Thai editorial cartoonist Sia taken by military for “attitude adjustment”


From Thairath, September 12, 2015
Caption: How to invite people to dinner

Thai editorial cartoonist Sia taken by military for “attitude adjustment” – Manager, October 4, 2015

[Sia (also written as “Zia”) is one of our favorites and we have translated and attempted to explain dozens of his cartoons.

At one point he was not an openly partisan cartoonist. He was usually supportive of Thaksin during his time as PM. However, by the time the Red Shirts were at their peak of street activity in 2009-2010, he had became adamantly pro-Thaksin, often producing a nearly identical cartoon daily.

He added a caricature of Red Shirt activist Sombat Boongamanong at the edge of his cartoons, often to call for human rights and reform.

Just give them a lesson, brothers!

He often cheered on the Red Shirts to actively fight against those who attempted to overthrow the Yingluck-led Pheu Thai government. His cartoon messages often coincided with major Red Shirt street activities, such as in 2013 when the Red Shirts surrounded and threatened to overrun the courts to replace the justices with their own appointees.

These cartoons extolled the Red Shirt cause and alleged that the “aristocrats” of the country enjoy harming the peasants. This one-tone message elicited accusations that he was under the pay of Thaksin.

Later, Sia occasionally chided the Pheu Thai government for putting the Thaksin cause above justice for the Red Shirts, but he remained, for the most part, solidly pro-Thaksin and strongly supportive of the former Yingluck-led government.

Since the coup, Sia has often targeted Gen. Prayuth with allegations that he seeks to end populist programs and wants to raise the salaries of bureaucrats at the expense of poor farmers. He also promoted the Red Shirt line that the military was intent on cutting or eliminating health coverage for the poor in order to buy submarines.


From Thairath, October 3, 2015
It has been reported that the cartoon above triggered the military to force Sia into its mandatory “attitude adjustment” (translation coming soon).

The military sees this exercise of attitude adjustment as simply pressuring those it believes are in the pay of Thaksin. The public spectacle of these military summons are meant to prove to the Thai political world that the military has the fortitude to face down Thaksin–and that public or international opinion will not sway them. It is meant to show politicians it is safe to break from Shinawatra family control.

Of course, the military has had setback after setback in this plan and has not seemed at all firm or even in control as it tried to strip Thaksin of his rank. It also backed down on a number of hard-line initiatives like the single internet gateway plan.

This is why Thaksin and his allies feel confident now to simply wait out the military, return their party to power after the next elections, and then begin again on the identical plan they embarked upon after the People Power Party and the Pheu Thai came to power–rewrite the constitution and create an amnesty for Thaksin. In response, the military is using any pretext to stall their handover of power.]

Notable Sia Cartoons
How to make Thai people agree with the constitution
Getting Strangled
It should be about what can be given to the poor
Rubber bullets? But why did people die?
Changing the cabinet… observe the shoes
Bad luck for Thai people, just like the Uighurs
Red and Yellow cartoonists agree on the submarine issue (and here)
Dig happiness out of the poor
Prayuth won’t be able to stop the people from loving Thaksin
The courts destroy the country
To protect democracy, we must have an election
Only the election can beat the devils
Sending a fighter to heaven

Blowing whistles to mobilize those whose blood spills into their eyes
Thaksin Convicted Because He Refused to Give a Bribe?
Freeing the Political Prisoners: “Amnesty… amnesty… amnesty… amnesty… amnesty…”
Red Shirts and Yingluck release the prisoners!
Amend the constitution immediately!
Amend the constitutional fast while we can!

Thaksin is the nation’s encyclopedia Editor Ron Morris’ book, The Thai Book: A Field Guide to Thai Political Motivations, is available in the Kindle Store.

This entry was posted in Analysis, Editorial Cartoons - Thairath - Sia. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Thai editorial cartoonist Sia taken by military for “attitude adjustment”

  1. Mr Jaroon Shaowalit says:

    World knows a lot about Thai politics. Why hasn’t the Junta leader of Thailand even recalled that?
    What propaganda he has tried never worked!
    This is the way Thai people has treated for over 700 years since Sukhothai era.
    No peace, no real democracy, no talk.
    Just follow the leader.

  2. Wiz says:

    @Mr Jaroon Shaowalit, here is our answer on the issue in question:

    unmasking Uncle Sam as the main supporter for those anti monarchy to turn Thailand into republican regime

    no reconciliation so long the anti monarchy like comrade Surachai still exists on the surface of the earth!

    Beware the trick of Uncle Sam in middle east as Uncle Sam is going to apply the trick on Thailand

    Buddha Isara at US Embassy on wireless road on the issue of endless meddling on the internal affairs of Thailand by Uncle Sam

    Moh Rianthong message to President Obama while he jointed the demonstration in front of US Embassy with Buddha Isara

    Moh Rianthong vs. Ai Sunai of Human right [Ai Sunak would be more appropriated term though]

  3. Wiz says:

    Now, I just learn why Ai Sia has taken side with Ai Maew and PT-UDD men so much that he is effectively a sycophant for Yinglux. Ai Sia got lots of debts while moving from newspaper officer to another newspaper office since he has shown his negative attitudes toward any government since the day of Siam Nikorn run by Khun Chatcharin Chairat (old Octoberist who just come out of the jungle after 6 October purge) – until he was joining Thairath in 1992 and worked as the political cartoonist of Page 3 after the demise of the late Prayoon Chanyawongse (1915- 3 December 1992). It is the work at Thairath that allowed him to make a contact with Shinnawatra clan through the connection between Watcharaphon (owner of Thairath) … and It is Ai Maew’s money that bail Ai Sia out of financial troubles – just like the way Ai Maew has bailed out Watthachak group and Matichon group and turn Watthachak group and Matichon group into mouthpieces for AI Maew.

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