From Manager, March 8, 2016
Monk: These are called devils, they are here to impede Somdet [Somdet Chuang] from achieving nirvana… we have to protect him!!
Caption: [Their fight is] a fight against devils?
[This refers to the fight to appoint apparently Dhammakaya-friendly Somdet Chuang as Supreme Patriarch. The Dhammakaya Movement is considered heretical by mainstream Thai Buddhists, but the real source of contention is that the movement has long been known to be part of Thaksin’s political web.
Here, several symbols support the appointment–such as Thaksin’s Red Shirts (represented by buffaloes) and Red Shirt leader Jatuporn (represented by a frog). At left is the Dhammakaya’s UFO-styled temple with its leader sitting on top of it. A Mercedes Benz logo looms in the background as Somdet Chuang has been embroiled in a scandal involving an illegally imported vintage Mercedes Benz.
In Buddhism, things that prevent one from obtaining nirvana are personified as devils. Thus, the joke of the cartoon is the irony of politically compromised powers like Dhammakaya and the Red Shirts defending Somdet Chuang and trying to make sure he reaches his destiny as Supreme Patriarch.]
From 2002: The Weird Claims of Dhammakaya
From 2014: Thaksin’s Temple: Dhammakaya
From 2015: Roundup of editorial cartoons on Dhammakaya