From Thairath, October 10, 2013
Title: Higher speed… can’t stop.
On the bag PM Yingluck is holding: To develop the country
Posters around her say: Appeals, rumors, slander, conduct a mob [protest], overthrow the government
On the man at bottom right, Prasong Sunsiri: Old veteran
He stands on a poster that reads: Freezing the country [this refers to a proposal to halt further democratization moves for a time as a way to dent the increasing power and popularity of the Thaksin political machine]
Phi Nooring: Destroy them all.
A mouse: Nari subdues all devils.
[In this cartoon PM Yingluck is compared to the tropical storm Nari in the way the Pheu Thai Party has pushed through its large spending budgets in the face of opposition.
Prasong Sunsiri is a former secretary of the National Security Council and former foreign minister and secretary of Gen. Prem Tinsulanont. Always pictured with his pipe, he is rumored to have been behind many attempts over the years to destabilize governments that step on the toes of the elite or are otherwise thought to overreach in their governing.
It is not uncommon for politicians to blame “the man with the pipe” (not daring to openly refer to Prasong) when popular discontent begins to rise against a government.
2014 note: This cartoon was indicative of the high spirits and confidence of the pro-Thaksin camp from mid-year 2013. This was when a tape of Thaksin discussing his return with the Defense Minister was leaked–apparently on purpose–to boast that the former premier believed he had made a deal with Gen. Prayuth not to oppose his return.
This confidence led to an overt amnesty for Thaksin (instead of a vague amnesty that could be interpreted by a friendly agency or packed court later) and the amending of the most controversial parts of the charter first (a fully-elected senate to cement Pheu Thai’s power) rather than a more gradual approach starting with less controversial amendments. It all smacked of the Thaksin impatience and overconfidence that had so long riled the old political order.
The result of these actions was a surprise. The Democrat Party’s theatrics in parliament to stop the Pheu Thai-led government had little resonance with the public and it was assumed the Pheu Thai would finally have its way, but then suddenly a full-blown anti-Yingluck, anti-government movement arose led by Democrat Suthep.
At the time this was thought of as a futile, last ditch effort by a losing political clique. And Gen. Prayuth had said nothing to dispel the perception that he had made a deal with Thaksin despite the venom constantly being projected at him from anti-Thaksin groups.
However, in the fullness of time, it seems as though the entire sequence of events was a ruse to draw out an impatient Thaksin and give the establishment one last chance to unseat a democratically elected government that once seemed unstoppable when it roared to power in 2011. More about this: Shinawatras caught in the country]