Leaning…

From Thairath, July 31, 2014
Title: Leaning [meaning discriminating]… for the big job hasn’t finished yet
On suit of man on the left: EC [election commission]
In man’s high hand: Revoke the right [to run for election]
In his lower hand: Dissolve the party
Papers on the ground, from left: Let the mob hurting people and police [referring to the anti-Yingluck government demonstrations before the coup]; officers abandoning the ballots [on the last election date on February 2]; obstructing the election [on February 2]; Shutting down Bangkok
Sign raised by people: P.M. visits people
Phi Nooring: The Leaning Tower tour [meaning discriminating against Thaksin and the Pheu Thai while letting anti-government protesters off the hook]
Mouse: Hunting for the oriole tour [The press referred to former P.M. Yingluck Shinawatra's tours, mostly in the northern areas, after announcing an election date, as "the oriole tour."]
[All of this means that, after the coup, it is expected that all the organs of power of the state will turn against Shinawatra power while unfairly exempting those who committed breaches of the law in bringing down the Pheu Thai-led government.]

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All come from the election

From Thairath, July 29, 2014
Title: All come from the election
Left: A vote canvasser pays a poor person for his vote.
Right: Junta chief Gen. Prayuth paints a poster of the next prime minister.
Poster Gen. Prayuth is leaning out of: NCPO elects the NLA.
Poster he is painting: the NLA elects the PM.

[This cartoon compares the upcoming prime minister selection to be carried out by the junta (the National Council for Peace and Order or NCPO led by Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha) with vote buying and ironically points out that they are both elections.
The junta appointed the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) to elect the interim Prime Minister. As Gen. Prayuth is the head of the junta, it is expected that his hand-picked representatives will elect him prime minister.
All of this is in the context of Thai politics of the last few years in which supporters of the Pheu Thai Party-led government contended that the actions of the government, whatever they may be, are acceptable because the government "came from an election."]

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10 Years Ago: Thaksin: Singapore is successful and doesn’t need a strong opposition

10 Years Ago: Thaksin: Singapore is successful and doesn’t need a strong opposition

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Happiness and Thaksin

From Komchadluek, July 29, 2014
Woman: I am so proud of the NCPO’s performance in returning the happiness to the people. I can’t hold my tears back from it.
[They are watching Thaksin’s birthday celebrations. This cartoon likely means that most people still idolize Thaksin. It also may insinuate that while the people in Thailand are already receiving happiness, Thaksin is still waiting for a return of his happiness from the junta. This sort of expectation of even handedness, no matter what either side has done, is very much a part of Thai expectations.]

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The power of the press

From Thairath, July 29, 2014
Cartoon title: Be careful of the “necrotizing fasciitis” [the so-called "flesh-eating disease"]
On pen stuck in the soldier’s foot who represents the ruling military junta: The press
Above nails on ground: Violating human rights
Below the nails: Discriminating [meaning that the authorities are not being evenhanded in administering justice]
Phi Nooring: It’s widespread now.
Mouse: Could die from being careless

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Chuwit memes – Like you, like me

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: The words read: Like you, like me
Left is former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. In the background is a rice warehouse stuffed with rice from her government’s rice pledging scheme. The plan caused the government huge losses and resulted in corruption charges for the former PM.
At right is Suthep Thaugsuban, former Democrat Party deputy prime minister in the Abhisit Vejjajiva’s cabinet and leader of the protest movement that paralyzed Thai politics in early 2014, leading to the coup. In the background is an unfinished police station from the scandal-ridden police station project initiated during Suthep’s deputy premiership when he oversaw the police.

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Thaksin’s Temple: Dhammakaya


Dhammakaya Temple: Making money over merit Bangkok Post, August 17, 2014

Dhammakaya reports on Steve Jobs’ new life

Sangha feudal hierarchy has to go for good – Bangkok Post, October 30, 2013
…Wat Paknam, you see, is closely linked to the all-powerful Wat Phra Dhammakaya and its highly controversial abbot Phra Dhammachayo, who basically teaches you can buy “boon” or merit _ and even a place in nirvana, which he describes as a celestial abode.
…Interestingly, Phra Dhammachayo’s capitalistic version of Buddhism meshes well with the rich and powerful, and others who think it is simply great to be able to buy a place in heaven.
At the height of the controversy in 1999, the late Supreme Patriarch issued an ordinance declaring that Phra Dhammachayo must be defrocked for distorting the Buddhist canon, dividing the Sangha, and for fraud and embezzlement.
It is no secret that the Pheu Thai-led government supports the Dhammakaya abbot. And it came as no surprise that the public prosecutors eventually dropped the charges against him in 2006…

Dhammakaya saves Bangkok from bombing during World War II
They saved Bangkok from an atomic bomb, nuns flew up and harmlessly captured falling bombs during World War II…

TRT and Dhammakaya Temple – perfect matchThe Nation, September 27, 2006
…The former abbot of Phra Dhammakaya Temple was the first one to initiate contact with members of Thai Rak Thai. It was decided that the Thai Rak Thai Party would have Dhammakaya’s backing. Thai Rak Thai representatives were given the opportunity to speak to the temple’s followers, who were urged to cast their votes for the party, as it would naturally be beneficial for their master and temple.
According to the law of karma as promoted by the temple, Thaksin Shinawatra was hailed as the ideal lay Buddhist, who had been blessed by the merit of his past lives and was endowed with a great many virtues. The temple played a song praising Thaksin composed by the Phra Dhammajayo himself on its Dow Tham satellite television channel – broadcasting 24 hours a day. However, the gathering clouds of controversies and criminal investigations surrounding him prevented Thaksin from visiting the temple. Nevertheless, senior Thai Rak Thai leaders, such as Sudarat Keyuraphan and Suriya Jungrungreangkit, began regularly attending the monastery…

Thousands of chairs for ThaksinThe Nation, July 17, 2006

Dhammakaya denies helping TRT friendsBangkok Post, July 14, 2006
Wat Dhammakaya yesterday denied that a gathering of local administration bodies from across the country at its temple was intended to muster support for embattled caretaker Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra…
Close relations between government leaders and the temple played no part in the decision to hold the event, he said.
A former member of the House committee on religious affairs said Wat Dhammakaya has close ties with leading Thai Rak Thai party figures such as party secretary-general and caretaker Industry Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit and caretaker Labour Minister Somsak Thepsuthin. Mr Suriya’s wife, Surisa, once donated 40 million baht to the temple.
The temple has been criticised for its fund-raising and teaching methods. Its former abbot, Phra Dhammachayo is being investigated over land embezzlement…

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11 Years Ago: In Praise of Thaksin: ‘We could try the Thai way’

11 Years Ago: In Praise of Thaksin: ‘We could try the Thai way’

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12 Years Ago: Swedish tourist in KNU ranks

12 Years Ago: Swedish tourist in KNU ranks

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Give us a little more time, and then the beautiful land will return

From Manager, July 29, 2014
Song: …Give us a little more time, and then the beautiful land will return… We’ll do it honestly. Just trust in us and believe in us… The land will become fine soon…let us return happiness to you, the people… [This is part of the National Council for Peace and Order's theme song]
Caption: In the three provinces in the deep South… this song may not be a hit.
[Reference is to a catastrophic car bomb incident in Betong District, in Yala Province on July 25. Betong used to be one of the most peaceful places in the deep three southern provinces mostly because of its knit-tight security system, the so-called "pineapple eye network" organized by local people.]

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Nine Years Ago: Government Threatens Newspapers Over Runway Cracks Story

Nine Years Ago: Government Threatens Newspapers Over Runway Cracks Story

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Tourist arrivals “increase gradually” or “still falling?”

ThaiPBS: Tourist arrivals increase gradually
Department of Tourism says foreign tourists are returning to the country with arrivals last month gradually rose to 1.91 million from 1.56 million in June.
However when compared with the same month in July last year, arrivals still fell 10.9%, it said.
It said the number of foreign tourists arriving in Thailand in July this year fell 10.9% from a year earlier.
But compared with 1.56 million arrivals in June this year, July’s arrivals of 1.91 million represented improved tourism situation…

Bangkok Post: Tourist arrivals still falling
The number of international tourists arriving in Thailand in July fell 10.9% from a year earlier, according to data from the Department of Tourism, showing the industry has not recovered from the impact of prolonged political tension.
The lucrative tourism sector, which accounts for about 10% of the economy, suffered its biggest drop in visitors in June – the first full month after the army took power on May 22 in a bid to end tensions and get economic activity going again…

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Thailand beats United States in number of true beachfront hotels

Thailand beats United States in number of true beachfront hotels – AP, August 15, 2014
…The Southeast Asian country ranked first with more than 1,250 beachfront properties, followed by the United States with 1,016 and Mexico with 943. Spain, with 736, was fourth, trailed by the Philippines, Greece, Italy, Turkey, Egypt and Sri Lanka, said the survey by the Beachfront Club, a website that maps and details seaside hotels around the world…

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Weekly News Magazines, August 8, 2014

Nation Weekend_8 Aug 2014

From Nation Weekend, August 8, 2014
Cover reads: Lightning rod
[Left is Gen. Prawit Wongsuwan, former defense minister, right is Gen. Anupong Paojinda, former Army commander-in-chief.
Reference is to potential of these two generals to be part of the new cabinet. Both are former superiors and close friends of Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, head of the National Council for Peace and Order, who is likely to become prime minister in the interim government. The closeness of the generals to the junta leader, as well as their involvement in the political disruptions of the past years intended to remove Thaksin influence, could cuase them to be like lightning rods attracting criticisms if they are appointed to the cabinet.]

Matichon Weekly_8 Aug 2014

From Matichon Weekly, August 8, 2014
Cover reads: Dome in their hearts [The Dome is a symbol of Thammasat University. in this context, it means iconic figures of the university who play essential roles in Thailand in various fields, notably politics and the economy.]
Cartoon at bottom right corner: T.U. [Thammasat University] teaches you to love NCPO [the National Council for Peace and Order]???
[On the cover, left is Prof. Noranit Setabutr, President of Thammasat University Council. Right is Prof. Dr. Somkid Lertpaithoon, Rector of the same university. Below, walking out of the prison gate is Vorajate Phakhirat, law lecturer at Thammasat University and member of the Nitirat (enlightened jurists) group that has spoken out on removing restrictions on criticizing the monarchy.
Reference is to Prof. Noranit and Prof. Dr. Somkid who were appointed members of the National Legislative Assembly by the National Council for Peace and Order. Meanwhile, Vorajate was jailed by the NCPO for violating its order to report at the council. Both sides have their own supporters.]

Above: The ASTV Manager Weekly is still not publishing this week to protest the military junta pressuring them over articles about the extent of military power after the coup.
More about this here: Weekly News Magazines, August 1, 2014 and Manager Group weekly news magazine under pressure from the junta

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Uncle Sam, why don’t you pay attention to the genocide in the Gaza Strip

From Thairath, July 25, 2014
Left, Ai Joi: Why don’t you pay attention to the genocide in the Gaza Strip…
Middle, Ai Joi: …instead of watching the NCPO [the National Council for Peace and Order] in Thailand?
Uncle Sam: We are putting out the fire in the Gaza Strip…
Right, Uncle Sam: …by studying the reconciliation activities of the NCPO to adapt it to the parties in conflict in the Gaza Strip.
[This is another jab at the initial U.S. response to the coup in Thailand which called for quick elections.]

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Nine Years Ago: Thaksin Combines Family Interest and National Interest in Burma

Nine Years Ago: Thaksin Combines Family Interest and National Interest in Burma

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11 Years Ago: One of the world’s “most lethal terrorists” captured north of Bangkok

11 Years Ago: One of the world’s “most lethal terrorists” captured north of Bangkok

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Good deeds passport

From Thairath, July 25, 2014
Title: Passport to Goodness!
Men in the back row (L-R): Exchange for the position of adviser, exchange for a position in the cabinet
Men in the front row (L-R): Exchange for a position in the Reform Council, exchange for a position in the legislative assembly
On passports: Good people/Good boy
On bag held by woman: Ministry of Education
Phi Nooring: Return happiness to good people
A mouse: Good people love to do as their group wants.
[Refers to the plan proposed by the Ministry of Education for a passport of goodness in which authorities will document student's good deeds. This would be one of the documents considered by universities for admission. This plan was launched in response to the junta’s suggestion on the 12 disciplines to become good children. The cartoonist seems to subtly imply that the plan is insure future official conform to military discipline.]

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Law and order no parking sign

The sign reads: NO! Taxi cannot park to wait for passengers here. Violator will be fined 1,000 baht Traffic works, Paholyothin Police Station
[Part of the junta's law and order campaign which has targeted everyday nuisances and violations of the law that the police formerly ignored.]

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For Thaksin’s birthday

From Manager, July 25, 2014
This year, the Birthday Man receives plenty. [The Birthday Man is Thaksin Shinawatra.]
The card is signed: From the NCPO [the National Council for Peace and Order]
In the box: Pojjaman Damapong, former wife of Thaksin, and their three children; Yingluck Shinawatra and her son; Yaowapha and Somchai Wongsawat, sister and brother-in-law of Thaksin. The NCPO granted permissions for Thaksin’s relatives to travel to Europe to celebrate Thaksin’s birthday. It is thought that this was tactic permission for these figures to go into permanent exile along with Thaksin.]

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Wrong way junta

From Arun, July 25, 2014
Cartoon title: We’re on the right path…
[The man, representing Thailand, wears military boots facing backwards.]

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The Junta Promises

The billboard reads: “We’ll pursue our promise. Give us a little more time, and our beautiful land will return…” [These are part of the lyrics from the National Council for Peace and Order's theme song.]
At bottom left corner: NCPO [National Council for Peace and Order]
At bottom right: Sponsored by the communications and tourism business group

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From “Siamese talk” to “Kristie talk”

From Thairath, July 23, 2014
Left: Thai man: In the past, due to the miscommunication, foreigners criticized Thai people saying that when Thais say something, they do the opposite. So, they called it “Siamese talk.”
Middle: Thai man: Luckily, America sends its ambassador to help us solve this criticism.
A man: How?
Right: It changes from “Siamese talk” to “Kristie talk.”
[The cartoon ridicules the statements of U.S. Ambassador to Thailand Kristie Kenney toward the junta. At the outset, she strongly criticized the junta. However, after the US began to be criticized by Thais in the media and the U.S. seemed to lose advantage to other countries who "showed their understanding to the situation in Thailand," the US ambassador has lately changed her statements by affirming positive and strong Thai-US relations despite the coup.]

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HM The Queen’s Birthday


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Above: The sign reads: Support [this is the name of the group] – Thailand’s light, OTOP’s evolution in honor of Her Majesty [OTOP is One Tamboon, One Product, a program to encourage local production in all parts of the country]
Following in Her Majesty’s footsteps and her kindness given to Thais by supporting products made by Thais – February 21-27, 2012, 10am-9pm at Impact Muang Thong Thani Challenger Building Halls 1-3

HM The Queen’s Birthday
August 12 is the birthday of HM The Queen’s Birthday and a national holiday. It is also Thai Mother’s Day.


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Above is a large portrait of HM The Queen on Ratchadamnoen Avenue in downtown Bangkok on August 12, 2001. There are about a dozen of these signs erected in the middle of the street for The Queen’s birthday. There are also Christmas lights along the road.

From 2003: Nationwide candle-lighting ceremony for HM the Queen – TNA, August 12, 2003
Thai people from all walks of life took part in a candle-lighting ceremony this evening, which was organized simultaneously nationwide, to pay tribute and homage, and to extend their best wishes to Her Majesty Queen Sirikit on the auspicious occasion of her 72th birthday anniversary…


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Above: From 2009 – The billboard reads: Revive the forest land by royal grace – In recalling of Royal grace on the occasion of Queen Sirikit’s birthday – The project to fight economic crisis by the principle of self-sufficiency economy by the Internal Security Operations Command

Above: Matichon and Khaosod from August 12, 2006

Below: KomChadLuek, August 12, 2006

Above: Above are full page tributes in Matichon, August 12, 2008

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Ordered to report only happy news!

From Thairath, July 22, 2014
Title: Jookkru… [the sound a bird makes] sing a song “Return the happiness!!!”
On the microphone: News
Phi Nooring: So obedient…
A mouse: There is only happy news.
[Refers to the announcement of the junta prohibiting the press from criticizing the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO). This order caused much controversy and was later revised.]

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11 Years Ago: Suriya pays B4m for 9999 license plate

11 Years Ago: Suriya pays B4m for 9999 license plate

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Yingluck is responsible

From Thairath, July 22, 2014
Left, former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra: For corruption in the rice pledging scheme, my duty is supervision while the operational stage was the duty of civil servants. Therefore, I shouldn’t have to be convicted.
Right, man: About the rape and murder case on the train, my duty was to supervise and look out while Ai Game performed the act. Therefore, I shouldn’t be guilty of the crime.
[The man is the 19-year old accessory to the rape and murder of a young girl on a Thai train. The cartoon compares the statements of Yingluck and murder accessory to claim they both bear responsibility for the deeds they were involved with.]

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Cutting back the healthcare plan

From Komchadluek, July 22, 2014
On the bomb: Health security
[Refers to rumors that the junta might scale back or eliminate the 30-baht healthcare plan. The news was frantically denied by authorities since the news concerned the public, especially the poor, as the health care scheme is very popular.]

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How dare they let the Shinawatras escape


From Manager, July 21, 2014
Yingluck: So surprising!! No one from the protest group opposes us even through they know that we’re gonna leave the country to escape prosecution.
Paper on the people’s month: NCPO’s announcement no.97
[Refers to the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO)’s announcement no.97 which does not allow the media to criticize the NCPO. However, this controversial announcement was later revised. The NCPO has allowed Yingluck and her family to go oversea amid the concern that she might not return the country. The cartoonist expresses outrage that the Shinawatras, like all elite and rich Thais in history, are being allowed to escape culpability for their actions.]

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Weekly News Magazines, August 1, 2014

Nation Weekend_1 Aug 2014

From Nation Weekend, August 1, 2014
Cover reads: Twinkle Angel
[Reference is to married life of Jenny Thienphosuwan, a famous actress, and Chonsawat Assavahame, notorious local politician of Samut Prakan Province. The marriage was ended after less than one year since the day she sweetly announced it was over at a press conference organized in the living room of Chonsawat's residence. This contrasted with earlier social media photos showing Jenny had been beaten.]

Matichon Weekly_1 Aug 2014

From Matichon Weekly, August 1, 2014
Cover reads: Jenny uprising
[Reference is to the divorce of Jenny Thienphosuwan, a famous actress, and Chonsawat Assavahame, notorious local politician of Samut Prakan Province. The divorce is unconditional, and Jenny only asked for the 7.5 million-baht Porsche she bought with her own money, or a sum of equal amount.]

ASTV Manager Weekly_2 Aug 2014

From ASTV Manager Weekly, August 2, 2014
[The black cover is related to the order of the National Council for Peace and Order on July 26. The order was to relay the NCPO's discontent with the ASTV Manager Weekly, July 26-August 1 issue concerning its comments on the 2014 interim constitution and the juntas overwhelming power. This current issue's cover story gives detailed explanations on the issues the NCPO claimed were inaccurate (see below).]

The title reads: ASTV Manager Weekly insist that they performed their duty as the media honestly.
Section 44 = The NCPO’s head [Gen. Prayuth] is the father of every institution?
[Content of the article in frame is a quotation of Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, head of the NCPO explaining the country's political situation leading to his decision to stage a coup. The issue that the junta seems sensitive about is that they have complete power over all parts of the Thai world. This was likely their problem with the Economist article as well.
More on this here: Manager Group weekly news magazine under pressure from the junta]

Above: Manager Weekly shows other newspapers’ reporting on the military-dominated NLC
Top: Thai Post’s headline: Military forces share the NLC [the national legislative council] cake; Prajin [ACM Prajin Juntong, Air Force's commander in chief. revealed the Air Force receives a quota of 20 seats/the parliament decorated, the hall awaiting
Komcahdluek: Air Force, 20 seats in NLC

The title reads: Jintanat opens up, terminating the ASTV Manager Weekly temporarily, relaying the message to Phoo Yai [meaning senior or influential people, in this context referring to the NCPO] “don’t bully us too much”

More: Manager Group weekly news magazine under pressure from the junta

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