Sep 24th, 2015

Nine Years Ago: The Coup – Sep. 24-Oct. 9, 2006

Above: Clockwise from top left: Kom Chad Leuk, September 30, Khao Sod, September 29, Daily News, September 29 – Police arrested men dressed as Japanese superheroes for defying a decree from Thailand’s military rulers banning commercial promotions in front of tanks…

Coup news of September 24-October 9, 2006

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Bloomberg: Thailand’s future doesn’t lie in past marked by Thaksin

Thailand’s future doesn’t lie in past marked by Thaksin – Bloomberg, September 25, 2015
…Amid such uncertainty, a detour toward Thaksin-like short-termism is troubling to say the least. Thailand needs bold structural reforms to strengthen government institutions — like the judiciary — reduce the role of exports, curb corruption, increase transparency and cut red tape to encourage both domestic start-ups and foreign investment.
Confidence could be restored by offering a coherent and proactive revival programme with specific goals and deadlines — including a timeline for when the generals will restore civilian rule. The last thing the country needs is a return to the past those same generals claimed to be fighting against.

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Wet nurse changes the kid

From Manager, September 4, 2015
Title: I knew it… By Bancha/Karmin 04-09-2015
Suthep: Feeding you is totally a waste. You are a kid with no future!!
Caption: Wet nurse changes the kid.

[The wet-nurse is Suthep Thaungsuban who’s siding with a baby Prayuth over another Prayuth. We are not quite sure of the meaning.
Does it mean this?: Prayuth’s management of the country is not succeeding as hoped. However, those who oppose Thaksin domination must still reply on him.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Manager | 1 Comment

Pravit: How my attitude was ‘adjusted’ by the NCPO

How my attitude was ‘adjusted’ by the NCPO – The Nation, September 23, 2015
…Before I was blindfolded on the first day at an Army camp in Bangkok, some six Army officers – ranging from mid- to senior ranking, wanted to know my nickname, details about my parents, their profession, my siblings, my political network, my address, etc.
They also asked why I was against the coup and critical of the lese majeste law. The interrogation lasted about six hours.
When I told them that I was not a supporter of former PM Thaksin Shinawatra, they wanted to know what group I belonged to. All I could say was things can’t be just black and white…

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Weekly News Magazines, September 11-19, 2015

lokwannee_14 sep

From Lokwannee, September 14, 2015
Main cover reads: Use and then throw it…
Tissue on the box: Political counsel
On used tissues (from left-right): Auy, NGO, Borwornsak, NRC

[Auy is a nickname of ML Pridiyathorn, a former head of economic team was replaced by Somkid. NRC is the National Reform Committee.
The cover refers to how the junta uses the people and once they can no longer serve them, they are discarded like used tissue.
In the context of this pro-Thaksin/Red Shirt publication, the cover implies that the junta is flailing about trying to solve the country’s many problems.]

manager12_18 Sep

From Manager Weekly, September 12-18, 2015
Main cover reads: Pol Lt Col [this part is crossed out] Thaksin Shinawatra
Full rank of the exile prisoner [meaning he no longer has any rank]
Under Thaksin’s ID photo at top left: Mr. Thaksin… Shinawatra family… Becoming like this because of “Judge Bao”
[“Judge Bao” is a famous character from the Chinese literature and TV drama. He represents justice. Dramas featuring him are a staple of evening Thai TV. The headline means it is just that Thaksin is a fugitive.]

Top-right: The end of the drama. Angel Mafia
People in the picture from left to right are Manfa, Sek and Nampetch
[Refers to the conflict among two women, the celebrity Manfa and the actress Nampetch. Their story has been criticized for being a stunt used to get the media’s attention. Later, after their spat was publicized, Nampetch was selected to be a presenter for a rock singer Sek Loso’s product.]

Bottom left: [white] ‘Food intolerance’
Very dangerous and need to be aware
Orange circle: Special
Red bubble: Free
[Refer to the special health column on the food allergies.]

Bottom right: Reject the draft constitution and will stay until the year 60 [2017]
Just do whatever you want.
[Refers to the rejection of the draft constitution which causes a delay of the election to 2017. The phrase “do whatever you want” is a sarcastic reply to the junta’s extension of its power.]

matichon11_17 Sep

From Matichon Weekly, September 11-17, 2015
Main cover reads: [green] After Pridiyathorn- Borwornsak [red] will be whom?
Baby Darth Vader at lower right: Oh… why do you look at ‘Somkid’
[Refers to the junta which removes people whom had been working for them, but could not achieve their goal. Pridiyathorn, a former head of the government economic team, was replaced by Somkid. Borwornsak was former head of the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC). The new members of the CDC are now in the process of selection after the draft constitution was rejected.
The Darth Vader says that he is afraid that if Somkid fails to solve the economy, Somkid may face the same ax as Pridiyathorn and Borwansak.]
Top right: Sign from the star. Unfortunate meteorite. [referring to the exploding meteor over Thailand]


From Nation Weekend, September 11, 2015
Main cover reads: Reject it for ‘Somkid’
[The man is Somkid. The headline refers to the rejection of the draft constitution. This will lead to a delay of the election and will provide time for the junta and Somkid to solve the economic problems to boost their popularity with the public.]

Top right: [white] Disclose a hot clip
[yellow] ‘Pootai news’ from Laos
[white] Fun with the pain ass.
[The man is Ter Una, founder of the Una Studio. He who posted a clip about a disturbance caused by the group of Thai football fans during the Thailand-Vietnam match in Laos. This clip helps to cool down the conflict on the social media between Thai and Lao people towards the incident.
The phrase “Fun with the pain ass” is used by Ter Una to describe the game, which was fun, but due to the fan disturbance, it made the game a negative event.]

1st headline on the left: [white] Watch closely the Ratchprosong bombing
[white] Beyond [yellow] ‘Isan’ is whom?
[Refers to the suspects of the Ratchaprasong bombing. Now the police are trying to search for a person behind the bombing. A suspect named Isan is being questioned to uncover the bomb network.]

2nd headline on the left: [white] Thepchai Yong
[yellow] Warns that the new draft constitution
[white] Should not try to favor the politicians
[Refers to Thepchai’s article expressing his concern on the new draft constitution which will be written after the old one was rejected.]

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Leonard Osborne Day


Kreme writes: Fascinating page on an Australian who served in the Siamese police during the 6th and 7th reigns. Links PDF

Posted in Old photos and films | 2 Comments

Legal slip saves Nuling from two-year term

Legal slip saved Nuling from two-year term – Bangkok Psot, September 21, 2015
…Pavinee, who serves as a lawyer at Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR), explained that the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO)’s order No. 3/2014 requesting Nuling to report himself did not stipulate any penalty would be imposed if those whose names were on the list violated the order…

Earlier: All about Sombat Boonngamanong, a rebel Red Shirt

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12 Years Ago: al Qaeda’s terrorist plans for Bangkok

al Qaeda’s terrorist plans for Bangkok

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Nine Years Ago: The Coup – Front Pages

Above: Krungtep Turakit, September 22, 2006 – Give Thailand back

The Coup – Front Pages, September 22, 2006

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Countdown to Purple Line launch begins

Countdown to Purple Line launch begins – Bangkok Post, September 22, 2016
…That day will end a long wait for the new 23-kilometre elevated rail track linking Bangkok’s Bang Sue and Nonthaburi’s Bang Ya, aiming to provide faster and more convenient travel between the capital and the neighbouring province.
…Members of the public will be able to travel for free on the line from May to July, ahead of the August launch date, as part of test runs for the route, said Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA) governor Peerayudh Singpatanakul. Following its Aug 12 launch, travellers will be required to pay a fare…

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12 Years Ago: Plans to transform Rajdamnoen Avenue into a commercial and cultural street

Plans to transform Rajdamnoen Avenue into a commercial and cultural street

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Thaksin tells Thailand’s red shirt opposition – ‘play dead’… for now

Thaksin tells Thailand’s red shirt opposition – ‘play dead’… for now – Reuters, September 20, 2015
[Interesting that the international media acknowledge Thaksin as the “influential leader” of the Red Shirts.]
From self-imposed exile, the influential leader of Thailand’s rural “red shirt” opposition movement has delivered a simple message to followers chafing at the military junta’s iron rule: lay low for now, don’t panic, “play dead”…
“At first we thought the drafting of the constitution, had it been passed, would have been the time to protest,” said Sabina Shah, a red shirt leader and radio DJ in the northeastern city of Khon Kaen. The radio station was shut down after the coup and remains off air.
“People want to protest. But they are afraid, despite facing difficulties and hardship…The economy’s been going backwards…”

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9 Years Ago: First Anti-Thaksin Coup — Tanks on the Streets


Tanks Downtown

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Nine Years Ago: The Coup – Front Pages
วันนี้เมื่อง 9 ปีก่อน : รัฐประหาร – หน้าแรก

The Coup – Front Pages

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Hundreds of Thais defy protest ban in anti-junta march

Hundreds of Thais defy protest ban in anti-junta march – Channel News Asia, September 19, 2015
…There was no uniformed military presence at the rally and police, who estimated 400 attended, made no obvious attempt to stop it.
“We are observing, to keep things in order,” the commanding officer, Major General Pongpan Wannapak, told Reuters.
“If things get out of hand, we’ll report it to our superiors.”

More on the 2006 coup:
Nine Years Ago: The Night of the Coup
Nine Years Ago: Thaksin Attempts to Declare a State of Emergency
One Year After the First Anti-Thaksin Coup

Posted in 2006 Coup, 2014 Coup | 1 Comment

One Year After the First Anti-Thaksin Coup

Interesting to note the exact same themes and analysis of the coup then as compared to today.

Thaksin defends his record in the Wall Street Journal: “The coup came as a shock to me and to most Thais”
…We will not have stability, democracy and development in Thailand until we have genuine national reconciliation. Needless to say, national reconciliation will not be achieved at gunpoint or through rigged elections, but rather when our generals and politicians finally put the national interest above their own narrow interests.

Year on, Thailand’s “good coup” gets failing grade – AP
…”Thaksin’s contempt for human rights and democracy was evident, but Thailand is worse off because of the coup,” Brad Adams of Human Rights Watch said.
The new constitution, dubbed the “Anti-Thaksin” charter by supporters who say it will boost checks and balances weakened by Thaksin, appears designed to usher in an era of weak coalition governments that typified the 1980s.
“The new constitution is actually a step backwards for Thailand,” Adams said. It “allows key powers to be controlled and manipulated by appointees from the military and bureaucracy at the expense of elected leaders”…

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Nine Years Ago: Thaksin Attempts to Declare a State of Emergency

This is former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s declaration of a state of emergency made on September 19, 2006. The announcement was made from New York and only appeared on one TV station in Thailand–the other stations already had been seized by the military (or were under orders not to change their broadcast schedule for the PM’s announcement). Thaksin’s announcement starts in mid-sentence and is eventually is cut off when troops seized the station.

More on the night of the coup
More on the 2006 coup

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Nine Years Ago: The Night of the Coup
วันนี้เมื่อ 9 ปีที่แล้ว : คืนวันรัฐประหาร

Above:The coup unfolds: Notice on TV – 23:13, September 19, 2006

The Night of the Coup – September 19, 2006

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Yingluck to be asked to pay for rice scheme

Yingluck to be asked to pay for rice scheme – Bangkok Post, September 17, 2015
The Finance Ministry will by Sept 30 demand damages up to 510 billion baht incurred by the rice-pledging programme from ex-PM Yingluck Shinawatra and some of her cabinet ministers, as well as officials involved in the scheme…
“At this stage, the accused may file counter lawsuits with the Administrative Court within 30 days to revoke the order.
“But if they don’t, we’ll seize their assets,” he said…

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Inside New York’s First Transgender Modeling Agency

Inside New York’s First Transgender Modeling Agency – The Atlantic, September 17, 2015
[Thanks to K for pointing this out.]
…Although Thailand’s transgender people by no means enjoy equal status, Di didn’t experience the level of discrimination growing up that many Western transgender people describe. It is hard to say exactly how many people born biologically male in Thailand end up living as women—estimates range from 1 in 180 to 1 in 3,000—but it is generally agreed that the country has an unusually high number who do. (Data is firmer but still shaky in the U.S., where it’s estimated that 700,000 are transgender, or 1 in every 450 citizens.) Different cultural norms, inexpensive hormone therapies, and an abundance of cheap cosmetic surgery make physically transitioning easier in Thailand than in other countries. Di has her own theory: “Thailand is a Buddhist country. With meditation we connect with who we are, and we realize our gender faster than other people,” she explains…

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Thailand is not a suitable long term investment environment

Thailand: A Less Attractive Emerging Market Pick In Asia –, September 16, 2015
…A large portion of the companies do not even trade daily, and the ones that do have an average trading volume of less than 100 shares per day.
Kasikornbank Public Company Limited (OTCPK:KPCPF): Average 3 month trading volume is 11.
Siam Public Cement Company (OTC:SCVPF): Average 3 month trading volume is 75.
Bumrungrad Hospital Public Company Limited (OTCPK:BUGDF): Average 3 month trading volume is 92…

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10 Years Ago: Thailand’s “Iron Lady” pressured to leave key post after exposing government corruption

Thailand’s “Iron Lady” pressured to leave key post after exposing government corruption
…In her new job, Jaruvan dug into unscrupulous deals and exposed corrupt tactics that boggle the mind by their subtle deviousness and scale. She estimates that corruption in state-related projects costs the country more than $9.7 billion every year.
Her probes, which resulted in the removal of top ministry officials, uncovered corruption or irregularities in highway construction projects, Bangkok’s new international airport, procurement of medicines at government hospitals, long-distance telephone service in rural areas and a government plan to compensate farmers whose chickens were infected with avian flu…

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Karma is slow

From Manager, September 2, 2015
Man, representing one of the Manager’s cartoonists: Oh… Mr. Krama, why do you give a punishment to Oak very slowly? It’s been 7-8 years already?
Krama: My leg was cut by Julasingh!
The man running away is “Oak”–Panthongtae Shinawatra, Thaksin’s son.
Caption: The reason why karma came too late.

[Refers to the Krungthai Bank illegal loans. Thaksin’s son Panthongtae escaped jail time for his involvement in the illegal loans that Krungthai Bank was pressured into giving Thaksin cronies. Julasingh was the prosecutor at that time.
In Thai, to cut someone’s leg is an idiom meaning that to do something prior to prevent another thing from happening. This means that Thaksin’s son, acting as a proxy for Thaksin, escaped his just punishment because Julasingh did not prosecute him to the fullest.]

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The Red Shirts can help Najib

From Manager, August 31, 2015
Secretary: Sir, there are people who want to apply for a job. They said they are experts on conducting a Red shirt rally to fight with the Yellow Shirts.
A sign on the door: Najib Razak, Prime Minister
On the sofa are Red Shirt leaders Weng, Thida, Nattawut, and Jatuporn
Caption: Losing your job?… hurry to apply.
[This cartoon jokes that the Red Shirt leaders should use their skills to support embattled Malaysian Prime Minister Najib in much the same way they act on Thaksin’s behalf.]

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Quick Reward


From Komchadleuk, September 3, 2015
Woman: The police worked very fast on the Ratchaprasong bombing case.
Man: You mean they caught the bomber quickly?
Woman: Nope!! I mean the reward was considered and was given out too quickly!
[This compares the slow and uncertain police response to the bombing to the nearly instant bestowing of the reward money–which the police instantly gave to themselves for “solving” the case.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Komchadluek, Thai Police | Leave a comment

Nation reporter Pravit resigns ‘to end pressure’

Nation reporter resigns ‘to end pressure’ – Bangkok Post, September 15, 2015
[The Bangkok Post finally makes mention of the detention of the Nation journalist.]
…“I have decided to resign from The Nation newspaper after a meeting with the management and being requested to quit in order to save the paper from enormous pressure from all sides in the aftermath of me being detained by the military junta,” Pravit wrote on his Facebook page.
The 48-year-old reporter earlier told BBC Thai that he decided to resign to end the pressure the company and his colleagues were facing. He would work at The Nation until the end of this month, ending his 23 years there…

Earlier: The Nation responds to junta for detaining its journalist

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Red Shirt Leaders Jailed for Protest at Privy Council President’s Residence in 2007

Above: From Daily News, February 12, 2012
Prime Minister attempts a detente with Privy Councilor Prem as the Pheu Thai-led government pushes forward and amnesty for Thaksin.

Court Jails Redshirt Leaders for 2007 Protest – Khaosod, September 16, 2015
…On 22 July, 2007, UDD demonstrators gathered at the residence of Gen. Prem Tinsulanonda, a former Prime Minister and chairman of His Majesty the King’s Privy Council, whom the UDD accused of plotting a coup d’etat the previous year which removed an elected government.
Police moved to disperse the protest after UDD leaders announced that would rally in front of Prem’s residence indefinitely, sparking clashes between protesters and riot police…

This protest was a surprise breaching of police barricades by marching Thaksin supporters (who then wore yellow instead of red). They assembled before Prem’s residence to confront the Privy Council President with demands for his resignation. These were the same demands later made during the Red Shirt siege of Bangkok in 2009.

This was the first mass action of what were later known as the “Red Shirts.” It underlined the enduring political narrative as claimed by Thaksin–that Thai political turmoil is a battle between himself and the Privy Council.

More from 2007: UDD Surprise Raid on Privy Council President’s House

Red Shirt publications have long focused on Prem as their enemy. From 2009: Prem, Prem, Prem

From 2009: The First Siege of Bangkok: Thaksin Tells Protesters Not to Leave Bangkok Empty-Handed
…Decrees from the Red Shirt protest stage in Bangkok set a deadline for Prem to resign from the Privy Council while members of the Taxi Community Radio Club threatened that they would use 20,000 taxis to block all intersections in Bangkok if the government did not step down…

Even this year, as criticism was stinging the junta over the slow return to democratic rule, Thaksin could not resist once again emphasizing it was all really a battle between himself and Prem: Thaksin says Privy Council ordered Suthep to protest & the military to stage a coup

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The last time… it began like this too

From Manager, August 30, 2015
Somkid Jatusripitak: Where is the Managing Director? I have an appointment with him to talk about a loan to spur the economy.
On newspaper: Arrested the Managing Director of Krung Thai Bank for 15 years due to an illegal loan.
Caption: The last time… it began like this too.

[Refer to the conviction of many Krung Thai executives for conspiring with Thaksin to make illegal loans during Thaksin’s time as prime minister.
The man in the doorway is Somkid Jatusripitak, the junta’s economic adviser, who is tasked with invigorating the economy. He also served the same role in Thaksin’s government.
The cartoon refers to junta efforts to pressure the Thai business world to cooperate with efforts to revive the economy.]

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From MICT: Thai students learn about democracy

[Below is another interesting cartoon from the LINE account of the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology. It is one in a series attempting to teach Thais how to be patriotic and resist populism.

The story illustrates how Thai ideas about human interaction color their visions of what democracy should be.

Here you can see how Thai political problems are thought to be caused by everyone not working together–not subsuming their will to the whole. This Thai vision of democracy means all can talk about different viewpoints, but must ultimately work together in unison–rather than democracy being a way to tolerate many opposing views at once.

The constant Thai impulse toward amnesty for all is part of this. It is thought better to restore unity to the nation’s village rather than to risk the open expression of dissatisfaction and finger pointing over past events. This is what Thais mean by reconciliation. It is never about being open and resolving what happened in the past or obtaining justice for the wronged. It is always about the threat of these things to the peace and harmony of society. That is why the deaths of those who died in protests on behalf of politicians can be bargained away in the interest of Thai reconciliation and amnesty.

It is also worth noting that Thais gravitate to any Western self-help materials that tout working together. Of course, teamwork is something that arrogant and personally ambitious Westerners need to work on, but not Thais who taught to always work in teams from an early age.

So when Thais find books or experts that advise about teamwork, this validates deeply held notions that it is preferable to always work in a group, lest any individual be singled out either for criticism or praise.

This impulse is clear in this cartoon as the success of their project is because they worked together and were of one mind in a group.

Earlier from MICT: Why do we have to love Thai culture?]


The story of “Sticker”


Continue reading

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The Nation responds to junta for detaining its journalist

The Nation’s letter to NCPO chief
…We also call on Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, in his capacity as NCPO chief, to consider Pravit’s release as soon as possible, as well as to disclose the location where he is being held. We believe he should be allowed visits from members of his family and his supervisors, so they can be assured of his well-being, and that he be granted access to a lawyer…

Sansern claims Pravit summoned as individual, not journalist
…Sansern said Pravit had violated an agreement he had made with the NCPO after he was summoned last year.
He was called in this time because of what he posted on Facebook, the spokesman said without elaborating. Although it was Pravit’s personal account, he seemed to “think loudly in order to spread his message”. The message was “provocative and divisive”, Sansern said.

NCPO claims Pravit’s detention justified
The National Council for Peace and Order Monday defended the detention of The Nation’s reporter Pravit Rojanaphruk, saying he had disseminated information in a way that was not in accordance with the guideline for keeping peace and order.
But NCPO spokesman Col Winthai Suvari did not provide details of specific incidents that Pravit had disseminated such information…

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