C

Remembering the Checks & Balances of the 1997 Charter

B

Do all Thai roads lead to Singapore?

Yingluck’s Strange Strategy

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Analysis: Thailand’s Half Democracy

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How many died in the Thai drug purges?

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Changing the Diapers of Politics

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The arrest of Kamronwit in Japan

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Junta gives up on reform of the police

D

The Withering of Section 44

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During Red Shirt rally, Thaksin kids withdraw 10 billion baht

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Weekly News Magazines: Everyone Goes to the UK, October, 2017

From Siamrath Weekly Review, October 6-12, 2017
Main cover reads: The destination is [red] ‘London’

[Photo is of Thaksin’s son Panthongtae Shinawatra and former PM Yingluck Shinawatra. Yingluck has already fled a court verdict overseas. Thaksin’s son, perhaps the only reliable family member left who might lead the Pheu Thai Party in Thaksin’s stead, is now being legally hounded over an alleged money laundering scheme. It is thought that he will have no choice but to follow both Thaksin and Yingluck’s examples and flee the legal proceedings.]

From Lokwannee, October 7-13, 2017
Main cover reads: Documentation of 6 Oct [small] From Chula Thammasat to Ratchadamoen Ratchaprasong
At bottom: Don’t miss! The program ‘Return happiness’ Friday 6 October at 8pm Thailand’s time. Adjusting the attitude with ‘Prof. Dr. Surachart Bamrungsuk” Live! On Facebook and YouTube title Lokwannee “LokWanNee”

[This refers to a new website entitled “Documentation of 6 Oct” launched by various groups including Chulalongkorn and Thammasat universities.
The chairs probably refer to some of the notorious images from the October 6, 1976 that include an enraged mob hitting a lynched student with a folding chair.
This cover seems to urge people not to forget this incident as this kind of incident has happened at similar times since–such as during Black May 1992 and the Red Shirt protests in 2010. All the incidents include a lack of culpability for military men who killed others.
The cover adds a notice for an anti-junta web talk at the bottom on the cover, to seemingly emphasize that the military once again is firmly in control of the country.]

From Manager Weekly, October 6-12, 2017
Main cover reads: Good bye, people.

[Refers to Thai monk Phra Prommangkalachan who is known as a spiritual supporter for the success of UK premier league team Leicester City. The team’s owner is Thai businessman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.
Recently, there was a report that Phra Prommangkalachan was missing from his temple and the rumor circulated that he was trying to escape to the UK after the junta once again renewed their reform of the Buddhist clergy. Buddhism has gained a criticized on violating the Buddhist principles.]

Top: Future of [red] ‘Barcelona’ Catalonia effect. Politics is shaking Spain’s sport

[The man is Gerard Pique. Refers to an attempt of Catalonia to be independent from Spain. If Catalonia becomes independent, FC Barcelona, Catalonia’s most famous sport team, will be affected and many of their team players including Gerard Pique are from Catalonia. However, the team has insisted that they are neutral and are not involved with politics.]

Left: “Madam Dear” Because of unconditional love, it makes her come as far as today…

[Refers to an interview of Watanya Wongopasi, known as Madam Dear. She is a former manager of Thailand’s under-23 national football team. She recently had to resign from her post as new rules removed all the present managers of Thai football teams.]

Middle: ‘Uncle Tu’ gets credit. ‘American’ can sell their goods; For Thai people, is it ok for the junta to strongly express their views on the North Korea

[Refers to the meeting between PM Prayuth Chan-ocha and President Donald Trump in the US. This legitimized the military-controlled government of Thailand to an extent. Those two discussed various issues including trade (the US wants to sell more to Thailand) and measures to deal with the North Korean issue (asking how forcefully Tnailand’s non-confrontational foreign policy can be heard in Washington.]

Right: [orange circle] Special [blue] From stone heart to diamond heart people. Voluntarily stop drinking for merit for the king.

[Refers to the campaign to encourage people to quit drinking in honor of King Rama IX. This article shares the experiences of people who successful stopped drinking and become a new person–which Thais call going from a stone heart to diamond heart person. In Thai, a stone heart or diamond-hearted person means a person who is very strong and can contend with anything.]

From Matichon Weekly, October 6-12, 2017
Main cover reads: With a great honor

[Refers to a visit to the White House of PM Prayuth to the White House. This illustrates that the ties between those two countries have changed. Under former President Barack Obama, The US kept pressure on the junta to hold quick elections and return the democracy to the country.
However, things changed under Trump. Perhaps to counter issues with China and North Korea, Trump wishes to strengthen cooperation with Thailand to balance those two powers and this led to an invitation from the US to the junta leader to visit the White House.]

Top: ‘Country road’ bloody 59 deaths in ‘Las Vegas’ frightening ‘Trump’
[Refers to the Las Vegas shooting on 1 October 2017 that caused 59 deaths. US President Donald Trump called this incident was ‘act of pure evil.’]

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Different prisons for rich and poor

From Daily News, September 29, 2017
Title: Prison… Thailand 4.0
Red sign at left: A prison for the rich
IN the open door: Jailed Poo [nickname of Yingluck] 5 years–escaped
Blue sign at right: A prison for the poor
[In Thailand, criminal procedures for the poor are completed almost instantly with long sentences handed out.
For the rich, cases take a long time and the very elite–such as former PM Yingluck or the Red Bull heir–are not expected to serve time at all.]

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The puppet ghosts of Thailand

From Manager, September 28, 2017
Thaksin: Taking this role as a nomadic ghost may be adventure… but Poo, you don’t need to be worry… I have a lot of experience.
Caption: This role… this puppeteer is good at this.
[Refers to Thaksin and Yingluck (nicknamed “Poo”) who are both now exiled from Thailand.
As PM, Yingluck is widely considered to be a puppet with her brother Thaksin actually running the government during her administration.
The cartoonist shows both Thaksin ad Yingluck as ghosts, doomed to circle the nation and haunt its politics.]

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Hope for the thirsty

From Naewna, September 26, 2017
Sudarat: I see an oasis. It’s time for us to enjoy it.
On the ballot box in the mirage: Election in 61 [2018]
Caption: A side effect of a long time starving can cause an illusion.
[Refers to the politicians who are looking forward to having an election so they can return to power. Sudarat Keyuraphan, who is in contention to possibly lead the Pheu Thai, is shown with “dangerous animals,” the Thai personification of elected officials as dangerous creatures.]

More about politicians as dangerous animals

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One Year Ago: Nation weeps over His Majesty’s departure

cover

Above: From Manager Weekly, Oct 15-21, 2016
Main cover reads: May I continue to serve beneath Your Majesty’s feet in all reincarnations.

Weekly News Magazines, October 14-25, 2016 (The passing away of the King)

The News As It Unfolded: The Nation Weeps Over His Majesty’s Departure

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The network of the officials who helped Yingluck escape

From Manager, September 25, 2017
Title: The network of the officials who helped Yingluck escape.
Top left, Thaksin: This Pol Lt. Col. set up a plan.
Top middle: This Pol.Col. drove the Camry car to the border
Top right: This Pol. Sen. Sgt. Maj. took the Camry car to be destroyed
Bottom, Prawit and Prayuth: Two Generals closed one of their eyes.

[Refers to the investigation of how closely guarded former PM Yingluck was able to flee the country ahead of a court ruling just as Thaksin had years before.
As inconceivable as it is for a Shinawatra family member to be incarcerated, it is likewise hard to believe that the military was actually hoodwinked and lost track of Yingluck’s whereabouts before the trial.
The cartoonist makes the point that junta heads PM Prayuth and Deputy PM Prawit must have surely reached an agreement to let the former PM flee and knowingly looked the other way to let it happen.]

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Weekly News Magazines: Happy Exile, September-October, 2017

From Siamrath Weekly Review, September 29-October 5, 2017
Main cover reads: Look at the strategy in 20 years [white] The turning point of Thailand
[At top right is the only figure we know, Dr. Jade Thonawanik. The article refers to views on Thailand’s 20-year national strategy which has been criticized, particularly by the political experts and academics, for being a tool to preserve junta power rather than improve the country.]

From Matichon Weekly, September 29-October 5, 2017
Main cover reads: The moon’s shadow in the waving water
[Refers a metaphor written by Matichon to illustrate an uncertainty of PM Prayuth towards the future of Thai politics. According to Matichon, there is a real question as to whether PM Prayuth will really call elections as promised, especially as Thaksin’s eventual public reactions to the exile of Yingluck is unknown.]

From Manager Weekly, September 30-October 6, 2017
Main cover reads: Happy life in London
[Refers to former PM Yingluck who fled to avoid sentencing in the rice-pledging scheme.]
Top: Heaven has eyes [white] the cabinet has a resolution on reinstating the post to [yellow] ‘Pongporn’
Green on the top: Cabinet’s resolution
[Refers to Pol Lt Col Pongporn Pramsaneh who recently resumed his job as the director of the National Office of Buddhism. This is after he was first sacked from the post after criticism that his investigation of temple embezzlement was tarnishing Buddhism.
The cabinet’s order was praised from many groups as they support Pol Lt Col Pongporn to continue his investigation to clean up corruption in Buddhism in the country. “Heaven has eyes” is a phase implying that God knows who is doing the right thing.]
Bottom left: The case of illegal cars hasn’t ended yet. The new trouble is coming ‘Tle-Thanapon’ cheating electric bills
[Refers to the news about actor Thanapon ‘Tle’ Nimtaisuk who was recently implicated in an illegal car scheme and now the illegal use of electricity.]
Bottom right: Disclose a strong life of [pink] ‘Pream-Ranida” [white] Take care of mom-brother who has Down’s syndrome
[Refers to the story of young actress Ranida ‘Pream’ Techasit who is responsible for taking care of family members including her elder brother who has Down’s syndrome.]

From Lokwannee, September 30-October 6, 2017
Main cover reads: [red] Poo is exiled?
[white] Go without return
[red] An election is cancelled?
[white] Sleep without waking up
[red] The economy is failing?
[white] No recovering
[red] Squeezing the taxes
[white] Can’t avoid
[Refers to Thailand’s 4.0 strategy to reform the country and push the economy forward, contending the strategy has been a failure.
The cover contrasts news about the country (in red) with phases used during a funeral (in white) when monks teach the people to realize the uncertainty of life (“Go without return; Sleep without waking up; No recovering; Can’t avoid”).
On the cover, joss sticks, used during a funeral, show 4.0, meaning the demise of the junta’s policies.]

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More Falling 2016-2017

Russian woman falls 4 stories, lands next to 7-11 clerk – The Nation, July 9, 2017
A 7-11 convenient store clerk was shocked when a Russian woman suddenly fell through the roof of the shop’s storage area onto the floor right beside him…

Western man dies in fall from Bangkok condominium – The Nation, July 7, 2017
An unidentified western man was killed when he fell from his room on the seventh floor of the Silk Condominium in Bangkok onto the roof of an adjacent house…

Frenchman falls to death from Bangkok condo – Bangkok Post, April 25, 2017

British man dies after falling from Udon Thani hotel – Thaivisa, March, 2017

General Ugandan woman falls to her death – Bangkok Post, October 3, 2016
A 22-year-old Ugandan woman fell to her death from a high-rise building in Rat Burana district, Bangkok, early on Monday…

More Falling

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Comparison of justice

From Thairath, September 29, 2017
Title: Sin from policy
Inside birdcage: Jail, seize belongings [meaning Yingluck is fleeing because they are trying to put her in jail and seize her assets]
On rice sacks: Rice-pledging scheme
Left caption: Helping rice farmers
Right on paper: Dismissing [meaning the charges and investigations against previous governments and the military have been dismissed]
Front street sign: Ratchaprasong
Street sign in background: Khok Wua intersection [these are both areas where Red Shirt protesters clashed with the military and people died]
Right caption: Suppress people
Mouse: Get rid of the competition
Mouse man: Let the blue earth to witness

[This shows the pro-Thaksin, pro-Red Shirt take on Yingluck going into exile.
At left, it shows that, for her efforts to help poor farmers she faced jail time and asset seize.
Meanwhile, those responsible for deaths during Red Shirt protests in 2010 remain free.]

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

What they don’t care about

From Thairath, September 23, 2017
Title: “Nak Oum,” the real one is over here [meaning the judge should focus on all the cases the justices have overlooked instead of focusing on Yingluck]
On shirt of man at top left: Hunting Poo [“Poo” being the nickname of fugitive former PM Yingluck]
On the sign he holds: Take it a guilt at the police who drive “oum” Poo to avoid the court.
On sign held by man, a Yingluck supporter, at bottom left: Does not have an arrest warrant; Not guilty.
On judge’s robe at right: Process of judgement
Man from below left to below right who is carried by the judge: The army budget. GT 200 airship. Seize the public domain. Corrupt on building of police stations. Shut down Bangkok. Ordering to suppress people in 2010; About 100 dead 2,000 injured. Occupied the airport. Occupied the government house. Postpone and dismiss the cases. The FSRA [Financial Sector Restructuring] case. [The junta’s] rice price guarantee. [these are all scandals seem to be overlooked by the courts]
Mouse: Oum only good people.
Mouse man: Do not catch a goat, police. [warning to police not to attempt to present a scapegoat to the public]

[“Nak Oum” is Thai word, meaning a supporter who helps one to exculpate or declare one “not guilty.” “Oum” means to carry.
Since all Thai “success” entails the breaking of rules and laws, it is essential that one assembles those who can serve as “Nak Oum” to help support and legalize all the sketchy activities one must engage in to become a success in the Thai world.
The cartoonist contends that judges are “Nak Oum” for those who oppose Yingluck (and Thaksin), using their abilities to literally declare wrongdoers “not guilty” as long as they oppose Thaksin and his Red Shirts.]

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Thaksin: The PM who is in our heart

From Thairath, September 8, 2017
Title: Tie those together for competing [meaning the junta ties up everything so they can control it and here the cartoonist compares the junta’s record to Thaksin’s]
Phi Nooring: Doing good things, people don’t forget.
Mouse: The PM who is in our heart
On Thaksin’s picture: No. 1 in the King Prajadhipok Institute’s poll for 15 years
On military boots: Return the happiness [the junta’s slogan]
On papers from left to right: Independent agencies, barristers, injustice committees, dark power, 250 appointed senators, Article 44 [the part of the charter that allows the junta to exercise absolute power], committee for 20-year national strategy [the junta’s committee to ensure future government will not deviate from national strategy to enact populist schemes or amnesties]

[Also shown is a whistle that was used to protest against Yingluck’s Pheu Thai-led government and a skull to represent those killed during the Red Shirt protests.
This cartoon compares the performances of Thaksin and the junta. While Thaksin received high popularity from the people, the junta has utilized many tactics to cement its control over politics.]

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The Frogs Who Desired a King

From Thairath, September 21, 2017
Title: A stork coming without an election
On left bag: Budget for a 20-year strategy
On right bag: Budget which cannot be checked
On the log: Political parties
Phi Nooring: Sent by an angel
Mouse: Too bad for frogs

[Refers to Aesop’s fable “The Frogs Who Desired a King.” The cartoon ridicules the various political parties that supported the junta. When the junta took power from the elected Pheu Thai Party-led government, political groups seemed to welcome it as they believed that the military could get rid of Thaksin influence and possibly corruption as well.
Later, politicians were surprised as they learned that the junta they wished for was like Aesop’s stork. The junta intends to remain in politics after the election and is as intent on controlling politicians in general as it is on stopping Thaksin influence.]

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Weekly News Magazines: Prayuth, put down your power, September, 2017

From Matichon Weekly, September 22-28, 2017
Main cover reads: ‘Stop holding it’ please.
[The cover shows PM Prayuth Chan-ocha and Monk Phra Thamputhimonkol. This refers to a conversation between PM Prayuth Chan-ocha and Phra Thamputhimonkol, the abbot of Pa Lelai Worawihan temple, during the PM’s visit to Suphanburi province.
In the conversation, Phra Thamputhimonkol advised PM Prayuth to let things go to relieve his stress. This is expressed in Thai as “a person who holds too many things in his hands cannot hold any new things.”
The cover seems to joke that PM Prayuth should not hold on to power anymore and conduct an election as long promised.]
Top right: The incident took place in London. When ‘Big Pom’ flew. ‘Maew-Poo’ [Thaksin-Yingluck] welcomed. Super ‘imagine’ of reconciliation?
[Refers to the rumor that Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan, whose nickname is “Pom,” and met with Thaksin and Yingluck to cut a deal over Thai politics in the future.]

From Siamrath Weekly Review, September 22-28, 2017
Main cover reads: ‘Pa Yuth’s model’
Top left to right: Newin Chidchob; who is the next person?
Bottom left to right: Somsak Thepsutin, Sonthaya khunpluem
[Refers to the model for election under PM Prayuth’s rule. This article is about the possible options for an elected government after the junta. The men pictured, some who have been at odds with Thaksin, are thought to be key for a future coalition that preserves junta power.
Prayuth is called “Pa” (or father) in the headline to emphasize that he is in charge of shaping the next government.]

From Manager Weekly, September 23-29, 2017
Main cover reads: Sources of wealth of the silent tiger
On the blimp: Royal Thai Army
Close to the Red Bull logo: ‘Fake’ referendum
Inside the red circle: Red Bull’s forest
Inside the red circle close to a solider: GT-20
Next to a small photo of PM Prayuth: Article 44 expels the EIA-City planning
Inside the red circle: Ten billion-baht waste-to-energy plants
[This documents the alleged scandals and collusion that appear to be related to military rule–particularly to Interior Minister Anupong Paochinda.
The cover documents questionable schemes related to him, including the approval for purchasing the blimps, granting a lease for a community forest to energy company Red Bull over the protest of locals, purchasing ineffective GT-20 bomb detectors and using the absolute power of Article 44 to get around Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) for the building of waste-to-energy plants.
Interior Minister Anupong is referred as the “silent tiger” as he a member of the Eastern Tigers who keeps relatively silent and rarely talks to the media compared to others in the junta.]
Top: So true ‘Zor 7’ disclosed since the year 53 that ‘Amy’ involved with drugs!?
[Refers TV actress Amelia ‘Amy’ Jacobs who recently was caught with her boyfriend in possession of illeal drugs. In the Thai year 2553, or 2010, a columnist named Zor 7 who reported on gossip in the Manager newspaper wrote that she involved with drugs. However, at that time, Amy denied this news.]
Bottom left: “Big brother-Big boss” [white] Sign a ratification “ShinSuwan” rises up
[Refers to a rumor that Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan flew to the UK for talks with PM Thaksin related to the future of politics.
“ShinSuwan” refers to the alleged new alliance of Thaksin (“Shin” from Shinawatra) and Prawit (“Suwan” from Wongsuwan).
This magazine is vigorously anti-Thaksin and thus would be the first to sound the the alarm over reports that the army thought they could make a deal with him.]
Right: Disclose ‘Kae’ [white] “Laem can’t live without me”
[Refers to Patchariwan ‘Kae’ Kanha, a girlfriend of world boxing champion Srisaket (nicknamed “Laem”).]

From Lokwannee, September 23-29, 2017
Main cover reads: A leader chooses the frogs
Frog on the left: Even I die, I can’t answer it.
Date below the frog: 19 September 2549
Frog on the right: Makes it useless.
Date below the frog: 22 May 2557
Sign in the background: The National Council for Fun [ridiculing the name of the junta, the National Council for Peace and Order]
[Refers to 10-year anniversary of the coup on September 19, 2006 (or Thai year 2549) which deposed Thaksin. Eight years later the military also overthrew Thaksin’s sister Yingluck after an attempt by the then-government to create a pardon for Thaksin.
This cover references Aesop’s Fable “The frogs who desired a king” about frogs who choose a ruler, but live to regret it.
The cover points out that in Thailand’s politics, the people (or frogs) cannot choose their leader because the military overthrows elected governments.]

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Remember what happened about 11 years ago

From Manager, September 20, 2017
Inside black box on the top: Funny Economy by Ngao
Title: “I hope the memory of what happened 11 years ago has not faded from the hearts of Thai people”
Top left: I committed massive corruption in the country. [shows Thaksin carrying a bag of money]
Right: I ordered to burn the country [shows Thaksin’s sleeve holding a Red Shirt protester]
Below: left: I brought my sister to destroy the country with ten billion losses [shows former PM Yingluck; her government’s rice pledging scheme caused unprecedented losses to the country]
Right: I created the new species of Thai people. [shows a Red Shirt; the Red Shirts were organized to support Thaksin’s rule and later to help him return to power; to refer to a person as a “buffalo” is an insult meaning they are stupid; here it is used to refer to the pro-Thaksin Red Shirts.]

[This cartoon parodies Thaksin’s Twitter message posted on the 2006 coup anniversary on September 19. He stated, “I am, and will always be, concerned about the livelihood of my fellow Thai citizens. I hope the memory of what happened 11 years ago has not faded from the hearts of the Thai people.”
The cartoonist says people should recall what happened in the recent past including the violent Red Shirt protests and the financial losses under his Pheu Thai Party.]

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Oscar for a leading actress as a peace fighter

From Manager, September 17, 2017
Inside a black box on the top (the title): Funny Economy by Ngao
Title: Today, which award does she deserve?
Left: Nobel Prize for Peace
Right: Oscar for a leading actress as a peace fighter

[Refers to Myanmar’s government leader Aung San Suu Kyi who has disappointed many over her failure or inability to prevent the conflict in Rakhine State where the Myanmar military has clashed with Muslims. This conflict led about 400,000 Rohinya to flee to neighboring countries.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Manager, Myanmar/Burma | Leave a comment

Deputy PM Prawit is just Thaksin’s grandkid

From Manager, September 17, 2017
Thaksin’s daughter Aim Pintongta: That one is also another grandchild of dad.
Thaksin is kissing Deputy PM Prawit who he is thought to have met with in London during a recent trip.
Caption: Thaksin flew to hug three of his grandchildren in London.

[Around the time that observers noted that both Deputy PM Prawit, the most powerful person in the junta, and Thaksin had traveled to London at the same time, rumors were swirling that the military was negotiating with Thaksin directly over a deal on how the government would be formed after the next elections.
Despite denials from both the junta and Thaksin, no one believes that such negotiations are not taking place. Such deals alarm anti-Thaksin groups who fear that the junta’s slow progress on reforming the Thai police and Buddhist organizations is due to their focus on making deals to ensure their control of government after the next elections–and that the junta is deluding itself by thinking it can outmaneuver Thaksin.
The cartoonist lampoons Thaksin’s excuse for going to London–that he was only there to visit his grandchildren. The joke is that, since he met with Prawit, Prawit must be one of his grandkids.]

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Brothers in dictatorship

From Arun, September 15, 2017
Title: Baan Phi Muang Nong
[Thailand’s military PM Prayuth and Cambodia’s strongman PM Hun Sen embrace.
“Baan Phi Muang Nong” is literally “older brother house and little brother city” which means that helping other people is just like helping your own brother.
Here, it points out the close ties between the militaristic governments that have grown up in these adjacent countries.]

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Weekly News Magazines: Red Bull and the Shy Tiger, September, 2017

From Matichon Weekly, September 15-21, 2017
Main cover reads: Horror [big word] election
[Thaksin and Yingluck are hugging each other in this spoof of the Thai horror movie “The Promise.” After the escape of Yingluck before the verdict on the rice-pledging scheme, rumors swirled that this incident would be used further delay elections. Further delays would frightening indeed to Thaksin who has been laying low in hopes that a new election would once again return a party he controls to power.]
Left side: “Tiger” hides. Red bull is aggressively riding on the “People’s State” to “rent” the community forest.
[The man is Interior Minister General Anupong Paochinda.
This headline refers to the case of the energy company Red Bull leasing land which is believed to include a protected community forest.
While illegal, this is not unusual as the rich and powerful often just do what they want and use the weight of their influence to make it right.
In this case, the company had already been in the public spotlight after the case of a company heir killing a police officer with his Ferrari and, until recently, living openly with impunity from the law.
The community forest case led to criticism of the Lands Department under leading junta member Interior Minister Gen. Anupong Paochinda.
The Red Bull company insisted that they rented the land legally and planned to develop the land for water storage in compliance with the junta’s policy of “Pracharat” or the “People’s State.”
Gen. Anupong dismissed the criticism and set up an investigation of the matter while the company returned the land.
The “People’s State” is a junta concept to emphasize that the power of the nation should be used for the benefit of all the people. This is to draw contrast with the criticism of Thaksin’s rule that was supposedly meant to benefit himself, his cronies, and those who voted for him.
However, critics contend that the junta’s “People’s State” is exactly the same sort of populism that Thaksin embodied.
The headline is saying that the bull of “Red Bull” is riding or mastering this people’s state to reap benefits for itself.
“Tiger hides” means Gen. Anupong, part of the powerful Eastern Tiger military group, keeps generally silent in the junta, letting more boisterous PM Prayuth grab the media spotlight.]

From Siamrath Weekly Review, September 15-21, 2017
Main cover reads: Hold on the knife [white] for the friendship
[Refers to Thaksin’s son Panthongtae Shinawatra who is facing charges relating to a money-laundering scheme. The headline implies that the final verdict might result in either acquittal or a minor ruling of wrongdoing as the junta seems to be making deals with Thaksin’s political clique to enable them to peacefully maintain power after the next elections.]

From Manager Weekly, September 16-22, 2017
Main cover reads: (Warning) [white] Don’t lease more than 1 thousand/years
[This ridicules the Red Bull drink warning label about how many bottles to consume.
Here is refers to Interior Minister General Anupong Paochinda who is in a spotlight for granting a license to energy drink company Red Bull for leasing the land which believed to include a protected community forest. The price for the lease was allegedly a very low sweetheart deal–1,000 baht/rai/year.
After public protest, the company returned the land even though they insisted their intention was to use the land to develop water storage to preserve water and help the community.]
Top: Being a wife of the world champion means she must be patient. [yellow] “Kae” ate instant noodles–stayed in the rental room for 14 years [white] finally to be together with “Srisaket”
[Refers to Patchareewan ‘Kae’ Kanha, girlfriend of Thai boxer Srisaket Sor Sungvisai who recently knocked out Chocolatito Gonzalez and retained his WBC super-flyweight world title. After his recent victory, Sirsaket finally proposed to his longtime girlfriend.]
Bottom left: DSI pending ‘Oak’s case’ to give a green light-red light. Must wait for ‘elder brother’ to decide after talking about ‘Shinsuwan deal.’
[Refers to Thaksin’s son Panthongtae Shinawatra who faces charges in a money-laundering scheme. This article implies that to proceed the next step of the legal procedure, the Department of the Special Investigation (DSI) may wait for the direction from Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan, the “big brother” or elder member of military group the Eastern Tigers. It has been widely reported in the media that Prawit has been engaged in drawn out negotiations with Thaksin over the formation of the next government. Prawit denies any contact with Thaksin. The articles implies that the result of Thaksin’s son’s legal case, like everything else in Thailand, will be the result of high-level negotiations between powerful men.]
Middle: ‘Thaug’ [Suthep thaugsuban] becomes a favor. The NCPO returned to his service
[Refers to Suthep Thaugsuban, a leader of anti-Yingluck group the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) and a junta supporter. This article is about the close ties between Suthep and the junta (the National Council for Peace and Order or NCPO).]
Right, in black square: Special: Change a normal day to become a special day! ‘Volunteer’ the power of the nation
[This column encourages readers to join the volunteer program to honor King Rama IX.]

From Lokwannee, September 16-22, 2017
Main cover reads: Fortune teller 4.0 [small] insight or secretly knows?

[The man in yellow is Thai political fortune teller Warin. The woman in white is Myanmar’s well-known fortune teller “E.T.” or Swe Swe Win. She recently passed away after a career of advising Thai politicians and political figures, notably Thaksin.
This cover is raising the question of whether fortune tellers really have the power to see into the future or they just secretly known insider information.
Warin is probably the most famous Thai political fortune teller. His advice often seems pro-junta. This Thaksin, pro-Red Shirt publication alleges he seems like part of the junta’s Thailand 4.0 plan and his predictions are meant to support military rule.]

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The junta helps the Shinawatras to escape

From Manager, September 12, 2017
Deputy PM Prawit: Which route do you want to escape, Oak… like your dad? …or your aunt? Then, we can prepare to facilitate you in advance…
Caption: It’s good to prepare it now.

[Oak is the nickname of Thaksin’s son Panthongtae Shinawatra.
This cartoon refers Thaksin’s son Panthongtae Shinawatra who is facing accusations in a money laundering case involving Krung Thai Bank in 2008.
The junta’s popularity has taken a hit after former PM Yingluck fled a court ruling. The public at large, and those who support the junta in particular, have felt that the military is lying when they say they have no idea how Yingluck escaped. The widespread belief is that the military made a deal with Thaksin to allow her to flee and that their subsequent surprise at Yingluck’s escape is an outright lie.
The cartoon shows Deputy PM Prawit, the most influential person in the junta, likewise negotiating with Thaksin’s son so he too may flee overseas.]

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Yingluck sacrificed herself

From Thairath, September 6, 2017
Left, Red Shirt leader Thida Thavornseth: Yingluck comes from the elite and sacrificed herself to participate in politics…
Middle, Thida: I need to ask Yingluck’s doctor!
Man: Ask what?
Right: Ask why does the doctor make an elite people have Meniere’s disease? That is too much sacrifice.

[This cartoon jokes about the initial reason Yingluck’s representatives gave as to why she did not show up for the rice-pledging verdict. It was first claimed she was not at court because she was stricken with Meniere’s disease. In reality, she was secretly fleeing the country.
The cartoonist shows Thida, a diehard supporter of the Shinawatras, espousing Yingluck’s cover story of being sick and not being able to attend the verdict.]

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Boonsong in prison

From Naewna, September 6, 2017
Left: Why didn’t Boonsud open his month and why did he agree to be in jail for them… why?
Right: Because if I opened my month since the beginning, I might not survive until the day I was jailed. [meaning, had Boonsong spoken frankly about the graft in the rice program and that it was ordered by Thaksin himself, he would have been killed long before he was sent to jail]

[The man is Pheu Thai Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom now in jail due to the Pheu Thai’s rice pledging scheme.
The cartoonist jokes with his name, calling him “Boonsud”–“sud” meaning “declining” to refer to his strange silence over who compelled him to lie about the government-to-government rice deals.
According to former Pheu Thai Party leader Suranand Vejjajiva’s message posted on Facebook, he tried to ask Boonsong about this, but Boonsong would not say anything.
It was universally understood that Thaksin himself set Pheu Thai government policy and directly managed cabinet members so many are surprised that Boonsong quietly accepted the long prison term and took all the blame himself.
With so many people feeling betrayed by Yingluck’s surprise exile on the same day Boonsong was sentenced, Suranand’s Facebook message about Boonsong’s silence seems to be meant to allow Boonsong to save face as it implies Boonsong was under threat to maintain his silence and not implicate any of the Shinawatras.]

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The Red Shirt response will be tightly scripted

From Manager, September 26, 2017
Red Shirt leader Nattawut: We don’t know what the verdict will be… If Khun Poo [nickname of Yingluck] was sentenced, then please open the right envelops and starting insulting as I wrote. If Khun Poo isn’t sentenced… open the left one… and praise the court.
On the left envelope: Praise the court
On the right envelope: Insult the court
Nattawut is flanked by Thida Thavornseth and Weng Tojirakarn
Caption: These people… have a good briefing.
[This jokes that the Red Shirt reaction to the Yingluck verdict will be tightly scripted.]

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She helped the farmers so she can’t stay here…

From Thairath, September 5, 2017
Title: How we live in this country
Above left, Yingluck flying: Helping farmers… can’t stay.
Sign on rice bags: Rice pledging scheme
On farmers’ banner: Helping to develop the lives of farmers
Above right: Order death… still at large
On street signs Khok Wua Intersection; Ratchaprasong Intersection [both areas where Red Shirt protesters clashed with the military and deaths resulted; the man picture is Suthep who led the anti-amnesty protests against the Pheu Thai government]
Below right: Victims who were surrounded in 2010
Mouse: Must not die in vain.
Mouse man: Can’t they find a person who killed them?

[This compares the actions of former PM Yingluck, who fled the country before the reading of the verdict on her party’s rice pledging scheme, with those who killed Red Shirt protesters at various times in the recent past.
This contends that Yingluck’s action were ultimately only about helping the lives of Thailand’s poor farmers. Meanwhile, those responsible for the deaths of protesters are still unaccused and remain free in the country.]

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Closing down the mine

From Thairath, August 30, 2017
Title: Spread them instead of gold.
Tractor: Section 44 to close the mine.
On soldier: Return happiness [the junta’s motto]
On the bag being emptied: Stupid fees from people’s taxes.
On bag next to the man: Stupid fees from gold mine.
Mouse man: Use your own money.
Mouse: Doing the wrong things repeatedly.

[This ridicules the junta for using its absolute power under Section 44 to close down a controversial gold mine operated by Akara Resources. The site had long been accused by local residents creating pollution. Apparently the junta saw a chance to score points with the public but summarily closing the mine–thus cutting through the red tape and influential person who often stall any action against polluters.
However, the result of the mine closure has led to rumors that the mining company demanded compensation for the closure and that this money would come from the taxpayer. Thus, the cartoonist is saying that the junta is foolishly wasting taxpayer funds by precipitously closing the mine, not realizing compensation would have to be paid.]

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2005: When Thaksin tried to take over the Matichon and the Bangkok Post

The Takeover of Matichon and the Bangkok Post

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Grandma Niaum can go to heaven now

From Manager, September 4, 2017
Voice: Grandma Niaum… please go to the heaven… You don’t have a chance to see those people who cheat the land to be in jail… Tu’s government [PM Prayuth’s govenrment] has just launched a law to benefit the last person involved in this case.
Caption: It’s good… she doesn’t need to wait.

[Refers to case of the Alpine Golf Course. This land was owned by an elderly lady, Grandma Niaum, who donated the land to a temple after her death. However, her land was somehow sold for building a luxury golf course.
The case was one of many high profile corruption cases that dogged the Thaksin years as PM and seemed to underline how rules were bent to reward his supporters.
Recently, the Supreme Court made a ruling that resulted in jail for former Pheu Thai Party leader Yongyuth Wichaidit due to illegally approving the land deal for the Alpine Golf Course in Pathum Thani 15 years ago.
We do not understand exactly what this cartoon is referring to. Does anyone know? Who is the last person that some law benefits?]

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Punishing the fakers

From Thairath, August 30, 2017
Left, a foreigner: The international Copyright protection organization ask me to say Thank you to your government, that you started to work on this copyright problem seriously…
Middle: …by punishing one who infringe intensively and drastically!
Thai man: What case are you talking about?
Right: The one that punishes the fake G2G boss, and the result is going to jail for 42 years.

[Refers to the Phua Thai government’s fake export deals. Pheu Thai ministers falsely claimed that the huge rice surplus was being eagerly bought up by foreign governments. This would have all been ok if the Pheu Thai’s amnesty could have been put into effect which would have resulted in new elections. Then a new government, presumably controlled by a pardoned Thaksin, could have ensured that investigations into the rice pledging scheme would absolve the government of any wrongdoing.
However, the amnesty attempt resulted in a coup instead, and the unlucky ministers who proclaimed the deals, all to ensure government popularity and stability for an amnesty, were charged and sentenced to a decades-long imprisonment.
Adding to their complete defeat is that Pheu Thai PM Yingluck fled her own sentencing on the very day theirs was handed down, seeming to emphasize that Shinawatras do not go to jail, but those who act on their behalf do.]

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Who is left to burn Thailand?

From Naewna, September 1, 2017
Thaksin: Burn Thai Party. UDD [United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship or the Red Shirts]
Caption: All my followers are already in jail, who can I order to do the second burning??

[In this cartoon from a rabidly anti-Thaksin source, shows Thaksin wishing another conflagration that bring him back to power. However, most major figures that were willing to act on his behalf are in jail or in exile.]

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Weekly News Magazines: Thailand’s Power Players, September, 2017

From Siamrath Weekly Review, September 8-14, 2017
Main headline reads: Low profile [red] high power
[Refers to Thakins’s ex-wife Potjaman Na Pombejra who rarely makes public statements, but is known to play a large role behind-the-scenes in politics managing her family’s political deals.]

From Matichon Weekly, September 8-14, 2017
Main cover reads: Very handsome
[Former PM Abhisit Vejjajiva who has been criticized for his comments attacking former PM Yingluck after she fled the country. Thais are quite touchy about people who jump out to attack those who have been seen to fail in some way–whether they agree with the person who failed or not.
Abhisit denied he criticized Yingluck and instead questioned the media for reporting the alleged comments.
This cover headline refers to the idea that people who jump on others who are down on their luck are trying to make themselves look good–or in this case, handsome.]
Inside the box on the left: Thai people are lucky to have ‘Abhisit’ as the PM
Outside the box: There are people who died here? 99=2 An equation which can’t be fixed ; even ‘Montesquieu’ gets a headache
[Refers to PM Abhisit Vejjajiva and former deputy premier Suthep Thaugsuban who were recently cleared in a criminal lawsuit against them involving the clearance of the Red Shirt protest in 2010. During the protests, 99 people died and about 2,000 were injured.
Red Shirts allege unfair treatment from the judge. Related to this is Thaksin’s Montesquieu quote which he posted on Twitter after Yingluck fled the country. The quote read “There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetuated under the shield of law and in the name of justice.”]

From Manager Weekly, September 9-15, 2017
Main cover reads: Jugglery in a case of [yellow] ‘Panthongtae’
[Refers to the junta supposedly pushing forward the case of Thaksin’s son Panthongtae Shinawatra who was accused in a money laundering case involving Krungthai Bank in 2008. This is thought to be an attempt for the junta to recoup their legitimacy after Yingluck escaped a court verdict. This escape badly dented the junta’s popularity as many people are sure the junta made a deal with Thaksin to let Yingluck escape overseas. “Jugglery” means something like a tick or slight of hand where the junta uses Panthongtae’s case to make up for their duplicity in letting Yingluck escape justice.]

Top: Ending “a buster of a temple’s money” [big] Send “Pongporn” to the Southern border [normal] Is this a “reward”?
[Men in the photo are Pol. Lt. Col. Pongporn Pramsaneh and Wissanu Krea-ngam.
This refers to a transfer of Pol. Lt. Col. Pongporn Pramsaneh from the National Office of Buddhism (NOB) to the PM’s Office as an inspector-general supervising the southern border provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani, Songkhla, Satun and Yala.
Pongporn was an inveterate reformer who fearless shown light on the corrupt finances of Thailand Buddhist temples. It is thought that the junta is less interested inr eal reform now and more concerned with maintaining their grip on politics after the elections. Thus, they are less interested in reform that makes enemies.
The headline jokes that the “transfer” (which was in reality a sacking) could not possible be a promotion as the junta claims as Pongporn will now have to perform his duties in the very dangerous southern provinces.]
Bottom left: Minnie-Purisa. Kid designer 9 years old (acting) world’s youngest cloth owner.
[Refers to Purisa ‘Minnie’ Hengtrakulsin who is only 9 years old, but has her own cloth brand named ‘Purisa Glitzy.’]
Right: ‘Stung Nam’ [white] Cambodia’s ten billion dam. Who gets the benefit? Who loses and who is an invisible hand?
[The men in the photo are PM Prayut Chan-o-cha and Cambodian PM Hun Sen. This refers to the suspension of the 40-billion baht project to buy electricity and fresh water from Cambodia’s Stung Nam Dam. The junta made this decision one day before visiting Cambodia and agreed to enhance strong bilateral ties between the two countries. This article raises the question of what is behind the junta’s decision and who will gain the most benefit and loss from this action.]

From Lokwannee, September 9-15, 2017
Main cover reads: Follow the leader’s ass 20 years, the country will survive.
Along the man’s back: National Strategy Committee
[Junta’s leader PM Prayuth vowed to stay in power until the reform of the country is accomplished. Meanwhile, the National Strategy Committee was established by the junta with the aim of laying out the country’s strategy plan for 20 years and thus avoiding another Thaksin-directed government coming to power and trying enact polices to reward their supporters and to rewrite the constitution. The 20-year plan has been criticized as a tool to restrict an elected government and politicians.
We think the naked man is meant to remind readers that the military are like cave men and have an old-fashioned thinking style.]

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11 Years Ago: The Coup – September, 2006


(Photo: Don)

The Coup – September, 2006

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