Feb 18th, 2019

Election posters: Help end inequality

Top left: Phalang Pracharat Party

Pada Vorakanon

Bangkok District 6 Phayathai, Ratchathewi, Chatuchak

State’s welfare helps end inequality.

Right middle: Number [this leaves a space for the candidate’s number once it is assigned]

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Party of harmony

From Manager, January 29, 2019
Sudarat: Our party will build peace for the country’s future.
In the background left to right, red shirts: Be burned! [the word mimics the sound of a Thai word to create another slang meaning; it contrasts สุก (cooked or be burned) and สุข (happiness)]
Thaksin: As long as I am not happy, you won’t be happy.
Chalerm: Once I have a power, I will revenge you all.
On Wattana’s white T-shirt: Reject the constitution

[Refers to Pheu Thai party’s strategy head Sudarat Keyuraphan. Sudarat is the most well-known and popular PM candidate along with current PM Prayuth.
She projects a moderate and professional air as she has apparently tried to steer the party from its more radical leanings and Thaksin control.
However, the cartoonist reminds the reader that Sudarat’s moderate pronouncements contrast with the Red Shirts (who threatened to burn the nation in 2009 and 2010 and predict bloodshed if Prayuth is appointed PM), Thaksin (who still is deeply involved in the country’s politics) and other party mainstays like Chalerm (known for his aggressiveness and political vendettas).]
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Wolf in sheep’s clothing

From Thairath, January 29, 2019
Title: Wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Signs left from top: Human rights; fraternity; freedom; justice; democracy; democracy
The big man is Pheu Thai Party’s main prime minister candidate Chadchart Sittipunt. On his shirt: Democratic Sign: Did not inherit the power.
On sheepskin: Look likes a democracy. (or “Fake democracy”) Sign: Support the dictatorship.
On sheepskin: A substitute for democracy. Sign: Received power from a coup d’etat.
On sheepskin: Take credit for democracy.
Mouse man: Unable to fool the people.
Mouth: Covered [with sheepskin] then they look good.

[This shows the Pheu Thai’s prime minister candidate rushing forward to extol democracy against the military-created democracy.]
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He’s pretty confident

From Manager, January 28, 2019
Chalerm: This election… the Pheu Thai Party will get 350 seats.
PM Prayut: Oh, no… Chalerm. Just me alone, we will get 250 seats for sure… And for the whole part… how many would it be…
Caption: The real person… won’t speak

[Refers to Pheu Thai Party’s key executive Chalerm Yubamrung who bragged that his party will win most of the whole constituency MPs seats in the upcoming election.
This is opposite of what many analysts think considering the way the military has created the MP system and the military-appointed senate.
Here it shows that PM Prayuth is confident of controlling the senate and then the pro-junta Phalang Pracharat Party is expected to supply the rest of the seats and then invite Prayuth to be PM as an unelected outsider.]
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No exit

From Naewna, January 30, 2019
On the blocked paths: China; Thailand; Cambodia; EU Sign at bottom center: Welcome to the abyss of hell!
Caption: The only exit that doesn’t need a gold visa.

[The cartoonist references the recent failed attempt of Thaksin to raise the profile of Yingluck by having her appointed chairman of a shipping company in Cambodia. Both China and Cambodia quickly distanced themselves from the appointment and Yingluck was forced to step down. This was thought to indicate how regional nations have grown close to the military regime and expect it to persist after elections.]
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Not my father yet

From Manager, January 27, 2019
On boy’s shirt: Palang Pracharath Party.
Son: Mom!… when he is ready to announce that he is my father!!
Mom: Dad said… he is not ready yet…
Caption: Look, this kind of father… son and wife are frustrated.

[This cartoon compares the plight of an illegitimate child to the political machinations of PM Prayuth. The pro-junta Palang Pracharath Party is expected to be eventually led by the prime minister and be his vehicle to hold onto the premiership after elections. However, the prime minister has been cautious about declaring himself as a political candidate.]
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Thaksin can’t carry Yingluck to China

From Manager, January 22, 2019
On the chair: Chairman of the company
From hand: Ju… Ju… [the sound of telling someone to be quiet] I know… She used to be Thailand’s PM… But in my country… A person who will be chairman of a company must be intelligent.
Caption: In this country a person who wants to carry whoever, they can’t do it.

[Refers to former PM Yingluck who was recently appointed as chairman of Chinese port company. Later she was removed from the post–allegedly due to pressure from the Chinese government that wishes to draw Thailand closer into the Chinese orbit.
It also showed that the Chinese government recognized the appointment for what it was–an attempt to raise Yingluck’s profile and credibility before the upcoming elections which would conflict with their new allies–the Thai military.
“To carry someone” is a Thai idiom meaning to support someone. The cartoon also alludes to the idea that Yingluck was a puppet as prime minister with Thaksin the real brains behind all the decisions the government made. Thus, Yingluck heading a Chinese shipping company would be a move orchestrated by Thaksin to raise her profile and reputation in the lead up to elections.]

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Weekly News Magazines: Who will be the next PM, February, 2019

From Manager Weekly, February 2-8, 2019

Main cover reads: Who will be the new PM?

[The cover shows expected PM candidates. Starting from the top left, Pheu Thai’s strategy head Sudarat, pro-junta party Palang Pracharat leader Uttama Savanayana, PM Prayuth (who is expected to be invited by Palang Prcharat to become the party’s PM), Deputy PM Somkid (key person helping PM Prayuth to become PM again), Bhumjaithai party’s leader Anutin Charnvirakul, Thai Liberal Party leader former police commissioner Pol General Seripisut Temiyavet, Chartthanipattana party’s leader Kanchana Silpa-archa, Democrat Party leader Abhisit, former Transport Minister and top Pheu Thai PM candidate Chatchart Sittipan and Future Forward party’s leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit. Also shown at bottom left are pro-junta party Action Coalition for Thailand key figures Suthep and M.R. Chatumongol Sonakul. ]

Top: Collecting pictures of the royal-sponsored cremation of “Luang Phor Koon” the revered monk of the highland “who always gave”

[Refers to country’s revered monk Luang Phor Koon Parisuthon, an abbot of Wat Ban Rai in northeastern province Nakhon Ratchsima. Thousands of people attended his final farewell held on January 30 sponsored by the royal family. He was one of Thailand’s revered monks as he always helped people and was not addicted to wealth.]

Bottom left: Dr. Thiravat Hemachudha bans the dangerous toxic [chemicals]… If we won’t fight… then we must accept the result.

[Refers to Dr. Thiravat Hemechudha who is calling for a ban on using Paraquat as it is dangerous to people’s health. Paraquat is a herbicide used in agriculture and many countries in the world have already banned it. ]

Left: Shut Down Bangkok [white] Learn the lessons of “deadly dust” “China-Foreign countries” can do. Can “Thailand” also do it?

[Refers to the serious air pollution in Thailand, particularly in Bangkok. The junta and the government agencies have been criticized on the slow response to tackle the smog. ]

From Matichon Weekly, February 1-7, 2019

Main cover reads: Being a politician will gain many things more than you expected?

[Refers to PM Prayuth who has announced to fully become a politician after he initially said he would not become one. If we get the joke of the cover, it implies he has become addicted to power and aggressiveness and now attempts to maintain his power as the PM again through support from pro-junta political parties.]

Top: Kunalai ‘Great revered monk of Korat’ Luang Phor Koon who was not worldly-minded.

[Refers to country’s revered monk Luang Phor Koon Parisuthon, an abbot of Wat Ban Rai in Nakhon Ratchsima province, known as “Korat.: Thousands attended his cremation held on January 30, 2019. He was an example of living the simple life and getting rid of all wealth and prestige.]

From Lokwannee, February 1-8, 2019

On clapper board: Do it for yourself; Episode: Name list of PM

People’s saying: Act…ion!!!

[Refers to pro-junta party Phalang Pracharat which is planning to invite PM Prayuth to be its PM candidate. The cartoon shows a dinosaur’s tale representing the military appearing from behind the curtain. This pro-Thaksin media outlet uses a dinosaur on its cover often to represent the old-fashioned thinking military.
This cover refers to the Thai idiom “a tail is appearing.” It means a person who is trying to hide something, but, in reality, everyonw knows the truth about it. Here, it means that Prayuth is the real power behind the pro-military Phalang Pracharat Party that was created to continue military control of government.]

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Same allies, different kingpin

From Prachatai
Top: [yellow] Prachai [source of the cartoon]
On T-shirt: Reform, elect

[This cartoon ridicules PM Prayuth and his alliances.
Since he took power, PM Prayuth committed to reform the country and get rid of Thaksin’s influence.
However, once the military decided to contest elections, it formed an alliance with a number of Thaksin’s former allies and instituted many policies and initiatives are almost similar with Thaksin only the names were changed. Thus the cartoon shows Thaksin and these allies above and then the same allies below with Prayuth.]

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Too Many Unemployed Creating Smog

From Manager, January 20, 2019
Left, Pheu Thai’s Sudarat: Because the government can’t manage the economy… it causes small dust in the air higher than the standard [for safety].
Reporter: How are they linked?
Right: Sudarat: Slowdown economy… people lost jobs so they have to work kicking dust. So, the smog covers the city…
Reporter: Umm…

[Refer to the Thai saying “kicking dust” meaning unemployed people who are searching for jobs. This cartoon jokes about the the Pheu Thai Party strategy of blaming the junta for failing to handle the economy and air pollution problems.]

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New Year’s Cartoons: Happy new year without sadness

From Thairath, January 1, 2019
Title: Happy the year of the Pig
Happy new year without sadness. Happy in the year of the pig. Wish everything comes true. People are happy. Aud Aud Aud the pig is coming. Don’t impede. Don’t pretend to see a pig as the goat, bae bae. Stop tending sheep and finding a scapegoat. Have a moral in the heart in this year of the Pig.
Teacher Ping Davance
Composer [of the verse]

[This is a new year’s poem written by famous teacher Ping from Davance. “Aud” is the sound of a pig while “bae” is the sound of a goat.
In the poem, it wishes people happiness in this year of the pig. Also, it asks people to have morals and be transparent and just–this clearly refers to the corrupt police at far right in the cartoon.
“Stop tending sheep” refers to the Thai proverb meaning person who love to lie. It comes from the story of the shepherd boy and the wolf.
At top right are pigs wearing the Thai numbers for this year (Buddhist era year 2562 or 2019).]

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Yingluck kicked out

From Naewna, January 22, 2019
Yingluck: Oh my god… taking the seat of Shantou’s chairwoman for only a short period and then kicked out.
On leg: Kick Poo [Yingluck] out of the chairman of Shantou company
Caption: Pee Maew [Thaksin] stops intervening on the smog in Thailand and comes to help me to research the dust…!!!

[Former PM Yingluck was appointed and then removed as the chairman of a Chinese port company. The quick removal was thought to be due from pressure from the Chinese government which has been eager to forge a closer relationship with Thailand’s military-led government. It also showed that the Chinese government recognized the appointment for what it was–an attempt to raise Yingluck’s profile and credibility before the upcoming elections which would conflict with their new allies–the Thai military.
The cartoon mentions Thaksin’s higher profile as well. This includes a weekly podcast where he assails the current government over every issue including the recent air pollution.
“Research the dust” refers to the Thai idiom “kick dust” meaning to search for a job, meaning Yingluck was out of a job and has to turn again to Thaksin’s wealth and influence to help her.]

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New Year’s Cartoons: This year will have an election

From Matichon, January 1, 2019
Title: Happy New Year ๒๕๖๒ [Thai numbers for this year (Buddhist era year 2562 or 2019).]
On sign held by a pig: This year will have an election
On the side of the table at left: Chinese dinner table

[In the center, the junta led PM Prayuth and other junta members and politicians, such as [from left] Democrat Party’s leader Abhisit, Suthep, (former leader of anti-Yingluck group and now a member of pro-Prayuth party Ruamphalang Prachachartthai Party), Deputy PM Somkid, PM Prayuth, Deputy PM Prawit, Thanathorn (leader of the Future Forward Party) and Sudarat from the Pheu Thai Party.
At left, the table refers to pro-Prayuth party Palang Pracharat Party organizing a Chinese dinner to raise the fund for the election. This led to questions about where funds came from to purchases the expensive spots at the tables.
At top left are the high speed train projects that have been accused of lacking transparency in their implmentation.
At top right is Thaksin and Yingluck, forever circling the country in exile.
At middle right are poor people lining up at an ATM to withdraw free populist handouts from the military junta.
At bottom right are rappers who released an anti-junta rap song that became a sensation.]

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New Year’s Cartoons: Wave Goodbye to the Old Year

From Daily News, December 31, 2018
Title: Waving goodbye to the year 2561
Top left, on Santa’s suit: NCPO [picture]
On bag: Welfare from the state
[Refers to the junta under the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) led by PM Prayuth trying to win the coming election by launching populist policies and campaigns.]
On flag held by man on Prayuth’s shoulder: Lieutenant-Commander Samarn Kunan [the Thai Navy Seal who died during the cave rescue]

Top middle: On Sudarat’s shorts: PT [Pheu Thai Party; Sudarat is elbowing Thaksin to try to gain control of his Pheu Thai Party]
Top middle right, on man’s pink shirt: Sanoh
On the shirt of the man holding on to the chair: Mark [Democrat Party leader Abhisit; this cartoon refers to political kingpin Sanoh of the Pheu Thai; cartoon he is leading Sudarat while the Demcorat’s Abhisit holds on to the prime minister’s chair; this demonstrates the battle for the PM post; top far right seems to show Thaksin’s sisters Yingluck and Yaowapha fleeing the country]
Middle, the man strutting is Democrat leader Ahbisit. On his shirt: Mark [Ahbisit’s nickname]
On sign he holds: Democrat Party
On yellow sign: Constitution
On sign being held by Red Shirts: Election
Middle far right on the smoke: 30-million lottery
[Refers to the 30-million baht lottery scandal in which two people came forward to claim a winning ticket.]

Bottom left on the basket: Politicians
[Thaksin is carrying a big barrel of politicians and Red Shirts, one who is holding a lighted torch. He carries a bag of money which attracts the politicians. This accuses Thaksin of continuing to be behind major political movements in the country.]
Bottom middle on the left man’s shirt: Trump
On other man’s shirt: China [Refers to the trade ware between the US and China]
Bottom right top: Bang [sound of a gun; refers to construction tycoon Premchai Karnasuta who is accused of poaching protected wildlife in a national park]
Bottom far right, above man with knives stuck in him: Kamnun Suthep [Refers to Suthep Thaugsuban who led the charge to topple the Pheu Thai led government vowing never to enter politics again. In 2018 he went back on the pledge leading to wide condemnation.]
On sign held by pig: Happy New Year of the Pig.

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New Year’s Cartoons: Goodbye Dog Year

Thairath, December 31, 2018
Title: Goodbye year of the dog
End of the year of the dog with Kaokonlakao. Goodbye Aujao and Phee Meun with love. Good bye Tham Luang cave. Good bye Ja Sam and Mr.Vichai.
Auy Auy Auy the sound of the bell in the sky. Illegal lottery, watches, Aunties hitting the car without doubt. Please do not ask when the election will be and which party to vote for. But please ask who killed the black panther.
Kitmanoch Rojanasap (Teacher Lilly)

[This is a year-end message written by famous tutor Kitmanoch Rojanasap known as Teacher Lilly. His poem mentions the big news items of 2018 such as the charity run Kaokonlakao by famous rocker Toon Bodyslam to raise funds for nationwide hospitals. Also the football team stuck in Tham Luang cave. During the rescue operation, Lieutenant-Commander Samarn Kunan, alias Ja Sam, a former Navy SEAL, died. King Power and Premier League football club Leicester City’s owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha also died in a helicopter crash.
“Auy Auy Auy the sound of the bell in the sky” refers to a temple that was told to lower the noise of their bells after complaints from a condo nearby (such news is notable as temples or wats have been the unquestioned center of community life for centuries and it seemed a shock that there would be complaints about their noise).
The two “furious aunties” attacked a parked pickup truck that blocked their driveway. This sparked a scandal when it was shown that city officials allowed the illegal creation of a market next door to their house, ignoring both the zoning laws and verdicts from the courts. The illegal lottery was still a significant issue as the government still could not control it. Besides of the coming election which people still do not know the date of, the case of the killing a black panther has dragged on with fears that the tycoon who was caught red-handed at the hunting camp will be able to get away with it.

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Unknown as Pheu Thai’s PM pick

More interesting political news:

Chadchart tipped as Pheu Thai’s PM pick – Bangkok Post, January 25, 2018

[In an apparent bid to sideline the more popular and independent Sudarat, an unknown has been tapped as the Pheu Thai’s PM pick… and it is rumored that the government is rushing to start probes probes to disqualify him. It is also interesting to note that, he was once a meme.]

…A survey by the party showed Pheu Thai would win more seats if Mr Chadchart, who is popular with a sizeable segment of social media users, was listed as a prime ministerial candidate.
Mr Chadchart is still an unknown to most voters, and gained only 7% in the latest Nida Poll announced Sunday. It is designed to measure the popularity of current candidates…

See also: It’s only about Thaksin for a run down of some of the political parties
Also this week’s news magazines which all contrast the junta and Thaksin on their covers.

Why Suthep, Prayut slowly drifted apart – The Nation, January 25, 2018

…The veteran politician, meanwhile, appears to be in a difficult position – suffering from an image problem and being criticised for going back on his word about staying away from politics.
Maybe Suthep is among the people waiting patiently to get even with General Prayut.

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Year of the pig is right

From Thairath, January 3, 2019
Title: Hello, year of the pig
Papers on the big pig (representing the junta) from back to front: Politics under the structure of absolute power
On the baby pigs from back to front: The future is up to the person who governs Thailand.
On a food trough: Corruption
Phi Nooring: Like mother like kids
Mouse: The values don’t change.
Top right, the previous “year of the dog”: Bye Bye
[This accuses the ruling junta of being corrupt through their spending programs. It implies that the new crop of pro-junta politicians–represented by the baby pigs–will continue this corruption.]

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Thaksin’s Return

With Thaksin’s return into the political fray via his high-profile podcast, there are plenty of interesting things being written about Thailand’s political situation.
Also see this week’s news magazines which all contrast the junta and Thaksin on their covers.

Thailand just can’t quit populism – Nikkei Asian Review, January 17, 2019

…The record of the fast-growth 1960s and 1970s, when Bangkok wooed automakers to morph Thailand into the “Detroit of Asia,” was forgotten. An opportunity to revive that dynamism was missed after the 1997 Asian crisis when leaders, even before Thaksin, opted for politically-targeted handouts over structural reform…
Now it is Prayuth’s turn to make the same mistakes. He plans to set aside $32 million to stabilize palm oil prices and to give 500 baht, or $15.70, handouts to 14.5 million Thais, mostly poor farmers. While hardly staggering amounts for a $483 billion economy, these moves smack of populism…

Shinawatras out, Lee Kuan Yew in: Asian leaders’ differing treatment by China’s ancestry tourism – SCMP, January 19, 2019

[The implication behind this, much rumored in Thailand, is that the junta has reached a deal with China for support and that China is convinced that a government in Thailand dominated by the military, not Thaksin, is the future of Thailand and good for its interests.]

…Five years ago, the siblings had a photo taken in front of the house with their oldest living relative, who state media reported was the wife of their mother’s cousin. Aged about 90, she still lives alone in the run-down abode, her neighbours said.
With its shattered windows, broken doors and stove, and a floor covered in leaves and chicken droppings, it is a world away from the affluent lives of Thaksin and Yingluck.
“When they visited last time, the local government did try to fix the house a bit, mend the walls and clean it,” said Li Dongling, who runs a pomelo business in the village.
“But they never came again. Sometimes I see the old lady and I feel sorry that she lives in such ruins – it looks like the house could collapse at any time,” said Li, who has lived in the village for over 20 years…

Thaksin, Prawit allies in undermining transparency – The Nation, January 12, 2019

[It has been a long time since there has been a tough editorial like this from the Nation of Bangkok Post.]

It would be inaccurate to class Thaksin Shinawatra and Prawit Wongsuwan as being of the same breed of politician, at least for now. The crucial difference between them is that no one has attempted to prosecute Prawit, the current defence minister and deputy premier, whereas Thaksin, the former prime minister, remains in self-imposed exile because democratic institutions wanted him punished…
They both diverted the drive for integrity and arrogantly used the scoundrel’s rallying cry of “conspiracy” to denigrate their critics. It was no small irony to hear Prawit say repeatedly that if Thaksin truly wished to honour his ambition of cleaning up politics, he should “return from hiding” and face the legal repercussions from the Ratchadapisek land case. Thaksin’s barbed response, in a tweet, was that a judicial system under Prawit’s purview could not be trusted…

Thai election: can Shinawatras keep it in the family, again? – SCMP, January 20, 2019

…“while Yingluck was a huge electoral asset who won support from voters and established good relations with the military and establishment, it’s unclear that Oak would be able to do any of this”.
Others say the party has little choice but to milk the political capital of the Shinawatra brand as the junta openly tries to push it out of Thai politics…

Interestingly, Reuters reported that “hundreds” recently demonstrated in Bangkok and that this shows growing tensions:
Rival groups demonstrate in Thailand as election tensions grow

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Matichon comes to its 42nd year

From Arun, January 9, 2019
Title: Matichon comes to its 42nd year
On the paper: Matichon

[Refers to the 42nd year anniversary of the Matichon newspaper.
The cartoon implies that, amid the decline of the newspaper business, many weekly and dailies shutting down, and the political situation, this year may be a challenging year for Matichon.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons – Arun | 1 Comment

Good news for some

From Daily News, January 1, 2019
Left title: Good news for him
Deputy PM Prawit: Survived!
[The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) cleared Deputy PM Prawit of wrongdoing over a collection of luxury watches.]

Middle title: Good news for him
Man: Increase the salary
To the right of the man: NACC
[Refers to an increase of salary for independent agencies including the NACC. Critics consider this as a bribe from the junta.]

Right title: Bad news for us
TV: Seems to have postponed the election
[Refers to the news that the election will be postponed.]

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Weekly News Magazines: Thaksin vs the Junta, January, 2019

From Lokwannee, January 18-24, 2019
Main cover reads: Top: Every Monday on www.thaksinofficial.com
Bottom: Every Friday every channel.
Dinosaur (representing the junta): Amen… abracadabra! The smog must be gone.

[In the run up to elections, Thaksin recently launched a weekly podcast titled “Good Monday” to share his vision and experience on how Thailand can keep up with the changes going on in the world.
Thaksin’s show is a counterpoint to the junta’s weekly TV program “Returning Happiness to People in the Country” each Friday.
The cover advertises Thaksin’s new podcast while mocking the “old thinking” junta represented as a dinosaur. Thaksin is depicted wearing northern hill tribe costume to show his connection to the area. The bottom cover also refers to PM Prayut’s interview on tropical storm “Pabuk” which hit the south of the country. In the interview, he said that the tropical storm partly departed out to sea due to his praying for it to go away.
The cover shows the junta dinosaur likewise simply praying for Bangkok’s smog to depart.]

From Manager Weekly, January 19-25, 2019

Top: Stay with us, your pocket is full of money

Bottom: Stay with uncle, you have a cash card

[Refers to another sarcastic comparison between the populist policy of the Pheu Thai Party and the junta. During the previous Yingluck-led administration (with control of government dominated by Thaksin’s other sister Yaowapha, pictured top right), the Pheu Thai carried out populist policies that funneled huge amounts of money directly to their supporters. This was particularly true of their rice pledging scheme that paid above market rates for rice.
Yingluck fled charges related to this rice scheme and it is rumored that Yaowapa has fled as well.
The junta, led by PM Prayuth, also uses the populist policies, such as giving cash to the poor and a special cash card for direct government handouts.
This cover from a magazine that opposes Thaksin and his family, mocks the junta’s plan as insufficient and half-hearted.]

Top: Haze crisis. Life is risky. [black] National issue which is [red] “deadly horrible”

Bottom left: Look at the effect of [yellow] “Lisa Black Pink”

[Refers to Thai idol Lisa who is a member of Korean kpop group Black Pink. After Lisa faced racist comments from Koreans online, her fans around the world showed their support to her by posting a hashtag #RespectLisa on social media.]

Mid: “Coach Toey” [white] a hero riding the war elephant’

[Refers to interim coach of Thailand’s national football team Sirisak “Toey” Yodyardthai to help the team return to their excellent performance during the Asian Cup. He took this position after Milovan Rajevac was fired due to the defeat of the team during a game with India.
Thailand’s national football team is referred to as “the war elephant.”]

Right: “Secondhand smoke” is dangerous for children.

From Matichon Weekly, January 18-24, 2019

Main cover reads: Intense Monday

[White] To handle the change of the world with Dr. Thaksin Shinawatra

[Refers to Thaksin’s weekly podcast titled “Good Monday.”
This marks Thaksin’s open return to politics in the run-up to elections.
Like the Lokwannee cover above, Prayuth’s weekly program is references as the graphic shows Thaksin pushing Prayuth’s program aside.
It makes clear Thaksin still wishes to engage in politics and engineer a return to the country, thus raising the alarm of the junta which seized power and created a new charter specifically to prevent Thaksin’s return.

Top: From 70 million come only 100. The logic of “Pom”: Don’t give any weight to the pro-election protest

[Deputy PM Prawit’s nickname is Pom.
This refers to Deputy PM Prawit’s interview that he was not concerned about 100 protesters demanding quick elections. He said that the number of those people is very small compared to the whole of Thai people. He said 70 million people do not want the election so quickly.
Meanwhile, Reuters is reporting to the world that “hundreds” demonstrated and that this shows growing tensions: Rival groups demonstrate in Thailand as election tensions grow]

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Politicians can’t wait to help people

From Naewna, January 7, 2019
Title: Choose us first and we will help you
On left hand: Politician
On middle hand: Army
Caption: Do not postpone the date of elections..!! Politicians can’t wait to help people..

[This is a cartoon from a pro-military/anti-Thaksin newspaper that skeptically views the claims of politicians that they what quick elections, instead contending that the military is really the entity that is helping people as they recover from the recent hurricane.]

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It’s only about Thaksin

From Manager, January 3, 2019
Caption: Three parties are fighting hard for their party policy.
Left, holding a sign reading Pheu Chart Party: Choose my party in order to bring Thaksin home.
Center, holding a sign reading Pheu Thai Party: No… my party has a clear policy in bringing Thaksin home.
Right, holding a sign reading Thai Raksa Chart Party: Don’t believe them… only my party… that would bring Thaksin home in style.

[Since the new constitution essentially penalizes large parties in parliament, Thaksin supporters have been strategically divided among a number of smaller parties. This has several other advantages such as mitigating the threat of dissolution that the Pheu Thai faces for allowing itself to be “influenced” by people overseas (in this case Thaksin) and also to create more party list posts to protect Red Shirt leaders who have agitated on Thaksin’s behalf.

Here the cartoonist makes fun of recent statements made by politicians. He contends that these political parties and the elections are only marginally about party policy or democracy and instead are about the perennial quest to return Thaksin to power.

Yongyuth Tiyapairat, one of the founders of the Pheu Chart Party, has been openly sparring with the junta, demanding they negotiate with Thaksin directly and pledging that his party will find a way to bring Thaksin home. This is exactly what previous parties, like the People Power Party and the Pheu Thai, have pledged before elections in the past.

The party that led the last elected government, the Pheu Thai Party, has lost many influential members both to the new pro-Thaksin parties and to pro-military parties which oppose Thaksin’s return.
The de facto leader of the Pheu Thai, popular politician Sudarat Keyuraphan, has attempted to bolster her party in the face of rumors that Thaksin has abandoned it with so many politicians moving to other parties.
Sudarat is consistently one of the most popular politicians in the country, but has faced resistance in her attempts to gain control of the Pheu Thai.
As a non-Thaksin relative with her own political base, she is unlikely to follow Thaksin’s orders from abroad, thereby complicating his efforts to return to politics. She is also hated by the traditional rural political cliques that make up the party. She has her political base around Bangkok, making her far removed from the kingpins and voters in the Northeast that comprise the party base.
Thaksin’s son Panthongtae, once expected to join one of the new pro-Thaksin parties, instead joined the Pheu Thai. This was seen as a way for Thaksin to show he was not abandoning the party.

The Thai Raksa Chart is another new party, this one created as a home for some of the Red Shirt leadership. One benefit of this is to create more party list MPs posts for non-politician Red Shirt leaders.
Most Red Shirts leaders are not actual politicians who have home districts where they are elected. They were recruited in past years to agitate, sometimes violently, in support of Thaksin initiatives. After elections, these individuals received legal protection, as well as political positions, by being appointed party list MPs under the Pheu Thai.
However, the new charter limits the number of party list MPs meaning that Red Shirts leaders have no guaranteed path to be MPs and legal protection within the Pheu Thai. Thus, Thai Raksa Chart can provide MPs posts for important Red Shirts.
It will also likely ease the complaints of more mainstream politicians in the Pheu Thai who felt uneasy about sharing a party with Red Shirts and their sometimes extreme rhetoric.
Officially, the Thai Raksa Chart says it has no connection to the Pheu Thai Party or Thaksin. However, the party’s acronym pronounced phonetically reads “Thaksin Shinawatra.” The party logo, like the logo of all parties Thaksin has controlled, is similar to the Pheu Thai and Thai Rak Thai logos. Thus, the party clearly wants to send the message that it is Thaksin’s party despite what it says publicly.]

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Weekly News Magazines: Election Delay, January, 2019

From Manager Weekly, January 5-11, 2019
Main cover reads: King’s coronation. National sacred royal ceremony

[Refers to the official coronation of King Maha Vajiralongkorn or King Rama X who will officially crowned in a coronation ceremony on May 4-6, 2019.]

From Matichon Weekly, January 4-10, 2018
Main cover reads: [top] 26 Feb 2500 Election ‘dirty’! [bottom] 24 Feb 2552 Election ‘Clean’?

[Refers to the coming election which was originally set on February 24, 2019. There is continuing concern that the junta, led by PM Prayuth (pictured at bottom) may delay the election to stay in power longer.
The cover compares the transparency of the coming election under the junta comparing with what is considered one of the country’s worst elections during the rule of PM Plaek Phibunsongkhram (pictured top).]

Top: Happy [blue] fight the golden pig year [orange] about the [green] transparent election
[Refers to this year–the year of the pig–in which the most important event will be the election. Recently, many groups have called on the junta to not further delaying the election.]

From Lokwannee, January 4-11, 2019
Main cover reads: What my country’s got: everything (except the date of election)
[white letters] NACC
[black alphabet] EC

[Refers to controversial rap song entitled “What my country’s got” which criticized the junta and the independent agency National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC). Recently, the NACC cleared Deputy PM Prawit of a luxury watch scandal. Meanwhile, the junta is noting that the election date might again be postponed.]

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China supports the junta?

From Thairath, December 20, 2018
Left, men (their silhouettes seem to indicate they are meant to be Red Shirt leaders or anti-junta activists): We must invite the America to observe the election because there are some parties…
Middle, men: …receiving funds from China to support Big Tu [PM Prayuth] to extend his power.
Head of the village: Do you have any evidence?
Right, men: Palang Pracharat and Ruam Palang Prachachart [pro-junta political parties] announced they would raise funds from Chinese dinners.

[Some anti-junta activists suspect that the junta has made a deal with China to support Prayuth’s return to power after the elections. We think the joke here is that the only evidence of Chinese support is a political dinner to raise funds for pro-junta parties which served Chinese food.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Thairath - Chai | 1 Comment

Beijing treads carefully when scions of Thai political dynasty arrive in China in search of their roots

Beijing treads carefully when scions of Thai political dynasty arrive in China in search of their roots – scmp.com, January 7, 2019
…Yingluck posted video of their arrival on her Instagram account on Sunday, complete with a caption that said: “Chinese people flocked to welcome Thaksin and Yingluck, who came to pay respect to their Chinese ancestors.”
In the video, the sister and brother get out of a black car accompanied by an entourage of men in black suits. Chinese residents were eager to press flesh with the pair, while Yingluck and Thaksin smiled and chatted…

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Dangerous animals will take you

From Arun, Matichon Weekly, December 14-20, 2018

Man: Want to continue going… then, please.
[We are not sure who the man is, but the cartoon references the “dangerous animals” of Thai politics and how they have lined up to help the military junta stay in power even after elections.]

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Who did France copy?

From Manager, December 9, 2018
Yellow Shirt man on the left: See, those protesters in France copy our yellow color.
Red Shirt man on the right: Haa, I don’t need to tell those burning the country who copied whom.
[Refers to the yellow vest protests in France. The cartoonist jokes that, while they wear yellow, their violence more closely matches the Red Shirt protests in Thailand in 2009 and 2010.]

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Thaksin can no longer sue

From Naewna, December 7, 2018
Above the pliers: Abolish the right of a person who is very corrupt and fleeing [the country] so they can’t file a court [case].
Caption: A canine tooth has already been pulled out. Then, whom I will?

[Refers to the The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) passing into law a bill that does not allow a convicted person who flees his or her sentence the right to file criminal suits.
For years PM Thaksin has been able to run governments and protests while living overseas to escape prisons sentences while also filing legal cases against his critics in the country.
This new law is meant to prevent both fugitive former PMs Thaksin and Yinguck from harassing people with libel suits and other legal cases.]

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Weekly News Magazines: All about politics, December, 2018

From Siamrath Weekly Review, December 21-27, 2018
Main cover reads: This hour for [red] devil class
[Refers to a intense competition among the parties to win the coming election. Parties such as the Democrat Party led by Abhisit Vejjajiva (pictured) and Pheu Thai Party headed by de-facto leader Sudarat (pictured) are expected to perhaps join forces to balance or even block the formidable pro-military block from gaining power. Also pictured to the right is Anuthin Charnvirakul from the Bhumjaithai Party–thought to be pro-junta, but such a party only exists to be in power so they will try to join in any coalition they can.
Also: an earlier editorial cartoon speculating on a junta-Democrat alliance
Also: Another Thai news weekly dies as this week is the last for Siamrath Weekly Review.]

From Matichon Weekly, December 21-27, 2018
Main cover reads: Welfare… state
In the picture, pro-Prayuth politicians are on the left consisting of Industry Minister Uttama Savanayana from the Palang Pracharath party, Suthep Thaugsuban from the Action Coalition for Thailand Party, Kanchana Silpa-archa from the Chat Thai Party and Anuthin Charnvirakul from the Bhumjaithai Party.
On the right, the pro-Thaksin alliance consists of Sudarat Keyuraphan from the Pheu Thai Party, Chaturon Chaisang from Thai Raksa Chart Party, Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit from the Future Forward Party, and others we do not know.
[The cover uses the pronunciation of the word “Ratsawatdikan” or “welfare state.” Ratsawatdi-ka-ka-kan is an echo sound. “Ka” also means to make a mark. So the words means that all the parties are trying to promote the welfare state for attracting voters.
Most political parties including the pro-Prayuth alliance and pro-Thaksin alliance promote various money giveaways to the public in order to win support, particularly from the poor.]
Top: ‘Good books’ coming to you. ‘Matichon’ joins hands with ‘BEM’ giving away 40 free titles of 3,000 books activity Book [email protected] MRT X’mas Festival
[Refers to a free book giveaway at subway stations.]

From Manager Weekly, December 22-28, 2018
Main cover reads: Steamed bun is an alarmist.
[Refers to Thaksin’s sister Yaowapa Wongsawat. Recently, there was a rumor that she is planning to flee Thailand as she is afraid she will soon be charged over the rice pledging scheme.
To be called “steamed bun” means she has a chubby face. As the most powerful behind-the-scenes politician during the Pheu Thai-Yingluck government era, Yaowapa was often characterized as a stereotypical fat Chinese woman becoming fat from corruption.]
Top: My Hero 2018 [black] “Governor Narongsak Osottanakorn” “Chief Vichien Shinawong”
[Refers to hero of the year selected by Manager consisting of former Governor of Chiang Rai Narongsak Osottanakorn [right] who played an important role in the cave rescue along with wildlife sanctuary chief Vichien Shinwong (left) who dared to apprehend tycoon Premchai Karnasuta on charges of allegedly poaching protected animals.]
Bottom left: Without [yellow] “Doctor Sert” Miss Universe 2018 could not occur
[Refers to Thai billionaire businessman and former surgeon Prasert Prasarthong. He was the main sponsor of the Miss Universe 2018 pageant in Thailand.]

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