From Manager, February 13, 2017
Cupid Pom [Cupid Pom is Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan who is pushing the reconciliation plan.]: Your rose arrows… will not make these two fall in love with each other… back off and let me do it!
Caption: This Valentine’s… Cupid Pom wants to show…
[This references the attempts to force pro- and anti-Thaksin factions to reconcile. In practice this means both sides agree to rules of conduct and accept military enforcement of this agreement.
In the wider context of Thai history, it foreshadows a future where misbehaving parties can expect to be “liquidated” by the military. This is in keeping with the military’s self-appointed role as the “protector of the nation” and Thai attitudes about protest.
Not only is protest considered a shameful breach of the normal unity of society, but the fact that the Red Shirts in particular are obviously directed by a politician for his own benefit would lead the military to categorize them as insincere hired hands that can be dealt with harshly.
The Yellow Shirt faction has also long been under pressure too for steadfastly resisting any concessions at all for Thaksin. Even during the previous Pheu Thai-led government, anti-Thaksin forces were on guard against any efforts to bring Thaksin into reconciliation efforts.
The present junta realizes that in some way Thaksin must be assuaged and thus it needs to bring the Yellow Shirts under control to allow an eventual solution that includes Thaksin.
Despite any promises for a return to democracy, no elections will be held until the present military junta feels that have cowed all political factions into binding reconciliation agreements.]