Sep 24th, 2017

Closing down the mine

From Thairath, August 30, 2017
Title: Spread them instead of gold.
Tractor: Section 44 to close the mine.
On soldier: Return happiness [the junta’s motto]
On the bag being emptied: Stupid fees from people’s taxes.
On bag next to the man: Stupid fees from gold mine.
Mouse man: Use your own money.
Mouse: Doing the wrong things repeatedly.

[This ridicules the junta for using its absolute power under Section 44 to close down a controversial gold mine operated by Akara Resources. The site had long been accused by local residents creating pollution. Apparently the junta saw a chance to score points with the public but summarily closing the mine–thus cutting through the red tape and influential person who often stall any action against polluters.
However, the result of the mine closure has led to rumors that the mining company demanded compensation for the closure and that this money would come from the taxpayer. Thus, the cartoonist is saying that the junta is foolishly wasting taxpayer funds by precipitously closing the mine, not realizing compensation would have to be paid.]

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2005: When Thaksin tried to take over the Matichon and the Bangkok Post

The Takeover of Matichon and the Bangkok Post

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Grandma Niaum can go to heaven now

From Manager, September 4, 2017
Voice: Grandma Niaum… please go to the heaven… You don’t have a chance to see those people who cheat the land to be in jail… Tu’s government [PM Prayuth’s govenrment] has just launched a law to benefit the last person involved in this case.
Caption: It’s good… she doesn’t need to wait.

[Refers to case of the Alpine Golf Course. This land was owned by an elderly lady, Grandma Niaum, who donated the land to a temple after her death. However, her land was somehow sold for building a luxury golf course.
The case was one of many high profile corruption cases that dogged the Thaksin years as PM and seemed to underline how rules were bent to reward his supporters.
Recently, the Supreme Court made a ruling that resulted in jail for former Pheu Thai Party leader Yongyuth Wichaidit due to illegally approving the land deal for the Alpine Golf Course in Pathum Thani 15 years ago.
We do not understand exactly what this cartoon is referring to. Does anyone know? Who is the last person that some law benefits?]

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Punishing the fakers

From Thairath, August 30, 2017
Left, a foreigner: The international Copyright protection organization ask me to say Thank you to your government, that you started to work on this copyright problem seriously…
Middle: …by punishing one who infringe intensively and drastically!
Thai man: What case are you talking about?
Right: The one that punishes the fake G2G boss, and the result is going to jail for 42 years.

[Refers to the Phua Thai government’s fake export deals. Pheu Thai ministers falsely claimed that the huge rice surplus was being eagerly bought up by foreign governments. This would have all been ok if the Pheu Thai’s amnesty could have been put into effect which would have resulted in new elections. Then a new government, presumably controlled by a pardoned Thaksin, could have ensured that investigations into the rice pledging scheme would absolve the government of any wrongdoing.
However, the amnesty attempt resulted in a coup instead, and the unlucky ministers who proclaimed the deals, all to ensure government popularity and stability for an amnesty, were charged and sentenced to a decades-long imprisonment.
Adding to their complete defeat is that Pheu Thai PM Yingluck fled her own sentencing on the very day theirs was handed down, seeming to emphasize that Shinawatras do not go to jail, but those who act on their behalf do.]

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Who is left to burn Thailand?

From Naewna, September 1, 2017
Thaksin: Burn Thai Party. UDD [United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship or the Red Shirts]
Caption: All my followers are already in jail, who can I order to do the second burning??

[In this cartoon from a rabidly anti-Thaksin source, shows Thaksin wishing another conflagration that bring him back to power. However, most major figures that were willing to act on his behalf are in jail or in exile.]

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Weekly News Magazines: Thailand’s Power Players, September, 2017

From Siamrath Weekly Review, September 8-14, 2017
Main headline reads: Low profile [red] high power
[Refers to Thakins’s ex-wife Potjaman Na Pombejra who rarely makes public statements, but is known to play a large role behind-the-scenes in politics managing her family’s political deals.]

From Matichon Weekly, September 8-14, 2017
Main cover reads: Very handsome
[Former PM Abhisit Vejjajiva who has been criticized for his comments attacking former PM Yingluck after she fled the country. Thais are quite touchy about people who jump out to attack those who have been seen to fail in some way–whether they agree with the person who failed or not.
Abhisit denied he criticized Yingluck and instead questioned the media for reporting the alleged comments.
This cover headline refers to the idea that people who jump on others who are down on their luck are trying to make themselves look good–or in this case, handsome.]
Inside the box on the left: Thai people are lucky to have ‘Abhisit’ as the PM
Outside the box: There are people who died here? 99=2 An equation which can’t be fixed ; even ‘Montesquieu’ gets a headache
[Refers to PM Abhisit Vejjajiva and former deputy premier Suthep Thaugsuban who were recently cleared in a criminal lawsuit against them involving the clearance of the Red Shirt protest in 2010. During the protests, 99 people died and about 2,000 were injured.
Red Shirts allege unfair treatment from the judge. Related to this is Thaksin’s Montesquieu quote which he posted on Twitter after Yingluck fled the country. The quote read “There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetuated under the shield of law and in the name of justice.”]

From Manager Weekly, September 9-15, 2017
Main cover reads: Jugglery in a case of [yellow] ‘Panthongtae’
[Refers to the junta supposedly pushing forward the case of Thaksin’s son Panthongtae Shinawatra who was accused in a money laundering case involving Krungthai Bank in 2008. This is thought to be an attempt for the junta to recoup their legitimacy after Yingluck escaped a court verdict. This escape badly dented the junta’s popularity as many people are sure the junta made a deal with Thaksin to let Yingluck escape overseas. “Jugglery” means something like a tick or slight of hand where the junta uses Panthongtae’s case to make up for their duplicity in letting Yingluck escape justice.]

Top: Ending “a buster of a temple’s money” [big] Send “Pongporn” to the Southern border [normal] Is this a “reward”?
[Men in the photo are Pol. Lt. Col. Pongporn Pramsaneh and Wissanu Krea-ngam.
This refers to a transfer of Pol. Lt. Col. Pongporn Pramsaneh from the National Office of Buddhism (NOB) to the PM’s Office as an inspector-general supervising the southern border provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani, Songkhla, Satun and Yala.
Pongporn was an inveterate reformer who fearless shown light on the corrupt finances of Thailand Buddhist temples. It is thought that the junta is less interested inr eal reform now and more concerned with maintaining their grip on politics after the elections. Thus, they are less interested in reform that makes enemies.
The headline jokes that the “transfer” (which was in reality a sacking) could not possible be a promotion as the junta claims as Pongporn will now have to perform his duties in the very dangerous southern provinces.]
Bottom left: Minnie-Purisa. Kid designer 9 years old (acting) world’s youngest cloth owner.
[Refers to Purisa ‘Minnie’ Hengtrakulsin who is only 9 years old, but has her own cloth brand named ‘Purisa Glitzy.’]
Right: ‘Stung Nam’ [white] Cambodia’s ten billion dam. Who gets the benefit? Who loses and who is an invisible hand?
[The men in the photo are PM Prayut Chan-o-cha and Cambodian PM Hun Sen. This refers to the suspension of the 40-billion baht project to buy electricity and fresh water from Cambodia’s Stung Nam Dam. The junta made this decision one day before visiting Cambodia and agreed to enhance strong bilateral ties between the two countries. This article raises the question of what is behind the junta’s decision and who will gain the most benefit and loss from this action.]

From Lokwannee, September 9-15, 2017
Main cover reads: Follow the leader’s ass 20 years, the country will survive.
Along the man’s back: National Strategy Committee
[Junta’s leader PM Prayuth vowed to stay in power until the reform of the country is accomplished. Meanwhile, the National Strategy Committee was established by the junta with the aim of laying out the country’s strategy plan for 20 years and thus avoiding another Thaksin-directed government coming to power and trying enact polices to reward their supporters and to rewrite the constitution. The 20-year plan has been criticized as a tool to restrict an elected government and politicians.
We think the naked man is meant to remind readers that the military are like cave men and have an old-fashioned thinking style.]

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11 Years Ago: The Coup – September, 2006


(Photo: Don)

The Coup – September, 2006

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11 Years Ago: The Coup – Newspaper Front Pages

11 Years Ago: The Coup – Newspaper Front Pages

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Remembering the Downfall of Thaksin Shinawatra’s CEO-state

The Downfall of Thaksin Shinawatra’s CEO-state – nautilus.org
…Once in government Thaksin relied on the strong executive created by the 1997 reforms to push through his policies. However, he was hostile to the independent commissions established by the reforms. Even before he became Prime Minister, they had subjected his financial affairs to unwelcome scrutiny. Under the new laws, politicians had to declare all their assets. Thaksin divested himself of his personal wealth by giving it away – to his wife, his children, and to his household servants. This was universally believed to be no more than a ruse. A corruption investigation charged that Thaksin had acted dishonestly and illegally, and was unfit to hold public office. He challenged this and the courts ruled in his favour. From that point on, Thaksin regarded Thailand’s watchdog agencies as enemies, and sought to emasculate them at every opportunity.
Thaksin was a pragmatist, and his approach to government was generally cautious. He introduced the restructuring he wanted in piecemeal ways rather than in a “big bang”. Nevertheless, the pattern became clear within a couple of years. In keeping with the new management theories he had imbibed, this involved devolving responsibility while centralising power in the hands of senior politicians, his own in particular. Thaksin acquired unprecedented powers of patronage, and he used them to punish opponents and reward supporters. Those he rewarded frequently turned out to be members of the Shinawatra clan, friends from his cadet school class, or business associates…

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Thanks for your help!

From Naewna, August 30, 2017
Left, Thaksin: Let me off here, I will continue my way with those elite bureaucrats.
Left caption: Sending to reach the shore…and then expel me..!! [meaning Thaksin’s supporters helped him escape, but have nothing to show for it]
Right, Yingluck: Let me off here, I will continue escaping with my brother…
Right caption: Sending not to reach the shore yet… and then expel me…!!

[“Send to the shore” is a Thai idiom that means to take one to the goal or dream. The expectation is that the person helped will always repay back the kindness.
In this cartoon, it shows that when Thaksin reached the shore (he escaped a jail term) he did not repay back the kindness to those who helped him. The cartoonist portrays those who helped him over the years as buffaloes. To refer to a person as a “buffalo” is an insult meaning they are stupid. Here it is used to refer to the pro-Thaksin Red Shirts many of whom still remain in jail after taking actions designed to allow Thaksin to return to power.
We are not sure who is being referred to as “elite bureaucrats.”]

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Why Boonsong was jailed for 42 years

From Thairath, August 29, 2017
Left: I read what Suranand wrote about Boonsong. Then, I know why…
Middle: …why he was jailed for 42 years!
Other men: Why?
Right: Because when the court asked him about the rice-pledging scheme, Boonsong would only answer to the court that “I can’t tell you.”

[Refers to former Pheu Thai member Surannad Vejjajiva who has close ties with former Commence Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom. Surannad posted a message to his friend Boonsong on Facebook after the court’s handing down a 42-year sentence to Boonsong.
According to Suranand, Boonsong is a nice man and every time when he tried to ask Boonsong about the truth of the rice-pledging scheme, Boonsong only replied him that he could not say anything about it. The cartoonist jokes that this is what Boonsong must have told the court.]

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Why Yingluck ran away

From Thairath, August 28, 2017
Title: The most intense battlefield
Left, man: The former PM didn’t show up to hear the verdict on the rice-pledging scheme which had proceeded for many years. Her critics criticized her for “escaping the verdict.”
Phi Nooring: Since they have mouths, they keep saying things.
Mouse man: Don’t want an illegal power.
Middle: Phi Nooring: She did her best to fight this case and we all know the fact. But, she didn’t “escape the verdict.”
Mouse: Don’t want an illegal power.
Man: Then, what did she escape from?
Right: She escaped the injustice of Kalaland!
Mouse: Don’t want an illegal power.

[This is a cartoon from a steadfastly pro-Thaksin and pro-Red Shirt cartoonist. We had wondered how pro-Thaksin voices would begin to conceptualize Yingluck’s surprise flight into exile.
These cartoons reflect apparent talking point that Yingluck had to flee because, after all, she could not get justice from the Thai courts. This is perhaps not comforting to others in her government who, buoyed by her vows to face the courts, did not flee and now face lengthy incarcerations.
“Kalaland” is a word used in place of “Thailand” by those who oppose the junta. It means that those who support the junta live under a shell (“kala”) and are tightly controlled by the junta, like a frog that lives under a coconut shell. This idea is a counterpoint to those who oppose Thaksin and say his supporters are ignorant of democracy and are easily controlled by a rich family.
The mouse man is artist Sia’s caricature of activist Sombat Boongamanong, whose nickname is Nuling (or “mouse”). He always appears at the edge of Sia’s cartoons, often calling for human rights and reform.]

From Thairath, August 29, 2017
Title: Because of the serious disease damaging..!
Left, a judge: Former PM Poo (Yingluck) is gone and didn’t show up to hear the verdict as she said she was sick due to Meniere’s disease. We don’t believe it.
On his book: My law.
Man with glasses: Because you didn’t see a medical certificate?
Man with glasses, right: But due to a people’s certificate, it shows that she’s gone because she was sick from “unequal justice disease.”
Phi Nooring: The whole world knows it.
Mouse man: She will die if she stays.

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Sacrificing the reformer

From Manager, August 30, 2017
Caption: Kill to make merit.
[This shows PM Prayuth sacrificing reformer Pongporn Pramsaneh and offering this sacrifice to the Buddhist orthodoxy.
Pongporn had vigorous moved to clean up the murky finances of Thailand’s various Buddhist movements, leading to consternation and controversy who feared that openly confronting these issues would damage Buddhism.
Pongporn’s sacking is yet another blow to those who had hoped that the absolute power of the junta could be used to tackle issues that would never be touched during times of democratically elected governments. It also likely indicates that the junta is looking towards a post-election future for itself and does not wish to further alienate power bases in the country.]

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Weekly News Magazines: Yingluck ran away, September, 2017

From Siamrath Weekly Review, September 1-7, 2017
Main cover reads: Smoke comes from the ears.
[After Yingluck fled a court’s ruling on the rice-pledging scheme, her elder brother Thaksin posted a tweet about justice quoting Montesquieu.
“Smoke comes from the ears” is Thai idiom meaning very angry. Here is refers to Thaksin’s apparent anger at the treatment of his sister.]

From Matichon Weekly, September 1-7, 2017
Main cover reads: Poo pinches.

[Refers to former PM Yingluck Shinawatra (whose nickname is Poo) who fled a court verdict on her government’s rice-pledging scheme. This cover plays with the word “หนีบ” meaning “pinch.” However, on the cover, the letter “บ” is dropped which makes a new word “หนี” meaning “escape.” It illustrates that the escape of Yingluck, after months of public vows that she would trust in the court’s verdict, demonstrates that the Shinawatra family actually never had any trust in the judicial system.]

Top: Small bird in the iron cage. Sorayuth Suthassanachinda. The Appeals Court’s ruling: to be jailed for 13 years 4 months
[Refers to TV news anchor Sorayuth Suthassanachinda who lost an appeal in the Appeals Courts causing him to be jailed for 13 years and four months for defrauding Chanel MCOT of over 138 million baht in advertising revenue between 2005 and 2006. The bird symbolizes a journalist and the iron cage symbolizes jail.]

From Manager Weekly, September 2-8, 2017
Main cover reads: ShinSuwan regime. The relationship among close friends.
Picture from left-right: Somchai Wongsuwan, Patcharawat Wongsuwan, PM Prayuth Chan-ocha, Yingluck Shinawatra, Prawit Wongsuwan, Panthongtae Shinawatra, Thaksin Shinawatra and Sudarat Keyuraphan
[Refers to the close relationship between the Wongsuwan family, led by Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan, and the Shinawatra family, led by former PM Thaksin Shinawatra. Prawit is believed to be the most influential figure in the junta.
This anti-Thaksin publication is furiously alleging deals between the junta and the Shinawatra family in recent court cases.
First was the acquittal of former PM Somchai (Thaksin’s brother-in-law) and other three defendants including Patcharawat Wongsuwan (Prawit’s brother) in the case of the police suppression of the PAD-led protest in front of Parliament on October 2008. The acquittal was alleged by some to show a trade off between the junta and Thaksin in that no family member from either family was willing to be judged guilty by a court.
Next, the peculiar escape of Yingluck before her verdict on the rice-pledging scheme has led to accusations that the iron-fisted ruling junta must have know and assented to Yingluck’s exile.]

Top: RS family business was broken up. Siblings are fighting due to a benefit.
[Men in the photo: Suwat Chetchotisak, Kriengkrai Chetchotisak, Surachai Chetchotisak
This refers to the conflict in the Chetchotisak family that owns the music company RS Public Company Limited.]

Bottom left: Shitangmaepong removes Pongporn “Sangha Supreme Council-Dhammakaya” are very happy… naja
[Refers to the junta’s order to remove outspoken Pol. Lt. Col. Pongporn Pramsaneh, Head of the National Buddhism Office, after religious groups called on the junta to sack him over his plans to clean up scandal-hit monasteries.
The Sangha Supreme Council and Dhammakaya temple, known for their close relationship as well as scandals, are believed to benefit most from his removal. The words ‘Shitangmepong’ and ‘naja’ are used to mock the speech of fugitive monk Dhammachayo, the abbot of Dhamakaya, who speaks using these affected and feminine terms.]

Middle: The story of Sorayuth this morning. Long-term jail. That’s it.
[Refers to Sorayuth Suthassanachinda, TV news anchor of the famous news talk show name “The story of this morning.” The Appeals Court ruled hat he be jailed for 13 years and four months for defrauding the Chanel MCOT of over 138 million baht in advertising revenue.
“That’s it” is the famous phrase which Sorayuth ended his show with.]

Right: Totally destroy mosquitoes!! Safe from “dengue fever”
[Refers the health column “Good Health” which talks about how to prevent dengue fever.]

From Lokwannee, Sep2-8, 2017
Main cover reads: Seeing different, Hearing different (Meniere’s disease)
[Refers to the Yingluck verdict on the rice pledging scheme. Yingluck’s lawyers initially stalled the court by saying she was too ill to attend the verdict as she had Meniere’s disease, a disease of the ear that causes dizziness.
This cover illustrates that an old style of justice still prevails that is unfair to Yingluck, implying that the junta is a dinosaur holding the scales of justice.]

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13 years ago: Thaksin’s increasing boldness

Thaksin’s increasing boldness

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Burmese fortune teller to the Thai elite dies at 58

Famous fortune-teller ‘ET’ dies at 58 – The Nation, September 11, 2017
…Her famous clients also included General Than Shwe, the former Myanmar strongman politician who was the head of state of Burma from 1992 to 2011 as chairman of the State Peace and Development Council.
She reportedly earned about Bt30,000 per session, which lasted about 15 minutes.

2012: Thaksin and the fortuneteller E.T.

2013: Profile of fortune teller to the Burmese and Thai elite, “ET”

2014: Thai PM Prayuth says ‘no harm’ listening to fortune-tellers

Analysis: Understanding the Thai reliance on fortune tellers

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Weekly News Magazines, August, 2017: Yingluck Flees

From Siamrath Weekly Review, August 25-31, 2017
Main cover reads: The war [red] has not ended yet.
[Refers to former PM Yingluck Shinawatra who fled a court ruling on the case of the Pheu Thai’s rice-pledging scheme. While many people believe that Yingluck’s flight into exile will be the end of Shinawatra family’s hold on the politics, the article raises the point that Thaksin and the Red Shirts will continue to fight.]

From Matichon Weekly, August 25-31, 2017
Main cover reads: The conclusion of the beginning
[The article speculates that the exile of Yingluck marks a new phase in the fight against the junta.]
Top right: Big Tu seizes the public. Visit “Korat” to win the heart of “Isan people.” “The military won’t lie.”
[Refers to PM Prayuth (nicknamed “Big Tu”) who trying to win people’s hearts, particularly people in Isan, or the Northeastern region of Thailand, the stronghold of Thaksin’s Red Shirt supporters. During his visit to the region, PM Prayuth said that the “military won’t lie’ and this was his promise to the people.]

From Manager Weekly, August 26-September 1, 2017
Main cover reads: Game of Thrones [the yellow text is the translation of the Game of Thrones in Thai]
[The men, left to right, are Prem Tinsulanonda, Prayuth Chan-ocha, and Prawit Wongsuwan.
Refers to the power competition in the junta led by PM Prayuth and his respected senior officer, Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan. They are thought to have clashed repeatedly over promotion lists in the military. President the of Privy Council Prem Tinsulanonda is believed to be the arbiter and ultimate power in military disputes.]
Top: “Revenge of the angels” bringing the enemy to the family [small] “Janie” ends the relations with “Woonsen” as introducing the new girl to “Kueng”
[Refers to the friendship among a posse called the “Angel gang.” Two famous actresses, Janie Tienphosuwan and Virithipa “Woonsen” Pakdeeprasong, are part of the group of friends. Recently, Janie got angry with Woosen who was believed to have introduced another girl to her boyfriend Chalermchai “Kueng” Mahagitsiri.]
Bottom left: Not being sad to lose!! ‘Rika’ is ready to fight again in the cruel stage of “MMA”
[Refers to Japanese-Thai female boxer Rika Ishige who recently lost at an MMA competition. However, she is ready to continue her career in the MMA.]
Bottom right: “Politics” is behind the “SEA GAMES” which turned into “SEA KONG”
[Refers to the recent ASEAN Southeast Asian Games which this year was hosted in Malaysia. Malaysia was criticized by some attendees for trying to cheat to win gold medals. The article theorizes that Malaysian government led by PM Najib Razak wanted to divert people’s attention to sports game rather than the scandals of the government.
“Kong” in Thai means cheating meaning the games were turned into the “cheating games.”]

From Lokwannee, August 24-September 1, 2017
Main cover reads: Judgment day
[Shows PM Yingluck, here symbolized by her nickname, which is “crab,” hanging by a thread over the verdict on the rice pledging scheme case.]

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Heroic Yingluck

From Manager, August 29, 2017
Left: Khun Poo fought calmly… strong and heroic.
Left caption: Before Poo leaves…
Right: Khun Poo left calmly… strong and heroic.
Right caption: …after escape

[“Poo” or “crab” in English is nickname of Yingluck.
Here, Red Shirt leaders Nattawut, Thida, and her husband Weng parrot the Thaksin party line.
First they extolled Yingluck for months, comparing her to Aung San Suu Kyi for her courage in facing a court verdict over her actions as prime minister.
After her surprise disappearance, there was confusion from Thaksin supporters who struggled to quickly shift their point of view to saying Yingluck was right to flee because she was being treated unfairly.]

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Bangkok Police Officer’s De-Escalation Genius

Bangkok Police Officer’s De-Escalation Genius
Recently a man entered a police station in Bangkok, Thailand wielding a knife. That’s when Anirut Malee’s instincts took over. Malee, a Thai police officer, deescalated the situation like a Jedi…

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The shame of leaving

From Daily News, August 29, 2017
Title: Beyond description… Boss and servants

[This shows Shinawatra family members living in luxury in exile while their ardent supporters, duped into taking action for Thaksin’s goals, remain in prison.
On the day of Yingluck’s verdict, other Pheu Thai defendants, no doubt encouraged by Yingluck’s continual vows to face the court, did show up in court and received decades-long sentences. Meanwhile, many other Thaksin supporters are already languishing in jail.]

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One thing is actually another


From Thairath, August 20, 2017
Title: Know the face, but can’t know the heart
Top left: He says he is democracy.
[Anyone know who does this refers to?]

Top middle: She says she is a member of the human rights committee, but she protects people who do something wrong.
[Likely refers to human rights groups speaking out for Red Shirts or lese majeste suspects.]

Top right: He says he is a boss, but he’s lustful.
[Refers to the case in which an officer from the Ministry of Public Health sexually harassed his staff.]

Bottom left: They say they will take us for a field trip.
On the sign: Court
[Refers to reports that Red Shirts told people being transported to Bangkok to protest the Yingluck verdict that they were simply taking them on a sightseeing trip.]

Bottom middle: They see the bus, but they don’t’ know where they are heading
[Refers to the change of bus signage to make it easier for foreigners. However, this change brought criticism that the change was more confusing.]

Bottom right: She says she doesn’t know about the corruption of the rice-pledging scheme
[Refers to former PM Yingluck who is facing a ruling on the rice-pledging scheme. During her time as prime minister, she was kept away from important cabinet meetings so she would not be culpable over controversial policy being made. At the same time, the party claimed she was fully functioning as the prime minister and Thaksin was not involved in government policy at all. Thus, no one knows if she had any real knowledge of the rice pledging scheme.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Thairath - Chai | 1 Comment

Who did better?

From Naewna, August 21, 2017
Thaksin: At the 3-year performance mark of the NCPO [the junta], kindly admit that your works are not as many as I did.

[This anti-Thaksin cartoonist mocks Thaksin and his supporter’s claims that Thaksin did many good things for the country. Instead, he contends Thaksin is only bent on sowing divisions while the military has had to step in and do its best to resolve the county’s divisions.]

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Tanks or buses?

From Daily News, August 16, 2017
Left: What the government gets…
Top to bottom: Missiles, tanks, planes, submarines
Right: What the people get…
Above the train: Cancel the free train
Close to the bus: Change the color of the buses and increase the fare

[This cartoon implies that while the junta spending massive amounts of money on strengthening military’s capabilities, public works that benefit the common man are being shortchanged.]

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The junta now controls speech

From Manager, August 21, 2017
PM Prayuth: Kai-u [nickname of government spokeperson Lt. Gen. Sansern] tells the ministers to talk about their works to the media. Don’t they have their months? Why let me be the only one who keeps talking?
On the bottles from left to right: ministers, politicians, media, people [meaning the military junta controls the speech of all society now]

[Refers to the government asking the media to help promote the activities of each cabinet member instead of focusing on just the major stories connected to the prime minister.
This plan consisted of asking each media outlet to focus on reporting on one minister–a shocking and improbable plan especially as it is suggested by a ruling military junta.
The cartoonist implies that the reason that PM Prayuth is the one who is reported on is because he is the only person talking–the junta having locked up the voices of all other parts of society now.]

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Editorial Cartoons: Yingluck Flees

From Manager, August 27, 2107
In black box at top: Funny economy by Ngao [name of column and cartoonist]
Top: 49 days to be the PM
Bottom: 49 years to be a homeless ghost (if she can survive until then)

[The cartoon notes that Yingluck entered politics and the public eye only 49 days before becoming prime minister.
However, see ended up going into exile to escape a court ruling that could have meant many years in jail.
The cartoonist compares Yingluck to a homeless ghost. This is a ghost who cannot be reborn into a new life as it did very bad things during its human lifetime. Thus it wanders aimlessly as Yingluck apparently will in the future.]

From Daily News, August 28, 2017
On the rice bag: Rice-pledging scheme
On bag held by man with glasses: Boonsong
On bag held by man in red shirt: Poom
On a sign above door: Prison
Yingluck: Can’t resist it anymore [cannot resist running away]
On her bag: Flee

[The cartoonist ridicules Yingluck for running away from the court ruling while other loyal Pheu Thai Party ministers who stood for their rulings, such as former commerce minister Boonsong Teriyapirom and his former deputy Poom Sarapol, now have to serve long prison terms.]

From Manager, August 27, 2107
Deputy PM Prawit: Hopefully, our merit we make will help us maintain power for a long time without any obstacles.
Caption: A big merit

[Here Deputy PM Prawit, PM Prayuth, and Interior Minister Anupong release a crab into the water in a traditional Buddhist merit-making ceremony.
Former PM Yingluck, who fled before a court ruling this week, has the nickname “Poo” (“crab” in Thai).
So this cartoon represents the suspicion that the junta made a deal with Thaksin to release Yingluck (let her leave the country) in exchange for a promise that Thaksin would no longer wield his Red Shirts against the junta and would not oppose further junta rule into the future.]

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Thailand can help the U.S. fight North Korea

From Thairath, August 16, 2017
Left, Thai man: Thailand doesn’t need to pay more than 800 million to buy a Harpoon missile…
Middle, Thai man: …from you because our country doesn’t have a war with other countries.
Uncle Sam: Of course you have. I’ve carried out a surveillance of you and found it.
Right, Uncle Sam: …you’re going to have a war because I’m now encourage you to buy a weapon to help us fight with North Korea.

[Refers to U.S. approval of the sale of RGM-84L Harpoon Block II anti-ship missiles to Thailand.
Such continuing massive military purchases under a military run government alarms many Thais who see no need for their relatively passive country to arm itself with high-priced weapons.]

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Coup or nuthouse

From Manager, August 14, 2017
Left, US Ambassador to Thailand Glyne T. Davies: Our president can’t meet your prime minister because he came from the coup.
Caption: In the past
Right, Thailand’s Foreign Affair Minister Don Pramudwinai: Our prime minister can’t meet your president… because he came from a psychiatric hospital.
Caption: In the present

[During the Obama administration, PM Prayuth was apparently shunned and not invited to the White House since Prayuth’s power came from a military coup. At that time, the US often called on PM Prayuth to hold quick elections.
However, the Trump administration has relented and invited PM Prayuth to visit the White House in October.]

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Editorial Cartoons: Yingluck’s Verdict

From Manager, August 23, 2017
Thaksin: Sorry Poo… when I wrote this slogan… I missed one sentence!
On the sign: Rice-pledging scheme 15,000. Thaksin thinks… Pheu Thai acts [black] Yingluck is jailed!!!

[Refers to the Pheu Thai Party slogan used during elections to emphasize to voters that Thaksin directed the party. “Poo” is the nickname of Yingluck.]
Also: Somchai unveils Pheu Thai’s slogan: “Thaksin thinks, Pheu Thai acts”
And the parodies: Thaksin Thinks, Pheu Thai Torches and Thaksin thinks… Prayuth takes action…

From Manager, August 24, 2017
Caption: Today…these two items will be sold out.

[Refers to tearful sympathy Yingluck invoked at a long series of public appearances in the North and Northeast.]

From Naewna, August 25, 2017
On the necktie of the large figure at right: NSRR [The Committee for National Administration under the Framework of National Reform, Strategy and Reconciliation]
On the shirt: [left] Invite all political parties to attend the meeting. [right] Reform the country and national strategy
Caption: The reason that the rotten leader doesn’t attend the meeting.
Headless person: I’m not going. Headless and now I still can’t find a new leader.
On the announcement: Recruiting [bottom] Party leader of Phao Thailand

[Refers to the Pheu Thai Party which does not have a consequential leader in the lead up to future elections. The party has also refused to participate in the junta-formed NSRR that is trying to make political parties to commit to codes of conduct in future political quarrels.
This cartoon plays with the sound of the party’s name; Pheu Thai (meaning “for Thailand”) and Phao Thai (meaning “burning Thailand”) which refers to the Red Shirt protests in 2010 during which places in both Bangkok and many provinces were burned.]

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Stop the clock

From Arun, August 11, 2017
At the top of the cartoon: Arun Watcharasawad [name of the cartoonist]
On the metal stake: National strategy

[This refers to Thailand’s 20-Year National Strategy launched by the junta. It is intended to keep elected governments from turning to populist schemes to reward their supports like political parties directed by Thaksin did.
The cartoon shows the junta’s plans as stopping progress for the country. Is there any other reference or allusion in the cartoon?]

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Analysis: Yingluck’s Strange Strategy

They kept up a good show until the very end–Yingluck’s emotional tours of Pheu Thai’s political strongholds, pledging at each stop to face the junta’s charges and that justice would prevail… Continue reading

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