Holiday Killing 101: Checklist for Thai Authorities – Asia Sentinel, October 1, 2014
…Crime scene? Let’s all have a look: Even the most novice gumshoe knows that when it comes to investigating a crime, two heads are better than one. And the heads of everybody around wearing a uniform as well as some guys who don’t have any actual status, but want to have a look-see, well that’s even better. “Contamination” is such an ugly word – let’s call it “scene enhancement”.
Blame the victim: Thai culture’s glorious roots date back generations and for years we have celebrated and upheld the virtues of modesty at all times and even get a kick out of that mask dancing you see sometimes at temple fairs. Unfortunately foreigners do not share these traits and as such they often fall afoul of the cultural tenets we hold so dear. It is important to consider these failings when explaining the incident at hand.
Blame it on other foreigners: As a senior policeman noted in a report filed by the BBC’s Jonathan Head, no Thai would ever commit a crime like that one on Koh Tao. While our country is not crime free, no Thai would ever commit heinous offences that would put you off your morning rice congee upon reading of them…
From Manager, September 15, 2014
Tree: Catch them as much as you can. I have a lot.
Caption: Why don’t you cut the tree?
[Thaksin is often portrayed as a tree in Thai editorial cartoons. He has deep roots (influence and means) and thus dealing with his minions does not get at the heart of the problem. The cartoon jokes that Thaksin can call on endless numbers of men willing to serve as "men in black" so catching a few thought to be linked to the violence of 2010 will not stop further violence. The cartoonist suggests that Thaksin himself has to be dealt with to end the political agitation.]
From Komchadluek, September 11, 2014
Left: Oh! Why is a soldier still holding a GT200? [referring to the discredited bomb detecting devices that the Thai military refused to believe were a scam.]
Right: No! The soldier is holding the Government House’s microphone.
[Refers to the expensive microphone controversy. The new government led by Gen. Prayuth has been criticized for the procurement of an expensive audio-microphone system for the Government House. This raises concerns that the new military government may be as inept and corrupt as the military itself when it refused to disavow the scam GT2090 bomb detectors.]
From Manager, September 16, 2014
PM Prayuth: Please help me to rebuild the country to be peaceful like before.
Caption: Next year, when the wave comes… it will be gone? [The wave has Thaksin's face on it.]
[As PM Prayuth goes about his reforms and "rebuilding the country," no one actually believes that Thaksin has given up, or that his proxies will not win the next election, or that he is not ready to sent the Red Shirts to occupy Bangkok if his amnesty is stalled again. Thus, there is concern that the time of Prayuth as PM is only a temporary calm.]
Billboard in front of army club:
Royal Thai Army Vision 57 
Smart: Improve yourself (basic knowledge both in work and academy)
Intelligent: Enhance the knowledge for being an army, expert or developer (through trainings/seminars, unit school, real practice and study the previous lessons.)
Modern: Catch up with the new technology, have the knowledge on the world situation/new threats, etc., and apply those knowledge in order to improve the Royal Army’s works
(Good) vision: Have positive thinking for improving yourself and your units as well as the Royal Army
From Post Today, September 10, 2014
On flag: New government
Over the vultures: Cheating and corruption
Caption: Just the beginning…!
[Refers to Thai idiom, "the vultures are plucking." It means people taking advantage and engaging in aggressive competition. In the cartoon, the meaning is that even though the junta is carrying out an anti-corruption drive, there are many people who will try to take advantage of the junta to reap benefits.]
Reconciliation Trainings Target Northeastern Villages – isaanrecord.com, September 28, 2014
…These activities were all part of a training recently conducted in Khon Kaen as part of an extensive tour of three-day events in villages across Isaan. The military government has convened these training camps, complete with lectures, performances, and physical exercises, with the aim of dissolving the political tension that they cite as the reason for the May 22 coup. But villagers here say the event avoided discussing the country’s political rift altogether and failed to address the economic concerns of the people of the Northeast…
From Thairath, September 6, 2014
Left: The politicians who lost their power cry out that the coup d’état has an impact on tourism.
Middle: Many resorts have been closed!
A man with a camera: Are there any guests?
Right: The military has confiscated many resorts built in the forest preserves to return the land to the national parks.
[Refers to military taking action to seize illegally built resorts that encroaches on national parks. Many of them are owned by influential politicians and businessmen and thus the joke is that those who bemoan the post-coup law and order campaign are those who are losing out because the military is cracking down.]
From an image circulated on social media: If you cannot close pages with contempt content against the monarchy, then get OUT
[The symbol is official emblem of the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology. This graphic criticizes the ministry for not being able to shut down anti-monarchy websites.]
Above: From an image circulated on social media lauding PM Gen. Prayuth: “Personally I believe in good virtue, that it will defeat the bad and will be able to get through all of the obstacles.”
Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, Prime Minister and leader of the National Council for Peace and Order or NCPO at the 13th NCPO meeting on Sept. 2, 2014
Above: Since the coup, political gadfly Chuwit Kamolvisit has been using Photoshop to create humorous graphics about the political situation. Many of these have become memes widely circulated in Thai-language social media.
The words read: Martial Law
[A likely comment on the military cabinet being formed under strict martial law.]
From Manager, September 11, 2014
Demon tree, representing Thaksin: My lackeys… It’s time to wake up now!
Caption: Being dead for 3 months… they start to revive.
[After the military government was formed, the Pheu Thai Party and the Red Shirt movement is being revived by a reported grand meeting with Thaksin in Hong Kong from September 23-25. According to news reports, Thaksin suggested that Pheu Thai's former ministers and Red Shirt leaders meet him there.
Thaksin is often represented as a tree since, despite the cutting off of branches, such as the dissolution of his parties or arrests of Red Shirt leaders, the tree itself is still alive and can sprout new branches.
The cartoon shows red buffaloes, Red Shirt leaders, and a frog representing Jatuporn (nickname "Kop" or "frog") rising from their hiding places to ignite the push for a Thaksin return again.]
From an image circulating on social media: Convicting the rice pledging scheme’s corruption is not easy. Watch a croc lying across the canal. [meaning somebody with ill intention who does something to obstruct an act of other people]
On the crocodile: Attorney General; Above the crocodile’s tail: The croc lying across the canal
The chart, starting from the purple spot:
In the purple spot: NAC [National Anti-corruption Commission]; Resolved to indict; the G-to-G corruption case; Yingluck against the Section 157 case
On purple arrow: Submitted to the attorney general; delay the case claiming that the information is incomplete
Red stripe: Attorney and NAC co-working team; no time limit
Green arrow from red stripe to purple spot: Attorney refuses to indict
Grey arrow pointing red spot: Both parties resolve to indict the case
On green arrow pointing to red spot: NAC appoints lawyers to file a lawsuit
On red spot: Supreme Court
On the stripe under the crocodile (brownish to represent the canal the crocodile is blocking): Attorney General indicts the case (very slim chance)
Symbol of dog at bottom right corner: Watch dog
[This demonstrates the frustration some feel with the lack of an indictment of former PM Yingluck over the rice pledging case. It also shows the assumption that the resolution fo the case is being intentionally blocked.]
From Manager, September 10, 2014
Caption: M.L. points one finger to other people… while another three of them pointing to himself. [M.L. is M.L. Panadda Diskul, Prime Minister's Office Minister]
At the end of the index: Wine costing ten thousand baht a bottle
Middle finger: Lamps costing 130,000 baht each
Ring finger: Microphones costing 140,000 baht each
Pinky finger: Plasma TV sets costing 500,000 baht each
[Reference is to the high budget spent in renovating Government House. The reticence in investigating the matter indicates that, despite pledges to combat corruption, graft continues unabated.]
Thai PM Prayuth says ‘no harm’ listening to fortune-tellers – AFP, September 23, 2014
…”There’s no harm in listening to fortune-tellers. Fortune- telling is an art. But if a fortune-teller tells a person that they will be rich and then they stay in bed all day, then what is the use?” Prayuth told reporters on Tuesday.
“I listen to their words. They warn me that I might clash with the media,” he quipped.
Prayuth told an audience earlier this month he had doused himself from head to toe in holy water to ward off curses his enemies had put on him.
Bangkok’s skyline is that of a country hurtling towards modernity, but pre-Buddhist animist beliefs continue to exert strong influence on Thai culture. Many of the country’s top politicians have consulted fortune-tellers over policy changes…
Earlier: Is Gen. Prayuth really growing “eccentric” or “superstitious” as Time Magazine claims?
From Manager, September 8, 2014
Prime Minister Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha: We must join hands to stop corruptions. We must do it fast… and seriously… and must accomplish it.
On the arrow: It sounds trustworthy if he doesn’t speak through this microphone.
[Reference is to the government's procurement of high technology microphones that cost 145,000 baht each. Initially the government seemed unenthusiastic about investigating the high costs, only pledging to look into the matter after heightened public criticism. The National Anti-Corruption Commission also refused to investigate saying they had received no formal complaint.
This indicated to the public that, despite the government's words, it continues to be business as usual with friends and allies of the government reaping the spoils of power.]
From Komchadluek, September 8, 2014
On back of man: A.G. [Attorney General]
Attorney General: Indict, not indict
[He is counting petals from a flower that looks like Thaksin Shinawatra's face. This means the Attorney General is calculating what is the right move to take in Yingluck Shinawatra's case concerning corruptions in the rice pledging scheme during her government.
As usual it is expected that investigations and charges are not undertaken based on the facts, but for political leverage.]
One of the strangest political pairings ever, the aesthetic Chumlong and the worldly Thaksin. 10 Years Ago Today: Chumlong vs Thaksin
Above: Clockwise from top left: Kom Chad Leuk, September 30, Khao Sod, September 29, Daily News, September 29 – Police arrested men dressed as Japanese superheroes for defying a decree from Thailand’s military rulers banning commercial promotions in front of tanks…
Coup news of September 24-October 9, 2006
Above: Chai stickers featuring his famous characters for LINE
Below: New LINE chat translating service
From Thairath, September 5, 2014
Cartoon title: Land owners vs the spirit on the land
On back of Spirit: Capitalists; civil servants; politicians; men in uniform; influential people
On land: Trespassing and taking control over armed forces’ lands; trespassing and taking control over forests; taking control of public lands
Phi Nooring: Stealing land and devouring forest lots
Mouse: Farm lands back, please.
[Thai people worship spirits whom they believe to protect their property. The large figure represents this.
Land encroachment is legion in the Thai world with nearly every top politician, police general, or army officer culpable in holding land greedy individuals might covet for commercial development.
This occurs with public or national park lands, land donated to the state or temples, temple land, specially deeded land intended for poor farmers or any land that can be made valuable by development from a commercial source.
It seems an irresistible urge for "big men" to try to obtain land by creating legal documents of ownership which, only by investigation, can be determined to have been falsely issued by virtue of the influence the big man wields.]
Part 2 of the Story of Thaksin’s Life: The failure of the silk business and family entertainment
Earlier: Animated videos lauding Thaksin–He always “defies his fate”
From Manager, September 3, 2014
PM Prayuth: As the PM… I have to reveal my assets.
Head of the NCPO, Prayuth: Oh!!! Then, people will know how many assets the military chief and I have!!
On the chair from the right: Military chief
On the chair in the middle: NCPO
Caption: One person reveals, but three of them can be known.
[This illustrates the overlapping roles of Gen. Prayuth. He holds several key positions. Due to this, it raises a concern on the transparency of his power.]
From Arun, September 8, 2014
The Army’s airship made emergency landing in Pattani Province
Bottom right: Again…
[The military airship was a special project to Gen. Anupong, a powerful member of the new government. It is thought that the projects continuation was a sop from Gen. Prayuth to keep his key generals happy. That the troubled project has had problems such as emergency landings makes people think that the military is still engaging in the time-honored Thai tradition of spending money to maintain its allies in government.]