From Thairath, April 25, 2017
Title: Not being treason… just rent out the land… for a long time…
Sign on fence in front of government economic advisor Somkid Chatusiphithak: This special economic zone for rents for 99 years. For foreign investors only.
Note the man with “China” on his briefcase. On the other side of the fence are men dressed in grab associated with poor Thai farmers.
Sign at top left: Our land would be owned by them for more than 2 generations.
Sign at bottom left: Thai people have no place to make a living.
Mouse man: Die and have a new birth [life] to get the land back.
Mouse: Left the sin to offspring.
[In recent years, Thailand has been under pressure to reform its land-use rules in response to Vietnam’s liberalization of ownership rules for foreigners. This cartoon protests the government proposal to grant 99-year leases on Thai land to foreign investors.
Normally this cartoonist supports the more internationalist planks of Thaksin’s policies–such as border agreements with neighboring countries, legalizing casinos, and a liberalized business climate that might includes extended land leases.
Strident opinions against border agreements with Cambodia or giving away land to foreigners is usually a Yellow Shirt issue reflected in Manager/ASTV Group cartoons. One of the most persistent rumors of Thaksin’s time as prime minister was that Thai farmland was being slowly absorbed by Chinese investors who controlled it through shell companies, leaving Thai farmers as serfs.
This attention-grabbing land issue is a potent one is likely being used in this cartoon as another factor to remind rural farmers and other who might support The Pheu Thai that the junta and their political allies do not have the interests of the Thai people in mind.]