Oct 5th, 2016

Weekly News Magazines, September 23-30, 2016


From Nation Weekend, Sep 23, 2016
Main cover reads: Pongphan Chan-“khangram”

[The woman is Pongphan Chan-ocha, a sister-in-law of PM Prayuth. This refers to  Pongphan Chan-ocha, the sister-in-law of PM Prayuth. The name on the cover refers to her inappropriate behavior that causes damage to PM Prayuth like “Chan-khanram” meaning as “the moon’s phases.”
After photos of her walking on the red carpet for the opening ceremony of a dam or weir. The public  urged the National Anti-Corruption Commission to launch an investigation of her husband Gen. Preecha, PM Prayuth’s younger brother. People want to know how this weir was named after his wife. This is yet another ironic case that impacts the junta since they vowed to fight corruption, but it appears their relatives are clamoring to be involved in high-profile government projects.]

Top: Three brotherhood from Ban Pa Wai. Wachiralongkorn camp

[Refers to the new army chief Gen Chalermchai Sitthisart, who is outside the influential military group called the “Eastern Tigers.” He comes from  a military group known as Ban Pa Wai or the 1st Special Warfare Command located at Wachiralongkorn Camp (Ban Pa Wai) in Lop Buri Province. The “three brotherhood” refers to former army chief Sonthi Boonyaratglin, former Gen. Surayud Chulanont and Gen Chalemchai. All came from the Special Warfare Command.]

Sanyaluk Donsri [bold] Drama “Pai Pongsatorn”

[Refers to Sanyaluk’s article about the well-known country music singer Pai Pongsatorn.]

Boonrat Apichart Tri Sorn [black] Models-Politicians

[Refers to new leader of Japan’s opposition party Democratic Party Renho. Before becoming a politician, she used to be a model.]

Suthichai Yoon [bold] Everything is under control of the NCPO?

[Refers to Suthichai’s article on whether the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) can really control all political situations and lead reform as they have promised.]

Jitra Kornuntakiat [bold] How vegetarianism is important.

[Refers to Jitra’s article about the vegetarians for the vegetarian festival.]


From Matichon Weekly, Sep 23-29, 2016
Main cover reads: Hit the nail, feel hurt to the whole body
The woman is Pongphan Chan-ocha, a sister-in-law of PM Prayuth.
The sign behind reads “Pongphan Chan-ocha [bold] Pongphan, Mother of development weir” [This is a typical banner extolling a politician or other high-born person for their patronage of a development project.]

[“Hit the nail, feel hurt to the whole body” is a Thai proverb meaning to attack one person or part, but it causes a big impact to the whole group. After a photo of the PM’s sister-in-law Pongphan walking on the red carpet for the opening ceremony of a an new dam, the public urged the National Anti-Corruption Commission to launch an investigate of her husband Gen. Preecha, PM Prayuth’s younger brother. This was the latest case of junta relatives becoming inexplicably involved in high-profile development projects.]

Top: Heroines of ‘Commerce’? Minister-Permanent Secretary brave to sign on ‘G-To-G’ of twenty billion rice compensation.

[Women from left to right: Commerce Minister Apiradi Tantraporn and Chutima Bunyapraphasara.
This refers to the rice pledging scheme from Yingluck’s government. Commerce Minister Apiradi Tantraporn, on behalf of PM Prayuth, authorized the ministry’s permanent secretary to sign an administrative order demanding compensation of 20 billion baht from former commence minister Boonsong Teriyapirom and other people related in bogus government-to-government rice deal.
This signing is considered a scary (or perhaps suicidal) thing to do, as few are brave enough to confront Thaksin’s political machine and its family members. It is thought that if the Red Shirts do not start to harass people who issued these orders, then the future return of another Thaksin-directed government would mean legal revenge against those who dared to cross him.]


From Lokwannee, Sep 24-30, 2016
Main cover reads: Karma caught up to a person who is corrupt (lighting on others, then it returns to yourself) [meaning the junta unjustly attached Yingluck and now they are feeling the universe’s revenge for it]
On the sign: Rice pledging scheme for farmers by ‘Yingluck Mother of Development.’

[The photo is former PM Yingluck Shinawatra. Recently, PM Prayuth vowed to fight corruption and his government launched a campaign “lighting corruption” (meaning something like “shining a light on corruption”).
Meanwhile, several junta family members have been discovered to be connected with big money government projects.
After a photo of the PM’s sister-in-law Pongphan walking on the red carpet for the opening ceremony of a new dam, the public urged the National Anti-Corruption Commission to launch an investigation.
This magazine asks people to remember that it was Yingluck who was really should be extolled for bringing good development projects to the poor.]


From Manager Weekly, Sep 24-30, 2016
Main cover reads: Treng Treng Treng Trengggg… [the sound of an xylophone]

[The couple on top is Prayuth’s younger brother Gen. Preecha Chan-ocha and his wife Pongpan. The cover ridicules Gen Preecha and his wife for trying to act like a royal family from a traditional ‘Likee’ play (pictured at the lower part of the cover).
Recently, Pongpan has been criticized for her pretensions such as sitting in elaborate chairs and walking on red carpets. Such activity is normally reserved for the royal family or the highest government officials, not relatives of military men who seized power by force. Such behavior is thought to be a reprehensible, but unavoidable, eventuality of the absolute power the junta now holds.]

Top: Jailed 3 years… Khao Phaeng case [red] Tan Thaugsuban [black] He is a grateful son

[The men from left to right: Tan Thaugsuban and his fatherSuthep Thaugsuban
Refers to Suthep’s son Tan who was sentenced to three years in jail for forest encroachment and constructing a pond at Pa Khao Phaeng on Koh Samui. The media praised him for accepting this sentence in order to avoid this matter to causing impact to this father, the leader of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee.
The subtext of the jailing of prominent people like Suthep and his son is to draw a contrast between these people and Thaksin’s family. Thaksin has resisted attempts to oversee and check his political activities and has worked single-mindedly to get an amnesty enacted to allow him to return to politics without serving jail time.]

Below: 4 month pregnant [white] Step of Drift of [yellow] Patt Napapa

[The couple is Patt Napapa and her motorbike racer husband. Refers to news of her pregnancy after rumors circulated that this has caused her to get married quickly.]

Posted in Thai Newspapers and Magazines | Leave a comment

Who will cross the Shinawatra family


From Manager, September 19, 2016
Top-left, PM Prayuth: Oh… a hot taro… hot taro!!
Right, PM Prayuth: Minister… would you help to hold it!
Below left, Commence Minister Apiradi: The Permanent Secretary helps… whoa!!!
Right: Mr. Prime Minister… whoa!!

[Refers to Thai saying “hot taro” meaning an issue which people do not want to be involved (the same as “hot potato” in English).
Commerce Minister Apiradi Tantraporn, on behalf of PM Prayuth, authorized the ministry’s permanent secretary to sign an administrative order demanding compensation from those involved in the rice pledging scheme under Yingluck’s government.
Thaksin is not an unknown quantity. During his time as prime minister, enemies died or disappeared and since his ouster, Red Shirts have applied relentless pressure to those who oppose him (such at Newin Chidchod who was hounded from politics after crossing Thaksin’s coalition in 2008). Those who shouted at Thaksin’s wife in public had their homes firebombed until they humbly apologized for the incident.
Thus, officials have to think twice before offending untouchable families. Signing the order to demand compensation from Yingluck and other Pheu Thai members would be avoided by all but the most fearless officials.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Manager | Leave a comment

Thaksin will get his revenge


From Manager, September 18, 2016
Devil Thaksin: Before signing… Khun Apiradi, please consider [what will happen] when I return… Don’t forget I’ve not died yet.
On the paper: Minister Apiradi Tantraporn (signed)
Caption: Whenever this will be signed… this devil will always show up.

[Refers to Commerce Minister Apiradi Tantraporn who recently ordered the ministry’s permanent secretary to sign an administrative order demanding compensation from the people involved in the rice pledging scheme under Yingluck’s government.
Top-level politicians in Thailand are untouchable—particularly Thaksin and his family. Orders to issues charges against them or assess fines could only happen under a military government and then only after back-stage negotiations with the Shinawatras have failed.
The permanent secretary who is reticent to order these measures against untouchable people is right to fear the consequences of crossing such a powerful family.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Manager | Leave a comment

Mahakan Fort residents keep 24-hour guard on homes amid eviction fears

Mahakan Fort residents keep 24-hour guard on homes amid eviction fears – The Nation, October 2, 2016
…She explained how due to their dread that the BMA will suddenly show up to forcibly evict them, members of the community have deployed guards at all times of the day and night for protection.
“We fear that the BMA will use dirty tricks such as a surprise raid or set fire to our homes, which is why we have organised 24-hour security that everybody in the community has to participate in,” she said.
“Normally, the elderly and children will watch for at least five hours during the day, then we swap shifts so everybody has some free time. Young men do the night shift from midnight till morning…”

From 2003: A walk through the Mahakan Fort Community
2004-2005: The first big push to remove residents
From March 2016: Junta succeeds where Thaksin failed: Mahakan Fort community facing final days

Posted in The Mahakan Fort Community | Leave a comment

They must be killed


From Thairath, September 16, 2016
Title: Must kill them
On the ax: Bar their rights forever
On the man on the stump: MP (member of parliament)
On the stump: Destroy politicians
On the two men holding the man’s arms: Appointed [meaning they are unelected]
On the man next to the table: ECT [Election Commission of Thailand]
On a card held by the man: Black [meaning the politician on the stump is being barred from holding office]
Cards on the table: Yellow, orange, red
On the man holding the left leg: Independent agencies [meaning independent oversight agencies are daring to judge elected MPs]
ON man holding the right leg: Appointed
Phi Nooring: Attack the man elected by the people.
Mouse: Using illegal power

[Under the new constitution, power is given to independent agencies and appointed groups to oversee the activities of politicians. This is stop the total demanded by elected government controlled by Thaksin.
The cartoonist contends that these new powers are being used to black-ball MPs the junta does not like.]

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

Learning from Thaksin’s mistakes

Learning from mistakes – inquirer.net, October 1, 2016
…It was Thaksin’s popularly elected, civilian government that launched a violent war on drug criminals. With vastly greater weapons for that war, a military junta is now deliberately moderating the use of violence and shifting the drug policy from a mainly police perspective. Its pragmatic approach to the problem, calculating the costs and benefits of conducting the war, has led it to a more holistic approach that recognizes drugs as a health and social problem.
PRRD should have no qualms about learning from Thailand’s failed drug policy.

Also: How many died in the drug purges?
More on Thaksin’s war on drugs

Posted in Drugs, The Thaksin Years | Leave a comment

Thailand: The dangers of farsightedness

The dangers of farsightedness – Economist, October 1, 2016
…For all of its waste and corruption, the Shinawatra style of clientilistic mass politics helped to spread spending power to the poorer regions, where local bigwigs doled out funds disbursed from the central government. All that has changed under the junta, which has kept a firmer grip on the purse-strings.
The National Village Community Fund, which has allocated 500,000 baht each to almost 80,000 villages for rural projects, is now administered by the ministry of interior. The state’s Special Financial Institutions, which provide rural credit, are now regulated by the central bank, having previously been the playthings of provincial politicians. These days, if you wait for money from Bangkok, “you’ll wait forever,” says Mr Suradech…

Posted in Economy | Leave a comment

Obama discovers Prayuth is not so bad


From Thairath, September 13, 2016
Left, President Obama: I would like to inform you that Gen. Prayuth is a good dictator… genial and more democratic than other leaders who come from democracy [elections].
Journalist: What made you change your mind?
Right: After I met with Duterte!!
Caption: [We] Should accept this.

[Refers to when Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte called President Obama “a son of a bitch” during a recent summit. The cartoonist is contending those who are elected, like Duterte or Thaksin, can be much more dangerous than those in the junta.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Manager | Leave a comment

Jail the Pheu Thai


From Manager, September 11, 2016
Sign in front of the building at left: Pheu Thai Party
Sign in front of the building at left: Entrance
Sign at the right side of the building: Exit
Man 1: Who designed the exit of the party building like this?
Man 2: A master [“Master” here refers to Thaksin who is the owner and boss of the party. Opponents of the Pheu Thai and their MPs as slaves of Thaksin. This implies that they are all going to jail for serving Thaksin like slaves.]
Sign in front of the buildings at right: Prison
Caption: They designed it like this.

[Refers to the political situation of the Pheu Thai Party. Since the junta took power, many Pheu Thai Party members have faced corruption charges for their activities including the rice pledging scheme and the submission of amnesty documents for Thaksin’s benefit. The joke is that politicians who joined the party and then worked single-mindedly for Thaksin’s benefit are not paying the price for their choices.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Manager | Leave a comment

Weekly News Magazines, September 16-23, 2016


From Lokwannee, Sep 17-23, 2016
Main cover reads: Perfectly… smooth
On the sword: Using the Article 44 to end the military court.

[Refers to the latest order that national security cases will be judged in civilian court after two years of military courts handling them. “Perfectly… smooth” means the junta played the announcement smoothly by claiming they were making the change because the country was now at peace. However, many groups allege the change was done ahead of PM Prayuth’s U.N. meetings to avoid criticism from member countries.]


From Nation Weekend, Sep 16, 2016
Main cover reads: Pay respect to Uncle Tu.

[The woman is a main character named “Ubon” from a drama entitled Pitsawat.
Refers to PM Prayuth’s statement calling on people to watch Pitsawat which is about a lady named “Ubon” who was killed her husband to be the ghost to protect the country’s treasures. The main character name is played by famous actress Woranut Noon Bhirombhakdi. Prayut’s nickname is Tu so the cover means that the drama thanks the PM for his recommendation to watch their show.]

Above right: 2 years of the NCPO’s government can [yellow] ‘control’ [white] the annoyances.

[The photo shows PM Prayuth. Since the junta took a power, they have attempted to deal with various political groups in order to push forward their road map of reform and pacify the longstanding political conflicts that have unsettled the country.]

Left side: Paiwarin Khao-Ngam [yellow] excited for the S.E.A Write Award.

[Refers to Paiwarin’s article about the coming announcement of the Southeast Asian Writers Award winner.]

Khongruk Kumpairoj [yellow] the front runner of the S.E.A Write Award.

[Refers to Khongruk’s article about the front runners for the Southeast Asian Writers Award.]

Eak Akkanee [yellow] Following the path of Pha Ajan Lop.

[Refers to Eak Akkanee’s article about the life of senior monk Pha Ajan Lop.]


From Matichon Weekly, Sep 16-22, 2016
Main cover reads: Le Petit [red] “Red hat”

[The man is Assistant Army Commander Chalermchai Sittisart who was appointed army commander. In the article they say that the headline refers to the word “Le Petit” which makes people thinking about the famous novel “Le Petit Prince” or the word “little” in “Little Red Riding Hood.”
Gen. Chalermchai came from the Special Warfare Command which is known as the Red Hat Army. The cover tries to show that this red hat is not cute like int the Le Petit Prince or the Little Red Riding Hood, but that the new army commander is a strong man with tough responsibilities as the new army chief.]

Top right: SEXBOT When ‘humans’ have sex with ‘robots’

[This article refers to the possibility of the human to have sex with a robots.]


From Manager Weekly, Sep 17-23, 2016
Main cover reads: If conditions are set, [red] will you still fight?

[The man is PM Prayuth. This cover implies that, at present, the junta can control the political situation. However, the article questions if Prayuth has the nerve to stop Thaksin if his proxies begin to agitate and gain power again.]

Top: Deepening story of the game between [red] Muangthong-Port F.C [black] Whenever they meet, it will be big.

[Refers to the football game between Muangthong United F.C and Port F.C.]

Left side: In love for 4 months. Navin Tar [blue] suddenly engaged. Let’s see whether the [pink] ‘good news’ will be announced.

[The woman is Passavee Payacaboot while the man is popular singer Navin ‘Tar’ Yaowapalkul. This refers to the love story between Navin Tar and Passavee. The article seems to imply either a wedding or pregnancy might be announced soon.]

Posted in Thai Newspapers and Magazines | Leave a comment

Falling 2016

Foreigner in fatal plunge from Patong guesthouse

Aussie survives Phuket balcony fall

Soi Cowboy bar owner dies in 39-storey fall

Young American falls to death in Udon

Frenchman Falls to Death from Luxury Sathorn Condo

Caucasian Man Dies in Pattaya Balcony Fall

Northern Irish teenager dies after falling from Bangkok condo

New Zealand tourist dies after fall from Khaosan Road hotel

Finnish man falls to death at Chiang Mai hotel

Japanese man plunges to death from Silom building

Posted in Falling | Leave a comment

We want slow justice!


From Thairath, September 16, 2016
Left: Politicians are opposing the ECT [Election Commission of Thailand] regarding the election corruption case if the ECT is the one who judges the case. We prefer to have the Supreme Court make the judgement!
Middle: Do you think you can escape if the court makes the judgement?
We don’t think we can escape…
Right: …but we hope that the Supreme Court decision would be [delayed] more than 10 years and that we can get elected and go into Parliament to get our money back a few times.

[Political parties tend to oppose the Election Commission of Thailand ruling on corruption cases. This is because their verdict would be swift and such a body represents the dreaded independent organization with oversight of the elected. Dismantling such organizations was a priority of Thaksin’s Thai Rak Thai party in the early 2000s.
If such cases are left to Thailand’s courts, such verdicts can be drawn out almost indefinitely based on which political group holds power. This is done with endless legal diversions and delays as well as influence peddling which the Thai system specializes in.
The reference to “get our money back a few times” refers to Thai perceptions of democracy. It is thought that only people who have obligations to others run for office and their goal is to pay themselves back and bring financial benefits to their allies. Thus, the corrupt do not want allegations of them promptly ruled on so they have time to recoup more money in the meantime.
The depiction of the politians as wild animals refers to the Thai saying about “tiger-lion-bull-rhinoceros.”]

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

Get off the sidewalk!


From Thairath, September 13, 2016
Left: Good news or bad news?
Good news first.
Middle: The good news is the cars on the road is a little bid decreasing.
Then what is the bad news?
Right: It is decreasing because motorcycles use the sidewalks as roads.

[This refers to recent news of motorcycle taxi drivers beating someone who complained that they were driving on a bikepath.]

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

Sondhi will still shine


From Manager, September 7, 2016
Only say goodbye to come back again in the same sky
Return with the light to the world
Still be the same Sun but different timing
Standing with the mightiness of the Sun
By Surawitch Verawan

[This refers to former Yellow-shirt founder and head of the Manager Media Group Sondhi Limthongkul. He was jailed for fraudulent dealings involving his company that violated the Securities and Exchange Act.
In the poem, Sondhi is praised as the Sun since his offices are on Phraarthit Road. “Phraarthi” means the “sun” in Thai. The poem says that even though Sondhi is jailed, he is still shining.
Some claim that Thaksin’s unwillingness to help Sondhi evade his legal cases is what initially sparked Sondhi-sponsed protests against Thaksin (although the excess of Thaksin’s regime provided plenty of reasons for protest).
Others speculate that Sondhi’s willingness to face justice and be incarcerated is supposed to contrast with Thaksin’s unwillingness to serve time for charges brought against him.
Most feel that Sondhi will be pardoned after a few years for good behavior. This is an expected outcome for high profile people who humbly submit to the law and serve their time.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Manager | Leave a comment

Prayuth’s Brother Defends Lucrative Army Contracts Awarded to Son

Prayuth’s Brother Defends Lucrative Army Contracts Awarded to Son – Khao Sod, September 19, 2016
A nephew of junta chairman Prayuth Chan-ocha received nearly 27 million baht in contracts from the army region his father once commanded, an investigative news agency reported Monday…

[This is an example of the “lucky” dynamic that infects Thai society. It is entirely possible that there may have not been direct influence exerted to win the contract. However, Thais would tend to bend over backwards to cater to those they know who are connected–thus giving an overwhelming advantage to relatives of those they know hold real power.
This recalls Thaksin’s own lucky son who was able to have an advertising deal renegotiated to cut him in.]

Posted in 2Bangkok News | 1 Comment

The development of tools for hanging


From Thairath, September 6, 2016
Mose man Phi Nooring: CPR can cause a ruptured liver
Mouse: The world’s amazing.
Caption: The development of tools for hanging

[Refers to the investigation of the mysterious death of former Phuket Provincial Land Officer Thawatchai in the custody of the Department of Special Investigation (DS). First, the DSI reported that he died because he hanged himself with socks. Later, his family called for the clearer explanation of his death after finding out Thawatchai’s liver was ruptured. However, the DSI said the ruptured liver might have been caused by CPR he received.]

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

The three P’s


From Manager, September 6, 2016
Left letter: I built you and hope one day when you grow up, you will be like me. Don’t you want it?
Right letter: No, I don’t want it!
Right: I want to be like that ‘P’!
Caption: New hero of brother ‘P’

[We are not entirely sure of the meaning. The letter is the Thai letter for “p” which, in this case seems to stand for the “3 P’s” of Thai political power now–Deputy PM Prawit (considered the most powerful figure in government), PM Prayuth (attention-grabbing leader of the junta and government), and Privy Councilor Prem (former army commander-in-chief, prime minister, and now head of the Privy Council).
The cartoon implies that either Prawit or Prayuth seek to be elevated to head of the Privy Council once Prem, now 96, passes away.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Manager | 1 Comment

How to get Sondhi out


From Manager, September 6, 2016
Dhammachayo: The death of you, Mr. Thawatchai, made the DSI lose their credibility to arrest me. Here, a hammer to break heaven’s door. I give you for free… Don’t need to donate… naja.
Caption: Must give him huge rewards.

[Refers to the mysterious death of former Phuket Provincial Land Officer Thawatchai Anukul in the custody of the Department of Special Investigation (DSI). Initially, the authorities announced that Thawatchai committed suicide by hanging himself with socks. However, his family suspect he was killed in custody by officers. Due to this case, the credibility and of the DSI has been further damaged.
The cartoon shows Dhammachayo, Dhamakaya temple’s abbot, who is facing a charge from the DSI for money laundring. The death of Thawatchai in custody helps Dhammachayo to question the ethics and vercity of the DSI that brought charges against him. The DSI has long be a political tool that governments have used to harass the opposition.
The cartoon shows Dhammachayo giving Thawatchai (with socks still tied around his neck) the hammer to open the door of heaven in gratitude for harming the DSI’s reputation.
‘Naja’ is a polite word used by a girl to end at the sentence. However, Dhammachayo uses this word as well and the media mocks him for this affectation.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Manager | Leave a comment

Weekly News Magazines, September 9-16, 2016


From Nation Weekend, Sep 9, 2016
Main cover reads: People have their own karma.

[Refers to Buddhist principle of ‘karma’ in the way Thais interpret it to mean that we do in the past will come back to punish us in the future. In this case, Sondhi, a founder of the Yellow Shirt groups and the Manager Media Group was jailed for 20 years because he violated the Securities and Exchange Act.
This many also imply that Sondhi’s actions have created his fate–including extreme protest that went beyond the bounds of Thai rules of compromise and bringing royal symbols into his protests. He is also hated as his media machine went on the attack against anyone who has been in power, including the Democrat Party and the military.]

Above right:
Special dancing [yellow] ‘Laos-America’ [white] Sweet relations

[Refers to the recent ASEAN Summit in Laos. The US announced it would help Laos to clear remnants of US bombs from the Vietnam war era.]

Left side:
Buran Ranti [yellow} Mani Sakai’s way

[Refers to Buran Ranti’s article about the old tribe named Sakai where stays in the southern part of Thailand.]

Chamlong Fungcholjitr [white] leave it to the land.

[Refers to Chamlong’s article about the new amulet named “Leave it to the land”]

Chalermsak Ngaemngarm [yellow] “A House with 2 Floors”

[Refers to Chalermsak’s novel titled “A House with 2 Floors”]

Paiwarin Khao-Ngam [yellow] Issue on reading

[Refers to Paiwarin’s article about reading in Thailand]

Jitra Kornuntakiat [yellow] Warning for people playing stocks.

[Refers to Jitra’s article warning people to prepare for the risks before playing the stock market]


From Matichon Weekly, Sep 9-15, 2016
Main cover reads: Heating up at G20 China

[The men in the photo from left to right: PM Prayuth and China’s President Xi Jinping.
Refers to the recent G20 Meeting held in China. The article notes that the issues of the meeting might not be as interesting as the events taking place outside the meeting, particularly the conflict between the U.S. and Chinese staff during the arrival of U.S. President Barack Obama.]

Top right: Liver was ‘ruptured.’ To DSI. Mystery case of the death in custody.

[Refers to the  mysterious death of former Phuket Provincial Land Officer Thawatchai in the custody of the Department of Special Investigation (DSI). First, the DSI reported that he died because he hanged himself by using socks. Later, his family called for a clearer explanation of his death after finding out his liver was ruptured. However, the DSI said the ruptured liver might be caused by CPR performed on him.]


From Lokwannee, Sep 10-16, 2016
Main cover reads: Good licking, getting a good result. Bad licking, getting a bad result.
A sign held by a water monitor: Appointed by the group of people

[This cover shows as water monitor emerging from a military egg.
In Thai, to call someone a water monitor is an insult. Licking is mean to mean fawning behavior to ingratiate oneself with someone.
This cover implies that the new draft constitution allows non-elected people to be appointed in the government including the prime minister. This means that persons with close ties to high-ranking military will have a good chance to get these appointments.]

20 years jailed Sondhi. Being deleted from the power board.

[Refers to the founder of the Yellow Shirt group and the Manager Media Group Sondhi Limthongkul who was jailed for 20 years due to violating the Securities and Exchange Act. Many influential political figures have been decreased their roles in politics. Sondhi is another of these figures.]


From Manager Weekly, Sep 10-16, 2016
Main cover reads: My Way

[Refers to Manager Media Group founder Sondhi Limthongkul who was jailed for 20 years due to violating the Securities and Exchange Act. Sondhi has been praised from many in the public for not fleeing the charge and instead faced the Supreme Court’s decision. This is in contrast to Thaksin who has lived in exile since 2008 to escape a jail term.
“My Way” refers to the English-language song about charting one’s own path. Here on the cover of Sondhi’s publication, Manager Weekly, it seems to extol and lionize him for his brave stand to face jail instead of running away. Few “big men” in the Thai world allow themselves to be subject to the decisions of courts.]

On the right side
Future of ‘Zico’? If can’t qualify to the World Cup… ?

[Refers to the future of Thailand’s football manager Kiatisuk Senamuang, known as Zico, after his disappointing performance in the recent matches of the final round of World Cup qualifying campaign.]

Taking advantage

[Refers to Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister General Chatchai Sarikulya who recently denied the planning to use Article 44 to build Mae Wong Dam. This plan is opposed by environmental groups and NGOs.]

Posted in Thai Newspapers and Magazines | 2 Comments

Thailand’s Authoritarianism


From Thairath, September 3, 2016
Title: Ticks are so noisy.
Words from the men on the army boot: Having malicious intention, Prem’s model, Cheating, Don’t believe
On the men’s shirts: Fellow, servants, appointed by a group, patron-client system
Signs held by Red Shirt leaders from back to front: The charming PM must be elected by the people. And follow the democracy model accepted by the international community.
Phi Nooring: Afraid of not having something to hold on to.
Mouse: Thailand’s authoritarianism.
In the bubble next to the mouse: Itchy.

[In Thailand, to call someone as a tick implies they are a parasite that stick to other people for their own benefit. The cartoon illustrates that there are lot of people trying to stick to the junta for their own benefit.
The cartoon mentions “Prem’s model” to refer to Thailand’s political system in the 1980s. The new constitution appears to recreate this semi-democratic system from that period.]

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

Weekly News Magazines, September 3-9, 2016


From Lokwannee, Sep 3-9, 2016
Main cover reads: Lesson 1. Reform before election. Elected politician = Bad, Appointed politicians = Good

[Refers to the junta’s promise to reform the country, including the approved draft constitution which will allow appointed persons to participate in politics, particularly the prime minister who can apparently be a non-elected person. This mimics the Thais system that was prominent 30 years ago. This issue is discussed as not being democratic since politicians should represent the people’s voice.]


From Matichon Weekly, September 2-8, 2016
Main cover reads: Thailand 4.0 ‘P’ model

[Men in the photo from left to right: Privy Council President Prem Tinsulanonda, PM Prayuth Chan-ocha and Dep PM Prawit Wongsuwan. These are believed to be the most powerful people in Thailand at this time.
The headline refers to Thailand’s new economic model named ‘Thailand 4.0’ which will focus on creativity and innovation.
However, the cover implies that reform and development of the country really is based on these three persons who have names that start with ‘P’.]

Top right: Matichon Weekly Go, 2 September Share; Show

[This is an advertisement about the launch of Matichon Weekly’s new website.]


From Nation Weekend, September 2, 2016
Main cover reads: Elite model

[The man in the picture is PM Prayuth. This refers to concept that the prime minister can be appointed as an unelected “outsider.” This raises concern that the new system will allow PM Prayuth to retain power as prime minister.]

Top right headline: Thepchai Yong, Not only [yellow] ‘Big Tu’ [white] that need to be charming

[Refers to Thepchai’s article on PM Prayuth’s future. The article is curious whether he will be not involve with the politics after having the election due to the new draft constitution which allow the PM to be appointed.]

Headlines on the left:

1. Daily novel from [red] ‘Kim-eng’ [white] to [red] ‘Ying Kai’

[Refers to the recent arrest of fraud suspect Kamonthat Thanathornkhositjira, sister of lese majeste suspect Monta Yakrattanakan or Ying Kai. Kamonthat is also known as Kim-eng.]

2. Impact from digital [red] kills song writers-musicians

[Refers to the impact of illegally downloading songs on the livelihood of musicians.]

3. Troublesomeness of October people [red] Doctor Leab’ [white] was jailed

[Refers to former ICT minister Surapong Suebwonglee, known as Doctor Leab. He was jailed due to dereliction of duty for authorizing the amendment of a concession to allow Thaksin’s business Shin Corp to reduce its minimum shareholding in Thaicom corp.
He is one of political activists during the 1973 Thai popular uprising. The article points out the irony of how some of the heroic democracy activists of the past joined with Thaksin to defraud the country.]

4. Isan singer who is going to the wrong band. [red] Doctor ‘Pherm’ [black] misbehavior

[Refers to Ban Phai district municipality mayor Premsak Piayura who is forced a reporter to strip off his clothes to humiliate him. The saying “Isan singer who going to the wrong band” is an idiom meaning as people acting inappropriately.]

5. Cycle of life. The poor who knows what is ‘enough’

[The article is about the poor who live their lives in a self-sufficient manner.]


From Manager Weekly, September 3-9, 2016
Main cover reads: I am not involved.

[The man on the cover is Privy Council President Prem Tinsulanonda.
The article examines the appointment of the new army chief. This article implies that not only do PM Prayuth and Dep PM Prawit have the power to appoint the new chief, but Prem also played the role in the appointment. However, Prem always denies he wields power behind the scenes.]

Top right: Phuket Conspiracy [blue] ‘lands in Phang Nga’ [black] ruptured liver and died

[Refers to the mysterious death of Thawachai Anukul who was being held by the Department of Special Investigation (DS). Initially, authorities claim he committed suicide, but many suspect he might have been killed in by officer to silence him.]

Bottom left: “Tum” The star [pink] Responsible for only kids–not his wife. The saying hurts his wife’s feeling.

[Refers to singer Suthon “Tum” Boosamsai who divorced with his wife after having an affair with other women.]

Right: Disclose [red] “Pol Dutchie” [black] Influential person in the media

[Refers to a business conflict between well-known actor Atichart ‘Aum’ Chumnanon and Pol Dutchie.]

Posted in Thai Newspapers and Magazines | Leave a comment

Thaksin is the People’s Choice


From Thairath, August 31, 2016
Title: Charming PM in the democratic way [this shows how charming and respectful at PM is who comes from elections as compared to one with military backing]
Left: People elect
This shows former PM Thaksin being put in the prime minister’s chair
Signs held by people from left to right: He’s the people’s choice. It [the Prime Minister] must come from parliament members.
On the backs of the men: People
Phi Nooring: This is what we want.
Mouse: The real democracy
Right: Followers elect
On the back of the soldiers: Return happiness [this is the junta’s motto]
On the paper: Write their own rules, approve it by themselves for their own benefit
On men’s back from left to right: NRSA [National Reform Steering Assembly], appointed senators, NLA [National Legislative Assembly]

[The cartoon contrasts the prime minister coming from elected MPs as opposed the the current junta method who stage managed a new charter to thwart the people from electing Thaksin (or Thaksin’s proxy) once again.]

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

13 years ago: Mad scramble as Thai police fight for 10 million dollar reward for capturing top al-Qaeda figure

Mad scramble as Thai police fight for 10 million dollar reward for capturing top al-Qaeda figure

Posted in Today in History | Comments Off on 13 years ago: Mad scramble as Thai police fight for 10 million dollar reward for capturing top al-Qaeda figure

12 years ago: Going after Akeyuth

Going after Akeyuth

Posted in Today in History | Comments Off on 12 years ago: Going after Akeyuth

12 years ago: Thaksin’s increasing anger and boldness

Thaksin’s increasing anger and boldness

Posted in Today in History | Leave a comment

Why keep Prayuth When You Can Have Another Thaksin Relative?


From Manager, August 30, 2016
Red Shirt leader Jatuporn gestures to PM Prayuth: Under the dictator… you can’t choose the PM. The PM must be this man… It doesn’t work compared with democracy.
Right: We have four PMs for you to choose.
The people are four close Thaksin relatives (left to right): Panthongtae, Peathongtarn, Yaowapa, Pintongtha
Caption: The difference [between]… Dictatorship and democracy

[Red Shirt leader Jatuporn who has been pointing out that the system under the new charter will return PM Prayuth to power. The cartoonist jokes that democracy would inevitably return non-politicians like Thaksin family members to the prime minister post again to try to engineer another Thaksin amnesty.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Manager | Leave a comment

Who got rich?


From Manager, August 28, 2016
Thaksin’s sister Potjaman says: Look, kids… Doctor Leab helped corruption for this huge amount of money for our family to have unlimited funds.
Thaksin’s children from left to right are Peathongtar, Panthongtae, and Pintongtha
Caption: If he looks outside, will he see this picture?

[The man in jail is Dr. Surapong Suebwonglee, former ICT minister during Thaksin’s government, whose nickname is Leab.
Recently, he was jailed for malfeasance in office by illegally changing a telecom concession contract to help then Prime Minister Thaksin’s Shin Satellite Corp. This was one of the most notorious incidents of government policy and Thaksin family interests intersecting during Thaksin’s time in office.
The Thai media often point out how low-level political appointees and minions of the Thaksin family end up serving time in jail while Thaksin’s family itself remains untouchable.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Manager | Leave a comment

Who said the police couldn’t arrest the bombers?


From Manager, August 25, 2016
Title: Who said the police couldn’t arrest the bombers?
Under the cage: Bombers who were arrested
Under the camera: The officer who arrests

[This criticizes the police’s performance in dealing the Mother’s Day bombing case and bombing cases in general.
In most high-profile bombings–especially of a sensitive nature like the 2006 New Year’s Bombings or the more recent Erawan Shrine bombings–either no one is arrested or the police put forward a murky and confusing case to the public.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Manager, Terrorism, Thai Police | Leave a comment

Snake and Tiger


From Naewna, August 24, 2016
Above the small snake: Phai Daodin
Above the tiger’s head: NCPO
Caption: The highest dream of a little anaconda

[This cartoon ridicules anti-coup activist Phai Daodin’s hunger strike to protest the NCPO (National Council for Peace and Order or the present ruling junta). Phai Daodin was first jailed due to distributing leaflets with opposing views on the draft constitution.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons | Leave a comment

13 Years Ago: Debating the Sukhothai Stone

Sukhothai Stone: Historians affirm artefact’s value

[13 years ago, such historical questions could still be openly debated within Thailand. This was despite suggestions and warnings that historians should not debate the authenticity of the stone.
However, as Thailand’s royalty and its royal history began to be invoked in pro- and anti-Thaksin protests, such questioning grew off limits and scholars were threatened with lese majeste charges.]

Posted in Today in History | Leave a comment