Dec 21st, 2016

Warning of a future crisis

From Thairath, December 8, 2016
Title: Let me tell you again, this is the crisis in the near future.
Constitution drafter Meechai is wearing tie with CDC [Constitution Drafting Committee] and holds the constitution plinth.
Mouse man: We know this too well and it still makes a fool of people…
Mouse: …the entire nation.

[Deputy Prime Minister Prawit, probably the most powerful person in the government, recently noted that, if there was a crisis or other unsettled political condition in the country, elections could be further delayed.
This was a warning that the military would not tolerate pro-Thaksin protests or other anti-junta agitation. It also shows the relative confidence of the government in even suggesting that a delay could be possible.
The cartoonist suggests the only real crisis that could delay elections is military tyranny (symbolized by the boot in the shadow).]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Thairath - Sia, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Thaksin’s nightmare: He still can’t get rid of Prem

From Manager, December 8, 2016
Thaksin thinks: Going back home without carrying any cases. [meaning Thaksin’s main goal of returning to Thailand after having his legal cases dismissed is fading as he realizes the Privy Council is not appreciably changing]
Thaksin holds a Manager newspaper with the headline: Appointing Prem Tinsulanonda as head of the advisory council to the King.
Caption: News that is breaking his dream.

[Shortly after the first coup that ousted Thaksin from power in 2006, Thaksin was recorded telling supporters that the coup was because of a disagreement he had with Privy Council President Prem.

Since then, Thaksin’s actions, and the actions of the Red Shirts, can be seen as a long, drawn out attempt to pressure or threaten Prem in one way or another.

The first Red Shirt mass action was a surprise strike attacking Prem’s residence in 2007. Red Shirt publications, from the mainstream to the most radical, constantly attacked Prem as their greatest enemy.

Red Shirt faithful reacted in horror when Yingluck was sent to fawningly greet Prem in 2012 (Yingluck attempts detente with Privy Council President Prem and Yingluck Sent to Honor Prem). This reinforced the growing belief that the Red Shirt movement itself was simply a bargaining chip for Thaksin and his family.

The cartoonist alludes to the fact that a new monarch has the ability to appoint his own Privy Council from scratch. Thaksin must have surely hoped that Prem (as well as other generals who oppose him like Gen. Surayut) might have been removed from their posts in a Rama X era.

However, the composition of the new Privy Council demonstrates that the existing nexus of powers remains intact and that Thaksin’s return to power will continue to be blocked. See also: Weekly News Magazines, December 9-16, 2016]

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Handouts to rural people end up helping who?

From Manager, December 6, 2016
Someone from CP Group/7-11 calls government minister Somkid Jatusripitak (pictured) and says to him: Brother Guang [nickname of Somkid], when will the money you give to the poor arrive at my store?
Sign behind the woman: Informal debt repayment. [This means something like “loan shark” and refers to the constant small loans taken out by rural people from local gangs. The woman and the man beside her are stereotypical images of rural loan sharks.]

[Somkid Jatusripitak is a respected economic expert, once a founding member of Thaksin’s Thai Rak Thai party and now a member of the junta.
This cartoon refers to government policy to improve the economy by giving money directly to the poor to stimulate spending. The cartoonist points out that this policy will have little impact on the lives of rural people.
Those receiving money will likely have it siphoned off by the local loan shark industry. If it is spent elsewhere, the money will go to chain stores like 7-11 which lines the pockets of rich Bangkok billionaires.
The issue of fighting the loan shark industry has been taken up by most governments with little apparent success. Not only do informal lenders seek to entangle the poor in debt, but rural people seem eager to take out such loans with little regard for the eventual repayment.
Earlier links:
Fighting the load sharks during the Yingluck era: Loan sharks and rural debt in Thailand
And microfinance during Thaksin’s time in power (this program in particular caused wide alarm in politics as the program was seen as merely a slush fund that would cause village leaders to be beholden to Thaksin’s political machine): When Thailand’s government started offering microfinance loans to villagers, did anyone benefit?]

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Weekly News Magazines, December 9-16, 2016

From Manager Weekly, December 10-16, 2016
Main cover reads: Feeling relieved [literally “warm heart” meaning a feeling of relief or being at ease]

[This refers to His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun or the King Rama X reappointing Gen Prem Tinsulanonda as president of the Privy Council.

The new King is entitled to appoint his own Privy Council from scratch. Thaksin and his Red Shirts have long vilified Prem as Thaksin’s greatest foe and hoped that the new royal reign would see Prem removed from his position as president of the Privy Council.

Thaksin and the Red Shirts promised such change to their supporters over the years–both domestically and through international “experts” who inexplicably contended that the political chaos surrounding Thaksin was actually about the monarchy instead. These commentators have long spread the idea that a new King would wish to diminish his own power and authority by siding with Thaksin and cleaning out the old Privy Council members.

With Prem maintaining his position in the Privy Council (along with other retired generals who have steadfastly opposed Thaksin), the hopes of those who wished (and predicted) that a change of reigns would occasion a radical power shift have been dashed.

Prem has a long reputation as the embodiment of Thailand’s desire for benign authoritarianism (See Analysis: Thailand’s Half Democracy for a sampling of Prem’s place in Thai political history).

For many Thais, the presence of this person at the helm of the Privy Council relieves the concerns over this once-in-a-lifetime transformation period after the passing of the King Rama IX.]

From Nation Weekend, December 9, 2016
Main cover reads: Long Live the King.
[The cover shows the children of the late King Rama IX picture in fron to fo the Royal Urn (left to right): Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya, His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, Princess Chulahborn Walailak]

From Matichon Weekly, November 25-December 1, 2016

From Lokwannee, December 10-16, 2016
Main cover reads: Everything still follows the roadmap.

[The cover raises concern that the junta will be able to follow the pre-set roadmap to new elections and a return to democracy.]

Posted in Thai Newspapers and Magazines | 1 Comment

Thai-language newspapers: Rama X ascends the throne

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From Thansettakij Newspaper, December 1-3, 2016
Title: Ascended to the throne [black] The parliament invited the Crown Prince to become the King.

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From Daily News, December 1, 2016
Main title: The Crown Prince ascended to the throne. Becomes the 10th monarch of the ‘Chakri dynasty’
On the right: Invited the ‘Crown Prince’ to become the 10th monarch of the Chakri dynasty. The “NLA” holds a historic meeting following Article 2 of the interim constitution and announces “Love Live the King” at the parliament. Continued on page 4.
[Refers to the National Legislative Assembly (NLA), which now functions as the parliament, holding a special meeting and announcing the acknowledgment of the Cabinet’s resolution to invite Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn to ascend to the throne and become King Rama X.]

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From Khaosod, December 1, 2016
Main title: Invited the Crown Prince to become King Rama 10. Followed the royal law–King’s order. Head of the NLA informed people so they would know. The parliament praised “Long Live the King” loudly. Will meet [the Crown Prince] soon.
Smaller text: The cabinet informed the parliament at a special meeting on the new King Rama 10 by inviting Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn. Continue to read on page 7.
Blue box: main title: Conduct the event to remember 50 days passed. Nationally [many monks] will be ordained. Circulate vocabulary books. Disclose a list of ‘159 high-ranking monks’ Somdej-Head. Appointed monks. Continue to read on page 10
[Refers to activities conducted for 50 days after HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej passed away. For example, 169 monks were appointed to higher ranks, such as “Somdej” on the occasion of HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s birthday on December 5.]
Gray box on the right: Ball meets the police on the case of beating a major general’s son. Refuse [the charge that he did] not to order bodyguards to beat [people]. Not yet receive a charge. Aum is crying so hard due to social media attacks. ‘Ball Kritsana,’ the sweetheart of actress ‘Aum Lukkana’ met the police due to the case of beating a major general’s son in the center of Chiang Mai. The chief of provincial police region 5. Continue to read on page 2.
[Refers to a case of the beating of a major general’s son at Malin Sky bar in Chiang Mai. This case has become a talk of the town as celebrities are involved. Kritsana Ball Amitsoon, the boyfriend of actress Lukkana Aum Wattanawongsiri, met with police. Although he is accused of ordering his bodyguards to beat the major general’s son, he claimed he was not involved with the case.]
Black box: Main title: Big Tu refused to answer about the road map–whether to postpose or not. ‘Big Moo’ is appointed as President of the PWA. [Gen. Teerachai Nakwanich was appointed as the new president of the Provincial Waterworks Authority (PWA).]
[subtitle] ‘Big Tu’ joined a consultation with the cabinet and the NCPO to conduct national strategy. Confirmed it will not be a power overlapping with the new government. Orders the CDC [Constitution Drafting Committee] and the NESDB [National Economic and Social Development Board] to draft organic laws. Gets sick of answering about the road map. To postpone or not depends on conditions. Continue to read on page 10.

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From Komchadluek, December 1, 2016
Sub title above: The NLA invited the Crown Prince to ascend to the throne
Main title: King Rama 10. Long Live the King.
Subtitle [black]: The NLA acknowledged the Cabinet’s resolution to invite the Crown Prince as the heir to ascend to the throne as the new king and announced “long live the king” loudly. The PM will meet and invite him soon.

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From Prachachat Newspaper, December 1-4, 2016
Main title: The Crown Prince ascended to the throne and become King Rama 10
Caption under the main picture: Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, Prime Minister, Cabinet, the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), Army chiefs and the National Legislative Assembly, invited Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn to become the new King in accordance to the royal law and the constitution.
Red title: Very attractive by ‘traveling-shopping’ to stimulate the GDP
[Refers to government measures to increase the country’s GDP by providing tax deductions of up to 30,000 baht for domestic travel expenses and shopping.]
Title below the red title: ‘Prayuth’ solves the hot issue on controversial 1 station. BEM is lucky as the MRTA hires for operating the purple line.
[The junta government led by PM Prayuth will spend 690 million baht to solve the problem on a 1-kilometre missing connection between the Blue Line and the Purple Line. Due to this, The Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA) agreed to hire the Bangkok Expressway and Metro Plc (BEM) to operate the connecting line.]
1st green box on the right: 9-peak royal funeral pyre, the funeral of HM King Rama 10
[Refers to the funeral pyre for HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej which will be constructed in January next year.]
2nd green box: The vision of King Rama 9, foundation of the country for a future.
Small box on the left: title: Get rid of pirated goods. Appoint the AMLO to investigate the ‘money channel’
[This concerns Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan ordering the Anti Money Laundering Office (AMLO) to suppress pirated goods and to investigate the money channels of business-related groups who sell pirated goods.]

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From Thairath Newspaper, December 1, 2016
Title: Invite the Crown Prince to ascend to the throne as King Rama 10

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From Thairath Newspaper, December 1, 2016
Main Title: “Long live the King” loudly at the parliament
Subtitle on the right: Pornpetch cooperates to meet. PM insists to follow the royal law and tradition. Thai people are pleased when the Cabinet jointed a special meeting with the NCPO to have a new King, the King Rama 10.
Green box at top-left: 500 monks make a pilgrimage to contribute to King Rama 9
The first Army Area Deputy Commander confirms a readiness of the ‘Big Cleaning’ to clean the pipes and areas in Sanam Luang and nearby the Grand Palace. Meanwhile, people are still coming to pay respect to the King [behind the star] Continue to read page 15.
[Refers to various activities carried out by the government, religious groups as well as people to show their respect to Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol Adulyadej who passed away on 13 Oct 2016.]
Green box at bottom-left: Ball meets with the police. Facing a serious investigation. Fired the senator, a shareholder of Malin [sub title] Chiang Mai businessman ‘Ball-Kritsana’ Boyfriend of actress Aum-Luckana’ from TV 3 channel, meets the police. [behind the star] Continue to read page 11.
[Refers to a case of beating of a major general’s son at Malin Sky bar in Chiang Mai.]
Green box at the top-right: main title: Pressure ‘Thattachivo’ to send ‘Dhammachayo’ to the investigating officer.
[black] Resist-means violate the law. Sriwara believes for 80% that he is still in the temple. [small] Police-DSI joint hands to pressure ‘Thattachivo,’ acting abbot of Dhammakaya temple, as he may be involved in the charges too.
[Refers to the police and Department of Special Investigation (DSI) led by Deputy national police chief Srivara Ransibrahmanakul that are trying to pressure Phra Thattachivo, the acting abbot of Dhammakaya Temple, who is protecting Dhammachayo who is facing arrest due to charges of money laundring.]
Green box at the bottom-right: PTP asks the NCPO to unlock politics. [sub title] Big Tu complains that he is sick of answering questions about the road map [small] Vice president of the CDC confirms the draft political party Act.
[Refers to the Pheu Thai Party asking the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) led by PM Prayuth, known as Big Tu, to be fair with the politicians, particularly through the draft Political Party Act written by the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) and allow political parties to resume their activities.]
Light green box on the bottom right: Acquit “Black Ears” in the case of paying money in exchange for [not] being arrested. The Central Court for Corruption and Misconduct acquitted ‘buster’ [behind the star]
[Refers to the Central Court for Corruption and Misconduct acquitting Pol. Maj. Gen. Wichai Sanprapai, former deputy chief of Metropolitan Police Bureau, whose nickname is ‘Black Ear Buster,’ on charges of malfeasance involving payment of a 10-million baht gambling debt.]

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Genocide is an internal affair?

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From Thairath, December 1, 2016
Title: Genocide is an internal affair?
On the backs of the men: ASEAN UN [indicating these bodies are ignoring Myanmar’s persecution of Muslims]
Caption: get rid of Rohingya.
Mouse: The city full of sin.
Mouse man: The government massacres people.

[Refers to growing unease in Southeast Asian countries of the apparent movement on Myanmar to eradicate the Rohingya minority groups in western Myanmar.]

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The U.S. supports IS

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From Thairath, November 30, 2016
Left, Australian: Australian police would like to inform the Thai police that a hundred thousand Thai people have logged into IS movement websites and support their opinions.
Middle, Thai man: The Australian police should inform the U.S.A. as well.
Australian: About what?
Right: That the US government supports IS with money and weapons.

[This refers to a widespread belief in Thailand (and other nations as well) that IS (or ISIS) is created and supported covertly by the U.S.
As a Sunni-derived movement that brings pressure against both U.S. enemy Syria as well as the Shite-leaning government emerging in Iraq, some suspect IS is a product of U.S. foreign policy. Underlying this belief is the idea that the U.S. is ruthless and will use any means to maintain their power and dominance around the world.]

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The U.S. could never kill Castro

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From Manager, November 30, 2016
Fidel Castro speaking to the American eagle: I have been here for over 50 years to let you kill me… and you’ve never succeeded… now I am leaving first.
Caption: Fidel Castro: 1926-2016

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Cuba’s Hero

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From Thairath, November 29, 2016
Title: Mourning
Mouse man: RIP
Mouse: Cuba’s Hero.

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Constitution Day

Above: Democracy Monument

December 10 is Constitution Day in Thailand and a national holiday. After the 1991 coup, a new charter was rushed to approval so there would be a constitution on this day. After the coups in 2006 and 2014, Thailand had no constitution for the holiday.

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Death by Facebook

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From Manager, November 23, 2016
Caption: The first corpse is Nott paying respect to my car…. And this is the second corpse.

[The lady is motivational speaker Orapim Best Raksapon. This cartoon refers to people who are punished by the social media, particularly Facebook.
After the clip of TV host Akanat Nott ariyaritwikul punching a motorcycle driver and forcing him to pay respects to his car was shared in the Facebook, he was widely condemned and fired from this job.
Similarly, motivational speaker Orapim Best Raksapon was criticized for her careless remarks implying that Northeastern people, known for their support of Thaksin and his policies, did not love the King.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Manager, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

How to save the zero-dollar tour?

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From Thairath, November 23, 2016
Title: Nang Kwak… beckoning harder [the Nang Kwak spirit is a household divinity believed to beckon good fortune and attract customers to a business]
On Nang Kwak’s dress: Tourism
Flag on the left: Tourists
On a tourist’s shirt: China
Sign on the barbed wire fence: No zero-dollar tour
Signs on the right: Thai tourist industry, restaurant and service businesses, souvenir shops, entertainment
On the businessman’s suit: Hotel industry
Phi Nooring: She [Nang Kwak] needs to use her power to help.
Mouse: Quickly beckon for the country

[Refers the junta’s crackdown on zero-dollar tour packages. These tours brought masses of Chinese tourists to Thailand for little or no money for the tourist (“zero dollar”). The tour companies recoup their investment by then pressuring the tourists into buying over-priced souvenirs and goods at special shops. The zero-dollar tour represents Thailand’s complete capitulation to the Gem Scam.
After the last coup, the junta has been cracking down on law-breaking that elected governments refused to tackle–such as the zero-dollar tours. The crackdown has resulted in a noticeable downturn in Thailand’s tourism sector.
This cartoon suggests that the junta led by PM Prayuth needs to use the Nang Kwak deity to bring in more tourists to stimulate the country’s economy. In the cartoon, Nang Kwan was drawn as Tourist and Sport Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul.
The underlying feeling in the cartoon is that democratic forces that oppose the junta also oppose the strict law and order campaign as being dictatorial and bad for the economy. This idea is common in nascent democracies or where military rule is being opposed. The enforcing of rules and regulations is associated with monolithic rule while democracy is interpreted as being free to do things how one wants.
It is likely that a future Phea Thai election campaign will feature promises to cease the law and order drive started by the junta as many of its actions have harmed the livelihood of workers from the Northeast.]

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Weekly News Magazines, December 2-8, 2016

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From Nation Weekend, December 2, 2016
Main cover reads: King Rama X. Long Live the King

[Refers to the Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn who accepted the invitation from the National Legislative Assembly to accede to the throne and was proclaimed as King Rama X of Thailand on December 1, 2016.]

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From Matichon Weekly, December 2-8, 2016

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From Manager Weekly, Dec 3-9, 2016
Main cover reads: Our Father

[The vcover photos shows an old photo of the Thai royal family. Front from left to right: Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej (King Rama IX), HM Queen Sirikit, Princess Chulahborn Walailak. Back from left to right: Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn, Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya]

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From Lokwannee, December 3-9, 2016
Main cover reads: ‘His Majesty the King’ Rama X

Posted in Thai Newspapers and Magazines | 1 Comment

Two standards of populism in Thailand

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From Thairath, November 24, 2016
Title: Two standards of populism
Left caption: Guilty [meaning Yingluck judged guilty in the expensive rice pledging scheme]
On the bag Yingluck holds: Rice pledging scheme to improve the farmer’s life.
Right caption: Not guilty [meaning that the junta is employing the same sort of rice pledging that Yingluck’s did]
Left bag Prayuth holds: Hand out money
Right bag Prayuth holds: Aiding.
Left woman: Poor
Man on right: Farmer
Mouse: Helping people.
Mouse man: Which will last longer? [meaning the Pheu Thai and Yingluck’s brand is genuinely beloved and will likely return in future elections.]

[The underlying idea here is the highly regarded Thai value of fairness. It means that Yingluck has been treated unfairly by the junta, especially since the junta also has its own rice-pledging scheme.]

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Dhammajayo wanted eventually

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From Thairath, November 21, 2016
Left: Now, it is time to arrest Dhammajayo…
Middle: Please, all police forces must arrest him either by making him alive or dead. But please listen carefully…
Right: Arresting him alive means that he is still alive when he gets arrested. Arresting him dead means that he is already been dead before we arrest him.

[This ridicules the authorities apparent hesitation in arresting Dhammajayo. The cartoonist jokes that the police might brag about arresting him dead or alive, but the “dead” part probably means the police will wait until he has died of natural causes.]

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The King’s Birthday

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Above: December 4, 2005 – Placard with an image of the HM The King at the Royal Plaza.

Today is HM The King’s birthday. It is a national holiday considered Father’s Day in Thailand when both the King and all fathers are honored.

From years past:
2004: HM The King’s Birthday Address
2005: HM The King’s Birthday 2005
2009: HM The King’s 82th Birthday
2008: King not giving much-anticipated birthday speech and Trooping of the Colors
2012: Newspaper front pages

From Matichon Weekly, December 4-10, 2009 – Hand in hand

Posted in HM The King's Birthday, The Monarchy | 2 Comments

Weekly News Magazines, November 25-December 2, 2016

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From Nation Weekend, November 25, 2016
Main cover reads: The Last Somdej in the era of King Rama IX.

[Refers to Venerable Phra Dhammapitaka (P.A. Payutto) who has recently been appointed as Somdej Buddha Kosajan which is one of Thai Buddhism’s highest ranks, only lower than the Supreme Patriarch. Venerable Phra Dhammapitaka is known as Thailand’s most well-known Buddhist Scholar. He received the UNESCO Prize for Peace Education in 1994.]

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From Matichon Weekly, November 25-December 1, 2016

[The cover shows King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn. Many photos like this have been shown in the media recently to demonstrate the close association between the late king and his first-born son.]

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From Lokwannee, November 26-December 2, 2016
Main cover reads: Society of goo people (who are only good at speaking)

[The cover is a sarcastic comment on current Thai society which alleges that many people always love to speak, but do not take any action. This pro-Thaksin and pro-Red Shirt publication probably is alluding to those who extol civil society and democracy while being content to live under a military dictatorship. Thais illustrate boisterous rhetoric as a spray of saliva and the cover shows a microphone wet with “goo” or saliva.]

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From Manager Weekly, November 26-December 2, 2016
Main cover reads: Sathi
At left with the ‘Dislike’ icon: Dhammachayo
At right with ‘Like’ icon: Venerable Phra Dhammapitaka (P.A. Payutto)

[The cover compares two well-known monks. One is Dhammakaya temple abbot Dhammachayo and the other is Nyanavesakavan temple abbot Venerable Phra Dhammapitaka (P.A. Payutto).
Dhammachayo is now facing an arrest warrant from the Department of Special Investigation for charges of money laundering.
On the other hand, Phra Dhammapitaka has recently been appointed Somdej Buddha Kosajan which is one of Buddhism’s highest ranks, only lower than the Supreme Patriarch. He is known as Thailand’s most well-known Buddhist scholar and received the UNESCO Prize for Peace Education in 1994.]

Headline on the bottom-left: Shut down Red Shirt’s underground radio station by [yellow] ‘persons from their group’ [white] not [yellow] ‘Big Poom?’

[Refers to the shutdown of a Red Shirt radio station which was broadcasting revolutionary rhetoric into Thailand from Laos. This article examines its recent shutdown and whether it was taken off the air due to pressure from Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan (whose nickname is Poom). Deputy PM Prawit claimed that he was responsible for getting the station off the air by cooperating with the Lao government.
However, many others speculate that internal pressure from other Red Shirt groups resulted in the station closure. The rationale for this is thought to be domestic Thai politics. This is because the mainstream Red Shirt movement acts on Thaksin’s behalf and Thaksin is working towards renewed influence on politics after the next elections. Thus, there is little desire to have radical Red Shirts broadcasting anti-monarchy rhetoric–especially at this sensitive time. This only plays into the hands of the nationalistic military.]

Headline on the bottom-right: History recorded “Prof. May-Ariya” The best Thai golfer

[Refers to professional golfer Ariya May Jutanugarn. She is a rising star of Thai golfers and the first Thai golfer, male or female, to win a major championship.]

Posted in Thai Newspapers and Magazines | Leave a comment

Eight Years Ago: Airport Seized

High tension in Thailand – November 2008

Airport Seized – Thai-language Newspapers, November 27-28, 2008

“D-Day” newspaper front pages – November 26-27, 2008

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The U.S. is no longer interested

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From Manager, November 17, 2016
Trump: What!?… Do you ask me to help you build a wall surrounding Thailand?… Crazy! You think that I have time for that!?
Caption: This great friend… would not have time like before.

[This refers to the perception in Asia that the United States under Trump will be much less interested in cooperating with countries in Asia. This isolationist bent means that Thaksin’s cooperation with the U.S. when he was prime minister and the junta’s apparent desire to build its own border wall in the south with cooperation with the U.S. will likely not lead to any advantages for Thailand in the future.]

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Trouble in the “Original Democracy”

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From Naewna, November 14, 2016
Thaksin: Trump, please wait for me and my associates. We will be ready to work with you closely in the next few years.
Left caption: Moaning from hell.
Trump: Ha, ha. Until that day, will you and your fellows may find your way to hell or all be in jail?
Right caption: answer from heaven.

[During his time in power, Thaksin seemed to gain support for his controversial policies by being willing to cooperate with controversial U.S. policies (such as George W. Bush’s foreign wars).
This open siding with the U.S. was unusual for Thailand which, publicly at least, always feigned a disinterested neutrality in foreign policy.
The cartoonist surmises that Thaksin would once again try to solicit U.S. support for his activities with the new president. However, political conditions in Thailand would seem to unfavorable to Thaksin’s return for the foreseeable future.]

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From Thairath, November 16, 2016
Title: The hating chair
Mouse: The original democracy
Mouse man: First job

[Thais personify the leading political post for a country–like Thailand’s Prime Ministership–as a chair to be obtained or fought over.
Thais also consider the U.S. as the “original democracy” (even if it is not the actual first one, Thais see it serving as the model of democracy for other countries).
The cartoonist, like much of the world, seems perplexed that Trump could be elected.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Various | Leave a comment

Weekly News Magazines, November 18-25, 2016

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From Nation Weekend, November 11, 2016
Main cover reads: “Thanks to Thai people for your generousness given to me and my family and your support for our activities. I really appreciate it.”

[Refers to Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s statement to Thai people at New Year’s in 1976. This phrase is a part of the Royal Anthem.]

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From Matichon Weekly, November 18-24, 2016

[The man cover shows Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn who is expected to ascend the throne on December 1, 2016 and become Thailand’s King Rama X after the passing of King Bhumibol Adulyadej.]

19-25

From Manager Weekly, November 19-25, 2016
Main cover reads: Mission on [red] overthrowing Trump

[Around Trump are photos of notable Trump foes Hillary Clinton, George Soros, Barack Obama and Lady Gaga. This cover tries to illustrate that the chaos and massive protests against Trump in the U.S. after the election may be caused by powerful people who strongly oppose the major changes in U.S. policy Trump promises.]

Top right: It’s ‘Sornram’s fever.’ ‘Sai Lo Hid’ returns.
Photos left to right: Sornram Teppitak and Matika Bee Atthakornsiripo in the drama Sai Lo Hid and photos of them in the present day

[Refers to a famous drama ‘Sai Lo Hid’ which was rebroadcast and made Sornram and Matika, main actors in the drama, to become well-known again. This drama aims to encourage people to love the country and be united. It was rebroadcast in remembrance of Thailand’s late King.]

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From Lokwannee, November 19-25, 2016
Main cover reads: Leadership? (We’ll Trump as promised.)
Trump: Damn it!
Prayuth: Can you speak politely?

[Refers to an aggressive characteristics of two leaders: U.S.-elected president Donald Trump and Thailand’s PM Prayuth. This cover compares Trump’s brazen personality with PM Prayuth whom is known to be very aggressive when speaking to the media.
The headline uses the word “Trump” as a pun on the Thai word “tum” meaning “doing.” This is a motto of the junta to mean “we’ll do as promise” to return the happiness to the people.]

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The Anti-Monarchy Brats

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From Manager, October 31, 2016
Black box: left: Monday’s long cartoon story, by Bancha/Kanin
Title: Naughty boy

[The cartoonist expresses the viewpoint of many who objected to the actions of those who openly wore red shirts after the passing of the King or took the opportunity to criticize the monarchy–particularly online.
Threats to openly oppose the institution have been part of Red Shirt tactics and anti-monarchy sentiment has long been fostered in the movement to pressure the Thai establishment into pardoning Thaksin and letting him return to power.
The heightened sense of nationalism after the passing of the King led to some violent threats and altercations involving those who insulted the monarchy. Some human rights defenders then complained to international institutions that the junta was not letting them have their freedom of speech.
Thais are usually not good at explaining what they value and why they value it, but the cartoonist shows how traditional impulses toward propriety, knowing one’s place, and societal politeness always trump freedom of speech issues in Thailand.]

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Suppose… there is a funeral of your respected relative…

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Left: People are sad while listening to the monk’s sermon…
Right: Then, a naughty boy… wearing a colorful dress comes to the temple.

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Suddenly, he’s starting to insult a person who died

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But people… at first ignore it… because they don’t want to destroy the atmosphere. But, the naughty boy is insulting more and more with strong words.

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Left: Finally, one of the sons of person whom died can’t be patient…. He throws a glass at him.
Right: Ouch!

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Black box: The naughty boy is touching his bleeding head and running from the temple. He insulting along the way.
A naughty boy: So barbarous…. [This is] Conservatism–not liberalism!

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Black box: …he comes back home and tell his dad.
Naughty boy: I only used my liberal rights to insult dead people… Those people, on the other hand, used the dictator’s power to bully me.

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Left: Dad is listening… he would be on his son’s side… but?
Right: The naughty boy has a good dad.
Dad: What! You did like that?

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Dad: Don’t you know an appropriate way to act? It’s good that they only threw a glass at you. If I were their son, I would kill you!!! It’s like parents don’t even teach you not to do that.

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Too bad… many naughty boys in this country don’t have good parents like this.

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Manager, The Monarchy | Leave a comment

The next battlefield: Rice farmers

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From Thairath, November 8, 2016
Title: Who likes drama… and building a good image.
Left side on the sign held by the soldiers: Helping farmers harvesting
On the soldier’s back: Return happiness [the junta’s motto]
On the rice basket: Reduced rice prices
On rice bags: Plant and mill by themselves; Sell, by themselves
Phi Nooring: Buying the rice to help farmers
Mouse: [Yingluck] Sincerely helps the farmers

[The cartoonist contends the army’s efforts to show they are helping rice farmers is merely a PR stunt. It contends that former PM Yingluck sincerely wanted to help rice farmers with her party’s rice pledging scheme.
Others criticize Yinguck’s recent public selling of rice as a photo opportunity to push back against charges and fines against her for the
expensive and ultimately untenable rice pledging scheme of her party.
All of this shows that, despite the public mourning activities for the King, politics is going on as usual with both sides trying to win the hearts of Northeastern farmers who were once the beneficiaries of extreme government largess at the hands of the Phea Thai Party.]

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From Naewna, November 9, 2016
Thaksin’s son Pantongtae: A bitch just went taking a photos at a farm and pretended to sympathize and be sad in order to get support…
On the bag held by Yingluck: Buying rice
Caption: Oh no… damn nephew. Being high as a kite and writing something stupid.

[This cartoon ridicules Pantongtae’s recent post on his Facebook page accusing the junta of pretending to help farmers by sending soldiers to help them harvest. Pantongtae’s Facebook page has come to be known as an official mouthpiece of Thaksin himself and is the main source that confirms or denies political rumors that might involve the Shinawatra family.
Popular rumor has long contended Pantongtae enjoys drugs and perhaps he fostered this from a young age by often wearing dark sunglasses when he is photographed (particularly when he first came to the public eye in the 1990s.)
The cartoonist jokes that Pantongtae is making a Facebook post that really tells the truth about Yingluck’s recent show of sympathy of rice farmers–that it is a publicity stunt only motivated by the fines and charges she is facing for her party’s rice pledging scheme.]

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

Trump’s Win in Thai-language Newspapers

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From Khaosod, November 10, 2016
Top box: Impressive pictures of the ‘King’ taking care of the ‘Crown Prince’ when he was young. Page 13.
Biggest picture: Tribe people pay respect to the King Bhumibol Aduyadej
[2nd row] Black box on the left: ‘Htin Kyaw-Duterte’ pay respect to the King.
Continued headline in a green box in the 3rd row: Tribe people from 9 tribes–999 people wearing their traditional dresses–paying respects to the King. Ministry of Culture is hastening to complete the King’s records in the National Archives. Vocational schools commit to end their fights.
Grey box on the right: World stunned–stocks plunged–‘Trump’ celebrates. 45th US President.
Continued box on the below right: Voice of ‘grassroots’ ‘Right wing’ vote. Won 290-218. ‘Hillary’ admits her loss. Big Tu [PM Prayuth] congratulates the winner.
‘Donald Trump’ new US President, decisively defeats Hillary.
[4th row] Grey box on the left: Tu denies to stay [in power] 5 years more to help farmers, saying it is “just an idea.” Pheu Thai explains Poo’s rice.
[Refers to the rice price problem in Thailand. The junta and Yingluck are dueling over who can help the farmers best.]
Black box: Will call Nott’s friend for questioning. The lawyer submits more charges.
[Refers to the case of TV host Nott who punched a motorcycle driver who hit his car. He tried to force the motorcyclists to pay respect to his car. This incident became the talk of the town after a clip of the incident was posted on social media. Nott was fired from his TV show due to his assault on the motorcyclist.]

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From Krungthepturakit, November 10, 2016
Headline: ‘Bank of Thailand’ keeps eyes on US policy. Says it’s unstable. [big] Warning to prepare for a ‘market in turmoil.’ [referring to Trump’s win]
Sub-headline on the left: Analysts point out it will affect investment which will flow out in the short-term.
Box in the center: Shock the world, ‘Trump’ becomes the president [2nd headline] Stocks plunge–volatile currency.
Small box on the right: Closer watch: the US election
White box on the left: Push a ‘new Permanent Secretary’ of DE to study the law about the Thaicom contract.
[Refers to the Minister of Digital Economy and Society known as the DE ministry forcing the new appointed permanent secretary to solve the problem on the Thaicom contract.]
Green box: Kasikorn bank’s stock, currency and gold situation update.
The white box on the right after the green box: ‘Somkid’ urges the selection of yellow-pink lines by December.
[Refers to Deputy PM Somkid Jatusripitak urging of bidding on the yellow and pink electric rail routes to be completed by December.]
Last box on the right: Open ‘online reserve’ for paying respects to the King in mid-Nov.

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From Matichon, November 10, 2016
[Top pictures show hilltribe people paying respects to the King Bhumibol Aduyadej.]
Main Headline: World stunned–stock markets plunge–gold increases [bold] ‘Trump’ unexpectedly becomes the president
Sub-headline: ‘Americans’ protest after knowing the result. A good thing is that it will reduce the conflict between China and US. Thailand has a chance to link the economy [to the US?]. ‘Tammy Ladda’ becomes a senator.
[Thai-American Democrat Tammy Ladda Baldwin won a US senate seat.]
Small box close to Trump’s picture: Proposal from the ‘cabinet’–urge the private sector to help buy 30,000 tons of ‘corn’. Strict control on an import of wheat.
[Referring to Thai government proposals to help farmers hurt by plunging prices.]
Grey headline: Increase ‘tents-chairs’ to protect from the sun-rain; Taking care of people at Sanuam Laung; 999 tribe people from 9 tribes pay respect to the king; Ministry of Culture is hastening to complete the King’s records in the National Archives. [referring to activities surrounding the honoring of the late King]
Small box below Trump’s picture: ‘Wissanu’ says the constitution has already submitted. ‘Meechai’ supports an increase of MP’s salaries.’ Interior Minister urges to increase a power of the governor-mayor.
Headline at the bottom right: Explain a clip on ‘conduct;’ ‘Somtow’ says people want to sing; Blame the air attendants. ‘Nokair’ insists to follow the rules. Civil Aviation Director confirms it violates the rules. Against the air attendance–can be jailed.
[Refers to a video clip showing that an air attendants trying to stop well-known conductor S.P. Somtow from leading airplane passengers in singing the royal anthem song a plane was taking off. Some reacted in outrage what any rules of airline safety could preclude the singing of Thailand’s Royal Anthem. Others insisted that international regulations and safety take precedence.]

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From Thai Post, November 10, 2016
Main headline: Shock the world; ‘Trump’ the president.
Sub-headline: Defeats ‘Hillary.’ Slaps the polls. [meaning the pollsters were wrong] Democrat supporters make chaos. Putin congratulates.
A box on the left: ASEAN must change in response to the new power
[Refers to ASEAN Countries must review their policies in response to the new Trump’s win.]
Box below Trump’s big picture: Big Tu [PM Prayuth] advises farmers to reduce their costs and it will be better in the next five years.
Red box: Update on the stock market
Yellow box: Update on global oil prices
Gray box: Current situation on financial markets
A box on the bottom right: Headline: [Philippine President Rodrigo] Duterte pays respect to the King

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Top Malaysia political cartoonist arrested

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Top Malaysia political cartoonist arrested – The Nation, November 26, 2016
…”The fact that Zunar’s arrest happened at the George Town Literary Festival, with dozens of international writers and artists, only underscores the government’s disregard for freedom of expression.”
…Zunar is no stranger to the law, having been arrested and hauled to court on several occasions. He has nine previous charges under the sedition act which are still pending trial…

ALso: Zumar’s website

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7 years ago: Thaksin to receive $425 per month as Hun Sen advisor

Thaksin to receive $425 per month as Hun Sen advisor

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Weekly News Magazines, November 11-18, 2016

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From Nation Weekend, November 11, 2016
Main cover reads: Tell the world… I won.
Man in the cover is US elect President Donald Trump

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From Manager Weekly, November 12-18, 2016
Main cover reads: Trump. Dammit.
Top right: Trump’s kids and wife [yellow] Beauty-rich-smart [white] So cool!

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From Matichon Weekly, November 11-17, 2016
The photo shows H.M.King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn

[Refers to the succession of Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn to the throne after the passing of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol Adulyadej. This photo has often been used to emphasize their closeness.]

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From Lokwannee, November 12-18, 2016
Main cover reads: Pay respect to a tank of mine [“a tank” is conveyed by the image only]
Tragedy of “Thai farmers”

[This is a well-know saying from a TV actor’s car accident. The actor demanded the motorcyclist who hit his car bow down and pay respects to his vehicle. Video of the event cause the actor to be widely condemned for his arrogance.
The cover seems to imply that Thai farmers must similarly bow down before a tank (symbolizing the military junta) in order to receive assistance from the junta amid the declining rice prices.]

Posted in Thai Newspapers and Magazines, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Future Southeast Asia – A map of proposed railways in Southeast Asia

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Future Southeast Asia – A map of proposed railways in Southeast Asia
…With a single visa for ASEAN an InterCity-style train would be able travel from Bangkok to Phnom Penh in four hours, and a high-speed train in under three…

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Beautiful Democracy

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From Thairath, November 11, 2016
Title: Congratulations.
On the tablet: Donald Trump, the 45th president of United State of America
Smoke on left: Terrorism war
Smoke on right: Economic war
Mouse: The beautiful democracy
Mouse man: Comes from election by the people

[This is a sarcastic comment on the election of contentious Donald Trump to the presidency of the United States. The cartoonist also refers to the Red Shirt mantra of democracy “coming from the people” via elections. This is perhaps a rueful acknowledgement of the now fractious state of democracy in both the U.S. and Thailand. The smoke in the background draws a comparison to the protests in Thailand that resulted in burning over dissatisfaction with the state of democracy.]

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

New requirements for long stay visa

The vaguely worded media reports in English about a new or updated long stay visa have caused waves of anxiety throughout Thailand’s retired expat community.

For those interested, the information in Thai on the new O-A long stay visa is here: Cabinet Resolutions. For the details, download the Word document that lists all the resolutions.

The point in question is number 8. It does appear to be an update of the requirements for the O-A visa.

Posted in 2Bangkok News | 2 Comments