Super Too!!!

From Manager, August 27, 2014
Super Too: I will control the lottery price… suppress the motorcycle taxi mafia… control the mini-buses… enforce the traffic laws… bring beaches back… bring conserved forests back… stop corruption… eradicate the corrupt politicians… suppress people whom insult the Royal family… restore state enterprises… build the infrastructure… manage water… reform politics… these will be completed within 1 year!
Superman: Everything, within 1 year? I respect you.
Caption: Even a superman can’t.

[Newly appointed PM and junta chief Gen. Prayuth's nickname is "Too." For all the promises and expectations he has raised since the coup, he is often referred to as "Super Too."
After overthrowing the previous government, Gen. Prayuth has spoken about tackling just about every persistent problem--many of them law enforcement issues--that are hot button topics with the public. In the cartoon even Superman is incredulous that he will be able to carry them all out.]

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Stocks of “Well-known Families” Rising

From Arun, August 26, 2014
Headline: Stocks of “Well-known Families” rising upon speculation on new cabinet; Brokers said ‘construction group’ sees bright future
Above building: Government House

[This reflects the reality that in nations headed by strongmen--such as when Mahathir was Malaysian PM, when Thaksin was Thai PM, and now when Gen. Prayuth holds absolute control of Thailand--stock exchanges watch for associations with these men as a sign of share value. The reasoning is that the personal associations and whims of the top man confer special benefits on well-connected companies.
Stockbrokers coined the phrase "Thaksin premium" to highlight how companies whose leaders were seen to be close to the then PM--for instance, those seen golfing with Thaksin--were particularly lucky in terms of business opportunities and beneficial regulations.
It will be interesting to see which business leaders become associated with the junta chief and if they will reap any special benefits from their associations.]

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69 Years Ago: Americans reveal Thais cooperated against Japanese throughout the war

69 Years Ago: Americans reveal Thais cooperated against Japanese throughout the war – The Spokesman-Review, September 9, 1945
[Thanks to Tom for pointing this out.]
…virtually the entire government of Thailand, supposed to be a satellite of Japan, was actually in league with the allies.
…a list of war criminals in Thailand is now being drawn up. The list “most certainly will include”…the name of Pibul Songgram, whom he described as “the former premier who seized power as a military dictator in 1938, allowed the Japanese to march into Thailand in December, 1941, and collaborated with the occupation forces”…

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Nine years ago: Villagers claim ET sighting

Nine years ago: Villagers claim ET sighting

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Earliest English-Thai Dictionary

ScreenShot002

Earliest English-Thai Dictionary

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Thai police decide not to charge maker of the video showing vendor forcing tourist off beach

Police Near Pattaya Opt to Not Pursue Maker of Beach Abuse Video – phuketwan.com, September 7, 2014
Police have reenacted the sand-kicking intimidation incident on Lan island off Pattaya. Officers told local journalists they will no longer be pursuing the maker of the video for creating problems for Thailand tourism because what was portrayed in the video was true. Nothing was said about the owner of the sunbeds…

Also: Sand-kicking vendor to be deported

Earlier: Koh Larn vendors force tourists off beach who won’t rent umbrellas from them

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Dark days: Malaysia carrying out the broadest crackdown on opposition & activists since era of strongman Mahathir

With sedition dragnet, Malaysia takes step back to Mahathir era – Reuters, September 7, 2014
… Phil Robertson, Asia deputy director of Human Rights Watch, said the prosecutions were reminiscent of so-called Operation Lalang in 1987 under Mahathir, when more than 100 opposition politicians and activists were arrested under an old Internal Security Act (ISA) which allowed detention without trial.
“The parameters are basically the same – you are using an antiquated draconian law to go after the opposition,” he said…

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Amendments to the Foreign Business Act proposed–allow more foreign ownership, crack down on foreign nominees

Amendments to the Foreign Business Act to be proposed to Cabinet – The Nation, September 6, 2014
…Several past governments have planned to amend this law, which has been in force since 1999, to prevent nominees getting around the restrictions on foreign ownership of Thai businesses while also facilitating more investment in Thailand. However, there has been little progress on such amendments, partly because of the frequent change of governments…

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10 years ago: Visit the Makkasan Depot

10 years ago: Visit the Makkasan Depot

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You have to choose what you are going to carry

From Manager, August 24, 2014
On the country: Thailand
Caption: The next step will be more difficult. You have to choose what you are going to carry.
[The cartoon expresses concern about the role of newly appointed PM Gen. Prayuth Chan o-cha. While he has promised many groups access to participate in the reform of the country, most of his cabinet members came from the military.
This creates tension between duty for the good of the country and the maintenance of the goodwill, ego, and prestige of military officers who now expect to reap the benefits of office as all Thais do once their friend or ally obtains power.]

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What you see is not what it is

From Thairath, August 25, 2014
Cartoon title: What you see is not what it is.

Top left: What you see is god on Facebook. What it really is is a demon. [anyone know what news item this refers to?]

Top middle: What you see is the democracy’s advocate. What he really is is just a bully. [refers to the U.S. and its foreign policy]

Top right: What you see is surrogacy. What it really is is a womb-renting business. [refers to the recent surrogacy scandal]

Bottom left: What you see is a drug suppressor. What he really is is a drug trafficker. [refers to police officers caught being part of the drug trade]

Bottom middle: What you see is the democratic regime. What it really is is political business. [This shows the dangerous animals that are used to symbolize venal politicians. This refers to the elected politicians that were overthrown in the coup.]

Bottom right: What you see is a man lying still. What it really is is a politician playing dead. [means that politicians of the deposed government, as well those from the former opposition are keeping a low profile, but are definitely plotting their comeback]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Thairath - Chai | 1 Comment

Three Years Ago: First act of new Pheu Thai govt: Backs Royal Pardon to Get Thaksin Home

Three Years Ago: First act of new Pheu Thai government: Govt Backs Royal Pardon to Get Thaksin Home
…“Without Thaksin, we wouldn’t win a landslide in the election,” Chalerm said in comments broadcast on TNN cable television network. “If we have an opportunity, we will try everything to return fairness to Mr. Thaksin and bring him back home…”

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Nine years ago: The Royal Power controversy

Nine years ago: The Royal Power controversy

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Koh Larn vendors force tourists off beach who won’t rent umbrellas from them

Beach vendor bullies touristBangkok Post, September 6, 2014
…Shot on Nang Nual Beach on Koh Larn, the video shows a woman being approached by a beach chair and umbrella vendor as she sits on a towel on the sand. The man tells the woman she has to leave the spot and rent a chair and umbrella from him instead.
The tourist initially refuses but later starts to pack up her things. The man walks around her, kicking sand into her beach towel.
The angry tourist gets up and flings her sand-filled towel at the man, who responds by pushing her away. The pair argue briefly and the woman walks away…

Update: Cambodian arrested after video of vendor forcing tourist off beach goes viral

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It is easy to become the prime minister

From Thairath, August 23, 2014
Title: Governing the country… It isn’t difficult.
On the chair: The 29th PM
On the backs of men: NLA
Phi Nooring: The parliament is full of his supporters.
A mouse: Return happiness to people [mocking Gen. Pryauth to return happiness to the people by implying the military government should return the government to the people]
[The cartoon criticizes the legitimacy of the appointment of Gen. Prayuth, the head of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO, the junta) as the 29th PM by the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) since the NLA was selected by the junta.]

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Weekly News Magazines, August 29, 2014

Nation Weekend_29 Aug 2014

From Nation Weekend, August 29, 2014
Cover reads: The promise–with the honor of the tiger soldier
[Reference is to Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, the 29th Prime Minister of Thailand who promises to make the country move forward peacefully. The cover story emphasizes the potential cabinet members--many of whom are expected to be his close friends from the armed forces, particularly the Eastern Tigers.]

Matichon Weekly_29 Aug 2014

From Matichon Weekly, August 29, 2014
Cover reads: Naraporn Chan-ocha, ‘the wind beneath the wings’
Cartoon at bottom right corner: Sweetheart of the ‘Tiger with wings’
[Reference is to Associate Professor Naraporn, wife of Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha and her role as chairperson of the Army Wives Association. She successfully established solid relationships among army wives whose husbands are Gen. Prayuth's main support since the coup.
Since Gen. Prayuth assumed the premiership, her profile in the media has been raised. "Tigers with wings" refers to the Easter Tigers clique of military men who have risen all the way to the top of the power structure in the Thai political world.]

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Gen. Prayuth approves of Gen. Prayuth

From Manager, August 21, 2014
Left (Prayuth as junta head): I guarantee… no matter how badly you govern the country… I will never dismiss you.
Right (Pryauth as army Commander-in-Chief): Me, too… I ensure you that I will not overthrow your government in the same way I did with the former PM.
Caption: There has never been a PM who has those with such strong confidence in him like this.
[The cartoon illustrates the stability of Prayuth’s government as he controls power in the key positions, namely as head of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO, the junta) and as Commander-in-Chief of the Army.]

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11 Years Ago: Wise Thai investors learn to follow Thaksin

11 Years Ago: Wise Thai investors learn to follow Thaksin

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Excuses

From Komchadluek, August 21, 2014
Man: Are you crazy? You see, I have been nominated to do the ice bucket challenge in this room!!
[Refers to the ice bucket challenge trend which is now popular among world celebrities including those in Thailand.
The cartoon illustrates a common Thai occurrence--a wife finding her husband with his girlfriend. The joke here is that the man uses the ice bucket challenge as his excuse in the situation.]

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If you have enough food, then you will be happy

From Thairath, August 20, 2014
Title: Distribute the happiness
On the pot: 2558 Budget of 2.575 trillion baht
Phi Nooring: If you have enough food, then you will be happy.
A mouse: The new comer is learning to distribute.

[Refers to the military junta who has recently endorsed a 2.575 trillion baht budget bill for the fiscal year 2015 (or 2558 in Thai). This massive budget has been allocated to various groups. In the cartoon, a number of people are in line waiting for the budget distribution from Gen. Prayuth with military, army and businessmen pushing forward to get past the poor who really need it.
Gen. Prayuth is referred to as the newcomer who is learning to keep people in line by doling out money.]

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Seven Years Ago: No kidding: they actually ‘own’ political parties here

Seven Years Ago: No kidding: they actually ‘own’ political parties here

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Two Years Ago: Yingluck on every billboard

Two Years Ago: Yingluck on every billboard

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Join the Reform Council!!!

Title on top: Return happiness to Thailand; Private and public sectors join hands to select the National Reform Council
On dark blue tint: We invite juristic persons (for non-business) to nominate candidates for the National Reform Council’s selection at the Election Committee Office
Under symbol: For more information, please contact EC Office, Government Complex (Chaeng Wattana); Tel: 02-141-8888 or 1171; www.ect.go.th, or at provincial EC offices (nationwide)
The selection is sponsored by the Expressway Authority of Thailand and the Aqua Ad PCL.
At bottom left corner: NCPO [National Council for Peace and Order, the junta]; the Election Committee Office

[The National Reform Council is the junta's committee to provide suggestions for a new constitution and to ultimately approve it. It will be drafted to "prevent corruption" which in the current Thai political sense means to prevent what the establishment sees as an abuse of democracy.

This means it will prevent another popularly elected government under Thaksin's control from legislating populist measure to enrich its supporters at the expense of the nation and that ultimately acts to enable a Thaksin return to politics.

It will also ban organizations like the Red Shirts that, despite pretenses of being an independent pro-democracy movement, essentially act as political muscle at key times to support the political tactics of Thaksin.

The details of the new charter, once known, will spark another round of political agitation over accusations that it is unfair and undemocratic as well as being promulgated without benefit of a referendum.]

Another junta billboard: The Junta Promises

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Suppressing the Mafia

From Komchadluek, August 20, 2014
A soldier: Sir, I am not sure whether the measures to suppress the Mafia will work.
Above the flowers: Twinkle
[Refers to the military’s action to suppress the Mafia. Although this action has been praised by the public, the cartoonist suggests the military needs to be even tougher.]

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Anybody has any problem?

From Manager, August 20, 2014
Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha: Anybody has any problem?
Sign on desk: RPC [Royal Thai Police Commander]
Caption: No problem, sir… We dare not!!!

[Reference is to the appointment of the new police chief by the Board of the Royal Thai Police chaired by Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha on August 20, 2014.

Formerly this post was decided by elected politicians and has often been populated by cronies of the party in power or relatives of Thaksin in recent years. This gave the government in power effective control over the course of justice and enabled the government in power to prosecute their enemies and protect their allies.

Often it meant that the police were used as a counterweight to power of the military--at least in Bangkok--and the police were often accused of sympathizing with Red Shirts in their protests over the years.

The military appointment of the police chief is bold sign that the army intends to maintain firm control over the police into the future.]

More: The era of the independent (and politicized) Thai police is over

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Nine Years Ago: Political Forces Scuttle Thai Eco-Car

Nine Years Ago: Political Forces Scuttle Thai Eco-Car

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Six Years Ago: PAD’s “final war”

Six Years Ago: PAD’s “final war”

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Chuwit memes – The power of change

Since the coup, political gadfly Chuwit Kamolvisit has been using Photoshop to create humorous graphics about the political situation. Many of these have become memes widely circulated in Thai-language social media.

Above: Real life is different from a book. [Chuwit holds Suthep's book, "The Power of Change"]
Gen. Prayuth has shifted from the Army’s Commander-in-Chief to become prime minister;
Suthep [leader of the anti-amnesty protests] from a politician to a monk [Suthep went into the monkhood recently];
While Sondhi [founder of the anti-Thaksin PAD] has changed from a journalist to prisoner [Sondhi was jailed after a ruling on a fraud case].
It must be “The Power of Change”.

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Thai Land’s Ku Klux Klan hey…hey…!

From Thairath, August 18, 2014
Cartoon title: Thai Land’s Ku Klux Klan hey…hey…!
On the KKK men’s hats, from left: NLA [National Legislative Assembly]; NFA [National Reform Assembly]; CDC [Constitution Drafting Committee]
Sign in hands of the CDC: Thailand’s reform, loathing politicians
Phi Nooring: Don’t do it with a discriminatory attitude
Mouse: Want democracy back.
[Pro-Thaksin and pro-Red Shirt cartoonists are slowing becoming more confident again in their criticisms. Here Sia points out the apparent anti-elected politician attitude that has become prominent in the new government.]

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Chuwit memes – Old virtue

Since the coup, political gadfly Chuwit Kamolvisit has been using Photoshop to create humorous graphics about the political situation. Many of these have become memes widely circulated in Thai-language social media.

Above: Old virtue [behind si the iconic tower of Thammasat University]
[There is a Thai saying "benefiting from a person's old virtue" which means a person can live well at the present time because of what he inherited and not what he has done. This seems to refer to the rector of Thammasat University who has supported the coup and been the target of anonymous posters put up at the school. More on this here.]

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