From Thairath, October 1, 2014
Caption: Return happiness to the Dragon.
Phi Nooring: We don’t want the chief executive to be nominated by China.
A mouse: Return democracy
[Refers to the protests in Hong Kong. People have been protesting and calling for free elections in 2017 that do not require candidates to be vetted by the ruling party in Beijing.
"Return happiness to the people" is a frequent refrain from PM Prayuth. The cartoonist often uses the phrase to call on the military to "Return democracy or justice to the people" of Thailand.
It is notable for a pro-Red Shirt cartoonist to be siding with anti-Beijing demonstrators as it is widely rumored that Thaksin ordered the Red Shirts not to openly side with the Hong Kong protestors for fear of offending Beijing.]
Today is the anniversary of the 1973 democracy movement that overthrew the “Three Tyrants:” Thanom, Praphas, and Narong
First stirrings of a passive population: …The salary of the Prime Minister at that time was Bt120,000 and the population was 39 million. Local newspapers still referred to Thais of Chinese ancestry as Khon Chine, while Thailand was trying to resume diplomatic relations with Red China after US President Nixon decided to befriend the Maoist state…
The news from 30 years ago: …A Daily News columnist pen-named Nui Bangkokthian suggested that Thais might conclude after the regime had taken this action that: “Students are still young and it’s better that they not meddle in politics. They should let adults handle it while they concentrate on their studies so they will have secure jobs afterward. And that should be it…”
Daily News, October 14, 1974
The 14 October 1973 Memorial – Lest we forget
Time: A One-Day Revolution Topples a Dictator
October 1973 Videos on YouTube
The “Three Tyrants” finally tell their side of the story
Absolute power in 1973: …If you broke the law back in 1973, you risked having the prime minister on your case – personally judging and sentencing you, as four military conscription officers discovered to their cost…
2003: Crystal torch damage seen as bad omen
2003: Government to officially recognize democracy uprising of Oct 14
2010: At the October 14 Monument
2010: “There were dead on 14 October 1973″ and “There were dead on 10 April 2010″ The 1973 memorial is at Kokwua intersection where a gun and grenade battle broke out between Red Shirts and soldiers in 2010
Kris Srivara: …Narong personally shot into the crowds from a helicopter. Thanom and Praphas resigned from their political roles, but continued to lead the military. They ordered more troops to confront the remaining demonstrators, but were blocked by Krit…
An editorial cartoon from 2013: Thai people 40 years ago would not understand Thai people nowadays
Earlier this month: October 6, 1976: A Nightmare of Lynching and Burning
Earlier this month: October 6, 1976 Student Massacre Remembered in ‘Politics-free’ Commemoration
Yum! Brands & Yoma Strategic to Bring First KFC to Myanmar – straitstimes.com, October 13, 2014
…”Bringing KFC to Myanmar is an important step to achieving Yoma Strategic’s goal in being a key player in the country’s food and beverage sector,” Mr. Serge Pun, executive chairman of Yoma Strategic, said in the comany’s statement to the Singapore Exchange…
Roadmap to Bangkok to be ready in ’17 – Guwahati (The Asian Age), October 10 2014
The idea of driving down to Bangkok in a car or bus from any North Eastern State may become reality by 2017, with India signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Myanmar on opening four-lane motorways to promote trade and tourism from the North Eastern States into that country, and on to Thailand, and eventually Cambodia and Vietnam as well…
Urban decay cools hot Philippine economy – AFP, October 12, 2014
…Galang spends three hours commuting to work every day, half of which is spent in queues.
For other commuters on buses or in cars, daily gridlock worsens to a complete standstill that can trap people for hours when even small rain storms trigger flash floods…
From Manager, September 30, 2014
Newin: Dad, good news. Khun Pom will invite you to be the head of the NRC.
A sign on the grave: Chai Chidchob
A sign on the grave behind: Teng
A sign on the gate: A grave of the old politicians
Caption: Do we need to dig them from the grave?
[Refers to Gen. Prawit’s connections in Prime Minister Prayuth’s government. Gen. Prawit Wongsuwan, whose nickname is "Pom," is regarded by PM Prayuth as a respected senior figure and was appointed to be Deputy PM and Defence Minister. He has close relations with many "old" politicians of the 1980s and 1990s--particularly Chai Chidchob and his son Newin and also Banharn Silpa-archa, the former PM whose nickname is "Teng." These politicians or their proxies are expected to be in the National Reform Council (NRC).
The cartoonist laments that these old-school politicians, who had been sidelined by Thaksin dominance, are being resurrected for a supposedly reform government.]
US, Thai officials planning Cobra Gold exercise despite May coup – Stars and Stripes, October 10, 2014
The United States and Thailand will scale down next year’s Cobra Gold military exercise because of the rift in relations that followed Thailand’s military coup earlier this year.
“In light of the current political situation, the U.S. government has reduced the scale of the exercise and increased its focus on non-lethal activities, such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief,” the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok said in a statement Friday…
[Those who support the junta's move to create permanent military oversight over civilian politics can feel lucky the coup occurred during a U.S. administration that is not much interested in foreign policy. Other than this statement from the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok, the U.S. has seemed little interested in exerting any real pressure on Thailand.
U.S. Ambassador to Thailand Kristie Kenney has perhaps been sending messages of her own with highly publicized visits to Red Shirt groups and media outlets like Prachathai. These visits have been roundly ridiculed in Thai social media by those who support the coup.
With Kenney now returning to the U.S., Thailand will be without a U.S. ambassador for the foreseeable future and this will further underscore to the generals that the U.S. is disinterested in Thai politics. It means disappointment for dissidents who dreamed that other nations would be interested in putting pressure on the junta.
Meanwhile, China is moving fast to improve relations with Thailand. The U.S.'s status as a superpower that can project its power is based on good relations with nations that allow military bases or ports of call. Thus it is critical for China to cultivate good relations with other nations--not just engage in nationalistic bullying over disputed territory.
As Thailand is one of the few nations in the region that has no land claims or boundary disputes with China, it makes the nation an inviting possible partner for China. This may be a quixotic notion given Thailand's long history as a U.S. ally, but China is certainly going to try to capitalize on the U.S.'s foreign policy drift in the region.]
2Bangkok.com Editor Ron Morris’ book, The Thai Book: A Field Guide to Thai Political Motivations, is available in the Kindle Store.
From Thairath, September 29, 2014
Left, PM Prayuth says: I’m not gonna throw all the money for populist policies which will cause the Ministry of Finance to run out of money as in the past.
Middle: But I can throw something else that will not cause the Ministry of Finance to be in trouble.
Reporter: What are you going to throw, sir?
Right: Throw the podium.
[Refers to Prayuth’s interview saying he might throw the podium at the reporter when he was asked whether he was happy to be a PM installed by means of a coup d’état. In the cartoon, it plays with the Thai word "toom" meaning "throwing."]
From Thairath, September 29, 2014
Title: Ordered to wear hats
On two men’s coats: NLA
On the paper held on the left: Constitution
On the paper held on the right: Reform the country?
On a paper hold by the smaller man at right: Freedom
Phi Nooring: It’s trendy [to wear these box hats].
A mouse: Return a democracy
[This cartoon illustrates that the role of the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) is not independent, but donimated by the National Council of Peace and Order (NCPO, the junta) led by PM Prayuth. The hands holding the cages refers to the NCPO.
The man at far right is Sugree Charoensuk, a dean of the College of Music of Mahidol University. He wore the box on to protest Dr. Rajata Rajatanavin for holding both the university’s rector position and a government minister's post at the same time. His protest comes from Thai proverb "covering the head with a box." It means that you should cover your head with the box if you have done something very shameful.]
From Manager, September 24, 2014
A reporter on the left: Oh!… You’re so funny.
A reporter close to a podium: Yes! You’ve a sense of humor.
A reporter on the right: Oh… You said you’d throw a podium and then you did it. So awesome.
Caption: At present, if he throws it… no one will complain.
[Refers to Prayuth saying he would "throw the podium at the reporter" when he was asked whether he was happy to be the PM installed by means of a coup d’état. This attitude reflects both the paternalistic and dominant attitude Thai "big men" have towards women as well as the still fawning attitude of the press towards the strong-man PM.]
Above: From 2006: Melding imagery from the October 6 events with present-day fears. The banner reads: Globalization, transfer assets to capital, FTA, populist policies, freedom capitalism world
FT: Thai student massacre remembered
1976 Student Massacre Remembered in ‘Politics-free’ Commemoration
Student Activist Decries University’s ‘Silencing’ of 1976 Massacre
More: 1976: A Nightmare of Lynching and Burning
Above: Some of the surprising information from the Tourist Police LINE app (which usually dispenses information in the Thai language only). Continue reading
From Komchadluek, September 11, 2014
Left: Why is a soldier still holding a GT200?
Right: No! The soldier is holding the Government House’s microphone?
[Refers to the microphone controversy. The new government led by Gen. Prayuth has been criticized for the procurement of a supposedly overpriced audio-microphone system. This raises concerns that the military government that procured and defended the fraud GT200 bomb detectors will continue its follish and corrupt activities now that it runs the government.]
From an image circulated on social media:
Title: Social manners, the important things we should teach kids nowadays
No matter how the eras have changed, valuable “manners” shall be preserved, especially towards senior people. Be it father, mother, relatives and teachers, younger people should behave properly.
1. Love and respect senior people
2. Don’t gossip
3. Pay attention when they teach us
4. Speak nicely with sentence-end word [meaning to use the Thai end ofs sentence words "krub" or "kha" when completing a statement]
5. Behave properly
6. Don’t interrupt when senior people are talking
7. Be helpful
8. Be grateful
Earlier: Thai Social Etiquette
From Thairath, September 11, 2014
Title: The same killing tools
On the judge: Hastening
On book held by judge: Thai Dictionary
On man being hit (the man is supposed to be former premiere Samak): “Tasting, Grumbling” [name of a TV show Samak hosted]
On shirt of man in the front: NACC
On a book held by him: TDRI research study
On a paper held by Yingluck: Rice pledging scheme
Book in a toilet: Law
On paper in the toilet: Justice
Phi Nooring: The same schools.
A mouse: Reform the justice system
[The cartoon compares the case of the former PM Samak Sundaravej and former PM Yingluck Shinawatra. Both were dismissed from the post due to legal rulings.
Samak resigned after the court ruled that he had breached the constitution by working as a host of TV shows, including ‘Tasting, Grumbling,’ after he took the office. There were a number of other factors involved including Samak lying about the actual remuneration--he said he received nothing but travel expenses, but earlier admitted he received 80,000 baht per month--and also lying about the programs being pre-recorded before he assumed the premiership.
Some felt that the ruling against Samak was too harsh. Later, one of the judges admitted that there were some mistakes in their decision because they had to quickly rule on the case.
Yingluck was removed from her post for the unconstitutional transfer of a government official as part of a reshuffle to allow a Thaksin relative to control the Royal Thai Police. At present, investigations are ongoing concerning her cupability in the rice-pledging scheme.
This cartoon reflects a frequent demand of the Red Shirts--that the judicial system and other unelected checks be constitutional weakened so it cannot act against--in effect disband--an elected government.]
From Thairath, September 12, 2014
Title: Who shall be more ashamed?
On lyric: Conscience
On the chairs: Dean of Mahidol and Ministry of Health
Phi Nooring: Corruption during working hours.
A mouse: It’s incorrect since the beginning.
[Refers to the protest by Mr.Sugree Charoensuk, a dean of the College of Music of Mahidol University. He wore a metal box on his head to protest Dr. Rajata Rajatanavin for holding both the university rector post and the health ministry post at the same time. His protest comes from a Thai proverb that says that those who are ashamed should cover their head with a box.]
Live Updates: Immigration Crackdown in Chaing Mai, Thailand
I’m sitting here at PunSpace the coworking space in Chiang Mai, and about an hour ago 20 armed uniformed police and immigration officials stormed in and detained everyone. Currently 18 tourists are in a police van being taken to Thai Immigration near the airport.
The only four tourists left at PunSpace right now is a European guy that has his passport and a valid Education visa, myself, and an American couple who are on 30 day visas on arrival…
Holiday Killing 101: Checklist for Thai Authorities – Asia Sentinel, October 1, 2014
…Crime scene? Let’s all have a look: Even the most novice gumshoe knows that when it comes to investigating a crime, two heads are better than one. And the heads of everybody around wearing a uniform as well as some guys who don’t have any actual status, but want to have a look-see, well that’s even better. “Contamination” is such an ugly word – let’s call it “scene enhancement”.
Blame the victim: Thai culture’s glorious roots date back generations and for years we have celebrated and upheld the virtues of modesty at all times and even get a kick out of that mask dancing you see sometimes at temple fairs. Unfortunately foreigners do not share these traits and as such they often fall afoul of the cultural tenets we hold so dear. It is important to consider these failings when explaining the incident at hand.
Blame it on other foreigners: As a senior policeman noted in a report filed by the BBC’s Jonathan Head, no Thai would ever commit a crime like that one on Koh Tao. While our country is not crime free, no Thai would ever commit heinous offences that would put you off your morning rice congee upon reading of them…
From Manager, September 15, 2014
Tree: Catch them as much as you can. I have a lot.
Caption: Why don’t you cut the tree?
[Thaksin is often portrayed as a tree in Thai editorial cartoons. He has deep roots (influence and means) and thus dealing with his minions does not get at the heart of the problem. The cartoon jokes that Thaksin can call on endless numbers of men willing to serve as "men in black" so catching a few thought to be linked to the violence of 2010 will not stop further violence. The cartoonist suggests that Thaksin himself has to be dealt with to end the political agitation.]