From Nation Weekend, May 10, 2013
Cover reads: Khun Chai Putthipat, the General and the evil woman
[Reference is to a TV drama series. The plot is a bout a well known general who has a special taste for beauty pageants, and two mamasans whose cover is supporters of contestants of beauty contests. The theme reveals what people can do for money, including the wife of the general who is one of those behind the scenes arranging for the beauty queen of each year to sleep with her husband. It is said that the character of the general is based on a real character of a well-known general in Thailand's history.]
From Matichon Weekly, May 10, 2013
Cover reads: When you spit, I have to ‘wipe’ it off because it’s ‘filth,’ Sai Sima.
[Reference is to criticisms against Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's speech in Mongolia on the democratic situation and development in Thailand. The cover article uses a quote from a book entitled "The Devil" by Seni Saowapong, a writer who is famous for fighting against classes and for democracy to support Yingluck's speech.]
From ASTV Manager Weekly, May 11, 2013
Cover reads: ICT Sweetheart
[Reference is to reactions of people who disagreed with Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's speech made in Mongolia last month. Some expressed their opinions online resulting in high frequency of the usage of the word "idiot" as a reference to Premier Yingluck. Triggering more anger to these people is the reaction of the ICT Ministry that threatened a policy to contain the widespread criticisms of the premier online.]
From Komchadluek, April 30, 2013
Former PM Thaksin Shinawatra: Go get it quickly.
A dog is running after a small model of Democracy Monument.
[Refers to the attempts of Thaksin through his supporters to revise the constitution. The reason given is to make Thailand more democratic, but others suspect it is pave the way for Thaksin's return to power.]
From Thairath, March 3, 2013
Cartoon title: Who’s the person who really hurts the country?
On the tank: The 2006 coup
The road sign reads: Ratchprasong Intersection
In hands of men from left: Elected senators under the 2007 constitution; sloppy constitution judges
Sign on wire reads: Live bullet zone
Sign in skull’s mouth: Killing people in the temple sanctuary
On podium: Mongolia
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra says: Lesson from Thailand’s reality
Phi Nooring: Which stories are more shameful?
Mouse: The truth that hurts.
[This all refers to the PM's controversial speech in Mongolia on Thai democracy.]
As Baht Rises, Thai Tycoons Spend – WSJ, may 16, 2013
…Populist policies such as higher minimum wages and tax rebates for first-time house and car buyers fatten wallets and offset slower export growth, says Jun Trinidad, an economist at Citigroup. He notes that where exports are growing, it is to other similarly fast-growing consumer markets. Thailand’s exports to other emerging Asian economies rose 6.1% year-over-year in March, compared with a 0.4% decline in shipments to the “big three” markets, the U.S., Europe and Japan…
‘Bangladesh Syndrome’ Looms over Burma’s Electricity Crisis – The Irrawaddy, May 16, 2013
…In the past year announcements have been made in Burma for plans for new power stations, fueled by coal, natural gas or renewable energy such as the sun, totaling 2,010 megawatts.
That’s 60 percent more than the total electricity generating capacity Burma has in theory at present.
However, none of these plans have moved beyond a boardroom blueprint and this week leaders of the Hlaing Tharyar Industrial Zone in Rangoon warned that continuing prolonged electricity cuts could lead to factory closures and job losses…
Concerted effort for Makkasan – Bangkok Post, May 16, 2013
…The concert, which is a part of the campaign calling for more petitioners, aims to save Bangkok’s last remaining green space, in the Makkasan area, and turn the 500-rai plot into a public park with a museum. Its owner, the State Railway of Thailand, plans to develop the plot into Makkasan Complex. Earlier this year, more than 10,000 petitioners signed up to ask the SRT to keep the green space.
The activist group will later submit the petition to the SRT.
Makkasan Hope on Facebook
Makkasan Hope online petition
From 2003 on 2Bangkok: Let’s Make Bangkok’s Central Park!
Amnesty International Welcomes Unchaining Of Thai Prisoners – Khaosod, May 15, 2013
…He said tobe on death row and was chained down for almost 4 years. The physical andmental pain caused by the chains is still alive in his mind even though yearshave passed. It was a feeling of constant discomfort while he was sitting,sleeping, going to the toilet.
But the pain, he said, was at its greatest in his heart.He said that he felt like he was a hell creature, a non-human. He thinks that allchained inmates feel the same way.
“This kindness offered today is easing the torment in hell to some extent,” Mr. Wisut said.
It should be noted that although shackles are mostly applied to serious crime prisoners or suspects, those who were charged with lese majeste, such as Mr. Somyot Prueksakasemsuk, are often shackled when they appear before the judges. The practice has caused uproar among civil rights activists who see it as further punishment of ′prisoners of conscience′.
From Manager, May 7, 2013
Woman with a flower bouquet: We’d like to thank Phi Joi for distinguishing that evil woman from us, for society to realize it… and makes our image look much better.
Caption: All the whores should thank the brother
[Refers to the statement made on Facebook by famous editorial cartoonist Chai Ratchawat. The statement, "Please understand a whore is not an evil. A whore just tries to sell her body, but an evil woman tries to sell her own country" was meant to criticize Yingluck for make a speech in Mongolia on democracy in which she praised the Red Shirts and Thaksin.
The seated man is Phi Joi, a well-known character in Chai Ratchawat's political cartoons.]
From Post Today, May 6, 2013
[This cartoon refers to the backlash against Chai's comments about PM Yingluck.]
From Thairath, April 21, 2013
Cartoon title: Way out of line, bro…
Top left: Shot is for being drunk and throwing up in a taxi. [A taxi driver beat up his passenger who threw up in his taxi before shooting the young man who was left seriously injured on the street.]
Top middle: The latest Songkran fashion [referring to increasing reports of nudity and bikini wearing during Songkran]
Top right: Sign reads: Olde recipe noodle
A bowl of noodle with Ya Ba for baht 300 [A noodle vendor in Satta Hib, Cholburi province was arrested for selling drugs (ya ba) using his noodle stand as a cover up.]
Bottom left: Bull elephants in musth killing each other for a female elephant [A bull elephant in an elephant pen in Satta Hib, Cholburi province was killed by another bull elephant who was in musth.]
Bottom middle: Those who refuse to lose a bit of land to Cambodia are nationalists.
Bottom right: On tree trunk: Legal state
A bill to give an amnesty to the convicted is in such a hurry that it must make a cut in the queue. [refers to government efforts to expedite amnesty bills]
Thaksin To Skype With Redshirts Rally On 19 May – Khaosod, May 15, 2013
…Ms. Tida added that Mr. Thaksin will skype to give speeches and honor the “martyrs” who died in 2010. There will also be exhibitions showing photos and videos of the crackdown…
As Gamblers Gather, Thailand’s Child Boxers Slug It Out – NPR, May 14, 2013
…Child boxing in Thailand is a tradition that has a long history. The child boxers bring prize money back to their families. And Chai’s village and trainers, yelling advice and pushing up against the barricades of the ring, don’t come just to cheer for him. They come to bet on him…
Lessons From Cambodia’s Rebirth Through the Arts – huffingtonpost.com, May 14, 2013
The revival of Cambodia’s rich and unique cultural heritage has fueled the country’s impressive recovery from the Khmer Rouge’s genocide of 1975-79. This message rang unmistakably true as the Season of Cambodia (SOC) has dazzled New York audiences in museums, universities, galleries, and performing arts centers over the past month. Both the U.S. and the Cambodian governments stand to learn from this game-changing lesson for post-conflict development strategy, but neither government seems to have noticed…
New York Public Library for the Performing Arts brings 1927 Cambodia to life – VOA, May, 2013
…“It’s been three decades of work, from 1979, when a few of the artists who survived came back to Phnom Penh and worked on the revival process,” Prim said at the festival’s opening at the Rubin Museum of Art. “Because we had that gap of generations, the difficulty was to connect the few survivors, the elder with the younger generations…”
Exhibition website: Memory Preserved: Glass Plates Photographs of the Royal Cambodian Dancers
From Thairath, November 16, 2001
Cartoon title: A single bullet
On arm that firing a pistol: The murderer in the 20 Pub
On paper above smoke: Confidence in the juristic process
On back of man in the front: Crime Suppression Police
On papers above men lying faces down on the floor, from left: Protected by the Army; Moles in Bang Bon Police station; Helps from politicians
[The refers to the incident allegedly involving Chalerm's son.]
You’re not in Malaysia Mr Plodprasop – Bangkok Post, May 14, 2013
…”I warn the protesters not to come, otherwise they will all be arrested. There will be no space reserved for the protest but only jails awaiting them. There will be no talk whatsoever, only arrests. And the Chiang Mai people should not let these people, who are like garbage, mess around…”
From Manager, April 19, 2013
Hor Namhong: I didn’t expect that Virachai will fight to the death to protect his motherland. [Hor Namhong is Minister of Cambodia's Foreign Affairs Ministry.]
Premier Yingluck Shinawatra: Chooo… Don’t cheer or Cambodian people will become angry!
Caption: Old Hor just realizes now that not every Thai is a traitor.
[Refers to the international court case over Preah Vihear between Thailand and Cambodia. The subtext of the entire struggle is the belief that, during Thaksin's time as PM, he used his personal diplomacy skills to strike a deal with Hun Sen that Thailand would give up claims to Preah Vihear and in exchange, Thaksin's business entities would receive valuable concessions. It is this belief that makes the opposition skeptical that the government really wants the Preah Vihear ruling to be in Thailand's favor.]
From Thairath, April 19, 2013
Cartoon title: Parliament… Tarzan
Men hanging on ropes: Hooo….
Papers in the air, from top: Protests, walkouts
Paper stacks on podium, from left: Amend the constitution; the amnesty bill
Sign on the podium reads: Spokesperson
On back of chair: The Democrat Party
Sign on table on the right: Quality opposition parties [This is a common Thai way of expressing sarcasm. Man with eyeglasses standing behind table on the right is former premier and former leader of the Democrat Party Chuan Leekpai.]
On back of the hooded figure: Order to suppress the people; 100 dead bodies
Phi Nooring: Return to your jungle!
Mouse: No respect for the Parliament
[This criticizes the opposition Democrats for, at various times, causing a ruckus in parliament to try to prevent the government from expediting amnesty bills.]
From Komchadluek, April 29, 2013
Don’t worry, Boss!! No matter what, we will hasten to bring you back home.
[This refers to that Thaksin’s supporters, including the Red shirts and PM Yingluck who are trying through many channels, such as pressuring the Constitution Court and proposing constitutional amendments, in order to pave the way for Thaksin to return home.]
Above: "A PLOUGHING FESTIVAL IN SIAM" BY HARRY HILLMAN, Published London, 1898.
"…illustrated account of this Siamese ceremony, which took place at the residence of Phya Surisak, the High Priest of Agriculture, when no farming will commence until the year is foretold by astrology and the results of the ceremonial ploughing."
Today is Ploughing Day. This ancient Brahmin rite has been celebrated in many ways in Thailand over the years with Buddhist elements added in the Rama IV era. The modern one-day version of the ceremony (and reintroduction of the ploughing itself) dates from the 1960s.
The actions of the oxen pulling the plough are said to foretell a good or bad growing season. In recent times large crowds gather at Sanam Luang to witness the event and collect the seeds used in the ceremony.
Above and below: More photos from the ploughing ceremony in the late 19th century
(Source: Undated postcard)
Above and below: Postcards showing the ceremony in the past – The location of the scene below is "Dusit Park"
(Source: Undated postcard)
(Source: Undated postcard)
From Manager, April 24, 2013
Left: Prison guard: Veera, PM Hun Sen increases your jail term for 10 more years.
Veera: For what charge?
Right: Your name is similar to ‘Virachai.’
Sign on the front of the cell: Veera Somkwamkid
Caption: They may attack this guy instead.
[Refers to the similar names of Veera Somkwamkid, who is now jailed in Cambodia for spying and illegal entry and Ambassador to the Netherlands Virachai Plarasai. Mr. Virachai was a leader of Thai legal team and gave oral arguments to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the dispute of Preah Vihear.]
From Manager, April 23, 2013
Title: Now the media is facing difficulty taking a picture with Mr. Virachai.
[Virachai Plarasai is surrounded by Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, Defense Minister ACM Sukumpol Suwanatat, Education Minister Pongthep Thepkanchana and others from the government.
Due to his excellent performance during an oral argument to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the Preah Vihear dispute, Mr. Virachai, leader of Thai legal team, has become a hero for Thai people. He is praised for fighting to protect Thailand’s interests from Cambodia.]
Uncle SMS, Lese Majeste Convict Dead In Prison 1 Year Ago, Remembered – Khaosod, May 10, 2013
…Ah Kong had been sick for quite some time, Ms. Rosmalen told our correspondent, and she was hoping to bail him out so that he can receive proper treatment, but she wasn’t allowed to do so in time. Ms. Rosmalen added that today, she is already quite numb to the deep pain she feels because she needs to act as a model for the grandchildren so that they can see that she is still strong.
“I cannot show any weakness,” Ms. Rosmalen said…
Thailand to crack down on rerouting of gold to India – Economic Times, May 10, 2013
Thailand has agreed to retrospectively re-examine rules of origin certificates issued to Indian gold importers after New Delhi said third-country gold was routed through Thailand to take advantage of concessional duty available under India-Thailand free trade agreement…
From Nation Weekend, May 3, 2013
Cover reads: Who are you in his eyes?
[Reference is to Premier Yingluck Shinawatra's speech in Mongolia which focused on the 2006 coup d'etat that toppled the government of her brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, and claimed that the situation later led to the Red Shirt protest in 2010. Thaksin opponents would counter that the coup prevented Thaksin from becoming a dictator and that the Red Shirt protests were solely organized for Thaksin's political benefit. Yingluck's speech maintained that there is still a group of anti-democracy people in Thailand. Back home, she was questioned as to who she meant by "anti-democracy group." The other issue raising suspicion among the public is that who wrote or who was behind her speech as Yingluck is usually kept isolated from contentious political statements and always reads from prepared statements.]
From Matichon Weekly, May 3, 2913
Cover reads: Poo-Red, harsh
[Reference is to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's speech in Mongolia. Apart from striking the political opposition directly and harshly, the cover story suggests that the speech may have been planned to be at the same time as the Red Shirt movement to pressure the Constitution Court judges resign. Right around the same time, 312 MPs and senators made a statement refuting the jurisdiction of the Constitution Court.]
From ASTV Manager Weekly, May 4, 2013
Cover reads: A whore just sells her body, but an evil woman peddles her own country.
[Reference is to Chai Ratchwat, the famous political cartoonist, who wrote, after Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's speech at the Democracy Assembly in Mongolia on April 29, that: "Please understand, a whore is not a bad woman. Whores just peddle to sell their bodies, but an evil woman peddled to sell out her own country."
Yingluck's speech was been widely criticized, especially over the partial or one-sided interpretation and whether it was appropriate for the country's Prime Minister to attack her own country for a sake of her brother's defense.]
From Thairath, April 22, 2013
Title: Seem like you often think about me… now I’m coming…
Yaowapa Wongsawat is carrying a bag with full of drinking and snacks.
On the bag: Pheu Thai
On name tag: Yaowapa, new MP
In the back ground is Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra with a sign in front of her reading Prime Minister
Papers holding by opposition men on the left: Jae D.’s order, Always blame on Jae D., Jae D. is a dictator, order to kill people, 100 death [Jae is a Chinese word meaning elder sister and D. stands for Dang, Yaowapa’s nickname]
Mouse: Fight through the Parliament system
Phi Nooring: Jae is coming to fight.
[This refers to the election of Thaksin’s elder sister Yaowapa Wongsawat as MP. It is rumored she might replace her sister, Yingluck, as Prime Minister if Yingluck is disqualified as PM due to various legal cases.]
From Komchadluek, April 26, 2013
Former PM Thaksin Shinawatra: Let’s say we’re doing it for democracy–not for me. Understand!!
Parrot: Do it for democracy.
[The moves by the Yingluck’s government and the Red Shirt to oppose the Constitution Court have been criticized as being for Thaksin's benefit rather than promoting democracy in the country.]
Karun’s disqualification sets scene for two-party face-off – Bangkok Post, May 9, 2013
[Thanks to Tom for pointing this out.]
…On June 20, 2012 the EC decided by a majority to red-card Mr Karun after finding him guilty of making false accusations that defamed rival candidate Taenkhun Jitt-itsara and the Democrats at campaign rallies in Boon-Anant market in the Don Muang area on June 3, 2011 and Kosum Ruamjai market on June 12, 2011 during the lead-up to the July 2, 2011 general election…
Earlier: Colorful politician Karun Hosakul red carded for outrageous claims
[Karun is one of the most boisterous Thai politicians.]