public directly with “I ask for your kindness.”]
From Komchadluek, January 10, 2016
If the stock market went up depending on our leader’s temper, that would be great.
[PM Prayuth is on the TV. Prayuth has become known for his over-the-top exchanges with the press. Being a military man and not a politician, he often speaks in an unguarded and undiplomatic way.]
From Nation Weekend, January 15, 2016
Main cover reads: Supreme Patriarch – Don’t end. Don’t appoint
[Refers to a controversial appointment of the new Supreme Patriarch. Some monk groups threatened to protest if Somdet Phra Maha Ratchamangalacharn, one of the candidates, was appointed as the new supreme patriarch because he has a close relation with the controversial abbot of Wat Phra Dammakaya, Phra Dhammachayo. PM Prayuth once said he the new Supreme Patriarch will not be appointed if this controversial issue cannot be settled.]
Left: Somdet Phra Wanrat follows the path of Supreme Patriarch.
[The monk in the picture is Somde Phra Wanrat. Refers to a story about Somdet Phra Wanrat, a successor of former Supreme Patriarch who was an abbot of Wat Bownniwet Vihara.]
From Lokwannee, January 16-22, 2016
Main cover reads: A new likay group?
On the curtain: Special committee on peace
[Refers to the National Legislative Assembly’s plan to set up a special committee on building a peaceful and reconcilable society. This plan has been criticized since there are already several groups and committees set up under the junta for this purpose. This committee is compared to likay, a popular form of Thai folk theater. The cover image shows democracy, represented by Democracy Monument, getting further and further away as it is frames by likay theater facades.]
From Manager Weekly, January 16-22, 2016
Main cover reads: SLOW LIFE [white] Somdet Chuang
[The monk on the cover is Somdet Phra Maha Ratchamangalacharn. This refers to the controversial appointment of the new Supreme Patriarch. Somdet Phra Maha Ratchamangalacharn, known as Somdet Chuang, is one of the candidates for new supreme patriarch. He has been opposed by many groups due to his close relations with the controversial abbot of Wat Phra Dammakaya, Phra Dhammachayo and his alleged involvement in a scandal involving evading tax charges on luxury cars.]
Bottom left: Kamnan [green] happy [white] on the sadness of rubber farmers.
[The man is Suthep Thaugsuban. On his shirt: Let’s help each other. This refers to the leader of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) Suthep Thaugsuban, known as Kamnan. He, a former Democrat Party leader, is criticized for not helping rubber farmers who are calling on the junta to solve the low level of rubber prices.
This is a difficult issue for those who oppose Thaksin as they have criticized his populist tactics to use state funds to artificially raise market prices for commodities (rice) grown by his supporters. Now that Democrat Party supporters (rubber farmers) demand the same, it is hard for them to insist state coffers be opened again to create price supports.
The author notes that, instead of taking care of their constituents (rubber farmers), they are siding with the junta.]
Bottom right: Strong [white] The conclusion of THE FACE 2 – All of them become popular.
[Woman from left to right: Ticha [a winner of the programme] and Bee [a mentor of Ticha’s team]. Refers to the famous reality TV show “The Face Thailand” season 2 which now came to an end. The winner was Ticha from mentor Bee’s team. In the show, there were many popular catchphrases created, such as “strong” which was later used widely by the public.]
From Matichon Weekly, January 15-21, 2016
Main cover reads: The power of the South-The power of rubber [blue] ‘Democrat’
On the shirts: Let’s help each other.
[The men on the cover from left to right: Satit Wongnongtoey, Suthep Thaugsuban, Thaworn Senniam. These are former Democrat Party’s members and the key persons in the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC).
This refers to the roles of these three former members of the Democrat Party and the PDRC in the rubber price problems. The Democrat Party is mad up of persons with strong influence in the South.]
Top right: Dr. Prawet: Triangle moves the ‘tank’ – The junta with a wrong strategy
[The man in the picture is Dr. Prawet Wasi. This refers to Dr. Prawet Wasi’s article about the wrong strategy of the junta to govern the country.]
From Thairath, January 12, 2016
Title: Administrating the country is easy.
Left man: Farmer
Right man: Rubber worker.
Speech boxes from left to right: Grow cowage. Grow bananas and strawberries. Change to grow Parkia speciosa and Djenkol beans. [These are examples of typical advice from city technocrats to rural farmers.]
Mouse man: People live harder.
Mouse: Wish you to be in good place.
[This anti-junta cartoon points out the plight of farmers being hit with low prices for their crops. the man on the left is a Northeastern farmer (wearing a Khmer-inspired sash) who benefited greatly from Thaksin-era populist price supports. At right is a rubber farmers, who, although Democrat Party supporters, have pressured the junta for similar price supports to improve their livelihood.]
From Manager, January 7, 2016
On the sign: Roasted Pork Democrat Party – Delicious… – Certified food safety
On tubs: Roasted pork
Caption: This party is doing another business, after being freed from their usual work.
[While not in power and technically not allowed to have public meetings, the Democrat Party has fallen to intense infighting.
The current Bangkok Governor, Democrat Party member Sukhumbhand Paribatra (nickname “Moo” or “Pig” in English), has reportedly never been on speaking terms with Party leader Aphisit (picture behind the food stand).
Democrat Party members have been lashing out at Sukhumbhand for his poor performance, particularly concerning Bangkok flooding that has increased in recent years as well as corruption scandals.
Sukhumbhand has rejected any criticism and is believed to be in the process of forming his own political party.
So in the cartoon, party members are bashing the Bangkok Governor (know for his nickname “Pig”).]
More: Betrayal Pig
From Manager, January 6, 2016
Caption: Refuse to uproot the tree… then have to sweep the leaves!
PM Prayuth: Clean this up! …it creates an eyesore.
[This refers to the Pheu Thai Party’s Thaksin-Yingluck calendar. The distribution of the calendar is an open sign that Thaksin still controls the party and can promote himself despite a coup and a military government designed to thwart his power.
This cartoon is also criticism of PM Prayuth who is ridiculed for not being tough enough on the Shinawatras. He gets to be painted internationally as a ruthless anti-democratic dictator, but seems to be moving slowly on eradicating the Shinawatras from politics.
Opponents of Thaksin wish the junta would have acted decisively by unilaterally seizing all Shinawatra assets and sending family members into exile (much like the military did with Chatichai Choonhavan in 1991). This would have allowed the other political factions of the Pheu Thai to regroup and be led by politicians outside of Thaksin’s direct control.]
From Arun, December 16, 2015
Caption: Somdet Phra Nyanasamvara
Things that have deteriorated are called World.
Things that still exist are called Dharma.
[Famous quote from Somdet Phra Nyanasamvara.]
From Manager Weekly, January 2-8, 2016
Main cover reads: Hello ๒๕๕๙ [the year 2016] [white] A pig monster [yellow] eating the country
Top right: Today an influence of [green] ‘fat man’ is beyond so-called [yellow] ‘big’ [white] and will be reach to [red] ‘supreme power.’ [white] Due to this, we may call Thailand is eaten by [green] a pig monster’ almost totally.
[The pig monster is Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan. This refers to the power of the Deputy PM Prawit who plays behind the scenes of the junta government. Even though PM Prayuth has his power to decide things, he frequently seeks advice from the Deputy PM Prawit who also has comparable power in the military and politics.
The cover compares him to a celestial monster believed, in Buddhism, to cause eclipses by eating the sun and the moon which will lead to the bad luck. However, Prawit is a fat man so the magazine calls him it calls a “pig monster” instead of a “celestial monster.”]
From Matichon Weekly, January 1-7, 2016
Main cover reads: Hello [yellow] the year of the monkey
Hello [red] celestial monster
[The cover implies it will be a very tough year ahead for the junta due to several problems waiting for them to solve, such as the economy, the Rajabhakti Park scandal, and corruption. This also reference Buddhist mythology and the celestial monster believed to cause eclipses by eating the sun and the moon. This will cause the people bad luck.]
From Nation Weekend, January 1, 2016
Main cover reads: ‘The PM is funny.’
Top right: Happy New Year ๒๕๕๙ [year of 2016]
[The man on the cover is PM Prayuth. Refers to PM Prayuth’s sometimes odd leadership. Although he looks very aggressive when answers the media, he sometimes acts very funny. Due to this, there is a hashtag on Thai social media that ‘the PM is very funny.’]
[There was no weekly magazine for Lokwannee for this week.]
Who Is a Terrorist?: Lessons from Thailand and the Philippines – thediplomat.com, January 13, 2015
…The Bangkok protests differ in both scale and objective from many of the genuine terrorist incidents—conducted by groups such as ISIS, Boko Haram and Pakistan’s TPP—detailed elsewhere in the report. Rather than purging domestic or global society of infidels or modern beliefs, they were manifestations of an (albeit unsavory) strategy aimed at securing domestic political power. A quick reading of Thailand’s modern political history, where cycles of protest and low intensity violence have typically and frequently preceded changes in political power, shows both how normal and effective such strategies are. Indeed, the use of violence, or threats of it, are a common strategy for securing political and economic power in much of the developing world and beyond—at both the national and local levels. Inter-communal riots in India, organized crime in Guatemala, local land conflicts in Indonesia: each involves the use of violence by non-state groups for political-economic purposes. If one is to include such acts in a definition of terrorism, and consistently code them as such, the number of terrorist acts would rise exponentially in most countries…