Jan 13th, 2016

The Biggest Achievement

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From Manager, December 22, 2015
Voice from the Defense Ministry: The problem is… we have a bigger achievement than any ministry, but we can’t tell.
A sign in front of the building: Defense Ministry
[In the foreground are the Rajabhakti Park statues. This refers to the Rajabhakti Park scandal constructed under the Defense Ministry. The cartoonist implies that the military has achieved greater corruption with the project than any other ministry, but obviously cannot promote this “achievement.”]

More: How to hide Rajabhkti Park? Editorial cartoons from Thai newspapers

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The Blasted Court!

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From Manager, December 23, 2015
[Thai courts are symbolized by a spirit house which has a name in Thai that is the same as “court.”]
Above left: Thaksin urinates on the Thai court: Look here… the blasted court.
Caption: Yesterday

Above right, Thaksin pays respect to Thai court: Please punish them… giving me fair justice… salute [to you].
Caption: Today

Below left, Thaksin urinates on the Thai court: Look here… the blasted court.
Caption: Tomorrow

Below right, Thaksin pays respect to Thai court: Please punish them… giving me fair justice… salute [to you].
Caption: The day after tomorrow.

[This is meant to illustrate the ever-changing attitudes of Thaksin and his supporters towards the courts.
During times when the courts have cases that might impact his governments negatively, Red Shirts are sent to surround court buildings with demands that judges resign and be replaced with Red Shirt nominees. The courts are also threatened with constitutional amendments to strip them of their powers. (This goes all the way back to the key demand of the 2009 Red Shirt protest in Bangkok when Constitutional Court judges were given an ultimatum to resign or face the wrath of the people.)
At other times, Thaksin and his supporters take the opposite tact and files cases against their opponents. At those times they solemnly ask everyone to respect the court’s decision and publicly state that they believe justice will be done and the courts will rule in their favor.]

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The Eastern Tigers expanding in every direction

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From Manager, December 17, 2015
Caption: Eastern tigers… are trying to expand its influence to the whole forest.
On trees from left to right: NACC, NRC, Military, RTP

[This refers to the role of the junta led by the powerful military group of the “Eastern Tigers.” They are now expanding their power into various agencies, such as the National Anti-Corruption Commission, the National Reform Council (NRC) and the Royal Thai Police. More about the Eastern Tigers]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Manager, Thai Military | 1 Comment

The U.S. controls IS?

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From Thairath, December 18, 2015
U.S. President: General, prepare the missile to destroy where the IS leader tranquilly lives!
General: Wait a minute, Mr. President.
US President: Why?
General: Why don’t Mr. President hurriedly move your family out of the White house first…

[This reflects a widespread belief in Thailand (and in other countries around the world) that the Islamic State (IS or ISIS) was actually created and controlled by the United States for its own foreign policy ends.
This belief is based claims that some factions of IS were at some point in the past funded or otherwise supported by the U.S. Coupled with widespread disillusionment with the motives of the United States, this has led to cynicism about whether the U.S. is really fighting IS or not.]

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Opposing the train

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From Thairath, December 22, 2015
Title: It’s ok… we are rich!
On train: Semi-express
The man holding the Thai flag is Deputy PM ACM Prajin Juntong.
On the judge’s shirt: Former judge of the Constitutional Court. Now is the NRSA. [The National Reform Steering Assembly]
[The man is Supoj Kaimook. He has opposed the high-speed train project.]
On the paper: There is no non-asphalt road in Thailand and our younger generation will have long-term debt. [These are criticisms of the junta project–that such a high-cost project should not be undertaken when many rural villagers still live in homes in villages with unpaved roads. Dusty villages are a perennial concern of voters in remote areas.]
Phi Nooring: More expensive, but slower than “Poo’s” train [PM Yingluck tried to propose a high speed train to the Northeast region where many Pheu Thai voters are.]
A mouse: Only say for destroying
[Refers to the China-Thailand’s high speed railway project approved by the junta. Those who oppose the junta have concerns that this project will have a high cost and create long term debt.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Thairath - Sia | 2 Comments

The middle finger

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From Thairath, December 10, 2015
Left, Uncle Sam: The military government is limiting the freedom of the new democracy movement group by not-allowing them to speak with people who come to support them…
Middle: ….finally they use finger language to communicate
Man: What did they do?
Rgiht: The new democracy movement group sent the signal to people by lifting 3 fingers while people answered using the middle finger.

[The contention here is that most people do not believe that protester against the junta (using the 3-finger Hunger Games salute) is a protest for democracy or free speech, but instead is an attempt to push Thaksin’s agenda.]

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Weekly News Magazines, December 25, 2015-January 8, 2016

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From Matichon Weekly, December 25-31, 2015
Main cover reads: Tuk Tuk [pink] Identity of the ‘country,’ Identity of Thailand
[The woman is Miss Universe Thailand Aniporn “Nat” Chalermburanawong. The title refers to the Tuk Tuk dress which won the Best National Costume award at the Miss Universe pageant. This dress received strong criticism from the public because for many Thais, it does not represent Thai tradition or culture and emphasizes the cheap vehicles that has limited appeal to the public. However, supporters of the dress stresse4d that the tuk tuk reminds foreigners about Thailand.]

Top right: Roundfinger celebrates the wedding of ‘NewStampt’
[The photo shows the wedding of famous singer Stamp Apiwat and his girlfriend whose nickname is New.]

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From Lokwannee, December 26, 2015-January 8, 2016
Main cover reads: Hello, the year of monkey. [black] (Governing the country… is not difficult!)
Signs on the bench: Go without return; Sleep and not wake up; Don’t revive; Cannot escape
[Refers to the Chinese lunar calendar which indicates that 2016 will be a year of money. The cover mimics the three famous three wise Japanese monkeys which illustrates the proverbial principle ‘see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil.’ The actions of the moneys shows the actions of the junta towards the public by controlling the freedom of people.
All the signs on the bench are famous quotes used to express the truth of dharma which contends that all humans cannot avoid death. Similarly, the junta also cannot avoid the end of their government.]

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From Manager Weekly, December 26, 2015-January 1, 2016
Main cover reads: Drama [white] of Universe
[The women from left to right: 1st runner Miss Columbia Ariadna Guitierrez, Miss Thailand Aniporn “Nat” Chalermburanawong, and Miss Universe from the Philippines Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach
Refers to the terrible mistake of the wrong announcement of Miss Universe and the criticism about the Thai national costume ‘Tuk Tuk’ which won the best national costume after being strong criticized by many Thais.]

Bottom left: From Big Tu’s heart. I am the country. [green] “Should let [Veera] die in the jail”
[The men on the cover are Veera Somkwamkid and PM Prayuth.
The refers to yellow shirt activist Veera who was released from a Cambodian jail with the assistance of the junta. Recently, he criticized the junta, particularly on strengthening ties with Cambodia. PM Prayuth, on the other hand, was unsatisfied with his criticism.]

Bottom right: Pete Bodharamik
[blue] “A rich man of 4G”
[white] It’s time to know this man
[The man in the picture is Jasmine International CEO Pete Bodharamik.
This refers to the biding of 4G licenses which was won by True Corporation and Pete’s company Jasmine International. This article introduces him and his company to the public and explores the new competition in the telecom market in the future.]

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From Nation Weekend, December 25, 2015
Main cover reads:  Give me a hug for keeping warm
[The man on the left is Cambodian PM Hun Sen while a man on the right is PM Prayuth. Refers to the visit of Cambodia PM Hun Sen to Thailand in order to strengthen the relationship between the two countries.]

Drama ‘Miss Universe’ [yellow] to ‘Thailand’s Tuk Tuk’
[The woman in the picture is Miss Universe Thailand Aniporn “Nat” Chalermburanawong.]

Posted in Thai Newspapers and Magazines | 2 Comments

New protest leader steals the spotlight

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From Manager, December 9, 2015
Red Shirt leader Jatuporn: Ten! [nickname of Nattawut]… The NCPO sets the price for I-New more than us. [Meaning the new upstart student leader is considered more dangerous than the old Red Shirt leaders. “I-New” is an impolite way to refer to a person’s name.]
A sign on Jatuporn and Nattawut: 10 baht for 2
A sign on Ja-New: 1,000 baht
Caption: A new mischievous man… is considered at a higher price.

[Refers to a new political movement led by teen activist Ja-New or Sirawith Seritiwat. He and his anti-junta group tried to rally to the Rajabhkti Park in order to call for a investigation of corruption allegations connected with the project. This rally was stopped by the police.
The cartoon pokes fun of the old Red Shirt leaders, who always tried to emphasizes their own importance and influence, being infuriated when another leader steals the spotlight.
In the past, Red Shirt leaders have acted swiftly and frantically when others began to draw the spotlight away from Thaksin and his pardon: All about Sombat Boonngamanong, a rebel Red Shirt]

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In the hot seat

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From Thairath, December 8, 2015
On the chair: Deputy Defense Minister [The man is Deputy Defense Minister and ex-army commander Gen. Udomdej Sitabutr]
Phi Nooring: Hazing or expelling
A mouse: Good people don’t corrupt
On blowtorch top to bottom: Case of a park, Rajabhakti, commission fees
On fire top to bottom: Pressure, to, resign
Caption: Blowing a fire on the junior’s butt

[Refers to Rajabhakti Park scandal. After rumors of corruption connected with the park spread, the army seemed to focus all responsibility on Deputy Defense Minister Gen. Udomdej Sitabutr. He was army chief at the time of the construction. Opponents of the junta point out how corruption allegations contract with junta vows to be transparent. Rumors circulted that Dep. Defence Minister Gen.Udomdej would be removed from his position, but PM Prayuth rejected this.]

More: How to hide Rajabhkti Park? Editorial cartoons from Thai newspapers

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U.S. Conspiracy

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From Thairath, December 5, 2015
Caption: Sky target?
Mouse man: An unknown thing in the sky.
Mouse: How could they have come this far? [meaning something like, “how could it have come to this?”]

[This refers to the FAA downgrade of Thai Airways safety record on December 2.
The prominence of the US’s role in the downgrade in the cartoon seems to relate to Thais’ interpretations of calls for a quick return to democracy. Thai resistance to quick elections means (to some Thais) that the U.S. is trying to destabilize Thailand by any means they can.
The cartoon may also simply lament the fact that hapless Thai Airways, for some reason, was unable to avoid getting into trouble with the FAA.]

Posted in Airports and Airlines, Anti-Americanism, Editorial Cartoons - Thairath - Sia | Leave a comment

Slave labor or selling weapons?

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From Komchadluek, December 17, 2015
Uncle Sam: Your country uses slave labor in shrimp fisheries. That is not right.
Thailand: Or do you want us to sell weapons like you?

[Refers to condemnation of the slavery problem in the Thai fishery industry. Some Thais feel defensive about the criticism and here the cartoonist claims that Thailand is no worse than the U.S. that sells advanced weapons to countries around the world.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Komchadluek | Leave a comment

The U.S. ambassador is a meddler

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From Manager, December 3, 2015
Left, foreigner says: I… Mr.Hunter.
Thai man: Oh… I-han-taer
Left caption: The wrong pronunciation of English names in the past
Right: I… Mr. Davies [U.S. ambassador Glyn Davies]
Thai man: Oh… I-Seuak [“I” or “Ai” is an impolite prefix to put before the name of someone you do not like. “Seuak” is an impolite Thai word meaning “intruding,” “to meddle,” or more colloquially, “none of your business.”]
Right caption: …Wrong pronunciation nowadays.

[The cartoon makes fun of the wrong pronunciations Thai people often made when trying to understand English names.
However, in the right picture, a man (representing the Manager cartoonist) intentionally says the wrong name of U.S. ambassador Glyn Davies due to his comments calling on a lessening of lese majeste prosecutions.
It says his name is “Mr. Meddler” with the “Mr.” part being an impolite prefix for a name. Seuak is a Thai impolite word meaning “intruding” or “to meddling.”
This same criticism was leveled at former U.S. Ambassador Kristie Kenney]

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Betrayal Pig

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From Manager, December 7, 2015
Abhisit: Betrayal Pig!
Caption: After letting him staying in Bangkok for so long… this pig has not come back to his sty.

[This refers to the deeply divided Democrat Party which is having a feud with Democrat Party member Sukhumphan Boriphat (whose nickname is “pig”). Sukhumphan is the Bangkok Governor, an important post to hold which normally indicates that a party will also dominate the MP elections for Bangkok province.

The Democrat Party has been panicked that Governor Sukhumphan has not appeared effective enough in combating seasonal flooding in Bangkok (The big fat pig blocks the drainpipe). Regular flooding only recently began happening again with a frequency not seen since before Thaksin’s time as prime minister. During that time, Thaksin cracked down and reformed the flood control system. This seemed to end seasonal flooding in Bangkok for almost a decade.

Governor Sukhumphan has been know to launch into rants filled with vulgar expletives during campaign speeches–not unusual for old-style Thai “big men,” but very much out of step with the image that cosmopolitan urbanites in Bangkok expect.

Now with regular flooding vexing Bangkok residents, the Democrat Party fears that they will lose the Bangkok Governorship in upcoming elections as Bangkok voters have been very unpredictable in voting for independents (Chaumlong) or even right-wingers (Samak).

Fears are that a win for the Pheu Thai (Thaksin’s party) would greatly hamper present attempts to prevent the Pheu Thai party from winning Bangkok MPs and forming the next government.]

Posted in Analysis, Editorial Cartoons - Manager | 1 Comment

Tears of fire

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From Arun, December 9, 2015
Puchong Nutrawong
Former EC Secretary-general
‘Puchong’ is crying while insisting to fight back the EC
After being sacked. Disclosing that the draft constitution has already set a specification
Traveling aboard–increasing salary of ‘the boss’
On a right corner: EC

[Refers to a sack of former Election Commission (EC) Secretary-General Puchong for allegedly failing his performance evaluation and frequently delaying the completion of his work. “Traveling aboard–increasing salary of ‘the boss’” refers to some of the criticism of him. Puchong insisted to be ready to defend himself following the threat of a libel case from the EC.
The EC is one of the independent bodies created in the 1997 constitution that has been constantly manipulated by the Thai political world that is uncomfortable with independent oversight of their activities. The EC has been twisted to first help Thaksin’s cause and then stop him. Several members had to flee the country and others ended up in jail–all due to constant political pressured designed to compromise the the EC.]

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How to hide Rajabhkti Park? Editorial cartoons from Thai newspapers

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From Thairath, December 3, 2015
Caption: Sorry for the inconvenience. Do not enter before we approve.
Sign: This area is transparent, no corruption, but do not allow investigations.
Left, on paper: UDDs [Red Shirts] Tour Rajabhakti Park.
Mouse man: Do by themselves, investigate themselves, make a conclusion themselves. [meanign the military conducted the investigation and absolved itself]
Mouse: Only commission fees. [Referring to accusations of kickbacks involved in the casting of the giant statues.]

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From Manager, December 8, 2015
Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwan: Mr. David [Copperfield]… Could you come to our Rajabhakti Park and show your magic in hiding the Park for someday?
David Copperfield: What day do you want me to hide it?
Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwan: The days that the UDD comes!
Caption: Needing David Copperfield to work this job.

[Refers to the military’s scramble to prevent Red Shirt leaders from leading a march to Rajabhakti Park in “investigate” corruption allegations. The boldness of the Red Shirt’s plan to confront the military on their monument honoring Thailand’s royal system seemed to catch the government off guard (as it did Thaksin who publicly warned the Red Shirts from taking provocative actions that would play into the hands of the army to extend military rule).
The cartoonist jokes that the army needs David Copperfield to help them make the monument disappear just as Copperfield once did with the Statue of Liberty.]

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From Manager, December 10, 2015
In the flashlight’s light: Transparent Thailand
[Despite the military’s self-proclaimed announcement that the casting of the statues was Transparent and without corruption, most everyone in the Thai world understands that kickbacks as well as cover-ups are the norm. No one believes that the project was conducted without corruption nor that the light of justice will ever be able to illuminate this military-controlled project.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons | 1 Comment

MICT Teaches Thais How to Be Happy

Below is annother cartoon from the LINE account of the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology.

Earlier cartoons;
From MICT: One day, Thailand will have discipline like Japanese people
From MICT: Thai students learn about democracy
From MICT: Why do we have to love Thai culture?
MICT booklet explaining Thai internet laws
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Title: Story of “Sticker”

3rd box: Sticker, What are you doing?

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2nd box: Khawdam… Hello.
[Khawdam is the name for a dog meaning “white and black.”]

3rd box: Sticker is writing a memo about the good things I met today.

4th box: Sticker: This helps me concentrate and learn to realize when I’m happy. Don’t be confused. Do you want to know what is it, Khawdam? If you want to know, I will tell you.
Khaodam: Yes, I really want to know.

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1st box: All of this started from when Sticker found news on the internet.

2nd box: It is said at Harvard University, the class which students take the most is Professor Tal Ben-Shahar’s Positive Psychology class also known as “Happiness 101” because it teaches happiness.

“Happiness 101”

3rd box: Sticker: Are there any classes like this on earth?

Caption: Sticker searched more on the internet to find out the answer.

4th: Prof. Tal Ben-Shahar, what is “Positive Psychology” like?

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1st box: It is a new psychological class which focuses on studying the positive side of humans. We change from questing what doesn’t work to what does work. The study starts from this…

Psychologist: Making people feel better that we can cure other illnesses inside us.

2nd box: Sticker: Then, how this class is different from a HOW-TO book?

You teach us to learn to question…

Prof. Tal Ben-Shahar: It’s totally different because we study based on the information tested by scientific method. For example…

3rd box: In 2002, Robert Emmons tested by dividing volunteers into two groups. For the first group, he asked them to write the positive things that happened during the day while another group was to write things that made them mad during the day.

4th box: They wrote it every night before going to bed.

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1st box: After the end of the test, it found that the emotional level measured by scientific method had been changed and was obviously different. It concluded that in the first group, the happiness rate increased while the second group had more stress and depression.

3rd box: Prof. Tal Ben-Shahar: We always test to find out the answer. Our class is a scientific class–not a HOW-TO book.

Sticker: Prof., could you please tell me what the Happiness 101 class is about? What do you teach? I want to study in your class.

6

Sure, First, we tested and found out that valuing ‘money and prestige bringing a happiness’ isn’t always correct. It has only some impact.

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[blue] The real happiness is based on…

[red] thinking

[pink] how you see the world

[green] living your life

Khawdam: Top bubble: Oh… it’s a good way of thinking.

Middle bubble: I think it’s an interesting principle for living. I’ve never think about this.

Sticker: Yes, Khawdam. When I read it for the first time, I really liked it. See, there are many good things for us to read on the internet.

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1st box: And do you know, Khawdam?  I think we’ll find real happiness when we have consciousness… to know when we are happy.

Below bubble: Don’t be confused.

2nd box: I have to have consciousness to know what we’re thinking, what we’re doing, knowing when we are happy. It’s very easy and then we’ll be happy.

[This refers to the way of Buddhist thinking of having consciousness in whatever one does.]

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1st box: Then, what else did Prof. Tal Ben-Shahar teach you? I want to hear.

2nd box: He taught in his Happiness 101 class that… if you want to have endless happiness, we must do this:

3rd box: [blue] 1. Try to accept ‘being human.’ We can be sad or there are many bad things make us cry. No one will be happy forever.

Sticker: This is very interest. Accepting the sadness will help us be happy.

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Try to make your life easy
Red bubble: Homework

When you’re working, try not to do many things at the same time…
Try to spent time (a lot of time) with people you love

Caption below the picture: Every study found that a source of the most happiness comes from people you love.

Always exercise
Because sport is a great drug

Man: I have to take care of my patient. I will ask him to go exercise.

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1st box: The result is like receiving a prescription for stress reduction from the doctor, but it has no side-effects.

Prof. Tal Ben-Shahar: Like you are receiving Prozac 20+ Ritalin drugs without side effects.

2nd box: 5. Try to meditate

The easiest way is to… take a long-deep breath three times every time you’re thinking about.

Try to appreciate all good things around us

[brown] There is a psychological study on patients who have serious illnesses and will survive for only 3-6 months and found that more than half of them said [pink] this was the first time in their lives that felt alive.

Woman: Knowing that we’re going to die makes us appreciate things more.

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1st box: Because the rest of their time helps them to appreciate on what is going to be gone [underline] We don’t need to wait for anything. Just write small little things which make us happy each day to learn to know happiness.

On book: Notebook for good things every day

Sticker: Number 6, this is the most important which I’m doing now when you talked to me.

2nd box: Prof. Tal Ben-Shahar taught us to write whatever makes us feel happy in it each day. Write it every day before going to bed.

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1st box: What did you write today, Sticker?

2nd box: I’m too shy [to tell you]. There is nothing special because Prof. said that we can write whatever makes us happy even it’s a small thing.

You’ll be the only one who can read it… I’m too shy.

3rd box: Prof. emphasizes that it can be everything that makes us happy. No need to be the big one. Try to feel the happiness, have consciousness, perceive good things around us.

4th box: Today, Sticker has three things that make her feel good.

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Today, there are three things make Sticker feel happy…

When I came back home after school, I saw grandma slept well.
(Sticker likes to watch grandma when she’s sleeping. Likes to see when she smiles.)

Today, I got a new dictionary which I just ordered.
(Teacher Aree taught us to use a dictionary book rather than a dictionary from a computer.)

When I saw the dictionary, it made me miss teacher Aree a lot. So, I wrote a letter to her. I really miss teacher Aree and I feel happy every time I think of her.

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1st box: After reading it, I also feel happy. Thank you, Sticker, for sharing.

2nd box: Khamdam, you should try to write it. [meaning to use the journal for writing things she is thankful for]
I give you this book for writing.

3rd box: Yes. I will start today.

4th box: What are you writing?

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1st box: “Khawdam is really happy to be with Sticker.”

3rd box: Love Khawdam, too.

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The end of the story of Sticker, episode 9 “Happiness class”

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Khon Kaen Model

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From Thairath, December 2, 2015
Left: The US ambassador needs to hear this, the military government persecutes people just because my husband doesn’t like this military government.
Man: What does your husband do?
Middle: Modeling agency business.
Man: What is the name of your agency, ma’am?
Right: Khon Kaen Model
[The joke here is that the name of the agency, Khon Kaen model, is the same as the “Khon Kaen model” separatists who vowed a fight to the death if Yingluck’s government was overthrown. It jokes that a modeling agency is being harassed because it has the same name as the separatist group.
The cartoon perhaps also employs a stereotypical image of a crass Northwestern woman who considers that her sense of style and the airs she puts on makes her a hi-so model.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Thairath - Chai | Leave a comment

10 Years Ago: As TRT falters, Chalerm sees an opportunity

As TRT falters, Chalerm sees an opportunity
As the Thai Rak Thai Party faces a period of political turbulence, veteran politician Chalerm Yoobamrung has seized the moment to raise the banner of his New Alternative Party.
In his own words, Chalerm portrays his party as a new choice for voters and politicians who are dissatisfied with the polar politics of government versus opposition…

Posted in Chalerm Yubamrung, Today in History | Leave a comment

Thailand Won’t Fit Through the Democracy Hoop

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From Komchadluek, December 1, 2015
Democracy.
[This shows Uncle Sam trying to make the Thai elephant jump through a small hoop. This represents the view of those who feel that U.S.-style democracy is not right for Thailand or possibly that the U.S. does not understand the issues involved in facing down Thaksin’s political machine.]

Posted in Anti-Americanism, Editorial Cartoons - Komchadluek | Leave a comment

The Race to Save Thailand’s Seafood Export Industry

The Race to Save Thailand’s Seafood Export Industry – aseantoday.com, December 2015
[Thanks for Tom for pointing this out.]
For the past eight months Thailand’s military junta has been in a desperate race against time to reign in matters left neglected by successive previous administrations. These have included human trafficking, aviation industry safety procedures, and a fishing industry that had been allowed to operate with little or no oversight, irrespective of international agreements or treaties…

Posted in 2Bangkok News | Leave a comment

12 Years Ago: Thai Rak Thai vows 2004 is a “golden year” for Thailand to move up on par with Singapore, Korea and Taiwan

12 Years Ago: Thai Rak Thai vows 2004 is a “golden year” for Thailand to move up on par with Singapore, Korea and Taiwan

Posted in Today in History | Leave a comment

Weekly News Magazines, December 18-26, 2015

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From Lokwannee, December 19-26, 2015
Main cover reads: Click Like… Get thrown in prison!!??
[Refers to a new legal action declared by the junta to deal with people who share or click ‘like’ on the Facebook related to the Rajabhakti Park corruption scandal.]

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From Manager Weekly, December 19-25, 2015
Main cover reads: Prospective political party leader [blue] 3 billion baht
On the ID card of ML Sukumpan Boripat” [starting from the next title after the date of birth]
Occupation: Bangkok Governor, Prospective political party leader
Income: Selling piano and garbage tracks [referring to scandals involving the Bangkok Governor]
Motto: Don’t mis-estimate me. If you’re afraid of flood, you should stay in the mountains.
Address: Big tunnel
Favorite drink: Red wine
Emergency contact persion: Suthep Thaugsuban
[This cover references a junta proposal to add the information on occupation and income on Thai ID cards.
This card itself refers to an internal conflict in the Democrat Party. Recently, there is a rumor that a new party would be established and founded by Bangkok Governor Sukumpan and Suthep. ML Sukumpan is now facing a pressure from the party members due to his unsatisfying performance, particularly related to corruption and flood control measures. In his income stated in the ID refers to the corruption scandals on procurement of piano and garbage tracks.]

Top right: Showing respect to farewell the Supreme Patriarch
[Refers to the Supreme Patriarch’s funeral held on December 16, 2015. He was the eldest Supreme Patriarch in the country who reached the age of 100.]

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From Matichon Weekly, December 18-24, 2015
Main cover reads: …must be polite, not arrogant or pretentious and in the democratic period, it shall be suitable and in compliance with the people.
[The photo shows the King and the former Supreme Patriarch.
The quote refers to a memorial note written by the former Supreme Patriarch after he had a talk with the King.]

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From Nation Weekend, December 18, 2015
Main cover reads: The Supreme Patriarch of the country
[Refers to the Supreme Patriarch’s funeral and royal cremation held on December 16, 2015. There were several royal families and head monks around the world participating in the ceremony.]

Posted in Thai Newspapers and Magazines | Leave a comment

Funny translations

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This image, circulated on social media, ridicules literal translation from English that are funny.
For example the word “repeat” is translated as “to redo…slow down.” “Hold duration” is translated as “undone period.”
Such translations are common in Thai-language software. Typically the Thai reader can understand the actual meaning from the context and simply ignores the odd translation.

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The lost territories: Franco-Thai relations after WWII

The lost territories: Franco-Thai relations after WWII
Kreme notes: Interesting if asinine account of the postwar return of Thailand’s “lost territories” to French Indochina.

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New York Times retracts claims about crime wave in Thailand

Data Contradicts New York Times on Crime Increase Under Junta – KhaoSod, December 9, 2015
…According to “Thai Economy and Spirits are Sagging” by regional correspondent Thomas Fuller, “[r]obberies and other property crimes have risen more than 60 percent this year.”
…The article was one of several recently redacted in local print editions of the International New York Times by its Bangkok-based publisher. It was held up by a number of commentators on social media as an example of the perils of censorship. The reported wave of crime was a striking detail, as it had not been widely reported elsewhere.
Fuller was traveling Wednesday and could not be reached by telephone. Responding by email, he referred questions about the story to the police statistics division, which published the data which is inconsistent with his report…

December 17, 2015: New York Times retracts the claim and publishes a correction
[Thanks to Tom for pointing this out.]

Thai Economy and Spirits Are Sagging – New York times, November 29, 2015

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Perspective of Escaping

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From an image circulated on social media

#hashtag: assumption: chasing situation.
Left: From this angle [or perspective]: “If you do nothing wrong, why are you escaping?”
Right: From another angle. “If I stop, I may be charged with whatever the police plot to charge me with.
#hashtag: but escaping is not the right thing to do.

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Remembering the Thaksin years: Thaksin Protects the Children

From Thairath, December 19, 2015
Title: Must open war… to conquer the children’s evils
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is protecting children from evil hands, on which is written: drugs, benefiting from cram schools, clubs and alcoholic beverage, failure of the education system, violence, harassment, brawl between vocational school students, labor abuse
[This is part of the building of the cult of personality for Thaksin as well as justification of the mass killing of drug suspects. While this portrayal of a politician might not seem out of the ordinary, in the Thai world it was a big change from the traditional political class that was keen to show it was focusing on its coalition partners and their needs–rather than reaching out to the people themselves.]

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Weekly News Magazines, December 11-18, 2015

11-18 manager

From Manager Weekly, December 11-18, 2015
Main cover reads: Who are they…? [yellow] Now they may be sitting [white] and smiling. Shooting birds.
[The background picture are the statues of the famous kings in Thailand located at the Rajabhakti Park.]
The quote: “Now, there may be [yellow] someone and some groups sitting and smiling [white] because what they try to do is like [yellow] shooting a lot of birds” Udomdej Sitabutr, Deputy Defense Minister
[This refers to the Rajabhakti Park scandal. Gen. Udomdej was an army chief during the construction of the said park. This project has been the talk of the town because of the corruption allegations that have ensnared the junta.]

Bottom left: Real life of [red] ‘Kaimook The voice’ [black] a girl of emergency rescue team with a strong heart.
[Refers to the story of popular Voice Thailand contestant ‘Kaimook.’ Not only good at singing, she is also a member of a volunteer emergency rescue team.]

Bottom right: Democrats fights each other. Aggressive fight against ‘Chai Moo’ – Disclosures from music to garbage truck and water tankers.
[The man is Bangkok Governor Sukhumbhand. Refers to the internal conflict inside the Democrat Party. Recently, there was unofficial news that ML Sukhumbhand (nicknamed Chai Moo) was kicked out for the Democrat Party due to his unsatisfying performance as governor and his involvement in corruption-related issues. Many members keep pressuring Abhisit to dismiss ML Sukhumbhand from the party.]

matichon11-17dec

From Matichon Weekly, December 11-17, 2015
Main cover reads: ‘Light’ that can’t be reached.
[The man in the picture is ‘Ja-New’ Sirawith Seritiwat. The cover compares teen activist Ja-New as a light trying to bright up the truth about Rajabhkti Park. He and his group were arrested by the police while trying to rally at the controversial park to call on the junta for a transparent investigation.]

Top right: British ambassador shows ‘elite’ joke. ‘Simple’ but ‘strong’
[The man in the picture is British ambassador Mark Kent. Refers to the ambassador’s tweet about freedom of assembly as Thai police launched an investigation into the US ambassador over a royal defamation complaint.]

nation_11 dec

From Nation Weekend, December 11, 2015
Main cover reads: I know what you are thinking about
[The man on the cover is PM Prayuth. Refers to PM Prayuth’s situation right now. Not only does he face the Rajabhkti Park scandal, but his government is also facing economic problems. The reshuffle of the government may be the last solution to solve those issues.]

Left side: Rising star of the East [yellow] ‘Maj Gen. Thammanoon Withee [white] Great partner of ‘Big Moo.’
[Refers to the close relationship between Army commander Gen. Teerachai Nakvanich whose nickname is Moo and Maj Gen. Thammanoon Withee. They are both from Eastern Tiger group.]

Supreme Patriarchs around the world join the last farewell to ‘Supreme Patriarch’
[Refers to the funeral of the late Supreme Patriarch.]

Isan’s Way Foundation for a sustainable Isan
[Refers to the establishment of the Isan’s Way Foundation to promote the understanding about the Northeast region, also known as Isan. This foundation originated from Isan Magazine.]

โลกวันนี้

From Lokwannee, December 12-18, 2015
Main cover reads: If it’s not wrong… why do you have to hide it?
[Refers to Thai idiom, ‘you can’t hide a dead elephant with a locus leaf’ meaning that you cannot not hide your mistakes. This cover aska the junta about the Rajabhakti Park scandal. It urges that if the junta is transparent they do not need to be afraid.]

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Three options after the election in 2017

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From an image circulated on social media (perhaps from a newspaper):

Title: 3 options after the election in 2017

Thaksin’s regime absolutely wins.
[red below]
– Wide voting gap from the opposition [meaning a massive win for Thaksin’s party]
– Dictatorship of the parliament [meaning that a huge majority of MPs would once again be able to start rewriting the constitution in their favor]
– Thaksin’s regime pushes forward to its ultimate goal [meaning a pardon for Thaksin so he can return to lead the country]
– People who love the country will have to rally on the street and it leads to a number of them dying and injured [death (or chaos) on the streets would be required as a pretext for a military intervention to overthrown the government]
– Someone takes a lead to bring people out to the street for protest and plays politics outside the parliament [perhaps meaning the anti-Thaksin protests would once again not be entirely organic, but staged by opposition politicians]

Thaksin’s regime wins without an overwhelming margin.
[orange below]
– Small voting gap for the opposition [meaning the opposition wins a comparable, but smaller number of MPs]
– Can use the parliament to impede Thaksin’s power [meaning that without an absolute majority in parliament, Thaksin’s party would not be able to create a pardon for him]
– People who love the country may not need to rally on the streets and lose their lives again

Thaksin’s regime loses the election
[white below]
– Completely ends the problems [meaning the political problems of the last 10 years are due to Thaksin’s political machinations]
– No risk of civil war [pro-Thaksin Red Shirts had consistently promised civil war or separatism if the previous Yingluck-led government was overthrown]
– People who love the country don’t need to rally on the streets again

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12 Years Ago: Purachai book ‘outrages’ TRT faithful

Purachai book ‘outrages’ TRT faithful

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