Nov 10th, 2017

From 2009: Thaksin on a mission to humiliate Thai government

Thaksin on a mission to humiliate Thai government
…From cyberspace, Thaksin tweeted to his 40,000 Twitter followers that Abhisit’s recall of the Thai ambassador was a “childish overreaction.”
“I’m asking permission from all Thai people to advise the Cambodian government … until I have a chance to serve you again,” he tweeted separately, calling his new job “an honor…”

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14 Years Ago: Thaksin reveals his political successor

Thaksin: Somkid Jatusripitak My Successor

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Weekly News Magazines: Returning to Heaven, October, 2017

From Manager Weekly, October, 2017
Main cover reads: Return to heaven; 26 October 2017
[Covers this week refer to the royal cremation of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.]

From Matichon Weekly, October 27-November 2, 2017
[Main cover picture shows the royal crematorium of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.]

From Siamrath Weekly Review, October 27-November 2, 2017
[Main cover picture shows the processions for the royal cremation the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.]

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6 Years Ago: Pheu Thai govt moves fast–Proposed law gives police power to shut news media

Proposed Thai law gives police power to shut news media

…In some respects, it is even worse than the original notorious Printing Act of 1941, which was the hallmark of press restriction under military dictatorship. No periodical renewal of a newspaper publishing license was mentioned. Under the new amendment, every publisher must apply for permission to have his license renewed every five years…

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The junta eats the budget

From Thairath, October 21, 2017
Left: ‘Vegetarian’ Festival once a year
On the flags: Vegetarian
Right: ‘Fully eat’ festival many times a year
On the bowl: Budget for the return of happiness [“return happiness” being the junta’s motto]
Phi Nooring: Never stop eating
Mouse: Getting full and become bigger

[This cartoon references the vegetarian festival held in Thailand where food stands offering vegetarian meals are marked with yellow flags.
It contrasts this with the continuing military spending spree which now includes openly bloated budgets such as the recent request to buy radar guns for up to four times the market cost. This is intended to spread graft among officials via kickbacks from the supplier.
Such blatantly corrupt budgets have been a regular and open part of political spending in the past, but the ruling junta has vowed that they are different than the elected governments of the past.
However, the graft involved in buying radar guns makes the junta look no different than the previous governments they have derided.]

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Weekly News Magazines: Returning to Heaven, October, 2017

From Siamrath weekly review, Oct 20-26, 2017 Continue reading

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Newspaper Front Pages from the Cremation Ceremony

From Thairath, October 26, 2017 Continue reading

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No more putting off the election!

From Thairath, October 17, 2017
Title: Either twisting… or distorting… won’t be able to turn to another direction anymore
On the gate: Election. Nov 61 [2018]
Phi Nooring: We are waiting at the finish line.
Mouse: A promise of the man.

[Refers to PM Prayuth’s latest promise that elections would be held in November 2018.
The party that was deposed by the military in 2014, the Pheu Thai, had originally promised civil war and succession if a coup occurred.
However, they waited patiently and peaceful after the coup so as not to give the military any pretext to delay elections–and what is thought will then be a Pheu Thai return to power.
The junta’s continual delays in calling an election date have pro-Thaksin forces eager to nail down the military on a firm date.]

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Condemning Sudarat

From Manager, October 16, 2017 Continue reading

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Expelling the hungry monks

From Manager, October 10, 2017
Title and artist at top: What I said… Bancha/Kamin
Caption: The incident on expelling the hungry ghosts from the temples.

[Despite some hesitation, the junta now appears to take seriously the issue of investigating the pervasive corruption in Thailand’s Buddhist temples including the misuse of donations and monks who violate Buddhist precepts.
The cartoon shows Thailand’s corrupt monks as the same as “hungry ghosts.”
“Hungry ghosts” are thought to be spirits of those who did very bad things in life and who then hover about temples to steal merit for themselves.
The cartoonist shows them as the thieving monks who are now being driven from the temples by the investigations and reform.]

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He will live in our hearts eternally

From Thairath, October 26, 2017 Continue reading

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The End of an Era

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From 1989: An article in the NYT about Rama IX

From May 21, 1989: King Bhumibol’s Reign

…In an age when monarchs elsewhere serve a ceremonial rather than a political function, King Bhumibol is a crucial stabilizing and unifying force. He has helped his 55 million people weather decades of crises, including a Communist insurgency, the rapid industrialization of recent years and a series of military coups engineered by a powerful army that has dominated if not run every Government in Thailand for more than 50 years…

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All About the Royal Cremation Ceremony for the late King

Fly Over Cremation Site at Sanam Luang in Official Drone Footage

All About the Royal Cremation Ceremony for the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej – Bangkok Post

A very concise schedule of main events – The Nation

Livestream of events with English commentary on the Nation homepage (seems to work better than the NNT site)

Livestream of events with English commentary on NNT

Shop closures on cremation day

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Prayuth remember, “America First”

From Arun, October 2, 2017
Top right: Arun’s cartoon [white] Arun Watcharasawad [name of column and the cartoonist]
Title: Don’t forget the host’s slogan

[Refers to PM Prayuth’s trip to visit the White House at the invitation of US President Donald Trump. This cartoon warned PM Prayuth to be careful when negotiating with the US as Trump’s main policy is to focus on trade and Thailand is a country with a trade surplus with the US.]

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Vintage images of King Chulalongkorn

Vintage images of King Chulalongkorn (King Rama V)
Continue reading

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Remembering the massacre

From Thairath, October 6, 2017
Title: 6 Oct 19 [1976] Scar in a heart
On the arm: Democracy; Freedom
Phi Nooring: Killed the students inside the city
Mouse: Thai people have never forgotten

[This is a rare editorial cartoon referencing the massacre of students on October 6, 1976 at Thammasat University.
Pro-Red Shirt, anti-junta voices in the media (such as this cartoonist) have consistently spoken up to commemorate pro-democracy protest events and deaths in the past.
This is in keeping with Red Shirt leaders who define their cause as a grassroots pro-democracy movement against dictatorship in line with pro-democracy movements of the past in Thailand.]

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Weekly News Magazines: Remembering the Late King, October, 2017

From Lokwannee, October 7-13, 2017
Main cover reads: Still be in our heart forever [small] from Lokwannee newspaper

From Matichon Weekly, October 13-19, 2017

From Siamrath Weekly Review, October 13-19, 2017
Main cover reads: One year without ‘father’
[Marking the one year since Rama IX passed away on October 13, 2016.]

From Manager Weekly, Oct 13-19, 2017
Main cover reads: 1 year after ‘father’ passing [small] He is still in Thai people’s hearts forever

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Prayuth in Trumpland

From Manager, October 3, 2017 Continue reading

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Millionaire Welfare Card

From Manager, October 2, 2017
Title of column: Funny economy by Ngao
Top: The welfare card for the poor… can use to buy at lower prices… reduce water and electric fees and discount for the transportation fees on buses and boats.
Bottom: The welfare card for the rich… can use for doing the wrong thing without being jailed and have the police as bodyguards to protect and facilitate during escape.

[Refers to the welfare card for the low-income earners issued by the junta to help low income people reduce their cost of living. The cartoon is sarcastic on the rich-poor gap in the country.
The cartoonist contrast this with the lives of both former PM Yingluck and the Red Bull heir wanted in a hit-and-run incident. Both seem to receive special treatment from the authorities that helps them skirt the law.]

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Complaints about Yingluck’s escape

From Manager, October 1, 2017
Title of the cartoon inside a box on the top: That’s what I said… [yellow] Bancha/Kamanin [the authors]
Left, Interpol officer: Do you have any clue about this criminal who you want us to help arrest?
Person on the line: Yes…
Right: Pol. Gen. Chakthip Chaichinda: When we were driving her to her escape, she said she would fly to Dubai to stay with her elder brother.

[The public assumes the junta purposely arranged for Yingluck to flee the country as jailing her is impossible. People of that level do not allow themselves to be subjected to legal rulings in the same way common people do. The loss of face would be overwhelming and would likely mean active unrest against the junta ordered by an irate Thaksin. Thus, the supposed surprise of junta officials over Yingluck’s escape is viewed with scorn.
For the junta, a sedate exile in Dubai for Yingluck is palatable and the cartoonist assumes this is what the junta had in mind when they made the deal to let Yingluck flee.
However, making a high-profile bid for political amnesty in London (as has been recently rumored) is a different matter and tends to embarrass the military.
The cartoonist jokes that the government’s complaint to Interpol is really over the fact that Yingluck failed to keep her end of the bargain and is intent on embarrassing the junta.]

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Good for some

From Arun, September 29, 2017
Title: Good life…
On the blue suit: Exports rise at the highest rate in 6 years. The WEF [World Economic Forum] was up to two rankings. The GDP of the 2nd quarter grows 3.7%, etc.
On the black circle: Glass roots
[The junta has claimed that they helped to improve the country’s economy, related to several factors. However, the cartoonist points out that the living conditions of the poor still needs to be improved and implies that the junta’s policy provides benefit to business (represented by the fat man in a suit) rather than the poor.]

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Weekly News Magazines: Everyone Goes to the UK, October, 2017

From Siamrath Weekly Review, October 6-12, 2017
Main cover reads: The destination is [red] ‘London’

[Photo is of Thaksin’s son Panthongtae Shinawatra and former PM Yingluck Shinawatra. Yingluck has already fled a court verdict overseas. Thaksin’s son, perhaps the only reliable family member left who might lead the Pheu Thai Party in Thaksin’s stead, is now being legally hounded over an alleged money laundering scheme. It is thought that he will have no choice but to follow both Thaksin and Yingluck’s examples and flee the legal proceedings.]

From Lokwannee, October 7-13, 2017
Main cover reads: Documentation of 6 Oct [small] From Chula Thammasat to Ratchadamoen Ratchaprasong
At bottom: Don’t miss! The program ‘Return happiness’ Friday 6 October at 8pm Thailand’s time. Adjusting the attitude with ‘Prof. Dr. Surachart Bamrungsuk” Live! On Facebook and YouTube title Lokwannee “LokWanNee”

[This refers to a new website entitled “Documentation of 6 Oct” launched by various groups including Chulalongkorn and Thammasat universities.
The chairs probably refer to some of the notorious images from the October 6, 1976 that include an enraged mob hitting a lynched student with a folding chair.
This cover seems to urge people not to forget this incident as this kind of incident has happened at similar times since–such as during Black May 1992 and the Red Shirt protests in 2010. All the incidents include a lack of culpability for military men who killed others.
The cover adds a notice for an anti-junta web talk at the bottom on the cover, to seemingly emphasize that the military once again is firmly in control of the country.]

From Manager Weekly, October 6-12, 2017
Main cover reads: Good bye, people.

[Refers to Thai monk Phra Prommangkalachan who is known as a spiritual supporter for the success of UK premier league team Leicester City. The team’s owner is Thai businessman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.
Recently, there was a report that Phra Prommangkalachan was missing from his temple and the rumor circulated that he was trying to escape to the UK after the junta once again renewed their reform of the Buddhist clergy. Buddhism has gained a criticized on violating the Buddhist principles.]

Top: Future of [red] ‘Barcelona’ Catalonia effect. Politics is shaking Spain’s sport

[The man is Gerard Pique. Refers to an attempt of Catalonia to be independent from Spain. If Catalonia becomes independent, FC Barcelona, Catalonia’s most famous sport team, will be affected and many of their team players including Gerard Pique are from Catalonia. However, the team has insisted that they are neutral and are not involved with politics.]

Left: “Madam Dear” Because of unconditional love, it makes her come as far as today…

[Refers to an interview of Watanya Wongopasi, known as Madam Dear. She is a former manager of Thailand’s under-23 national football team. She recently had to resign from her post as new rules removed all the present managers of Thai football teams.]

Middle: ‘Uncle Tu’ gets credit. ‘American’ can sell their goods; For Thai people, is it ok for the junta to strongly express their views on the North Korea

[Refers to the meeting between PM Prayuth Chan-ocha and President Donald Trump in the US. This legitimized the military-controlled government of Thailand to an extent. Those two discussed various issues including trade (the US wants to sell more to Thailand) and measures to deal with the North Korean issue (asking how forcefully Tnailand’s non-confrontational foreign policy can be heard in Washington.]

Right: [orange circle] Special [blue] From stone heart to diamond heart people. Voluntarily stop drinking for merit for the king.

[Refers to the campaign to encourage people to quit drinking in honor of King Rama IX. This article shares the experiences of people who successful stopped drinking and become a new person–which Thais call going from a stone heart to diamond heart person. In Thai, a stone heart or diamond-hearted person means a person who is very strong and can contend with anything.]

From Matichon Weekly, October 6-12, 2017
Main cover reads: With a great honor

[Refers to a visit to the White House of PM Prayuth to the White House. This illustrates that the ties between those two countries have changed. Under former President Barack Obama, The US kept pressure on the junta to hold quick elections and return the democracy to the country.
However, things changed under Trump. Perhaps to counter issues with China and North Korea, Trump wishes to strengthen cooperation with Thailand to balance those two powers and this led to an invitation from the US to the junta leader to visit the White House.]

Top: ‘Country road’ bloody 59 deaths in ‘Las Vegas’ frightening ‘Trump’
[Refers to the Las Vegas shooting on 1 October 2017 that caused 59 deaths. US President Donald Trump called this incident was ‘act of pure evil.’]

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Different prisons for rich and poor

From Daily News, September 29, 2017
Title: Prison… Thailand 4.0
Red sign at left: A prison for the rich
IN the open door: Jailed Poo [nickname of Yingluck] 5 years–escaped
Blue sign at right: A prison for the poor
[In Thailand, criminal procedures for the poor are completed almost instantly with long sentences handed out.
For the rich, cases take a long time and the very elite–such as former PM Yingluck or the Red Bull heir–are not expected to serve time at all.]

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The puppet ghosts of Thailand

From Manager, September 28, 2017
Thaksin: Taking this role as a nomadic ghost may be adventure… but Poo, you don’t need to be worry… I have a lot of experience.
Caption: This role… this puppeteer is good at this.
[Refers to Thaksin and Yingluck (nicknamed “Poo”) who are both now exiled from Thailand.
As PM, Yingluck is widely considered to be a puppet with her brother Thaksin actually running the government during her administration.
The cartoonist shows both Thaksin ad Yingluck as ghosts, doomed to circle the nation and haunt its politics.]

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Hope for the thirsty

From Naewna, September 26, 2017
Sudarat: I see an oasis. It’s time for us to enjoy it.
On the ballot box in the mirage: Election in 61 [2018]
Caption: A side effect of a long time starving can cause an illusion.
[Refers to the politicians who are looking forward to having an election so they can return to power. Sudarat Keyuraphan, who is in contention to possibly lead the Pheu Thai, is shown with “dangerous animals,” the Thai personification of elected officials as dangerous creatures.]

More about politicians as dangerous animals

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One Year Ago: Nation weeps over His Majesty’s departure


Above: From Manager Weekly, Oct 15-21, 2016
Main cover reads: May I continue to serve beneath Your Majesty’s feet in all reincarnations.

Weekly News Magazines, October 14-25, 2016 (The passing away of the King)

The News As It Unfolded: The Nation Weeps Over His Majesty’s Departure

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The network of the officials who helped Yingluck escape

From Manager, September 25, 2017
Title: The network of the officials who helped Yingluck escape.
Top left, Thaksin: This Pol Lt. Col. set up a plan.
Top middle: This Pol.Col. drove the Camry car to the border
Top right: This Pol. Sen. Sgt. Maj. took the Camry car to be destroyed
Bottom, Prawit and Prayuth: Two Generals closed one of their eyes.

[Refers to the investigation of how closely guarded former PM Yingluck was able to flee the country ahead of a court ruling just as Thaksin had years before.
As inconceivable as it is for a Shinawatra family member to be incarcerated, it is likewise hard to believe that the military was actually hoodwinked and lost track of Yingluck’s whereabouts before the trial.
The cartoonist makes the point that junta heads PM Prayuth and Deputy PM Prawit must have surely reached an agreement to let the former PM flee and knowingly looked the other way to let it happen.]

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Weekly News Magazines: Happy Exile, September-October, 2017

From Siamrath Weekly Review, September 29-October 5, 2017
Main cover reads: Look at the strategy in 20 years [white] The turning point of Thailand
[At top right is the only figure we know, Dr. Jade Thonawanik. The article refers to views on Thailand’s 20-year national strategy which has been criticized, particularly by the political experts and academics, for being a tool to preserve junta power rather than improve the country.]

From Matichon Weekly, September 29-October 5, 2017
Main cover reads: The moon’s shadow in the waving water
[Refers a metaphor written by Matichon to illustrate an uncertainty of PM Prayuth towards the future of Thai politics. According to Matichon, there is a real question as to whether PM Prayuth will really call elections as promised, especially as Thaksin’s eventual public reactions to the exile of Yingluck is unknown.]

From Manager Weekly, September 30-October 6, 2017
Main cover reads: Happy life in London
[Refers to former PM Yingluck who fled to avoid sentencing in the rice-pledging scheme.]
Top: Heaven has eyes [white] the cabinet has a resolution on reinstating the post to [yellow] ‘Pongporn’
Green on the top: Cabinet’s resolution
[Refers to Pol Lt Col Pongporn Pramsaneh who recently resumed his job as the director of the National Office of Buddhism. This is after he was first sacked from the post after criticism that his investigation of temple embezzlement was tarnishing Buddhism.
The cabinet’s order was praised from many groups as they support Pol Lt Col Pongporn to continue his investigation to clean up corruption in Buddhism in the country. “Heaven has eyes” is a phase implying that God knows who is doing the right thing.]
Bottom left: The case of illegal cars hasn’t ended yet. The new trouble is coming ‘Tle-Thanapon’ cheating electric bills
[Refers to the news about actor Thanapon ‘Tle’ Nimtaisuk who was recently implicated in an illegal car scheme and now the illegal use of electricity.]
Bottom right: Disclose a strong life of [pink] ‘Pream-Ranida” [white] Take care of mom-brother who has Down’s syndrome
[Refers to the story of young actress Ranida ‘Pream’ Techasit who is responsible for taking care of family members including her elder brother who has Down’s syndrome.]

From Lokwannee, September 30-October 6, 2017
Main cover reads: [red] Poo is exiled?
[white] Go without return
[red] An election is cancelled?
[white] Sleep without waking up
[red] The economy is failing?
[white] No recovering
[red] Squeezing the taxes
[white] Can’t avoid
[Refers to Thailand’s 4.0 strategy to reform the country and push the economy forward, contending the strategy has been a failure.
The cover contrasts news about the country (in red) with phases used during a funeral (in white) when monks teach the people to realize the uncertainty of life (“Go without return; Sleep without waking up; No recovering; Can’t avoid”).
On the cover, joss sticks, used during a funeral, show 4.0, meaning the demise of the junta’s policies.]

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