Jul 28th, 2016

Article 44 got dull

160711manager

From Manager, July 11, 2016
On the sword: Article 44
From the top to bottom (“killing” here relates to the action of a sword to stamp out or end the activity): Killing bad boys [referring to brawling technical college students], transfer civil officers, killing alcohol restaurants around schools, killing students fighting, transfer civil officers, don’t allow fireworks and lanterns, transfer civil government officials
Caption: Doesn’t have any shape left to kill Dhammachayo.

[Refers to the use of the Article 44 by which the junta wields absolute power to directly tackle intractable problems.
However, the junta has appeared to take a gentler line with Dhammachayo who has arrayed his followers as a human shield to avoid arrest. The junta has constantly deferred to proper legal procedures in dealing with the standoff.
This seems odd as the controversial temple has often acted in concert with Thaksin’s political machine. This is the same political machine that is the junta main target.]

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Naughty kids who love to throw stones

160711naewna

From Naewna, July 11, 2016
Title: The story of naughty kids who love to throw stones.
On the tank: NCPO
On the tank is the constitution plinth with the words: Draft constitution

[As the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) is trying to push forward the draft constitution to be approved, there are many groups, such as the Red Shirts, calling on people to reject it. The cartoonist paints them as petulant children trying to cause trouble.]

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Winning on the fake

160710thairathchai
From Thairath, July 10, 2016
Title: Winning on the fake

Top left: Fake title deeds to build resorts in a half of the country
[Refers to the Agricultural Land Reform Office (ALRO) illegally allocating deeds to lands which are then occupied by the rich. This has long been a problem, but governments dominated by regional tycoons always prevented reforms. The junta however, used the absolute power of Article 44 to retake many resorts that had been found to be situated on ALRO-allocated land.]

Top middle: Travel companies with fake-Thai nationality spreads out

[Refers to how Chinese companies set up travel companies in Thailand to cater to the massive influx of Chinese tourists, but, as the tourism business is reserved for Thai citizens, fake the nationality of the company so it appears to be owned by Thais.]

Top right: Fake saint promoting human rights ideology
[Refers to the US’s actions in chastising Thailand’s and other countries for human rights violations. As the US is beset by many of its own human rights scandals, many Thais see US statements on the Thai situation as a cynical attempt to intervene in Thailand for their own benefit. For instance, US call for “quick elections” after the coup would have obviously brought a Thaksin-directed party back to power. This is cited by both Thaksin foes as well as Red Shirt leaders as a sign that the US sides with Thaksin and wants him back in power.]

Bottom left: Fake exit deceiving the people who want the election as the right answer for the country

[The woman is Red Shirt leader Thida Thavornseth who has been urging for elections and the return of democracy. The cartoonist contends that, if the election takes place, the same bad politicians will return to harm the country.
About the animal-headed figures]

Bottom middle: Fake hi-so facing jail

[Refers to Monta Yokrattanakan, known as Khunying Kai, who lodged complaints against her former employees. After the police investigated, it was found she was involved with many cases of deception involving powerful persons. She was jailed after it was learned she used the royally bestowed title “Khunying” despite never having been given the title.
“Hi-so” is a Thai term meaning “high society society” often used to refer to those with pretensions of being in a high social class.]

Bottom right: Why don’t you invite the UN to see the fake draft constitution?

[This mocks the anti-junta Red Shirts who have asked the UN to monitor Thailand’s political situation. The cartoonists suggests that the Red Shirts allow the UN to monitor the many fake versions of the charter that have been circulated to try to get people to vote against it.]

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Raise the flag!

160706thairathsia

From Thairath, July 6, 2016
Title: The goal is to plant the flag
On the flag: Want to stay longer
On the military’s shirt: Return happiness
On the balloon: Promote the referendum
On the paper held by people in the jail: People who think differently
On the bowl: Red bowl [referring to the red bowls distributed by Thaksin for Songkran that were confiscated by the military]
Phi Nooring: Happy about staying longer or unhappy?
Mouse: Searching for freedom

[Refers to the coming referendum on the draft constitution. The junta has pledged to “return happiness to the people” and has urged people to accept the draft. The junta has been criticized for violating people’s rights and restricting the freedom to express opposition to the draft.
This cartoon shows the anti-junta assertions about the charter–that is is simply an attempt for the military to cling to power. This perhaps undervalues the actual political dynamic that saw the military stepping in to specifically block Thaksin from politics.
However, the idea of resisting the military’s intrusion into politics has deep roots going back to the 1973 anti-government protests as well as the events of the early 1990s which saw coup leaders maneuvering their way into politics after promising not to.
On the other hand, the “semi-democracy” of the 1980s that the new charter will bring again (and which some foreign media have deeply lamented) is often viewed as a golden age in Thai politics.
This is when widely respected Prime Minister Prem oversaw the modern development of Thailand and shepherded the nation into one of the “Asian Tigers.” At the same time, he faced down opportunistic coup attempts and pacified the communist movements in the country. Prem was precisely the sort of academic, aloof, non-political personality that appeals to a Thai public that is often skeptical about democracy.
The charter vote will likely show which of these viewpoints will prevail–either a disgust with military oversight of politics or a nostalgia for the semi-democracy of the 1980s and the political peace it promises.]

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Keep monitoring only one channel

160707thairathsia

From Thairath, July 7, 2016
Peace TV says: We don’t want a 99.99% democracy. We call on monitoring fraud in the referendum.
On TVs in the background: Like dictators, Support the coup d’état, Good at flattering [this allegedly represents the mainstream media and their comments toward the junta]
Phi Nooring: Keep monitoring only one channel [meaning the military is only cracking down on Peace TV for its viewpoints]
A mouse: Violate the media’s freedom
Caption: Always a defendant

[Refers to the Red Shirt satellite TV channel Peace TV which was suspended for one month due to violating the rules of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunication (NBTC) and the junta’s orders for its comment on the charter referendum.]

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The academic who is not neutral

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From Manager, July 6, 2016
On the people’s shirts from left to right: Teacher A, Teacher B, Teacher C, and Teacher T
Caption on the left: 3 teachers we believe are neutral.
At left is Assistant Prof. Dr. Prinya Thaewanarumitkul, from Thammasart University [Who are the other two?] At far right is anti-Yingluck protest leader Suthep. The “T” on Suthep’s shirt comes from his name Su-Thep
Caption on the right: But this teacher… is not neutral for sure.

[Many academic groups have criticized the draft constitution for not being democratic. The Thai public places great store on the viewpoint of the supposedly neutral academic. This is thought to be a learned person who speaks not for their own motives or those of third parties.
Deeply partisan, formerly Democrat Party leader Suthep recently called on people to accept the draft contending it was suitable for the country’s situation.
The Manager Group and its editorial section (that produces this cartoon), is not only rabidly anti-Thaksin, but often rabidly anti-Democrat Party as well. This hatred comes from the view that the Democrat Party purports to be Thailand professional democratic solution, but in reality seeks to benefit politically from every anti-democratic incident. In this case it is the military’s constitution which would likely leads to a minority party like the Democrats being a leading voice in the next government due to military support and their anti-Thaksin stance.
Another complaint about the Democrats is that they have repeatedly benefited politically from the political activities of others–such as the anti-Thaksin Yellow Shirts. However, this complaint is somewhat muted by Suthep leading the anti-Yingluck protests (although he supposedly resigned from the Democrat Party before doing so).]

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Chinese domination

160705thairathsia

From Thairath, July 5, 2016
Title: Money for dominating the country
On the money bag: Consultant cost
On the block: Thai-Sino train 3.5 km
Phi Nooring: Are we a brotherhood?
Mouse: Don’t be a colony

[Refers to the Thai-Chinese high-speed train project. This cartoon expresses concern that this project, bankrolled by China, will allow foreign domination of the country.
Both governments agreed to start the construction of a short section of 3.5km even though they have not settled on the overall project yet.
China and Chinese immigrants have long been an issue in Thailand with viewpoints vacillating between viewing Chinese influence as an unSiamese scourge and wholeheartedly accepting the Chinese world as part of Thai history and culture.
The cartoon, coming from a pro-Thaksin cartoonist, probably just represents the anti-military opposition’s annoyance that the army is making (and thus benefiting from) big-money deals that have usually been the purview of politicians.]

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Politicians caused this problem

160704manger

From Thairath, July 4, 2016
Sudarat Keyuraphan: For the country to have a way out… Noi would like to ask all my politician friends… to put the gun to your head… Once Noi counts to 3… then you can shoot!
Sign: Meet to find a way out for the country
[Some of the politicians in the image: Man to the left of Sudarat is Abhsit Vejjajiva. To the right is Yingluck Shinawatra. Next to Yingluck are Red Shirt leaders Jatuporn Prompan and Wattana Muangsuk.]
On Jatuporn’s shirt: Don’t cancel. Don’t have fraud. [Refers to the anti-fraud center to monitor the referendum of the draft constitution. The Red Shirt motto for the center is to insist there there should not be fraud and that the junta also not cancel or annul the referendum.]
On Wattana’s shirt: I don’t accept the constitution.
Caption: Trying to find a way out for the country like this means… a guarantee of real effectiveness.

[Refers to the meeting planned by Sudarat, whose nickname is Noi, to discuss political reforms due to her contention that politicians were part of causing Thailand’s political problems. This meeting would have invited key political parties to participate.
However, as Sudarat has been anointed by Thaksin to take over the Pheu Thai Party, her initiative was viewed with skepticism and the meeting was called off due to avoid political tension–not only from the military, but from other Pheu Thai faction leaders who bitterly oppose Thaksin’s choice of new party head.
The cartoonist jokes that the politicians should all meet and then blow their brains out. This, he contends, would be the best way for the country to find its way out of political problems. This also illustrates the general Thai cynicism about political parties and elections that tend to bring regional kingpins to power who then bicker among themselves.]

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Still not democratic…

160630manager

From Manager, June 30, 2016
Top-left: Elder Pana buffalo… you said you won’t surrender because the country is not democratic.
Right: That’s such a buffalo’s joke.
Below-left: It’s not a buffalo’s joke…
Right: It’s a monk’s joke.

[Refers to hardline Red Shirt leader from Udon Thani, Kwanchai Sarakham, also know as Kwanchai Praipana. In the cartoon, he is portrayed as a buffalo nicknamed “Pana.” To refer to a person as a “buffalo” is an insult meaning they are stupid. Here it is used to refer to the pro-Thaksin Red Shirts.
Kwanchai has long been wanted for leading an attack on anti-government protesters in 2008. He led hundreds of pro-government supporters with knives and clubs to disperse the rally and dismantle the protest stage.
Kwanchai announced that he would not surrender unless the country become democratic. However, later he changed his mind and turned himself in to authorities to serve two years in jail.
Meanwhile, Dhammakaya temple’s abbot Dhammachayo is now facing a money laundering charge. He also announced that he will not meet the police unless Thailand returns to democracy.
The cartoonist jokes that both use the same unconvincing excuse to avoid prosecution.]

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You should vote!

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From Thairath, July 1, 2016

Title: Don’t turn back… [don’t avoid voting] then you will lose your power. Those crazy people are coming as the team.
On the man’s shirt: Boycott
On the ballots in the hands: Succeeding the power [meaning a vote for the charter is a vote to allow the military to retain power]
On a ballot box: Referendum 7 Aug 59 [2016]
Under the ballot box: Looking for cheating
Phi Nooring: Must go voting
Mouse: 1 vote is important.

[Refers to the coming referendum on draft constitution. There is a concern that the junta’s attempt to pass this draft is a tool for the junta to extend their power. The Red Shirts have called people come out to vote “no.”]

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Weekly News Magazines, July 9-15, 2016

8j

From Nation Weekend, July 8, 2016
Main cover reads: Madame who is making the maid feeling sad.

[The woman is Monta Yokrattanakan. The headline uses the Thai idiom, “the madame who is called such by her maid.” It means that an ordinary person is respected by others and they praise or honor this person by calling them “madame.” All of this refers to Monta allegedly lodged false complaints against her former employees. However, the case became more complicated as Monta was eventually found to be involved in many cases of alleged wrongdoing.]

Top right: ‘Kwanchai’ [white] can’t escape so returns to Thailand. Being jailed for 2 years for beating Yellow.

[The man in the pink shirt is hardline Red Shirt leader from northeastern region Kwanchai Sarakham. Kwanchai finally surrendered to authorities to serve two years in jail for leading an attack on a Yellow Shirt protest.]

Headlines

RIP [yellow] ‘teacher Aew’ [white] Support the execution

[Refers to a school teacher named Aew who was raped and murdered. Enraged members of the public launched a campaign to execute the murderer in order to prevent this kind of tragedy to happen again.]

‘Hardline Red’ [white] is gone mysteriously. Was he taken to the military camp?

[Refers to a Red Shirt who disappeared. Red Shirt leaders have been loudly accusing the military of secretly detaining him or killing him. The military says they never detained him.]

‘Uncle Tu’ injects the high dose to clean up [yellow] ‘Tubberk’

[Refers to PM Prayuth who is considering using absolute power from Article 44 to deal with intractable problems at the popular tourist spot Phu Tubberk in Petchaboon Province.]

Recalling a previous life [yellow] ‘Yingkai’ knows Leng Dragon [this seems to be an alias for a well-know person; anyone know who?]

[Refers to Monta Yokrattanakan or Khunying Kai who lodged false complaints against her former employees. However, the case became more complicated as Monta was eventually found to be involved in many cases of alleged wrongdoing. The article discusses the details of her story that include Monta claiming that she could recall her previous lives and knew many powerful people. She allegedly told her employees to use the royally bestowed title “Khunying” when addressing her despite never having been gifted with the title.]

8jul

From Matichon Weekly, July 8-14, 2016
Main cover reads: Well done…

[The man on the cover is Meechai Ruchupan, a chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC). This is a sarcastic comment that seems to imply that the military will ensure that the draft constitution passes no matter what in the referendum.]

Top right: Secretly ‘hidden’ [yellow] Mystery game of ‘hiso’ [red] Khunying Kai

[The woman is Monta Yokrattanakan or Khunying Kai. Refers to the complicated case of Monta Yokrattanakan who lodged false complaints against her former employees. Now the police are investigating whether Monta also violated the lese majeste law since she allegedly used the title ‘Khunying’ without having actually received the title. After this case became know in the media, her past was investigated and it was found that she was involved with many other odd cases and incidents that included the disappearances of powerful people.]

9-15jul

From Manager Weekly, July 9-15, 2016
Main cover reads: 7.6 billion [black] corrupt before leaving. The pig a follower of Khamnan Thaug [Bangkok Governor M.R. Sukhumbhand Paribatra is nicknamed “Pig” and 7.6 billion baht is the budget for the city proposed by the Bangkok Governor]
Suthep: Remember, if you don’t choose us, then he will come. [this is Suthep’s famous saying calling on voters to vote for the Democrat Party simply because they can block the return of Thaksin]
M.R. Sukhumbhand: We will take care of our life (together) [this is Sukhumbhand’s campaign motto and motto as Bangkok Governor]

[Refers to the relationship between Suthep Thaugsuban, known as Khamnan Thaug and Bangkok Governor M.R. Sukhumbhand Paribatra. Both are originally from Democrat Party. However, due to corruption and an unsatisfying performance as Bangkok Governor, M.R. Sukhumbhand has been harshly criticized and isolated within his own party. He appears to have made an alliance with Suthep and there are rumors that they will form a new political party.
The cover mocks sayings or mottoes said by Suthep and Sukhumbhand which now seem empty and self-serving considering both of these politicians’ performances in the real world.]

Top: “Thi—a” Actress from Channel 8 who drives “DJ Man” crazy [purple] causing ‘Baitoey’ to almost break up!!!
From left to right: Thiya, DJ Man and Baitoey

[Refers to the well-known couple DJ Man and Baitoey and the rumor that they broke up due to DJ Man’s crush on colleague Thiya. They both perform in the same drama show on Channel 8.]

[Other headlines include an article about the surrender of Red Shirt headliner Kwanchai.
Kwanchai turned himself in to authorities to serve two years in jail for conspiring to attack a Yellow Shirt protest site.
The normal political dynamic in this situation is for the person who sponsored Kwanchai and his movement–former PM Thaksin–to direct Kwanchai to remain on the run. Kwanchai would then give interviews and deny the charges.
Behind the scenes he would be promised that, once a new government controlled by Thaksin takes power, the cases against him would be cleared in some way.
For Kwanchai to suddenly surrender to a military junta, acknowledge the charges, and do his time is a great boon to the junta. It reminds the public that the Red Shirts, for all their revolutionary talk, are merely a political pressure group acting for a conventional politician.
Kwanchai’s actions have raised questions as to whether his relationship with Thaksin and other Red Shirt leaders has declined. Other theories cite this event as a sign of the declining influence of Thaksin over domestic politics or perhaps an acknowledgment that, no matter how strong voter support for Thaksin is, he will never again be able to alter the nation’s laws for his own benefit under the restrictive new charter.
Any of these could have led to Kwanchai making a deal with the junta to finally clear up his legal woes.]

9-15jul

From Lokwannee, July 9-15, 2016
Main cover reads: If you don’t respect the law, then what do we have the law for?

[The image shows the military boot in place of the constitution plinth on Democracy Monument. This imagery has also begun to appear in pro-Thaksin editorial cartoonists.
This refers to allegations that the junta is cheating in order to make sure the draft constitution is accepted.]

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Heil!

160630thairathsia

From Thairath, June 30, 2016
Title: Heil! Indicator… of the NCPO’s standard is coming
Suthep: Preedddd.. [the sound of a whistle]
Documents held by Suthep: Whatever they [the junta] do, they’re not wrong.
Papers on the floor from left to right: Democracy, promote [an opinion] on the referendum, freedom and human rights
Paper in military hand: Fight fraud in the referendum
Phi Nooring: Why do you have to be afraid of the students?
A mouse: No cheat, no fall

[Refers to the recent activities of Suthep Thaugsuban, the leader of the anti-Yingluck government group the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC). He announced his support for the draft constitution contending that it is the most suitable for the current situation in Thailand. Suthep has been criticized by anti-junta groups as a military supporter.
Since the junta took power, there are have been nany student activists have been arrested while trying to conduct political activities against the junta.
The cartoon warns that if the junta is confident about their transparency and doing good things as they promise, then there is no need to halt the students’ activities.]

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Should the PM resign?

160630thairathchai

From Thairath, June 30, 2016
Left: Who said that if the UK leaves the EU, it will cause a little impact to Thailand?
Middle: Man: It will have a huge impact!
Foreigner: How?
Right: There are people calling on the Thai PM to resign in the same way the UK PM did.

[The cartoon refers to the resignation of UK PM Cameron following the Brexit vote. Thailand is also going to conduct a referendum on the draft constitution. Anti-junta groups have called on PM Prayuth to resign if the draft is rejected.]

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Dhammakaya leaving Thailand?

160628manager

From Manager, June 28, 2016
Dhammachayo: I would like to call on all my followers to come to cast a vote to leave Thailand naja.
Caption: It did it before BREXIT.

[Refers to Dhammakaya temple’s abbot Dhammachayo who is now facing charges for money laundering. His followers are trying to block the Department of Special Investigation from arresting their abbot. With a massive number of followers and well-managed system to counter the government, there has been a rumor that Dhammakaya is trying to establish their own state known as Dhammakaya state as a way to circumvent Thai laws. The cartoonist jokes that Dhammakaya will have a vote similar to the BREXIT vote to decide if it will secede from Thailand.]

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It’s everywhere

160628thairathchai

From Thairath, June 28, 2016
Left: The truth of the bomb detector GT200 is that if you use it for a right objective, it will be a most effective tool.
Middle: Man on the left: What do you mean?
Man on right: If you used it to detect…
Right: …the country’s corruption projects conducted by politicians… If the detector points in any direction, then you can find it [corruption].

[This refers to a scandal of the fake bomb detectors purchased by Thai military. In the cartoon generals seem to be defending the purchase as they have done in the past. The cartoonist’s joke reflects the prevailing Thai view that corruption is a universal norm in politics.]

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Can Thaksin still control the Pheu Thai?

About Politics – Bangkok Post, July 9, 2016
…According to the source, Pheu Thai has an organisational culture in which they take orders from no one other than the “Shin-da-wongs”, a reference to the three influential families of Shinawatra, Damapong and Wongsawat.
Yaowapa Wongsawat has had a dominating presence in Pheu Thai for years, while her younger sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, gradually built up clout during her two-year stint as prime minister.
Khunying Potjaman Damapong remains active in party affairs and is known as the party’s financial lifeline despite her divorce from Thaksin that took place less than a month after the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions sentenced Thaksin to two years in jail over the Ratchadaphisek land deal case.
According to the party source, she has continued to provide support to Thai politicians who have been out of work since the May 22, 2014 coup through friends who were classmates at St Joseph School. With Khunying Potjaman in control of the purse strings, getting Pheu Thai’s big guns together is no easy task for Khunying Sudarat.
These three women are unlikely to let go of their grip on power easily, according to the source. So, it should not come as a surprise if Thaksin’s wish is no longer the party’s command, especially as he remains a fugitive, hundreds and sometimes thousands of miles from home.

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Gains from Thailand’s bloody war on drugs proved fleeting

Gains from Thailand’s bloody war on drugs proved fleeting – inquirer.net, July 9, 2016
…Prime Minister Thaksin’s all-out war on drugs policy was implemented by Interior Minister Wan Muhamad Nor Matha, who mirrored Thaksin’s blood-thirsty belligerence and was equally clear about the marching order: “In our war on drugs, the district chiefs are the knights, and provincial governors are the commanders. If the knights see the enemies, but do not shoot them, they can be beheaded by their commanders.”
Like President Duterte, Thaksin pledged to stamp out the drug epidemic in three months. Like Duterte’s, Thaksin’s determined bravado gained popular support. One initial poll showed that 90 percent of the public backed the Thai leader’s promised crackdown…

Also: How many died in the drug purges?

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Abhisit’s on all sides of the issue

160627manager

From Manager, June 27, 2016
Abhisit: I support both of you!
Sign on the left: Reject the constitution
On Jatuporn’s shirt: [red] Don’t have fraud [black] Feeling ashamed in comparison to Myanmar
Sign on the right: Accept the constitution
A man on the left is Suthep Thaugsuban
Caption: Abhisit… only [meaning only Abhisit can possibly take both positions]

[The cartoon ridicules Abhisit’s political stance towards the referendum on the draft constitution. He and his Democrat Party will not clearly take sides either to accept or to reject the draft. He has often harshly criticized the draft and the junta, in terms as strongly as the Red Shirts, but oddly refrains from calling on people to support or reject the charter.
While the Red Shirts are making a clear stand to call on people reject the draft, Suthep, former Democrat Party member and a leader of anti-Yingluck government, announced his support of the junta and the draft constitution.
Abhisit’s stance is interpreted in the Thai media as a cynical and canny attempt to appear democratic by denouncing the draft. At the same time he hopes to benefit from the new charter since the Democrat Party is the main non-Thaksin political force that will be guided by the military to form the next government.]

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Weekly News Magazines, July 1-8, 2016

1-7

From Matichon Weekly, July 1-7, 2016
Main cover reads: No resign

[The man on the cover is PM Prayuth. This makes a joke by comparing the Brexit votes with anti-junta activists who insist that PM Pryauth resign as PM if the people vote down the draft charter. PM Prayuth has now confirmed he will not step down if the public does not approve the charter.
This “controversy” has largely been a sideshow as the junta exists solely to block Thaksin from controlling the government in order to rewrite the constitution and provide an amnesty for himself. Thus, the voting down of the charter actually plays into the hands of the military by further stalling elections.]

Top-right: Talk with EU Ambassador to Thailand [white] ‘Jesús Miguel Sanz’ [yellow’] when the day which ‘UK’ LEAVES!

[Refers to an interview with EU Ambassador to Thailand Jesús-Miguel Sanz on the EU situation after the result of the Brexit referendum.]

1july

From Nation Weekend, July 1, 2016
Main cover reads: Fight without giving up, Part 2

[The man on the cover is Suthep Thaugsuban, a leader of the anti-Yingluck group. Recently, he announced his support for the draft constitution and called on people to accept this draft as it is the most suitable for the current situation in Thailand. Suthep has been criticized by anti-junta groups as being a military supporter and anti-democratic.]

Top right: Crisis on [yellow] ‘stubbornness’ [white] Dhammakaya and the solution

[The photo shows Dhammakaya temple’s UFO-like praying dome.
The article examines Dhammakaya temple and its attempt on shield their abbot Dhamanchayo from being arrested due to a money laundering charges.]

Headlines at right:
‘Kwanchai’ [white] in Laos. Mekong network

[Refers to hard-line Red Shirt leader from the northeastern region Kwanchai Sarakham and his surrender to serve time for leading a mass attack on anti-government protesters in 2008. The headline alludes to Kwanchai’s frequent boast that he is preparing to help Thaksin reenter the country from Laos and march to Bangkok for a revolutionary takeover of Thailand.]

Drama [yellow] Suu Kyi [white] ousting Myanmar workers to return home?

[Refers to the trip to Thailand of Myanmar’s foreign minister and state counselor Aung San Suu Kyi. After discussing with Myanmar workers in Thailand, she called on the Thai government to help Myanmar workers. Many Thai people disagreed with proposals to help the workers and instead started insisting Myanmar migrant workers return to their home country.]

Mystery of Khao Chamao taking lives of the Air Forces.

[Refers to the Air Force helicopter that crashed in the Khao Chyamao-Khao Wong National Park causing three crew members to die.]

Young generation 2016 under the secret strategy

[Refer to student movements against the junta. After taking power, the military has arrested many student political activists who tried to conduct political activities against the junta. Some interpret the student’s activities as being part of a Pheu Thai strategy to apply pressure to the junta.]

Riddle of killing [yellow] ‘tycoon Jeed’ [white] and a power person ‘Banyin’

[Refers to the investigation of the killing of tycoon Chuwon Sae Tang (or Jeed) and the link with former deputy commerce minister Banyin Tangpakorn.]

2-8

From Manager Weekly, July 2-8, 2016
Main cover reads: A slave of (Eastern) Tiger

[The main picture is Suthep Thaugsuban while the background shows members of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC).
This Suthep who recently announced through Facebook Live his support for the draft constitution. He also promised to make more appearances online to discuss with people why they should support the draft. The Eastern Tigers are a powerful military group that now dominates the military and junta has has long opposed Thaksin’s power aspirations.]

Below: In the pink box: 911 the series
On the left: Take a look closely SMASH GYM invested 10 million [yellow] Oh, Janie [white] 3 million payment by installment
[The lady is the owner of SMASH GYM Boom Panadda Wongphudee.]
On the right: Deadly path [blue] finally Madame takes over everything.
[The lady is the owner of 911 Gym Janie Tienphosuwan. The man in the black shirt is Boom’s husband Eakarin.]

[This refers to the conflict between two well-known actresses Boom Panadda Wongphudee and Janie Tienphosuwan, called by the media Madam Janie, regarding the parking lots for their Fitness business. The complex fitness center started as a joint venture between both actresses and their friends. However, after a conflict happened, Janie decided to take over all the business and pay compensation to Boom of 3 million baht by installment.]

2-8

From Lokwannee, July 2-8, 2016
Main cover reads: Their countries don’t have a problem like we do.
On the coconut shell: Referendum
A word above coconut shell: Oh man!!

[Refer to the referendum on the draft constitution. The junta is trying to give positive information people to accept the draft constitution although many people criticize it for not being democratic. On the cover, the coconut shell covers the Thai people so they cannot see all the real things in the world and will accept all good advantages the junta says the people will gain.]

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Let’s Burn It

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From Naewna, June 24, 2016
Jatuporn: Let’s burn it… I’ll take a responsibly for it.
On his shirt: UDD
Words above man with glasses: UN
Nattawut: Burn
Sign close to Jatuporn: Anti-fraud on referendum
On the roof: Thailand

[Refers the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) or the Red Shirts led by Jatuporn and Nattawut submitting a compliant to the UN human rights body over infringement of their rights.
They are protesting the junta on shutting down their anti-fraud centers established to monitor the referendum. The junta see this activity as another ploy by the group to advance Thaksin’s political agenda.
The saying “Let’s burn it and I’ll take the responsibility for it” is from a speech given by Red Shirt leaders as they spoke to crowds in 2010.
Later, provincial capital buildings were burned after Red Shirt radio stations urged people to torch them. Bangkok also experienced widespread arson as the Red Shirt rallies were dispersed by the military.
Since then, this quote has been used by those who oppose the Red Shirts (and Thaksin) to remind people of the lengths Thaksin will go in his quest to return to power.
The cartoon is from the very pro-establishment Naewna that always takes an alarmist view on the Red Shirts and their intentions.
The message seems to be that the Red Shirt’s anti-fraud centers and their subsequent entreaties to the U.N. are part of the ongoing pressure to advance a political agenda that is not bounded by any decorum.]

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5 Years Ago: Red Shirt pursuers at the mercy of new government

Red shirt pursuers at the mercy of new government
…Wichean Khaokham, a Pheu Thai Party candidate who was elected in Udon Thani province, said yesterday he would attend a meeting of his party today and propose the transfer of Mr Tharit from the DSI.
Mr Wichean was among the red shirt protest leaders whom the DSI prosecuted on lese majeste charges…

This article details all the events that were eventually used to disqualify Yingluck. Chief of these was the effort to remove the chief of police to make way for a Thaksin relative to take over the post.

There are also candid admissions that the police merely “followed the policies of (their) supervisors”–namely, government politicians, either Democrats or the Pheu Thai.

With the Pheu Thai coming to power in 2011, elected MPs who were facing legal action for their roles in the protests of 2010 and for lese majeste began demanding revenge against government officials responsible for bringing charges against them.

The article mentions infamous DSI chief Tharit Pengdit as the main target of Pheu Thai wrath. Tharit also had “followed the policies of his supervisors” by aggressively prosecuting Red Shirts involved in the siege of Bangkok in 2010 while ignoring the actions of the then Democrat government and the military.

The article speculates Tharit’s job was under threat, but what ended up happening was that Tharit switched sides after the Pheu Thai came to power. He then stopped prosecuting Red Shirts and became a tool used by the government in its efforts to create an amnesty bill.

During that time, the timing of DSI charges was used as a threat when Thaksin amnesty measures were being stalled. When the Democrats refused to accede to amnesty, charges was brought against the Democrat leadership in retaliation. Some of these charges included the surprise reopening of old cases, such as issues related to Abhisit’s time as a student in the UK, thought to have been settled long ago. There were also efforts made to pinpoint the military snipers who targeted the remnants of Red Shirt supporters who took refuge in a temple. All of this legal activity was done in a Thai context, announced by Deputy PM Chalerm (who is used to deliver threats because of his bold and threatening manner) under the pretext of “we will find out the truth.”

While the Westerner might interpret this as admirable (“just tell the truth and let the chips fall where they may”), such truth telling without regard for the loss of face it might cause the involved parties (no matter the right or wrong of the matter) is interpreted as a grave threat. Indeed, the threat to focus on army snipers challenged the military to either take action to overthrow the government or back down in its blocking of an amnesty that included Thaksin.

DSI chief Tharit served this plan by bringing charges at key times as well as quickly clearing Pheu Thai figures who became embroiled in legal disputes (Red shirt pursuers at the mercy of new government).

Tharit’s ability to switch sides finally came to an end as the junta put the former DSI chief under investigation in 2015.

More: The Downfall of Tharit the Chameleon

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Bangkok’s Pig

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From Manager, June 23, 2016
Attention: The pig is an animal created by the nature to only eat, sleep and breed. Please don’t ask it to solve the flooding… massive waste… or whatever is beyond its ability… because it will seriously be against it’s nature. [signed] Pig
Caption: Announcement for all the people to know

[This cartoon heaps scorn on Bangkok Governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra, whose nickname is Moo (“Pig” in English). He has now been universally reviled for his ineffective measures to cope with the flooding in Bangkok and avoid corruption.
During the recent flooding he denied Bangkok was experiencing flooding and instead said that the water people see is not flood waters, but water waiting to drain. His statement was widely ridiculed by the public.
The larger issue is that Governor Sukhumbhand’s poor public image impacts poorly on Democrat Party claims that they are professional and honest.
It also raises hopes that a party controlled by Thaksin could reach a long-sought-after goal–winning the Bangkok Governor’s election.]

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What do the Gods want?

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From Thairath, June 23, 2016
Title: What do the Gods want?
Left: …on a drought day…
God: If you are well behaved, I will make it rain.
Right: …on a raining and flooding day…
God: Because there are so many dead wood is causes flooding in Bangkok. [this ridicules a quote from PM Prayuth]
Phi Nooring: Crazy God
A mouse: The flooding is normal.

[Refers to PM Prayuth’s joking about flooding situation in Bangkok. He tried to minimize the situation with a joke that Bangkok was flooding only because of dead wood causing a landslide that led to flooding. After this quote spread and led to criticism, PM Prayuth accused the media of only reporting some parts of his speech which led to misunderstandings from the public.]

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Restore Yom River

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From Thairath, June 21, 2016
Title: Help return life forest and water
On the ground: Planting the forest and restoring Yom River
The man in the middle is Director-General of Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) Thanya Netithammakun
On his shirt: Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation
On his pocket: Director-General
Plants held by people from left to right: Royal Thai Police, Electricity Generating Authority, Provincial Electricity Authority, Columnist club
Phi Nooring: Join hands of people who love the country.
Mouse: There will not be drought in the future.

[Refers to a campaign by the public and governmental sectors to restore the Yom River watershed forest. This campaign will be started at Doi Pha Chang Wildlife Sanctuary on July 17, 2016. The deforestation of many parts of Thailand is often cited as a cause of drought and poor soil quality.]

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The governor’s special room

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From Thairath, June 17, 2016
Left: Since the soldiers and police join hands to search for weapons hidden at influential people’s houses, some of them have to throw those weapons away to avoid being caught… [This refers to military pressure that forced the police to raid the homes and businesses of Pheu Thai and Red Shirt politicians who had been stockpiling weapons. In some cases weapons have been found dumped in wooded areas–presumably by those who did not want the stockpiles found in their homes.]
Middle: A man on the left: Same with the Bangkok executive [the Bangkok Governor]. He has to quickly spend 16 million baht to build a special room!
A man on the right: For what?
Right: For giving a final bow.

[This refers to Bangkok governor M.R. Sukhumbhand Boripat who facing criticism for lavish spending as well as corruption. The incident referred to here is for 16.5 million baht used to renovate his office including luxury furniture.
Later the governor’s advisor said that the budget was justified as the money was used for renovating many rooms–not only the governor’s room.
The Democrat Party has pressured Sukhumbhand to resign due to his disappointing performance and corruption scandals.]

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Weekly News Magazines, June 24-July 1, 2016

24

From Nation Weekend, June 24, 2016
Main cover reads: Big brother of Dhamakaya

[The man on the cover is a former DTAC boss and well-known businessman Boonchai Bencharongkull. Refers to Boochai calling Dhammakaya temple’s followers of Dhammakaya temple to help protect respected Abbot Dhammachayo from being apprehended and charged on money laundering charges. Meanwhile, the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) is closely examining the legality for his action.]

Top right: ‘Suu Kyi’ opens the new chapter Thai-Myanmar relations in the era of people dominating the country. [meaning in “the era of democracy”]

[The woman in the picture is Myanmar’s foreign minister and state counselor Aung San Suu Kyi who visited Thailand to strengthen the relationship among the two countries. She also discussed Myanmar workers’ rights in Thailand.]

Headlines on the right side:

1st: “Soon” Matichon. The monks asks “what do you want?”

[The word “soon” in Isan mean “very angry.” This is about a monk and activist who wrote a song to promote the referendum of draft constitution. The song was criticized for looking down on northeastern people.
Matichon newspaper has continually used this song and its controversial lyrics to criticize the motives of the junta. This focus has become so intense that Matichon’s bias on this issue has become a topic of discussion.]

2nd: The NCPO defeats the UDD [yellow] Ends the disruption in the referendum

[Refers to the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) trying to deal with the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) or the Red Shirts. The Red Shirts are trying to conduct activities to call on people to reject the draft constitution. The title alludes to the multiple incidents where the junta prevents the Red Shirts from anti-charter activities.]

3rd: Tears of [yellow] ‘Chai Moo’ [white] Water-logged not a flood

[Refers to Bangkok Governor ML Sukhumbhan Poripatra nicknamed Chai Moo. He has been criticized for his response toward the heavy flooding in Bangkok. He told the public not the public not to worry as Bangkok was not actually flooded and there was only excess water that had to drain.]

4th: ‘GT200’ [white] haunted. Old sin of the military

[Refers to a fake bomb detector GT 200 scandal. Recently, the British court ordered the company selling the GT200 to pay compensation to some countries that were defrauded. This issue has raised questions about the lack of transparency for Thai military procurement.]

24-30

From Matichon Weekly, June 24-30, 2016
Main cover reads: We [inside a heart] love [blue] UN
The man with telephone is UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
The man with yellow shirt is PM Prayuth while group of men in black shirts are prominent Red Shirts led by [left] Nattawut [2nd from the left] Jatuporn and [3rd] Weng

[This refers to the political game between the junta and the Red Shirts who trying to involve international organizations to pressure the junta. Recently, the Red Shirts made a compliant to the UN human right body on infringements of their rights when the junta shut down their anti-fraud centers established to monitor the constitution referendum. However, soon after the Red Shirt’s move, PM Prayuth said to the media that he had already called to the UN Secretary General to explain about the reasons behind the crackdown.]

Top right: Temple boy Tycoon. Mopping the floor. Big cleaning ‘Dhammakaya’ to protect his respected abbot

[The man in the middle is a former DTAC boss Boonchai Bencharongkul who urged the followers of Dhammakaya temple to go to the temple to practice dhamma in order to help free their respected Abbot Dhammachayo from all bad things. Dhammachaya is now facing the charges of money laundry and his followers trying to block the police from arresting him.]

25-1

From Lokwannee, June 25-July 1, 2016
Main cover reads: …Admitted that at first it worked…

[Refers to the scandal of the GT200 bomb detectors purchased by the Thai military. This scandal has reignited claims that the military seems unable to really fight graft and make military procurement transparent. The cover image mimics the bogus GT200 as a dried cucumber (perhaps mimicking the human organ). The headline reminds people that the military long insisted that this bomb detector worked and resisted attempts to investigate their procurement.]

25-1jul

From Manager Weekly, June 25-July 1, 2016
Main cover reads: Seem to be very quiet, [black] but I take everything naja.
The man on the cover is Interior Minister and former army chief Anupong Paochinda.
Pictures on the left: Airship, GT 200, Armored vehicle, waste disposal plants.

[Refers to Gen. Anupong. Under his supervision, there were many scandals related to military’s procurement which raised concern about transparency. This anti-Thaksin periodical joins with the pro-Thaksin Lokwannee above to remind the public about army scandals. This is highly ironic as the military rules the country under the pledge of fighting corruption.
Gen. Anupong’s personality was very sedate and he did not get much attention from the media compared to other big-talking Eastern Tigers clique members, such as PM Prayuth or Deputy PM Prawit.
The headline jokes about this, saying Anupong is quiet, but still engaged in much corruption. It ends with “naja,” the feminine sentence-concluding word, to poke fun as his unmanly reserve.]

Top: #motherismother [pink] When mother Boom [white] met [orange] Janie

[The woman on the left is Boom Panadda Wongphudee and on the right is Janie Tienphosuwan.
Refers to the conflict between two well-known actresses Boom Panadda Wongphudee and Janie Tienphosuwan regarding the parking lots for their Fitness business. The phase ‘mother is mother’ is popular phase to praise a person who is very strong and no one can destroy.]

Bottom: Elder brother [blue] ‘Boonchai’ is not a president of [blue] ‘DTAC’ [white] (only in the name) naja

[The man in the picture is DTAC board chairman Boonchai Bencharongkul.
Refers to Boonchai who called the followers of Dhammakaya temple to go to the temple to practice dhamma in order to help protect their respected Abbot Dhammachayo who is now facing a charge on money laundering.
After he made the statement, DTAC company insisted that the company is distinct from its board members and politically neutral. They contedn that the actions of Boonchai should be considered a personal matter not related to the company.]

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Thailand’s Renaissance man

160616Arun

From Arun, June 16, 2016
White box: Phooyai Wiboon Kemchalerm, An intellectual leader
In the cartoon from left-middle-right: Society, Economy, Environment
The man in the cartoon is Phooyai Wiboon Kemchalerm

[Refers to an intellectual leader on agroforestry Wiboon Kemchalerm, the founder of the Village Social Development center that promotes ideas on how to integrate society, economy and the environment through the idea of the sufficiency economy. In Thai, “Phooyai” is a title used before the name of a respected elder man.]

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No interest in no interest

160612manager
From Manager, June 12, 2016
Man in the posture of a beggar: Thank you for your kindness… for depositing my money… without charging a fee.
Banker: Next person… Hurry up!
Sign above him: Deposit
On the building: Bank
Caption: Must appreciate their kindness… it’s not a negative interest rate yet.

[Refers to the TMB Bank’s decision on reinstating its savings interest rate to 0.125% after originally cutting it to a zero rate. This sparked a public outcry in a nation where savings is the key way people save to pay for major purchases and retirement (as opposed to credit and government programs as in the West).]

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Another stain on the police

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From Arun, June 10, 2016
Title: The bribe of “Nataree” causes the transferring of four tigers of the Huai Khwang police station

[Refers to a raid of the Nataree Massage Parlor that found dozens of illegal sex workers as well as the documentation of the bribes that the establishment paid to the local police station. Thus far, several local officers, including the chief of Huai Khwang police station, were transferred to inactive posts pending an investigation.
The statute in the cartoon used to be in front of police headquarters in Bangkok (it has since been relocated to the police academy in Nakhon Pathom) and is the symbol of the organization. This incident has caused yet another stain on the reputation of the force.]

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No fraud!

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From Manager, June 7, 2016
Left: Red Shirt leader Jatuporn: Everyone starts to fight against fraud now…
On the backdrop: Referendum – No fraud – Not cancel
Some of the seated people are other prominent Red Shirts such as Vithaya Buranasiri, Viphuthalaeng Pattanaphumthai, Nattawut Saikua, Thida Thanvornseth, and Weng Tojirakarn
Right: Viphuthaleang: You’re taking a bribe!
Nattawut: You’re cheating on donated funds!
Weng: You are the one who cheating on donated funds!
Man fighting Weng: You’re taking the bribe!

[This refers to the Red Shirt’s anti-fraud center established with the aim to monitor the draft constitution referendum. This is likely a Thaksin/Red Shirt strategy to allege that after the referendum that the outcome is false and thus the new charter is a fraud that need not be respected.
The joke of the cartoon is that it is ironic that the Red Shirts are opening an anti-fraud center when their own movement has always been riven with raucous accusations of corruption and kickbacks.
Although rarely covered in the English-language press, continual Red Shirt infighting over proper use of money has been the bane of the movement.
It appears that corruption accusations are used as a method for Red Shirt leaders to eliminate rivals and move up the chain of command. Accusations have also been used to sideline and isolate Red Shirt factions that demonstrate independence in advocating a break from Thaksin control.
It is also interesting to note the “Not cancel” admonition that appears on the Red Shirt backdrop (in real life as in this cartoon).
This is a key part of their push against the junta in all their anti-charter activities. It is a demand that the referendum not be canceled and to make clear that they are not asking for further delays to fix the charter.
The movement was earlier stung by just such a gambit when they frantically demanded the junta’s handpicked body vote down an earlier charter draft. The assumption was that the junta would never accede to Red Shirt demands and thus the Red Shirts could act as aggrieved as possible in the face of certain defeat.
Instead, the charter committee voted down the draft thus adding at least a year more until elections.
Since then the Red Shirts have pushed hard against the charter and the junta while always making sure “Not cancel” is part of their rhetoric as well.]

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