Martyrs for a cause

From Manager, December 12, 2016
Title: The fates of a lotus under the water.
Left: Being a food for a turtle
Middle: Being a place for a turtle to hide
Right: Being a target for shooting to create chaos.

[This illustrates the different fates of Dhammakaya temple supporters.
In Buddhism, there are four levels of an individual’s development which are compared to the levels of a lotus in the water. The lotus under water is the lowest group which cannot be taught to be enlightened and has no future. The cartoonist contends that Dhammakaya supporters, by following the temple’s unusual tenants, are like the lotus under water.
In the cartoon, the turtle is supposed to be Dhammakaya’s fugitive abbot Dhammachayo who is hiding out to avoid arrest.
In the first panel Dhammakaya supporters are food for the abbot (due to their lavish donations).
In the second they are the human shields which the abbot is using to avoid arrest.
And in the final panel they pawns to be shot down and killed in any confrontation to arrest the monk.
This refers to a Thai way of conceptualizing protest as an attempt to create martyrs for a cause. This implies that the Dhammakaya temple siege (like the Red Shirt protests in the past) are opportunities where deaths would be beneficial. Then the deaths are cited as proof that the authorities’ position is not legitimate and thus all must be pardoned to maintain peace in the country’s metaphorical village.]

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