Oct 10th, 2018

One lotus is above the water

From Manager, September 23, 2018
Lotus with the face of PM Prayuth (or Jatuporn? see in comments section): Everything which has occurred… it has a cause and factor. If the Pheu Thai-led government was not corrupt… and excessively [grabbed] power which led to chaos… the military would not be able to have an excuse to conduct a coup!
Caption: In this pond… one lotus is above the water

[Recently, Deputy PM Prawit had a war of words with Thaksin. He denied Thaksin’s call for talks and reconciliation. Instead, he blamed Thaksin’s political manipulation for causing trouble to the country.
This cartoon refers to Buddhist teaching to divide people into four kinds of lotuses.
The lotus on the water level refers to quite intelligent people who, when using a little bit of effort to study or contemplate, are able to understand dharma in a short time. Meanwhile, the ones still in the water refers to medium or low intelligence people.
This cartoons seems to voice the opinion that the constant efforts of Thaksin to gain and hold power and then rewrite the constitution to suit himself led to events which allowed the military a pretext to seize and hold power.]

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Everyone feels down when they think of Prayuth

From Thairath, September 19, 2018
Title: If you feel down… Please think about me…
PM Prayuth: When I’m feeling down… I think only about people.
On the mask: Chill chill as Loei’s style [meaning the PM was taking it easy as is the local Loei style]
On people’s shirts on the left: Feel down on violating rights; feel down about the dictator; feel down about political problems; feel down about economic problems; feel down about the difficulty of living
On a man’s shirt on the right: Feel down on destroying Voice TV
Phi Nooring: If we remember him, then we will be cheered up?
Mouse: So ironic.

[Refers to PM Prayuth’s saying during his mobile cabinet meeting in Loei province that “When I’m feeling down… I think only about people” which means something like he feels better for dedicating himself to helping people.
The cartoon ridicules this saying that the current political situation makes people sick of the junta’s power.
In the cartoon, the mask is called Phi Ta Khon and is used in the Ghost Festival in Loei province. The PM also carried durian to represent the local produce.]

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8 Years Ago: Bombmakers in Nonthaburi

Nonthaburi Bombmakers

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Who has been holding the country back?

From Manager, September 19, 2018
On the arrow: Developed country.
Thaksin: 12 years already, has Thailand had enough suffering? …while other countries move forward… we move backward.

[Thaksin recently emerged on social media to bemoan the state of the country after 12 years of conflict and wish that the different sides would negotiate together.
Critics dismissed Thaksin’s statement as part of his regular PR build-up before elections. It was also noted that Thaksin’s offer of talks was disingenuous as the junta would never accede to what has always been Thaksin’s main demand–the dropping of all court cases and prison sentences for him.]

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Bloody October 2008

Bloody October 2008

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The black hole of Thai society

From Arun, October 6, 2018
Caption: A black hole of Thai society
On the calendar at top: October
Column from left to right: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday

[Refers to the Thammasat University massacre that occurred on October 6, 1976. Thousands protested against the return of former military dictator Thanom Kittikachorn to Thailand.
State forces and far-right paramilitaries attacked and summarily killed protesters on the campus of Thammasat University and at Sanam Luang, accusing them of being communists.
This anniversary is often downplayed in the Thai world in favor of the more palatable events of October 1973 when Thanom’s regime was ousted from power.]

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October 1976: A sea of blood


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Above: One of the iconic images of October 6: Right-wing mobs beating the corpses of lynched protestors.

1976: A Nightmare of Lynching and Burning

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People who ordered to kill are still alive

From Thairath, October 6, 2018
Title: We don’t forget
On the grave: 6 October 1976
Phi Nooring: People who ordered to kill are still alive.
Mouse: Civil massacre

[Refers to the Thammasat University massacre which took place on October 6, 1976.]

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Fight then fertilize

From Matichon Weekly, September 14-20, 2018
Title: Fighting fishes and “Politicians”
First: When you put in the block, each one is living in their way, peaceful.
On the block paper: Coup d’etat
Second: When you take the block out, each are fighting.
Third: When they are put together…
Fourth: …each tries fertilizing.

[This is a good representation of many Thais’ attitudes towards politicians.
As conflict and protest is seen as a shameful stain on society, a coup is often welcomed as putting the brakes on pointless political bickering.
After several years of junta rule without open politicking, some are dreading the day when the regional kingpins and billionaires that make up Thai politicians are allowed to fight for power once again–especially as all the same main issues from past years (a new constitution and amnesty) are already at the top of many parties’ agenda.
Finally, the cartoonist jokes that political parties that were once bitter enemies will merge and cooperate in gaining the spoils of the nation when it suits them.
This is similar to the sucking up of politicians which seems emphasize the venality of politicians who only seek to hold power.]

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Weekly News Magazines: All About Elections, September, 2018

From Matichon Weekly, September 21-27, 2018
Main cover reads: Social media can’t enter
On the box: Election [with yearly dates crossed out indicating the many delays to eventual elections]

[Refers to the new order from the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) that allows political parties to use social media only for contacting their members, but not for campaigning.
This unclear order has raised a question whether the junta really wants to unlock the politics as they have promised.]

Top: The sibling rivalry of the ‘Blue.’ The PDRC in the name of ‘Warong’ competes for a post of ‘leader’ from ‘Mark’ paving the way for the NCPO to occupy the Democrats?

[Refers to Warong Dechgitvigrom (pictured right) announcing he will vie with former PM Abhisit Vejjajiva (left) for the post of the Democrat Party leader.
Warong is supported by former Democrat Party Suthep Thaugsuban, a leader of anti-Yingluck People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC). Recently, Suthep has announced a new party to support PM Prayuth in the coming elections.
The headline points out how going to Warong as Democrat Party leader would result in the Democrats supporting the military-led government after the next elections.]

From Siamrath Weekly Review, September 21-27, 2018
Main cover reads: Feeling awkward

[Refers to PM Prayuth who has recently admitted interest in participating in politics. This is after longstanding rumors that he would seek to maintain the PM post after elections, despite many public denials. The headline likely refers to this long fake public denial when ultimately the admission was made that Prayuth intends to remain in politics.]

From Lokwannee, September 22-28, 2018
Main cover reads: More than “shameful”

[Refers to UN’s recent report named Thailand among 38 countries as having a “shameful attitude” in carrying out reprisals against human rights defenders. This report embarrassed the junta which always claims that they have helped improve the political situation in the country. The cartoonist illustrates the junta as a dinosaur to mean they are old-fashioned in their thinking. The pink light stick refers to the light sticks PM Prayuth carried when a famous Japanese band paid a visit to the junta. These sticks are used in audiences for pop music acts in Asia.]

From Manager Weekly, September 22-28, 2018
Main cover reads: #Poom clings to Toe
Deputy PM Prawit at left: The country is in trouble because of who? You need to clear all legal matters against yourself first.
Thaksin at right: His stance and voice look serious, not humble like when he clung my table and begged for the army chief post.

[Refers to a recent war of words between Thaksin and Deputy PM Prawit sparked by Thaksin’s call for reconciliation.
Deputy PM Prawit responded by saying Thaksin should clear all his legal cases first before thinking about talks between old political rivals.
Thaksin then posted a message on social media to criticize Prawit saying that he looks official and serious now, which was a big difference from when he was groveling at Thaksin’s feet and begging for the post of army commander from Thaksin. Deputy PM Prawit was army commander-in-chief from 2004 to 2005, when Thaksin was prime minister.
Thaksin’s post was meant to humiliate Prawat, but it also exposed the power of Thaksin, who once had the ability to appoint who he wanted to top posts that were supposed to be awarded on merit and through bureaucratic channels.
On the cover, this political exchange is compared to famous Thai rock stars Asanee and Wasan Chotikul.
At left the left is Asanee, whose nickname is “Poom.” This is the same that Deputy PM Prawit has.
At right is Wasan whose nickname is “Toe” which means “table” in English.
In the photo, Asanee (Poom) is clinging his brother Wasan (Toe), mimicking the Thaksin insult that said Prawit clung to his table to beg him for a job.]

Top: “Special mission” [black] new ERC. Settling the dispute on purchasing the stocks of [blue] GLOW [black] is only the “tip of the iceberg.” Still, there are a lot of “millions-baht” baht benefits waiting for them. [yellow] ERC
In black underneath: Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC)
[Refers to a recent appointment of the new Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) by PM Prayuth through the article 44 as he accused the previous ERC of working too slow and sparking frequent conflicts. The new members include ERC Chairman Samoechai (pictured).
One of the challenges for the new ERC is to solve the problem of the purchase of GLOW stocks by PTT.]

Bottom left: Complicated-hidden. Mysterious relationship between “Kae-Aerk-Paul”
[Refers to a mysterious cause of suicide of former sexy model Kay Lederer. She left her note accusing her business partner, Aerk Lederer (left) of fraud. Later, Aerk denied any part in her decision to commit suicide and placed the blame on her fiancé’s Paul (right).

Right: Reduce the number of new smokers to protect the youth from smoking. [inside the orange circle] Special

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Get the military out of the deep south please

From Manager, September 16, 2018
The insurgent group: When the democracy returns… Don’t forget to remove the military from the three southernmost provinces immediately… We will work more easily.
On the box held by two men: Donate 100 baht for returning democracy
Caption: Those groups will fully make a donation.

[Refers to the Future Forward Party, co-founded by Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit and Piyabutr Saengkanokkul (pictured left and right holding the donantion box).
Recently, Thanathorn urged people to elect his party to fight for the return of full democracy to the country by paying a 100-baht membership fee to the party. Thanathorn promises to bring the country back to democracy and will not allow the military to intervene like the past.
The Future Forward Party has attracted much media attention for its apparently leftist leanings, although it is still headed by a connected political billionaire and has policies in sync with Thaksin goals.
The party has floated a number of bold and controversial measures–many mimicking Thaksin politics–such as scrapping the 2017 constitution, amnesty for all “political prisoners” (perhaps even lese majeste convictions), and a repeat of Thaksin’s policies for the Deep South which saw a successful handling of tensions in the region by the military derailed by turning control over to the local police.]

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New heads for political parties

From Manager, September 13, 2018
On the signs, left to right: Pheu Thai Party; Democrat Party
Abhisit: I think your party should find a head first!

[Refers to the conflict inside the Democrat party concerning the coming election. This cartoon is ridicules Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva. While he gloats over the lack of a leader for the Pheu Thai Party, many in his own party are intent on deposing him as party leader.
The Pheu Thai and the Red Shirts have blamed Abhisit for his order to clear the Red Shirt protests in 2010. Removing Abhisit from leadership might eliminate a major divisive figure the Pheu Thai has depended on to engage its supporters.]

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Silpa Bhirasri, Father of modern art in Thailand

From Arun, September 13, 2018
Inside box at top left: Silpa Bhirasri, Father of modern art in Thailand
Green shading at left: 15 September Silpa Bhirasri’s Day
Green words: Tomorrow is too late.

[Refers to well-respected sculptor and lecturer Silpa Bhirasri. He established and taught at Silpakorn University. He is praised as the “father of modern art in Thailand.”
“Tomorrow is too late” is one of his famous quotes to encourage people to start doing their work without waiting.
Oddly enough he seems to be holding one of Salvador Dali’s melted clocks in the cartoon.]

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Which the fish creel destroys the country’s image more?

From Thairath, September 10, 2018
Title: Which the fish creel destroys the country’s image more?
On the folder held by the military man: IO team
On a fish creel no. 1: Politicians
On a fish creel no. 2: Coup persons
Phi Nooring: One click sends a bad smell to the whole world.
Mouse: Click the real cause.
On a man’s tablet: Fish creel 1; Fish creel 2
Sound coming from the tablet: Click!

[This compares the coup conducted by the military to elected governments. The junta has been trying to build a good image by using the “Information Operation” (IO) strategy to promote good news related the junta online.
This cartoon uses the Thai proverb “one rotten fish makes a smell all over a fish creel.” It means that one person’s fault effects the whole group.
This means that bad members of the junta hurt its image and that they are no better than elected politicians.]

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Weekly News Magazines: Junta misspelling, September, 2018

From Lokwannee, September 14-21, 2018
Main cover reads: Unlucky
Dinosaur, representing the military: Unfortunately, it is spelled incorrectly.

[This calligraphy refers to a lottery seller man who lied about winning the lottery. He had famed calligraphy like this that he was given by a Chinese-style fortune teller.
On the cover it reads “unlucky,” instead of “รวย” meaning “rich.”
The overall joke is meant to ridicule PM Prayuth who insisted that he spelled a word correctly after the media claimed that there was a misspelling in his writing.]

From Matichon Weekly, September 14-20, 2018
Main cover reads: Kiss Kiss

[Refer to the recent picture from Thaksin’s daughter Peathongtarn (left) showing her elder sister Pingthongtha (right) drinking from the small glass with the red and yellow straw. This is to show the harmony of the Red and Yellow shirts.
This is part of Thaksin’s PR offensive that he conducts before elections to send the message that he is still a political force.]

Top: Kraben Rahu. First Thai film to win a prize from the ‘Venice’ [Venice Film Festival]
[Refers to Thai film ‘Manta Ray’ or ‘Kraben Rahu’ directed by Phuttiphong Aroonpheng. It won the Orizzonti Award for Best Film at the 75th Venice Film Festival. It becomes the first Thai movie to win the prestigious award and is about the Rohinya people.]

From Manager Weekly, September 15-21, 2018
Main cover reads: OTu

[Refers to the junta’s new campaign on inviting well-known people to help promote the junta’s TV program.
PM Prayuth (whose nickname is Tu) spoke up to defend pop group BNK48 member Cherprang Areekul (pictured), after she was criticized for appearing on the junta’s program.
The cover word “OTu” comes from the word “Otaku” mixed with PM Prayuth’s nickname “Tu.” “Ota” is the word BNK fanclub members use to refer to themselves. It is a Japanese word to refer to a person who is really addicted to something.]

Top: Business-Romance [black] or cheating. A question in the cause of [red] “Kae Lederer’s” suicide
[Refers a unclear cause that led to the suicide of sexy socialite Kae Lederer (pictured). She left a suicide note accusing her business partner, ex-model and close friend, Ongart “Aerk” Lederer (pictured), of fraud. ]
Bottom left: Why is [blue] the army team [white] popular? [orange] Count down [white] for becoming extinct in the highest league.
[Refers to the military-related soccer teams which are now facing a risk to fall out of Thailand’s soccer league.
All of this is related to politics as, during the heydays of Red Shirt power, politicians could be essentially blacklisted by the power of Red Shirt intimidation. The Red Shirt numbers were such that they seemed to be possibly able to check the power of the military.
The military and politicians poured resources and funds into soccer clubs which were envisioned as a sort of shadow political parties comprised of rabid fans who might be able to serve as a counterweight to Red Shirt power.
Now that new elections are coming and many Pheu Thai and Red Shirt politicians are supporting the junta, it indicates Thaksin and Red Shirt influence is on the wane.
Thus the need to spend resources on the clubs, their development, and promotion is ended. Where just a few years ago the clubs were taking on the character of rabid English soccer fandom, today the military men and politicians who once nurtured them have largely given up on them and are instead focusing on elections.]

Right: From [red] Jack Ma [white] to [red] Fan Bingbing [white] China is very difficult to live.
[Refers to the recent news about Alibaba founder Jack Ma announced he would step down from the business next year to focus on philanthropy and education. His surprising decision has been praised by the public.
In contrast, Hollywood-well known Chinese actress Fan Bingbing has gone missing amid rumors she had under-reported her earnings to the government.]

From Siamrath weekly review, September 14-21, 2018
Main cover reads: ‘Yak’ [white] still survives.
[Refers to a rumor that Deputy Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Dr. Wiwat “Yak” Salyakamthor a would be sacked from his job by the junta.
This was because he supports a total ban on three hazardous herbicides including Glyphosate, Chlorpyrifos, Paraquat.
As the ban would have a huge impact on big agricultural business groups, it was thought Yak’s job was in jeopardy for suggesting a ban.]

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Traits needed for the Burn Thai Party

From Manager, September 10, 2018
On the signboard: The inborn traits that one needs to have when a member of the Burn Thai Party.
1. insult the former party you were with
2. lick big boss and madam’s boots
3. inform international organizations
4. insult soldiers three times after a meal
5. call people to come out and burn the place
Surapong Tovichakchaikul at right: You have done three things already Machim… you would become our new member for sure.
Caption: Machim is proving himself.

[As if to counteract defections from the Pheu Thai to pro-military parties, the Pheu Thai Party has touted the defection of former Democrat Party MP Nakhom Machim to their party.
Machim criticized the Democrats and apologized to former PM Thaksin and Yingluck for being part of the conspiracy hatched by the military, elites, judiciary and other anti-Thaksin groups to destroy the power of the Shinawatra family.
This syncs with the list the cartoonist has created for new members. Other points on the list are to call on international election monitors or U.N. fact finding missions, insulting the military, and calling on supporters to be ready to show their dissatisfaction by burning buildings.
The cartoonist calls the Pheu Thai Party the “Burn Thai Party” as a play on Thai words that humorously transform the party name into “Burn Thai Party” to reference Red Shirt leaders who called on their supporters to burn the country in 2010.]

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Whatever Happened To Frank aka Thaksin Shinawatra?

Whatever Happened To Frank aka Thaksin Shinawatra? – manchestercity.vitalfootball.co.uk, September 24, 2018
…In 2017 he was thought to be flitting between Hong Kong and Singapore.
Why there?
He was gathering his former influential Thai friends to make a political comeback.
Did he make a comeback?
No!
This man was/is one heck of a character.
Three cheers for Frank.
Hip hip…

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Don’t sack Wiwat!

From Manager, September 6, 2018
Title: A knight who fights with the dragon
On the shirt: Deputy Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister
On a sword: Ban 3 hazardous herbicides
On the dragon’s neck: Capitalist
On the dragon’s belly: Multinational companies
On the bottles held by the dragon from left to right: Glyphosate, Chlorpyrifos, Paraquat
On the bottles on the ground from left to right: Kill insects. Kill grasses

[Deputy Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Dr. Wiwat Salyakamthorn is a supporter of organic gardening so he has been in the crosshairs of large Thai companies that sell chemicals to farmers.
However, when he recently supported a total ban on three hazardous herbicides–Glyphosate, Chlorpyrifos, Paraquat–rumors began circulating that large comapnies began lobbying the junta to sack Wiwat from his post.]

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Don’t investigate the generals!

From Manager, September 2, 2018
National Anti-Corruption Commission president Pol. Gen. Watcharapol: As long as I wear it around my neck, don’t investigate about who was corrupt on the procurement. It will protect me from getting kicked off the chair. [meaning “it will protect me from getting removed from my job”]
On the sign behind him: The National Anti-Corruption Commission
Caption: GT200 is NACC’s amulet

[Refers to the “inconclusive” investigation by the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) on the controversial military procurement of the 1.13 billion baht purchase of fake bomb detectors (known as GT200) to use in the southernmost provinces.
NACC president Pol. Gen. Watcharapol Prasarnrajki is known to have very close ties with the junta–particularly Deputy PM Prawit.
All of this reflects the idea that the military has been able to cover up investigations into wrongdoing connected to the armed forces or quickly fire those who investigate too objectively.]

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What happens to the people Thaksin appoints?

From Manager, September 3, 2018
Thaksin: Your grandfather [referring to himself] will only take your dad to be a party leader for a little bit… I will return him soon.
Twins: Not true!… when he becomes a leader then he will escape outside of the country in the same way as grandmother Poo. [meaning former PM Yingluck]
Caption: The family’s take-away man.

[Thaksin is carrying away his daughter Pinthongta’s husband, Nattapong Kunakornwong. This is all about the speculation about which Shinawatra family member Thaksin might appoint to head his Pheu Thai Party.
It shows the bind Thaksin is in as the anti-Thaksin establishment has become adept at blocking Thaksin’s attempts to rewrite the constitution or grant himself amnesty through family members heading the government on his behalf.
The result of these efforts are court cases and exile for Thaksin appointees like his sister Yingluck.]

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The animals have to wait

From Naewna, September 1, 2018
Sign: Election 2019
In the cement PM Prayuth is pouring: Act regarding the election of [members of the house of] representatives
Caption: Waiting three months more, the track is still not done.

[This points out the delays the junta is putting up to delay elections such as procedural bills to various aspects of governing bodies that would oversee elections and politics.
The cartoonist seems to think this is a good thing as he portrays politicians at the “dangerous animals.”]

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The buffaloes are leaving Thaksin

From Naewna, August 29, 2018
Thaksin: Those puppet MPs Stop… Stop…
On the back of the buffalo: Phao Thai MPs are now changing parties.
Caption: Can’t pull back anymore.

[Refers to Thaksin who is facing the problem of defections from his Pheu Thai Party.
The cartoon calls the party “Phao Thai” meaning “burning Thailand” as the Red Shirts threatened to burn the country during protests in past. It also shows the MPs as a buffalo. This has traditionally been an insult to mean a person is as stupid or silly as a buffalo. However, in recent years, many have embraced the insult and refused to be provoked by it.]

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No justice for the panther

From Manager, August 29, 2018
Black panther: A delay in justice is an injustice.
Caption: Even a black panther is getting mad.

[Refers to the delay in judicial processed in he case of the president of the Italian-Thai Development Plc. Premchai Karnasuta. He faced a charge of allegedly hunting animals, including a black panther, in Thungyai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary in Kanchanaburi province.
This cartoon reflects the fear that Premchai may not face justice as Thais believe that the rich, with money and power, obtain a privilege to escape from wrongdoing. Thais joke that prison is only for the poor.]

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Activist attacked for protesting Prawit

From Thairath, August 25, 2018
Title: A watch… not only informs of the time, but also inform’s about the owner’s personality
On paper held by Ekachai: Call for justice
On paper which has pictures of watches: Watches lent from friends
On Ekachai’s shirt: Ekachai
On signs from top to bottom: Violate rights; Arrest people who think differently; Make fake charges on students; Do not allow to check
Phi Nooring: Still is a barbarous country
Mouse: Still be such people who love to attack others behind their backs

[Refers to political activist Ekachai Hongkangwan who continually calls on Deputy PM Prawit to resign due to the allegation that he has amassed unusual wealth as demonstrated by his apparent collection of luxury watches and diamond rings. He has been physically attacked by unknown persons while trying to demand Deputy PM Prawit demand. This sort of direct physical attack on a protester is understood in Thai politics as the result of the protester “going too far” with his stinging and effective attacks on an individual.]

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Politicians need to poo

From Manager, August 30, 2018
PM Pruyuth: Eh… eh… I allow you to pee only… Don’t poo!!
Caption: To loosen… not unlock

[This illustrates that the junta, led by PM Prayuth, has recently allowed politicians conduct some limited political activities in order to prepare for the coming election.
However, the politicians should are not relieved as this action does not mean that the junta will “unlock” politics and allow political activities again so they are still desperate for full politicking to begin again.]

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Weekly News Magazines: New army chief, September, 2018

From Matichon Weekly, September 7-13, 2018
Main cover reads: Commander of the First Division, King’s Guard
[Refers to a new army chief Gen. Apirat Kongsompong.
His promotion to head the military came as no surprise as it was already widely expected when he was appointed commander of the First Division, King’s Guard–a key posting in Bangkok. The location of the command’s bases and troops give it leverage over the civilian world of Bangkok and the ability to easily stage coups if they deem it necessary.
Gen. Apirat is known and trusted by PM Prayuth. He is the eldest son of former coup leader Gen. Sunthorn Kongsompong, who led a coup in 1991 to oust the government of Chatchai Choonhavan.
While not part of the ruling military clique the Eastern Tigers, Gen. Apirat’s appointment is thought to signal to the political world that all the major military factions are united in resisting a Thaksin return to power (in contrast to Red Shirt claims in the past that the military is split with some dissatisfied with Pm Prayuth).]

Top: Welcome to the election from Ubon-Korat. Pheu Thai-People’s State Power Party-Phumjaithai Party fierce fight
[Refers to Suporn Attawong (pictured), a former Red Shirt leader turned pro-junta politician. He has been accused of buying party members in Nakhon Ratchasima (also known as Korat).
The Pheu Thai party also claimed that the People’s State Power Party also tried to buy members and they would file a complaint with the Election Commission.
All of this is push back from the Pheu Thai Party against pro-junta political parties openly conducting political activities despite the junta ban on political activity.
The northeast region (Korat and Ubon) is expected to be hotly contested during the coming elections as the junta seeks to cut into Red Shirt strongholds.]

From Siamrath Weekly Review, September 7-13, 2018
Main cover reads: Victims
[Refers to who will lead the Pheu Thai Party to contest the coming election.
There were several rumors about who will lead the party, such as Thaksin’s son-in-law Nattapong Kunakornwong (left), Thaksin’s son Pantongtae Shinawatra (right), Pheu Thai member Sitha Divari (center) and Thaksin’s nephew Yodchanan Wongsawat (front right).
Since the party is controlled by Thaksin, it is imperative that he is appoint a family member to lead the party. The cover headline jokes that whoever is appointed will be dealt with in the same way as Yingluck–hampered and hounded by legal cases and forced to flee the country.]

From Manager Weekly, August 25-31, 2018
Main cover reads: Army chief Dang with power
[Refers to a new army chief Gen. Apirat ‘Dang’ Kongsompong, who is an eldest son of former coup leader Gen. Sunthorn Kongsompong, who led a coup in 1991 to oust the government of Chatchai Choonhavan.
His appointment shows that he is trusted by the junta and, having united all major army factions, are now ready to compete in the comings election. Gen. Apirat as the narmy chief sends the signal that the junta is firmly in control of the political situation.]

Top: A fight of 2 queens [black] to become “leader of Pheu Thai” [red] “A queen of the moon palace” [black] humiliates “a queen from the north” because “Jae Dang” went to meet “Nong Pu” while “Somchai” visited Dubai.
[Refers to a fight between those two powerful women–Thakins’ ex-wife Potjaman Na Pombejra (right) and his sister Yaowapa “Dang” Wongsawat–to become head of the political party Thaksin controls–the Pheu Thai Party.
Yaowapa and her husband, former PM Somchai (middle), are lobbying Thaksin and Yingluck (nicknamed “Nong Pu” or “little sister Pu”) to support Somchai or their son to be the leader.
Thaksin’s ex-wife Potjaman is strongly insisting Thaksin appoint politicians not related to Shinawatra’s family.
This cover calls this intense fight “a fight of two queens” as both women are major power brokers in the country and have Thaksin’s ear. Potjaman is called “queen of moon palace” because Thaksin’s residence is named “Chansongla” which means “shining moon.”
Yaowapa has a strong power base in the north which is Thaksin’s hometown. “Jae” is Chinese word meaning “elder sister.”]

Bottom left: Ajarn Yak-Wiwat Salyakamthorn [white] to ban all hazardous herbicides in agricultural areas (is it possible?)
[Refers to an exclusive interview with Deputy Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Dr. Wiwat “Yak” Salyakamthorn. Recently, Dr. Wiwat has announced support for a total ban on three hazardous herbicides including Glyphosate, Chlorpyrifos, and Paraquat as they are health and environmental hazards.
Due to this, there is a rumor that he will be reshuffled out of his post as a ban on these hazardous chemicals would impact big business groups. Ajran is Thai word meaning a teacher.
Wiwat is also a supporter of organic growing which is a red flag for major Thai conglomerates that depend on big chemical sales in rural areas.]

Middle: Lookmai or Bab rak [pink] “Sean Jindachot” [white] climbing actor 2018
[Refers to a famous actor Sean Jindachot who is now playing a main role in two TV drama: Lookmai Laysonthaya with the actress Pimprapa Thangprapapron (pictured) and another TV drama Bab Rak.
He is often rumored to be dating his costars. There is now a rumor that he is dating Pimprapa. So this article calls him a “climbing actor 2018” which is like a climbing plant which always has close relationships with everything around.]
Right: The five things about coach Che who is abandoning his nationality
[Refers to well-known South Korean Choi Young Seok, Thailand’s taekwondo coach, who is now applying for Thai nationality in order to maintain his position to coach the Thai taekwondo team. He is known as “coach Che.” He has been praised for his good performance in helping Thai taekwondo in many international games.]

From Lokwannee, September 8-14, 2018
Main cover reads: Thailand can’t come to this far… if it without…Superhero
[Refers to a recent campaign on Facebook page “Uncle Tu Toon” with the aim to promote PM Prayuth as a hero who ends the political conflict in the country.
This cover ridicules the campaign and brings up Deputy PM Prawit, known for his expensive watch collection and the allegations that he did not declare his wealth. The big spending military is also noted with the submarines. In the background are dinosaurs used to indicate the old-fashioned thinking of the military.]

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A tale of two newspapers: New cabinet member a savvy or unethical move?

We do not find many of these Tale of Two Newspapers stories lately, but here is a good one:

New cabinet member seen as savvy move – Bangkok Post, September 13, 2018
…According to a source close to the pro-regime party, the latest addition of Mr Buddhipongse to the Prayut cabinet and the possible defection of Mr Natthapol indicate a major jump to maintain a fresh image by the regime…

Unethical of PM to appoint sedition defendant to junta PR role, say critics – The Nation, September 12, 2018
The recent appointment of a former protest leader, who is facing a sedition charge, as the prime minister’s deputy secretary-general has sparked criticism as people question whether it is appropriate and meets an ethical standard…

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Merit from above

From Thairath, August 23, 2018
Left: Nowadays, driving in Bangkok is very difficult.
Mid: …not only carefully drive by looking left and right, we must also look upwards!
Second speaker: Why do we have to turn our face upwards?
Right: To beware of merit which will fall down.

[Refers to fatal Skytrain accidents in Bangkok. Many areas in Bangkok have massive construction that not only makes the traffic jams worse, but has also resulted in material falling down to on cars.
The cartoon uses the Thai proverb “merit is falling down” meaning receiving unexpected luck. In the cartoon, instead of receiving falling merit, people have to be careful of falling materials from the Skytrain construction.]

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They died for politics

From Manager, August 20, 2018
Thaksin and Yingluck: We would like to express our deepest condolences on the death of Kofi Annan…
On the signs from left to right: Dead people from the political conflict in Thailand from 2005-now, PAD [People’s Alliance for Democracy], PDRC [People’s Democratic Reform Committee], UDD [United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship or the Red Shirts]
Caption: They both are lying. [meaning they are not sorry about death]

[Thaksin and Yingluck posted on their social media to show their sadness at the death of Nobel laureate Kofi Annan.
The cartoonist ridicules them as the cause of continual political conflict over the last decade that cost many lives.]

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The police should extort more

From Manager, August 23, 2018
Policeman: Stop extorting just a hundred or two hundred [baht]… For such a major offense, the extortion must be above a thousand!
On a paper on plow: Don’t have a driver license: 10,000 baht fine
Caption: A new tool for people who do farming on the road

[Refers to a new proposal by the Land Transport Department to increase the penalty for driving without a license or are unable to present their license on demand.
The cartoon plays with Thai word ‘ไถ’ which means to plow. This word is also used as slang to mean to extort. The cartoon suggests that the new law will enable the police to ask for larger bribes from drivers rather than the existing 100 or 200 baht.]

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