Politician’s shit

From Komchadluek, July 3, 2014
The words read: Politician’s shit.
[In the cartoon, after overthrowing the Pheu Thai-led government, the junta resolved to tackle persistent problems represented here as feces on Democracy Monument.]

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The United States understands democracy

From Komchadluek, July 2, 2014
Uncle Sam, to Thailand’s junta: In past, Iraq was governed by dictatorship, but we brought democracy to the country.
[The cartoon illustrates the annoyance of some Thais with the seemingly simplistic U.S. response to the coup. The cartoonist lampoons the U.S.'s shortsighted approach to places like Iraq and Afghanistan where quick elections and "democracy" did not result in peace and freedom.]

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Bad news for energy slaves


From Manager, July 1, 2014
On the door: Whoosh!
On bucket in Piyasvasti’s hand: Saline
On middle dispenser: Fuel
The three slaves: Piyasvasti!! [Piyasvasti Amranand is the former secretary-general of the Thai National Energy Office Policy. He was recently appointed a director on PTT's board and is expected to be elected as chairman of the board.]
Caption: Bad news for energy slaves
[Bad news because Piyasvasti does not support populist energy price intervention reasoning that real market prices will make consumers be more careful in using energy.]

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Please help return safety to the Thai people

From Thairath, July 11, 2014
Title: Please help return safety to the Thai people
A woman carried by Gen. Prayuth: victims of crime.
On the figure on the right: Criminals
Phi Nooring: Horrible cases happen everyday.
A mouse: People’s morals are declining.
[Refers to the recent horrible crime when a railway worker raped and killed a girl who was traveling on an overnight train to Bangkok. This cartoon calls for the junta led by Gen. Prayuth to promptly solve the problems in order to bring back the security to the people.]

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Lady Liberty bullies Thailand

From Komchadluek, July 2, 2014
Statue of Liberty: I told you to be democratic or you will be hurt!!
[Refers to the Thai perception that the U.S. does not understand the thinking behind the coup and is mindlessly pressuring Thailand without understanding the issues of the country. This is ironic, because, like in similar situations in Egypt, the U.S. is only giving lip service to democratic rule and has not put massive pressure on the junta.]

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Who used the guns?


From Manager, June 29, 2014
Gun: I wonder why you can seize many of us–a huge number–but those guys who used us… you cannot arrest any of them?!!
Caption: We also have the same question as this gun.
[Since the coup, the military has seized huge caches of war weapons, many of which are thought to be the caches of arms the Red Shirts and Pheu Thai boasted they had stockpiled for a civil war in the event Yingluck was deposed. The cartoonist wants the military to also arrest the people who used the guns in confrontations during political demonstrations in past years.]

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Must resign

From Komchadluek, July 9, 2014
Teacher: Prapas, spell it correctly and loudly!!
On the board: La-og [meaning 'resign']
Prapas: Uh! L-a-Laam…
[This is meant to mock Prapas Jongsa-nguan, former governor of the State Railway of Thailand. Asked if he would consider resigning to show his accountability concerning the case of a 13-year-old girl who was raped and killed by an SRT employee on a train, Prapas refused. He was later fired by the junta.]

From Manager, July 9, 2014
Prapas: I won’t quit… It’s not my fault.
Caption on the left: This man has already confessed.
Caption on the right: …but this man is still refusing.
[On the left is the confessed murderer. On the right is Prapas.]

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Nine Years Ago: Privy Council president rebukes Thaksin

Nine Years Ago: A tale of two newspapers: Prem’s ‘rebuke’
…Prem accuses Thaksin of employing “double standards”…

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These are dangerous animals


From Manager, June 27, 2014
Junta chief Gen. Prayuth Chan-och: Try keeping these animals in your parliaments for just a day… and you’ll understand why the Thai people don’t want elections.
Caption: The easiest way to make foreigners understand
[Note the long-nosed foreigners next to BBC and CNN cameras in the foreground.
"Tiger-lion-bull-rhinoceros" is a Thai saying that refers to wily and experienced people who are likely to take advantage of a situation and reap rewards and thus can be dangerous to be around. They are often used to symbolize and denigrate Thai politicians.]

Here are some other “Tiger-lion-bull-rhinoceros” references in recent years:

2011: Tiger-lion-bull-rhinoceros headed figures for new year’s

2011: Tiger-Lion-Bull-Rhinoceros enter parliament

2011: The nasty billboard

2011: Wild animals escaping parliament

2013: Thaksin and the Fierce Animals

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The caged media sings the junta’s tune

From Thairath, June 28, 2014
Bird: I’m happy… I’m free… I’m happy.
Song: Freedom of the press
Phi Nooring: It’s used to being a little bird in an orange farm.
A mouse: Return happiness to the press
Caption: Freedom in a golden cage
[The cartoon refers to the suppression of the press under the military junta. In Thailand, the press is called "the little bird in the orange farm." This means that the press, like a bird, has a responsibility to protect an orange grove from insects in the same way the press has to be a watchdog for the people. However, under the control of the junta, the press is like the bird in the golden cage, which is also a Thai proverb meaning to have an easy life, but without freedom.]

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Fixing the Democrat’s police station project

From Arun, June 20, 2014
NCPO [the National Council for Peace and Order] spends more than a billion baht on a budget to revive the police station construction project. Thank you, sir.
Left side of the uniform: Police stations under the Thailand’s strength of the Democrat Party
Right side of the uniform: NCPO’s police stations
[This concerns new police station construction across the country. This project was initiated under the Abhisit government. The contractor was unable to complete the project leaving many incomplete structures along with charges of corruption in the handling of the tender.
The uniform represents the he two sides of the uniform: the left side represents the project under the Democrat Party's authority which is untidy because of corruptions. The right side represents the project under the NCPO which is neater due to strict supervision.]

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Cookie Run… Dangerous!

From Thairath, June 26, 2014
Title: Cookie Run… Dangerous!
On a paper held by Cookie run: Kids are charged with a 100,000 baht phone bill.
Mouse: Kids are still innocent.
[Refers to the news stories referring to children unwittingly running up phone bills while playing the popular game Cookie Run.]

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Just one year ago: Those who oppose Thaksin running scared


From Thairath, July 13, 2013
Cartoon title: It’s the apocalypse for these people
Full translation here

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Weekly News Magazines, July 4, 2014

Nation Weekend_4 July 2014

From Nation Weekend, July 4, 2014
Cover reads: A call from the motherland
[Reference is to the release of Veera Somkwamkid from a Cambodian prison on July 1, 2014. The release was a result of talks between junta head Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, chairman of the National Council for Peace and Order and Hun Sen, the Prime Minister of Cambodia. Gen. Prayuth has been working hard to cement relations with neighboring countries--particularly with Cambodia whose actions have seemed to be in support of Thaksin initiatives in recent years.
Veera Somkwamkid was arrested by Cambodian soldiers with five other Thai people on the border for trespassing a few years ago. He returned to Thailand on July 2 and promised to continue guarding the borders of the country.]

Matichon Weekly_4 July 2014

From Matichon Weekly, July 4, 2014
Cover reads: Transformer, democracy
[Reference is to the response of Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, chairman of the National Council for Peace and Order, to criticisms from the U.S. and the E.U. over the coup. The article suggests that though his reaction may seem tough, he was like a transformer and soon announced a road map to an interim government and a return to elections aimed at reducing pressure from other nations.]

ASTV Manager Weekly_5 July 2014

From ASTV Manager Weekly, July 5, 2014
Cover reads: Veera Burus
['Burus' means a man. Putting these two words together, it forms a new word meaning "hero". Veera's full name is Veera Somkwankid.
Reference is to the release of Veera Somkwamkid by the Cambodian government on July 1. He is being praised as a hero by his supporters. Veera and six other Thai people were arrested on December 29, 2010 while visiting a Thai village in Srakaew Province situated on the border between Thailand and Cambodia. The arrest occurred during a time when the Democrats controlled the government and Veera and his supporters felt that the government did not do much to help them.]

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Arun’s “Grand Cycle”

From Arun, June 25, 2014
Cartoon title: Coup d’etat in Thailand on June 25, 2013
From top, clockwise:
1933, Praya Monopakorn suspended some sections of the constitution;
1933, Gen. Praya Phahol seized power from Praya Manopakorn;
1947, Lt. Gen Phin seized power from RAdm. Thawan;
1948, Lt. Gen. Phin forced Mr. Khuang to resign;
1951, Chief Marshal Plaek seized his own power;
1957, Chief Marshal Sarit seized power from Chief Marshal Plaek;
1958, Chief Marshal Sarit seized power from Chief Marshal Thanom;
1971, Chief Marshal Thanom seized his own power;
1976, Chief Marshal Sa-ngad seized power from M.R. Senee;
1977, Adm. Sa-ngad seized power from Mr. Thanin;
1991, Gen. Sundhorn seized power from Gen. Chatchai;
2006, Gen. Sonthi seized power from Thaksin;
2013, Gen. Prayuth returns happiness to people
[... and it starts all over again. The "snake eating its tail" is a Thai metaphor here representing the never-ending cycle of political excess and coups. It also explains the Thai's matter-of-fact acceptance and lack of surprise when these events continue to occur.]

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World book capital?

From Khaosod, June 25, 2014
Caption: City of Readers
On chain: 2557 [2014]
[Refers to the incident which the police charged a student who conducted a symbolic protest again the coup by reading George Orwell’s book ‘1984’ in front of Siam Station. This is ironic as, last year, authorities announced that Bangkok would be a world book capital with the aim to promote reading in the country.]

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Only two Red Shirt rebels?

From Manager, June 24, 2014
Caption: Attention… The government in exile was formed.
From top: Jakrapob Penkhae, prime minister; Jarupong Ruangsuwan, deputy prime minister; Jarupong Ruangsuwan, secretary; Jakrapob Penkhae, interior minister; Jakrapob Penkhae, defense minister; Jarupong Ruangsuwan, transportation minister; Jakrapob Penkhae, commerce minister; Jarupong Ruangsuwan, finance minister; Jarupong Ruangsuwan, foreign minister; Jakrapob Penkhae, education minister; Jarupong Ruangsuwan; justice minister; Jarupong Ruangsuwan, energy minister; Jakrapob Penkhae, labor minister; Jarupong Ruangsuwan, tourism and sport minister; Jarupong Ruangsuwan, public health minister; Jakrapob Penkhae, industry minister; Jarupong Ruangsuwan, science minister; Jarupong Ruangsuwan, culture minister; Jakrapob Penkhae; ICT minister
[This ridicules the fact that apparently only two prominent political figures who support Thaksin have followed through with plans to resist the coup.]

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Cleaning up the mess of democracy

From Komchadluek, June 24, 2014
Above the man’s head: Politician
On the small model of Democracy Monument he is holding: Democracy
Above the trash at left: The country’s problems
[This cartoon illustrates a very Thai notion that is not usually apparent to Western observers who simply describe the coup as anti-democratic. The cartoonist shows the military cleaning up problems created by greedy politicians who abused democracy to enrich themselves and rewrite the rules to cement their power. This illustrates a widespread Thai unease with democracy and politicians who are assumed to act for their own interests and underlines the difficulty of building robust democratic institutions in Thailand.]

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Nine Years Ago: Thaksinomics takes the bang out of Bangkok

Nine Years Ago: Thaksinomics takes the bang out of Bangkok

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They think ‘Rose’ is more dangerous to the country than us!

From Manager, June 23, 2014
Thaksin: What!! They think ‘Rose’ is more dangerous to the country than us!!
On the newspaper: May request the UK to extradite ‘Rose’
Caption: This is an insult.
[Refers to talk that Thai authorities would request extradition of Rose Chatwadee, a person who has expressed anti-monarchy sentiment on social media from the UK. The cartoonist chides the junta for not going after the mastermind of Thai politician turmoil--Thaksin Shinawatra.]

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A man who carries the world on his back

From Thairath, June 23, 2014
Title: A man who carries the world on his back.
Phi Nooring: Show his power
A mouse: Return happiness to the people
On the globe: Restructure: vans, motorcycles, taxis; stop corruption, economic problems, protectionism harmonization, dissolve the colors [meaning the political groups supporting and opposing Thaksin], reform boards [of state enterprises], lottery tickets and control energy prices
On right side: Idea by Nam Raengvuth [Thai editorial cartoonists often solicit ideas from the public for cartoons and then give credit like this on the border of the cartoon.]
[After taking power, the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) led by army commander Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha has announced its commitment to return happiness to the people by solving all the country’s problems. This has created huge expectations that are probably impossible for the military to fulfill.]

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We don’t support people who ‘love reading’

From Thairath, June 22, 2014
Title: We don’t support people who ‘love reading’
Phi Nooring: They allow people to read at home.
A mouse: Please return our freedom.
Papers on the floor: Freedom, equality and brotherhood
[Refers to the incident which a student activist eating sandwiches and reading George Orwell’s 1984 in front of Siam Skytrain station was dragged away by police and arrested due to his symbolic protest against the coup.]

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If we take this off, then we can work easily

From Komchadluek, June 23, 2014
Soldier: If we take this off, then we can work easily.
Above the money the soldier is holding: [Special] Interests
A small word close to the soldier: Graft
[After the military took the power, among their targets were the police force which were seen as being personally loyal to Thaksin and were used as a counterweight to the military. Here, the soldier is hugging a policeman and implying the police are merely influenced by money.]

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Festival of reptiles crawling down into their holes

From Thairath, June 21, 2014
Cartoon title: Festival of reptiles crawling down into their holes
Officer with loudspeaker: Attention… attention… I’m chasing to arrest you guys…
On soldier’s helmet: NCPO [National Council for Peace and Order]
On document’s cover in hands of soldier: Eliminating mafias
On holes, from top left: Mafia; Influential people; Criminals; Shark loans; illegal logging; public land trespassing; Forest trespassing; Illegal lotto; Commuting van mafia, motorcycle taxis; Government lotto mafia; extortion; Corruption
Phi Nooring: For peace
Mouse: Returning happiness
[This cartoon is from Sia (or Zia) whose cartoons have always reflected staunch support of the Red Shirts and their campaigns. Sia was also one of Thaksin's greatest cheerleaders during his time as PM. Thus this post-coup cartoon seeming to cheer the efforts of the military to root out corruption where elected governments have failed is somewhat shocking.
It perhaps reflects the overall Red Shirt mood. The movement is calculating its future in a world where the military is demonstrating they have the will to face down the Red Shirts and any attempt to pardon Thaksin. It may also be a part of a studied ruse by Red Shirt sympathizers to pretend to side with the military while awaiting future elections to propel Thaksin-aligned politicians back into power.]

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For some people happiness is not about watching football or free movie


From Manager, June 22, 2014
Caption: For some people… happiness is not about watching football… or a free movie
From left, Nitcha Thuwatham: If only the legal system can convict the person who killed Brother Romklao, I’ll be happy.
[Col. Romklao Thuwatham was killed during an armed confrontation with the Red Shirts' "men in black" during the political crisis in 2010. Red Shirt leaders such as Seh Daeng later took credit for Romklao's slaying and the military then killed Seh Daeng in a sniper attack. Nitcha is Romklao's widow.]
Angkhana Neelapaijit: If only I knew how lawyer Somchai died and where his body is, I’ll be happy.
[Angkhana is the wife of Somchai Neelapaijit, a lawyer who disappeared mysteriously on March 12, 2004. He was one of many activists who disappeared or was killed during Thaksin's time as prime minister.]
Veera Somkwamkid: If only I can return to family in Thailand… I’ll be very happy.
[Veera is a Yellow Shirt leader who was arrested by Cambodian soldiers near the border in Surin Province on December 29, 2010. He had been touring the border to stir up tensions over the Yellow Shirt issue of border demarcation with Cambodia. On July 1, Cambodia released Veera in what was interpreted as warming relations with the new Thai junta.
The point of this cartoon is to prod the junta to look into these issues as opposed to promoting free World Cup matches or free movie screenings.]

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Reduce the price of lottery tickets

From Komchadluek, June 19, 2014
Above the bull: Mafia
On the cape held by the soldier: Lottery 80 baht
[The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has reduced the price of lottery tickets to 80 baht per pair instead of 100-110 baht as sold by vendors. This is a challenge to cartels who control the lottery and benefit from higher prices. Previously, the lottery tickets were allocated to only small number of wholesalers which then could increase the resale price at the retail level.]

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Weekly News Magazines, June 27, 2014

Nation Weekend_27 June 2014

From Nation Weekend, June 27, 2014
Cover reads: Scripture of victorious warfare
[Reference is to a research report on non-traditional threats written by Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha as part of his study at the territorial defense college in 2007. This report has been scrutinized since the coup to shed light on Gen. Prayuth's thinking. It is thought that Thaksin's conduct while PM and his continued influence in politics are perceived by the military as a threat to the very nature of the nation.]

Matichon Weekly, June 27

From Matichon Weekly, June 27, 2014
Cover reads: Uncle ‘Kamnan’ man
[This refers to Suthep's speech made at an exclusive dinner on June 21 to mobilize funds to aid people who are affected by the political demonstrations. In his speech, he stated that Gen. Prayuth discussed the plan to topple the Thaksin regime, and communicated with him before declaring martial law. Gen. Prayuth later denied this and was reportedly very annoyed with Suthep for his statement. The military as repeatedly denied and preplanning or conspiracy related to the coup.
The title on the cover jokes about this. Presently, in Thai there is the term "auntie woman" referring to women over 40 who have bad habits like cutting in line and doing other selfish things.
"Uncle Kamnan man" means that Suthep is like the selfish, impolite "auntie woman" because he foolishly created waves by trying to imply the his movement had been conspiring with the military.
"Kaman" is the head of a tambon in the provincial administrative system and as Suthep started his political career as a kaman, he is often referred to as the kaman.]

ASTV Manager Weekly, June 28

From ASTV Manager Weekly, June 28
Cover reads: Kamnan runs, imagining aloud at the Pacific Club
[Reference is to a speech that Suthep Thuagsuban made at a dinner party on June 21 to mobilize funds for a foundation to help people affected by the political demonstrations. Suthep claimed junta head Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha talked with him about plans to topple the Thaksin regime. Gen. Prayuth denied Suthep's claim. This Manager ridicules Suthep's claims of being in on the army plot.]

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Three Years Ago: One of the wealthiest families in Thailand has convinced the poor that it understands their problems and will fight for their rights

Three Years Ago: One of the wealthiest families in Thailand has convinced the poor that it understands their problems and will fight for their rights

Posted in Today in History | Comments Off

Super Too, help me…

From Manager, June 19, 2014
People: Super Too, help me… Super Too, help me… Help me please…
Caption: Only one month passed, Super Too is getting tired.
["Too" (or often "Tu") is the nickname of junta chief Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha. Gen. Prayuth has promised many reforms since seizing power. Many people expect (perhaps unrealistically) that Gen. Prayuth will quickly solve persistent problems and reform the country.]

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Traveling in a forest in Thailand is more dangerous than a forest in Africa

From Thairath, June 19, 2014
Left: Man: Now, traveling in a forest in Thailand is more dangerous than a forest in Africa…
Middle: Man: …please be careful.
A foreigner: Is it a fierce animal?
Right: The police and army find bombs hidden in the forest to avoid being caught by the NCPO.
[The junta announced that anyone who has in their possession war weapons, ammunition for war weapons or explosives, must surrender them to authorities by June 25, 2014or they will be prosecuted. This is part of the post-coup sweep to mop up caches of weapons and bombs to be used for the Red Shirt's promised civil war. Even Pheu Thai Party officials announced on Red Shirt stages that 10 million guns had been amassed by government supporters to ensure Pheu Thai initiatives were not halted. After the coup, loads of illegal weapons were found hidden in forest areas to avoid having them confiscated by the military.]

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