From Manager, April 17, 2017
Phraya Songsuradet: Because we were “soon ripe, soon rotten…” Thai politics has become worst until the present day… Remove this plaque… then it there won’t be any evidence… showing what we did.
Among the men are Thai dictators of the past including Phraya Phaholpholphayuhasena and Pridi Panomyong. Phraya’s statement is meant to mean the post-revolution leaders were corrupt and led to the poor state of Thai politics today.
Caption: To ease history? [alludes to comments that the plaque was stirring up division] This group of people may want to do it [remove the plaque] the most.
[Refers to the disappearance of the 1932 Siamese Revolution plaque. This cartoon reflects a viewpoint we have written about before–that the 1932 was not really the start of democracy, but the replacement of an existing power with decades of bickering dictators.
“Soon ripe, soon rotten…” is an idiom meaning something like “too early to do it.” This references opinions that the 1932 overthrow of the absolute monarchy in an effort to create a democratic system was not successful because Thai people did not understand democracy yet. This was also the rationale for dictatorship used by many ruling Thai generals over the years.
The cartoonist implies that those who ruled after the revolution should be ashamed of their record and not want the plaque to record the revolution that led to their rule.]
From Thairath, April 18, 2017
Title: There are a lot of robbers in the city.
Man yelling: Pilfering! Stealing! Robbing!
On the plaque: Khana Ratsadon’s plaque
Papers held by robbers from the top to the bottom: Democracy; Government’s power from elections; Human rights in Thailand; Freedom of people and press
Phi Nooring: Doing as teamwork.
Mouse man: Can arrest. It’s not wrong [to arrest them].
[This cartoon makes the point that the junta must be involved with the plaque removal and links other issues, such as freedom and human rights, with the stealing of the plaque to show the anti-democratic pattern of the junta.]
From Manager, April 18, 2017
People representing the nations of the world: Will World War 3 occur? So scary.
Thai man in foreground: My plaque has been taken… Who stole it?!!
Caption: The world is concerned about the future: Thais concerned about the past.
[This attempts to downplay the missing revolution plaque. It shows peoples of the world concerned about escalating tensions between the U.S. and North Korea contrasted with a Thai person focused on who stole the revolution marker.
This certainly shows the bent of the Manager Group in being skeptical of the democratic process as well as supporting any eventuality (such as a less democratic Thailand) that prevents a Thaksin return to power.]
From Thairath, April 19, 2017
Title: People who are hammering the plaque
On book held by charter-drafter Meechai: A law to destroy political parties [referring to parts of the new constitution designed to prevent political parties from being too strong]
On plaque: Destroy political parties under a democratic system. Extend power for 20 years. Violate human rights. Control people’s freedom. Establish a group system. Independent agencies.
Phi Nooring: Who will help to remove this? [meaning the new plaque]
A mouse: Hammering the plaque of power
[This shows key junta figures installing a new plaque that has phases on it showing that the junta will maintain tight control over Thai politics for many years.
The removal of the plaque is thus the final act in a long line of actions taken by the junta to restrict freedom of the people.]