From Thairath, April 4, 2019
Title: Go back to the history of Black May
On the chair: Allegation; destroy
On the car: Akkachai Hongkangwan [the name of an activist who was collecting signatures to remove the Election Commission from office; his car was set on fire]
On papers: Remove, EC, Protest [these represent the petitions that were in the car]
On a man’s cap: Ford; On his shirt: Red Road [“Ford Red Road” is the nickname of an anti Election Commission activist]
On his paper: Protest the EC Phi Nooring: Instruct for hatred.
Mouse: Brutal society
[This cartoon seeks to equate events of today to events of the past when hatred was stoked against those who protested with opposing opinions.
The man with chair on the left is taken from a famous photo from 1976 showing a man hitting a student hung from a tree. It evokes the mob fury of the 1976 massacre when students were lynched and burned. The cartoonist warns that the cases filed against Future Forward party leader Thanathorn are an attempt to stoke violent hatred against him.
Adding to this is the army’s apparent post-election confidence with army chief Gen. Apirat denouncing “left-wing academics” and their aleged plot to change Thailand from a constitutional monarchy.
The result of this is thought to be incidents like when Akkachai Hongkangwan’s car was burned and when Ford Red Road, a prominent voice calling for the ouster of the Election Commission, was beaten.
Now that the military is poised to form a government (and was even lucky enough to claim the popular vote), it is thought that the time is right to extinguish leftist movements like Thanathorn’s that were born from the Nitrat group (activist academics seeking to abolish lese majeste laws) and Thaksin’s own political maneuvering in the waning days of the reign of Rama 9. The alleged slights and provocations stemming from all of this would be enough for nationalist top army brass to set the wheels turning against Thanathorn now that the military appears set to remain in power for the foreseeable future.
Also mentioned in the cartoon is a warning that we are heading towards a new Black May. This warning has raised by Red Shirts for several years now knowing that coup chief Prayuth intended to remain in power after elections. I have previously written about this here: The last time a coup leader became PM after a return to democracy
Outsiders might interpret the idea being espoused in this cartoon as primarily saying that all sides should be allowed their opinions or that free speech is most important.
However, what is being said is something from a Thai cultural perspective. It is that it is wrong to raise hatred–that is, it is wrong to point out, accuse, blame people as it creates the greatest shame for society which is discord. Provoking people to anger against enemies is disturbing of the peace of the proverbial Thai village.]
From Daily News, April 5, 2019
[Refers to the current situation faced by the Future Forward Party. After a surprisingly strong showing in the election, the party’s leader Thanathorn is facing several charges and the party is facing calls for its disbanding by a group called the Political Civic Group asking the Election Commission to investigate the party for trying to subvert the monarchy.]