Jan 5th, 2017

Pride and money comes at the same time

From Thairath, December 16, 2016
From bottom left to bottom right: Salary, Money awarded from politics, Advisor to private companies, Bribes
Phi nooring: Drunk by money, power and pride
A mouse: Do you have morals?
Caption: Pride and money (comes at the same time)

[This shows the many avenues that allow police officers to become wealthy. Specifically it refers to a top officer in the force who has come under fire for being under contract as a consultant to a company while he was on the force, creating a possible conflict of interest.
As this cartoonist is pro-Thaksin and pro-Red Shirt, it is a relative rarity to see cartoons from him criticizing the Royal Thai Police. The police have long been personally loyal to Thaksin and Thaksin has been adept at maintaining relationship with top men in the force. However, recent incidents have laid bare the compromised nature of the police force and provoked criticism from across the political spectrum.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Thairath - Sia, Thai Police | 1 Comment

Fox with a jar on his head

From Khaosod, December 16, 2016
At the top of the jar: Dhammachayo
On the jar: Mass of people

[We are not sure about the reference to the cartoon, but it is likely to a parable as it shows a fox trying to get at another fox in a jar on his head.
This implies that Dhammakaya’s abbot Dhamamachayo uses people as human shields to help escape legal cases.]

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Cobra or the Indian?

From Naewna, December 15, 2016
Left: I’m just a cobra from the story where I would bite a farmer.
Caption: See a snake
Middle: I’m just an Indian providing loans and receiving interest, but I’ve never forced anyone to borrow money from me.
Caption: See an Indian person
Right: I’m the coolest person who used to visit heaven and talk with Steve Jobs… Oops!!!
Caption: See a bald person. Old people said we can hit it because it will pervert religion. When you die [after doing this], then you will be in heaven for sure!!!

[Refers to the Thai proverb that “when you meet a snake and an Indian person along a road, you should hit the Indian first.” This means that Indian people are more dangerous than snakes. This prejudice comes from the perception that, in the past, Indians were often loan sharks.
However, the cartoon jokingly adds that even more dangerous than Indians is Dhammakaya’s abbot Dhammachaya who uses the monkhood to take advantage of people. The cartoon references Dhammachaya’s bizarre claims that he can visit heaven and one time while he was there he met Steve Jobs.
More: The Weird Claims of Dhammakaya]

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Buffalo-Surrounded Pagoda

From Manager, December 15, 2016
Title: Pagodas in different periods
Left: Chang Lom Pagoda
[Wat Chang Lom is a Thai famous temple. In English, its name means “surrounded by elephants.”]
Right: Buffalo-surrounded pagoda
[Refers to Dhammakaya temple using their followers as human shields to impede officers from arresting Dhammakaya’s abbott Dhammayachao who is facing a money laundering charge.
To refer to a person as a “buffalo” is an insult meaning they are stupid. It has often been used to characterize Thaksin’s Red Shirt supporters. Here it is used to imply that, like Thaksin, Dhammayachao is using gullible country people to protect himself from legal consequences.]

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What’s really behind Thailand’s hostility to Chinese tourists?

What’s really behind Thailand’s hostility to Chinese tourists? – SCMP, December 30, 2016
…Thailand is hardly the only country where there has been criticism of Chinese tourists. Japanese media this year called for “Chinese-only zones” to limit instances of what it considered poor etiquette. Anger boiled over again last week after reports of scuffles between stranded Chinese tourists and Japanese police. Vietnam, meanwhile, has stated it may expel Chinese tourists following a viral video showing a tourist misbehaving with a banana vendor…

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Donald Trump: America’s Berlusconi (or Thaksin, or Hariri, or…)

Donald Trump: America’s Berlusconi (or Thaksin, or Hariri, or…) – opendemocracy.net, December 29, 2016
…What is most troubling about the Thai and Lebanese episodes are the tycoons’ divisive legacies. Saad Hariri led the “March 14” coalition against “March 8” around Hizballah. The two parties brought Lebanon to the brink of civil war. Post-coup politics in Thailand saw popular mobilisation and violence between “red shirts” supporting Thaksin and “yellow shirts” opposing him.
Trump may turn out to be the most dangerous tycoon yet, and not only because the USA are so powerful. Saad Hariri and Thaksin Shinawatra used divisive popular mobilisation only after they had come under violent attack through an assassination and a coup respectively. What sets Trump apart from the other billionaire politicians is that divisive race and gender politics are at the very heart of his project…

Posted in 2Bangkok News | Leave a comment

Thailand’s censorship

From Thairath, December 14, 2016
Title: Do nothing wrong… …do not be afraid
Upper left: Threaten. Persecute.
Lower left: Computer ACT.
Upper right: Sue.
Lower right: Violate people’s right.
Mouse man: haunting.
Mouse: cyber devil.

[This cartoon comments on the single internet gateway in Thailand. This plan is thought to be a way for Thai authorities to both censor the internet and oversee users’ activities online.
Pro-Red Shirt and anti-junta internet users in particular have come under legal scrutiny by the government for anti-monarchy and anti-junta comments.]

Posted in Censorship, Editorial Cartoons - Thairath - Sia | 1 Comment

University hostages

From Komchadluek, December 13, 2016
Above the man at right: Senior
On the paper: Statement of rup nong

[“Rup nong” is a university ceremony for incoming freshman. These have developed into elaborate and humiliating hazings for new students. We think the cartoon is a comment on the hazing, comparing the ceremonies to violent terrorism.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Komchadluek | 1 Comment

Facebook Safety Check scares Bangkok with false report of bomb

Facebook Safety Check scares Bangkok residents with false report of major explosion – The Independent, December 27, 2016
Facebook is warning people about a fake explosion in Bangkok, falsely suggesting that the entire city is at risk.
The site has activated its “Safety Check” feature across Thailand’s capital. That means that anyone it thinks is in the area will see a message informing them that there has been “an explosion”, and encouraging them to mark themselves safe from it…

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Thai Tom and Jerry

From Arun, December 13, 2016
Title: Arrest warrant of “Dhammachayo” from 13-16th December.

[This refers to the long-delayed attempt to apprehend Dhammachayo who is avoiding arrest in a temple surrounded by adherents acting as human shields. The media have been pillorying Thai authorities for their inability to capture the fugitive monk.]

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Stop hurting Thai people’s hearts

From Naewna, December 7, 2016
Title: Fucking media..!! Stop hurting Thai people’s hearts.
Above the money: Fake news about the royal family.
On the nose: BBC Thai

[This cartoon from the very rabidly pro-establishment Naewa refers to a profile of new King Rama X published on BBC Thailand. Complete dispassionate reporting about Thai royalty is almost never the norm within Thailand. Many international news organizations tended to report on both the death of Rama IX as well as the new King in nearly editorial terms, judging the institution itself and prescribing Western-style advice on changes to be made. Authorities launched an investigation into whether BBC violated Thailand’s law prohibiting insulting the king.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons, Lese Majeste, The Monarchy | Leave a comment

Weekly News Magazines, December 16-23, 2016

From Nation Weekend, Dec 16, 2016
Main cover reads: Dhammakaya Party naja

[Refers to the attempt of the Department of Special Investigate (DSI) to arrest Dhammakaya’s abbot Dhammachayo. The DSI has not accomplished its mission because Dhammachayo’s followers have acted as human shields to impede the officers.
The cover headline indicates that the movement is practically its own political party with followers used to further the narrow goals of the leader–bringing to mind Thaksin and his Red Shirts.
In both cases, the besieged party dares the authorities to act violently against it and even seems to relish the prospect of martyrs for its cause.
The word ‘naja’ is the ending Thai word used by females to indicate politeness. However, Dhamachayo, though a male monk, has the affection of using this female suffix to sentences when he speaks. Thus, the cover can be read as if Dhamachayo himself is introducing his political party.]

Top-right: ‘Vasit Dejkunjorn’ [yellow] follows aspirations of ‘Dhammaraja’

[Refers to former police and well-known author Vasit Dejkunjorn who pledged to follow King Rama X’s wishes to help the country. “Dhammaraja” means “the King who has Dhamma in his life” and in this context means H.E. King Bhumibol Adulyadej who passed away in October 2016. Vasit is known as a person who was very close and trusted by King Rama IX.]

From Matichon Weekly, Dec 16-22, 2016
Main cover picture: His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun

From Lokwannee, December 17-23, 2016
Main cover reads: Peekaboo!!
On the desktop: Draft Development of Digital for Economy and Society Act and Draft Organic Law on the Political Party Act.

[This cover raises concern about censorship due to the new computer regulations proposed by the junta.]

From ASTV/Manager, December 17-23, 2016
Largest words on the cover: Foul naja.
[This cover criticizes Dhamamka’s abbott Dhammachaya for calling on his followers to act as human shields to stop the officers from arresting him.
The word ‘naja’ is the ending Thai word used by females to indicate politeness. However, Dhamachayo, though a male monk, has the affection of using this female suffix to sentences when he speaks.]

Top: Cabinet reshuffle? [white] spreading the rumor that Uncle Pom wants to take a break.
[Refers to a rumor that the most powerful person in the government, Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan (whose nickname is Pom), would be removed from the cabinet in an upcoming reshuffle. PM Prayuth denied that Prawit would be sidelined.]

Bottom left: Look at a sexiness of ‘Aum’ [white] and her new man.
[Refers to famous and sexy star Pacharapa Aum Chaichua and her boyfriend.]

Right: Deep story! Seek on Vihok news. The price which a new actor has to pay.
[The man is Terdsak Jiamkijwattana, a pro-monarchy activist. The article is about new actors and the challenges they face.]

Posted in Thai Newspapers and Magazines | Leave a comment

Martyrs for a cause

From Manager, December 12, 2016
Title: The fates of a lotus under the water.
Left: Being a food for a turtle
Middle: Being a place for a turtle to hide
Right: Being a target for shooting to create chaos.

[This illustrates the different fates of Dhammakaya temple supporters.
In Buddhism, there are four levels of an individual’s development which are compared to the levels of a lotus in the water. The lotus under water is the lowest group which cannot be taught to be enlightened and has no future. The cartoonist contends that Dhammakaya supporters, by following the temple’s unusual tenants, are like the lotus under water.
In the cartoon, the turtle is supposed to be Dhammakaya’s fugitive abbot Dhammachayo who is hiding out to avoid arrest.
In the first panel Dhammakaya supporters are food for the abbot (due to their lavish donations).
In the second they are the human shields which the abbot is using to avoid arrest.
And in the final panel they pawns to be shot down and killed in any confrontation to arrest the monk.
This refers to a Thai way of conceptualizing protest as an attempt to create martyrs for a cause. This implies that the Dhammakaya temple siege (like the Red Shirt protests in the past) are opportunities where deaths would be beneficial. Then the deaths are cited as proof that the authorities’ position is not legitimate and thus all must be pardoned to maintain peace in the country’s metaphorical village.]

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Arrested for providing a place for a criminal to hide

From Manager, December 7, 2016
Left: Police officer: You have been arrested for providing a place for a criminal to hide.
Man: What is your evidence?
Right: You’ve already confessed that you have Dhammachayo in your heart.
Caption: Can notify them with this charge…

[Refers to Dhammakaya temple’s faithful supporters who have been summoned to the main Dhammakaya temple where former abbot Dhammachayo is hiding out to avoid a court summons over money laundering charges. Supporters are acting as human shields to stop authorities from arresting Dhammachayo.
The joke here is that Dhammakaya faithful, by steadfastly believing in the temple doctrine (having it in their hearts) is also providing a place (their hearts) for the fugitive monk to hide.]

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The real reason people are poor

From Thairath, December 2, 2016
Title: Being in the world’s ranking since a long time. [refers to a survey that shows Thailand’s relatively low ranking on a list of income distribution equality in various countries]
On the coin bags: Businessmen, military and elites mostly dominate country’s resources. [Those four bags have to be combined in order to read the whole sentence across the bags.]
On peoples’ shirts: A gap in Thai society
On the ground: Majority of people in the country
Phi Nooring: Made a little merit in the previous life
A mouse: A class-divided society

[This pro-Thaksin/pro-Red Shirt cartoonist notes that the economy is dominated by a few people who monopolize the country’s resources and power.
The cartoonist makes the joke that all the people who have ended up poor must have gotten that way because they did not accumulate enough good karma in past lives. However, the clear implication is that the Thai system is unfair and this is why most are poor.]

Posted in Editorial Cartoons - Thairath - Sia | 1 Comment

Warning of a future crisis

From Thairath, December 8, 2016
Title: Let me tell you again, this is the crisis in the near future.
Constitution drafter Meechai is wearing tie with CDC [Constitution Drafting Committee] and holds the constitution plinth.
Mouse man: We know this too well and it still makes a fool of people…
Mouse: …the entire nation.

[Deputy Prime Minister Prawit, probably the most powerful person in the government, recently noted that, if there was a crisis or other unsettled political condition in the country, elections could be further delayed.
This was a warning that the military would not tolerate pro-Thaksin protests or other anti-junta agitation. It also shows the relative confidence of the government in even suggesting that a delay could be possible.
The cartoonist suggests the only real crisis that could delay elections is military tyranny (symbolized by the boot in the shadow).]

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

Thaksin’s nightmare: He still can’t get rid of Prem

From Manager, December 8, 2016
Thaksin thinks: Going back home without carrying any cases. [meaning Thaksin’s main goal of returning to Thailand after having his legal cases dismissed is fading as he realizes the Privy Council is not appreciably changing]
Thaksin holds a Manager newspaper with the headline: Appointing Prem Tinsulanonda as head of the advisory council to the King.
Caption: News that is breaking his dream.

[Shortly after the first coup that ousted Thaksin from power in 2006, Thaksin was recorded telling supporters that the coup was because of a disagreement he had with Privy Council President Prem.

Since then, Thaksin’s actions, and the actions of the Red Shirts, can be seen as a long, drawn out attempt to pressure or threaten Prem in one way or another.

The first Red Shirt mass action was a surprise strike attacking Prem’s residence in 2007. Red Shirt publications, from the mainstream to the most radical, constantly attacked Prem as their greatest enemy.

Red Shirt faithful reacted in horror when Yingluck was sent to fawningly greet Prem in 2012 (Yingluck attempts detente with Privy Council President Prem and Yingluck Sent to Honor Prem). This reinforced the growing belief that the Red Shirt movement itself was simply a bargaining chip for Thaksin and his family.

The cartoonist alludes to the fact that a new monarch has the ability to appoint his own Privy Council from scratch. Thaksin must have surely hoped that Prem (as well as other generals who oppose him like Gen. Surayut) might have been removed from their posts in a Rama X era.

However, the composition of the new Privy Council demonstrates that the existing nexus of powers remains intact and that Thaksin’s return to power will continue to be blocked. See also: Weekly News Magazines, December 9-16, 2016]

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Handouts to rural people end up helping who?

From Manager, December 6, 2016
Someone from CP Group/7-11 calls government minister Somkid Jatusripitak (pictured) and says to him: Brother Guang [nickname of Somkid], when will the money you give to the poor arrive at my store?
Sign behind the woman: Informal debt repayment. [This means something like “loan shark” and refers to the constant small loans taken out by rural people from local gangs. The woman and the man beside her are stereotypical images of rural loan sharks.]

[Somkid Jatusripitak is a respected economic expert, once a founding member of Thaksin’s Thai Rak Thai party and now a member of the junta.
This cartoon refers to government policy to improve the economy by giving money directly to the poor to stimulate spending. The cartoonist points out that this policy will have little impact on the lives of rural people.
Those receiving money will likely have it siphoned off by the local loan shark industry. If it is spent elsewhere, the money will go to chain stores like 7-11 which lines the pockets of rich Bangkok billionaires.
The issue of fighting the loan shark industry has been taken up by most governments with little apparent success. Not only do informal lenders seek to entangle the poor in debt, but rural people seem eager to take out such loans with little regard for the eventual repayment.
Earlier links:
Fighting the load sharks during the Yingluck era: Loan sharks and rural debt in Thailand
And microfinance during Thaksin’s time in power (this program in particular caused wide alarm in politics as the program was seen as merely a slush fund that would cause village leaders to be beholden to Thaksin’s political machine): When Thailand’s government started offering microfinance loans to villagers, did anyone benefit?]

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Weekly News Magazines, December 9-16, 2016

From Manager Weekly, December 10-16, 2016
Main cover reads: Feeling relieved [literally “warm heart” meaning a feeling of relief or being at ease]

[This refers to His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun or the King Rama X reappointing Gen Prem Tinsulanonda as president of the Privy Council.

The new King is entitled to appoint his own Privy Council from scratch. Thaksin and his Red Shirts have long vilified Prem as Thaksin’s greatest foe and hoped that the new royal reign would see Prem removed from his position as president of the Privy Council.

Thaksin and the Red Shirts promised such change to their supporters over the years–both domestically and through international “experts” who inexplicably contended that the political chaos surrounding Thaksin was actually about the monarchy instead. These commentators have long spread the idea that a new King would wish to diminish his own power and authority by siding with Thaksin and cleaning out the old Privy Council members.

With Prem maintaining his position in the Privy Council (along with other retired generals who have steadfastly opposed Thaksin), the hopes of those who wished (and predicted) that a change of reigns would occasion a radical power shift have been dashed.

Prem has a long reputation as the embodiment of Thailand’s desire for benign authoritarianism (See Analysis: Thailand’s Half Democracy for a sampling of Prem’s place in Thai political history).

For many Thais, the presence of this person at the helm of the Privy Council relieves the concerns over this once-in-a-lifetime transformation period after the passing of the King Rama IX.]

From Nation Weekend, December 9, 2016
Main cover reads: Long Live the King.
[The cover shows the children of the late King Rama IX picture in fron to fo the Royal Urn (left to right): Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya, His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, Princess Chulahborn Walailak]

From Matichon Weekly, November 25-December 1, 2016

From Lokwannee, December 10-16, 2016
Main cover reads: Everything still follows the roadmap.

[The cover raises concern that the junta will be able to follow the pre-set roadmap to new elections and a return to democracy.]

Posted in Thai Newspapers and Magazines | 1 Comment

Thai-language newspapers: Rama X ascends the throne


From Thansettakij Newspaper, December 1-3, 2016
Title: Ascended to the throne [black] The parliament invited the Crown Prince to become the King.


From Daily News, December 1, 2016
Main title: The Crown Prince ascended to the throne. Becomes the 10th monarch of the ‘Chakri dynasty’
On the right: Invited the ‘Crown Prince’ to become the 10th monarch of the Chakri dynasty. The “NLA” holds a historic meeting following Article 2 of the interim constitution and announces “Love Live the King” at the parliament. Continued on page 4.
[Refers to the National Legislative Assembly (NLA), which now functions as the parliament, holding a special meeting and announcing the acknowledgment of the Cabinet’s resolution to invite Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn to ascend to the throne and become King Rama X.]


From Khaosod, December 1, 2016
Main title: Invited the Crown Prince to become King Rama 10. Followed the royal law–King’s order. Head of the NLA informed people so they would know. The parliament praised “Long Live the King” loudly. Will meet [the Crown Prince] soon.
Smaller text: The cabinet informed the parliament at a special meeting on the new King Rama 10 by inviting Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn. Continue to read on page 7.
Blue box: main title: Conduct the event to remember 50 days passed. Nationally [many monks] will be ordained. Circulate vocabulary books. Disclose a list of ‘159 high-ranking monks’ Somdej-Head. Appointed monks. Continue to read on page 10
[Refers to activities conducted for 50 days after HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej passed away. For example, 169 monks were appointed to higher ranks, such as “Somdej” on the occasion of HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s birthday on December 5.]
Gray box on the right: Ball meets the police on the case of beating a major general’s son. Refuse [the charge that he did] not to order bodyguards to beat [people]. Not yet receive a charge. Aum is crying so hard due to social media attacks. ‘Ball Kritsana,’ the sweetheart of actress ‘Aum Lukkana’ met the police due to the case of beating a major general’s son in the center of Chiang Mai. The chief of provincial police region 5. Continue to read on page 2.
[Refers to a case of the beating of a major general’s son at Malin Sky bar in Chiang Mai. This case has become a talk of the town as celebrities are involved. Kritsana Ball Amitsoon, the boyfriend of actress Lukkana Aum Wattanawongsiri, met with police. Although he is accused of ordering his bodyguards to beat the major general’s son, he claimed he was not involved with the case.]
Black box: Main title: Big Tu refused to answer about the road map–whether to postpose or not. ‘Big Moo’ is appointed as President of the PWA. [Gen. Teerachai Nakwanich was appointed as the new president of the Provincial Waterworks Authority (PWA).]
[subtitle] ‘Big Tu’ joined a consultation with the cabinet and the NCPO to conduct national strategy. Confirmed it will not be a power overlapping with the new government. Orders the CDC [Constitution Drafting Committee] and the NESDB [National Economic and Social Development Board] to draft organic laws. Gets sick of answering about the road map. To postpone or not depends on conditions. Continue to read on page 10.


From Komchadluek, December 1, 2016
Sub title above: The NLA invited the Crown Prince to ascend to the throne
Main title: King Rama 10. Long Live the King.
Subtitle [black]: The NLA acknowledged the Cabinet’s resolution to invite the Crown Prince as the heir to ascend to the throne as the new king and announced “long live the king” loudly. The PM will meet and invite him soon.


From Prachachat Newspaper, December 1-4, 2016
Main title: The Crown Prince ascended to the throne and become King Rama 10
Caption under the main picture: Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, Prime Minister, Cabinet, the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), Army chiefs and the National Legislative Assembly, invited Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn to become the new King in accordance to the royal law and the constitution.
Red title: Very attractive by ‘traveling-shopping’ to stimulate the GDP
[Refers to government measures to increase the country’s GDP by providing tax deductions of up to 30,000 baht for domestic travel expenses and shopping.]
Title below the red title: ‘Prayuth’ solves the hot issue on controversial 1 station. BEM is lucky as the MRTA hires for operating the purple line.
[The junta government led by PM Prayuth will spend 690 million baht to solve the problem on a 1-kilometre missing connection between the Blue Line and the Purple Line. Due to this, The Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA) agreed to hire the Bangkok Expressway and Metro Plc (BEM) to operate the connecting line.]
1st green box on the right: 9-peak royal funeral pyre, the funeral of HM King Rama 10
[Refers to the funeral pyre for HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej which will be constructed in January next year.]
2nd green box: The vision of King Rama 9, foundation of the country for a future.
Small box on the left: title: Get rid of pirated goods. Appoint the AMLO to investigate the ‘money channel’
[This concerns Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan ordering the Anti Money Laundering Office (AMLO) to suppress pirated goods and to investigate the money channels of business-related groups who sell pirated goods.]


From Thairath Newspaper, December 1, 2016
Title: Invite the Crown Prince to ascend to the throne as King Rama 10


From Thairath Newspaper, December 1, 2016
Main Title: “Long live the King” loudly at the parliament
Subtitle on the right: Pornpetch cooperates to meet. PM insists to follow the royal law and tradition. Thai people are pleased when the Cabinet jointed a special meeting with the NCPO to have a new King, the King Rama 10.
Green box at top-left: 500 monks make a pilgrimage to contribute to King Rama 9
The first Army Area Deputy Commander confirms a readiness of the ‘Big Cleaning’ to clean the pipes and areas in Sanam Luang and nearby the Grand Palace. Meanwhile, people are still coming to pay respect to the King [behind the star] Continue to read page 15.
[Refers to various activities carried out by the government, religious groups as well as people to show their respect to Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol Adulyadej who passed away on 13 Oct 2016.]
Green box at bottom-left: Ball meets with the police. Facing a serious investigation. Fired the senator, a shareholder of Malin [sub title] Chiang Mai businessman ‘Ball-Kritsana’ Boyfriend of actress Aum-Luckana’ from TV 3 channel, meets the police. [behind the star] Continue to read page 11.
[Refers to a case of beating of a major general’s son at Malin Sky bar in Chiang Mai.]
Green box at the top-right: main title: Pressure ‘Thattachivo’ to send ‘Dhammachayo’ to the investigating officer.
[black] Resist-means violate the law. Sriwara believes for 80% that he is still in the temple. [small] Police-DSI joint hands to pressure ‘Thattachivo,’ acting abbot of Dhammakaya temple, as he may be involved in the charges too.
[Refers to the police and Department of Special Investigation (DSI) led by Deputy national police chief Srivara Ransibrahmanakul that are trying to pressure Phra Thattachivo, the acting abbot of Dhammakaya Temple, who is protecting Dhammachayo who is facing arrest due to charges of money laundring.]
Green box at the bottom-right: PTP asks the NCPO to unlock politics. [sub title] Big Tu complains that he is sick of answering questions about the road map [small] Vice president of the CDC confirms the draft political party Act.
[Refers to the Pheu Thai Party asking the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) led by PM Prayuth, known as Big Tu, to be fair with the politicians, particularly through the draft Political Party Act written by the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) and allow political parties to resume their activities.]
Light green box on the bottom right: Acquit “Black Ears” in the case of paying money in exchange for [not] being arrested. The Central Court for Corruption and Misconduct acquitted ‘buster’ [behind the star]
[Refers to the Central Court for Corruption and Misconduct acquitting Pol. Maj. Gen. Wichai Sanprapai, former deputy chief of Metropolitan Police Bureau, whose nickname is ‘Black Ear Buster,’ on charges of malfeasance involving payment of a 10-million baht gambling debt.]

Posted in Thai newspaper headlines, Thai Newspapers and Magazines, The Monarchy | Leave a comment

Genocide is an internal affair?


From Thairath, December 1, 2016
Title: Genocide is an internal affair?
On the backs of the men: ASEAN UN [indicating these bodies are ignoring Myanmar’s persecution of Muslims]
Caption: get rid of Rohingya.
Mouse: The city full of sin.
Mouse man: The government massacres people.

[Refers to growing unease in Southeast Asian countries of the apparent movement on Myanmar to eradicate the Rohingya minority groups in western Myanmar.]

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

The U.S. supports IS


From Thairath, November 30, 2016
Left, Australian: Australian police would like to inform the Thai police that a hundred thousand Thai people have logged into IS movement websites and support their opinions.
Middle, Thai man: The Australian police should inform the U.S.A. as well.
Australian: About what?
Right: That the US government supports IS with money and weapons.

[This refers to a widespread belief in Thailand (and other nations as well) that IS (or ISIS) is created and supported covertly by the U.S.
As a Sunni-derived movement that brings pressure against both U.S. enemy Syria as well as the Shite-leaning government emerging in Iraq, some suspect IS is a product of U.S. foreign policy. Underlying this belief is the idea that the U.S. is ruthless and will use any means to maintain their power and dominance around the world.]

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

The U.S. could never kill Castro


From Manager, November 30, 2016
Fidel Castro speaking to the American eagle: I have been here for over 50 years to let you kill me… and you’ve never succeeded… now I am leaving first.
Caption: Fidel Castro: 1926-2016

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Cuba’s Hero


From Thairath, November 29, 2016
Title: Mourning
Mouse man: RIP
Mouse: Cuba’s Hero.

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

Constitution Day

Above: Democracy Monument

December 10 is Constitution Day in Thailand and a national holiday. After the 1991 coup, a new charter was rushed to approval so there would be a constitution on this day. After the coups in 2006 and 2014, Thailand had no constitution for the holiday.

Posted in Thai Holidays and Festivals | Leave a comment

Death by Facebook


From Manager, November 23, 2016
Caption: The first corpse is Nott paying respect to my car…. And this is the second corpse.

[The lady is motivational speaker Orapim Best Raksapon. This cartoon refers to people who are punished by the social media, particularly Facebook.
After the clip of TV host Akanat Nott ariyaritwikul punching a motorcycle driver and forcing him to pay respects to his car was shared in the Facebook, he was widely condemned and fired from this job.
Similarly, motivational speaker Orapim Best Raksapon was criticized for her careless remarks implying that Northeastern people, known for their support of Thaksin and his policies, did not love the King.]

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How to save the zero-dollar tour?


From Thairath, November 23, 2016
Title: Nang Kwak… beckoning harder [the Nang Kwak spirit is a household divinity believed to beckon good fortune and attract customers to a business]
On Nang Kwak’s dress: Tourism
Flag on the left: Tourists
On a tourist’s shirt: China
Sign on the barbed wire fence: No zero-dollar tour
Signs on the right: Thai tourist industry, restaurant and service businesses, souvenir shops, entertainment
On the businessman’s suit: Hotel industry
Phi Nooring: She [Nang Kwak] needs to use her power to help.
Mouse: Quickly beckon for the country

[Refers the junta’s crackdown on zero-dollar tour packages. These tours brought masses of Chinese tourists to Thailand for little or no money for the tourist (“zero dollar”). The tour companies recoup their investment by then pressuring the tourists into buying over-priced souvenirs and goods at special shops. The zero-dollar tour represents Thailand’s complete capitulation to the Gem Scam.
After the last coup, the junta has been cracking down on law-breaking that elected governments refused to tackle–such as the zero-dollar tours. The crackdown has resulted in a noticeable downturn in Thailand’s tourism sector.
This cartoon suggests that the junta led by PM Prayuth needs to use the Nang Kwak deity to bring in more tourists to stimulate the country’s economy. In the cartoon, Nang Kwan was drawn as Tourist and Sport Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul.
The underlying feeling in the cartoon is that democratic forces that oppose the junta also oppose the strict law and order campaign as being dictatorial and bad for the economy. This idea is common in nascent democracies or where military rule is being opposed. The enforcing of rules and regulations is associated with monolithic rule while democracy is interpreted as being free to do things how one wants.
It is likely that a future Pheu Thai election campaign will feature promises to cease the law and order drive started by the junta as many of its actions have harmed the livelihood of workers from the Northeast.]

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Weekly News Magazines, December 2-8, 2016


From Nation Weekend, December 2, 2016
Main cover reads: King Rama X. Long Live the King

[Refers to the Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn who accepted the invitation from the National Legislative Assembly to accede to the throne and was proclaimed as King Rama X of Thailand on December 1, 2016.]


From Matichon Weekly, December 2-8, 2016


From Manager Weekly, Dec 3-9, 2016
Main cover reads: Our Father

[The vcover photos shows an old photo of the Thai royal family. Front from left to right: Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej (King Rama IX), HM Queen Sirikit, Princess Chulahborn Walailak. Back from left to right: Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn, Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya]


From Lokwannee, December 3-9, 2016
Main cover reads: ‘His Majesty the King’ Rama X

Posted in Thai Newspapers and Magazines | 1 Comment

Two standards of populism in Thailand


From Thairath, November 24, 2016
Title: Two standards of populism
Left caption: Guilty [meaning Yingluck judged guilty in the expensive rice pledging scheme]
On the bag Yingluck holds: Rice pledging scheme to improve the farmer’s life.
Right caption: Not guilty [meaning that the junta is employing the same sort of rice pledging that Yingluck’s did]
Left bag Prayuth holds: Hand out money
Right bag Prayuth holds: Aiding.
Left woman: Poor
Man on right: Farmer
Mouse: Helping people.
Mouse man: Which will last longer? [meaning the Pheu Thai and Yingluck’s brand is genuinely beloved and will likely return in future elections.]

[The underlying idea here is the highly regarded Thai value of fairness. It means that Yingluck has been treated unfairly by the junta, especially since the junta also has its own rice-pledging scheme.]

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Dhammajayo wanted eventually


From Thairath, November 21, 2016
Left: Now, it is time to arrest Dhammajayo…
Middle: Please, all police forces must arrest him either by making him alive or dead. But please listen carefully…
Right: Arresting him alive means that he is still alive when he gets arrested. Arresting him dead means that he is already been dead before we arrest him.

[This ridicules the authorities apparent hesitation in arresting Dhammajayo. The cartoonist jokes that the police might brag about arresting him dead or alive, but the “dead” part probably means the police will wait until he has died of natural causes.]

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