Attacking the NGOs

Left: From Thairath, February 8, 2003
Prime Minister Thaksin runs from NGOs holding signs that read: anti-violence, anti-power plant construction
They are using a water monitor lizard to attack Thaksin. These lizards are symbols of disgusting, contemptible things.
Caption: Who is playing harder? [meaning something like “who is being more aggressive?” Thaksin was criticized for being overly aggressive in his reforms of the Thai system.]

Who’s afraid of the activists? – The Economist, May 9, 2015
…Cambodia’s rulers say they must “handcuff” any NGOs that stir up political trouble. You would expect authoritarian states to suffer from NGO-aversion. But many of the ostensibly more liberal Asian polities also display the symptoms, especially where prickly nationalists are in charge. When Sri Lanka’s defence ministry took charge of regulating NGOs, it was described as a necessary guard against traitors. Last month India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, snarled that “five-star activists” were bent on doing down his country. A new law in Indonesia imposes tight restrictions on NGOs so as not to “disrupt the stability and integrity” of the country. And three years ago Pakistan closed down Save the Children and booted out its foreign staff, saying that spies all too often masquerade as aid-workers…

[Thaksin was a pioneer of pointing out that NGOs are enemies of the state with hidden agendas to stop him.]

Right: From Thai Red News, November 27-December 3, 2009
The headline reads: When NGOs in Thailand become enemy of Pol. Lieutenant Thaksin

2014: NGOs cooperate with the junta to stop Thaksin and real reform

2005: Thaksin: “I will respect NGOs that have no hidden agendas”

2003: The Thaksin dictionary

Also: Nationalism and Right-wing Politics during the Thaksin years

Left: From Thairath, December 24, 2002
Cartoon title: Uninvited show
On backdrop: Thai-Malay cabinets’ co-meeting
On flag carried by protester: Opposing the Thai-Malay gas pipeline
On officers’ shields: Police
[Unlike most Thai premiers, Thaksin cultivated very public cooperation with neighboring countries at the highest levels. The cartoon refers to one of Thaksin’s mobile cabinet meetings highlighting cooperation with Malaysia.
It was common for Thaksin to blame NGOs for local protests against development. Here it shows NGOs needless protesting needed development and disrupting a high-level government event.]
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