From Thairath, March 6, 2003
Cartoon title: Are you Thai? [meaning a real Thai person would not object to eliminating drug dealers]
On the arm: Human right academics
On the knife blade: United Nations
On packet in sitting man’s hand: Ya ba [amphetamines]
On briefcase: Money derived from Ya ba trafficking
[Thaksin announced his “war on drugs” on January 14, 2003 by quoting legendary (and murderous) Thai Police chief Phao Sriyanandh who said “there is nothing under the sun that the Thai police cannot do.” This was a warning that grave consequences were coming to the extensive network of drug dealers in Thailand–and that no law could protect them.
In the next few months, according to Amnesty International, at least 2000 people were gunned down on the streets of Thailand–often on their way to police stations after receiving summons. This policy was widely popular, but criticized by human rights organizations.
Thaksin bristled at criticism of his drug policies and the killings. When asked about a U.N. envoy beings sent to Thailand to gather facts on the mass killings, Thaksin famously replied, “The United Nations is not my father. I’m not worried about any U.N. visit to Thailand on this issue. A U.N. envoy can come any time to make observations.”
Once Thaksin had regained control of the government after the People Power Party formed a government in 2008, one of the first initiatives was to revive the killings (Threats to Resume Thaksin’s War on Drugs). To appeal to the public, government officials began promising even higher numbers of drug dealers would be killed this time.]