From Manager, April 10, 2019
Thanathorn: All my dear Fah… Daddy wants to introduce your grandpas and grandmas…
[Refers to representatives from embassies who showed up to apparently support to Future Forward leader Thanathorn when he went to the police station to hear sedition charges. This was a signal to the junta that their seemingly politically motivated charges against Thanathorn, coming on the heels of his surprising election showing, were not going unnoticed by Western nations.
However, to a segment of the Thai population, such unified foreign support for Thanathorn, who promises a charter rewrite (reminiscent of all Thaksin-controlled parties) and who has roots in earlier political movements that desired to eliminate lese majeste laws, hints that foreign powers are seeking to upend the Thai nation headed by a king.
This conspiratorial thinking goes back years and posits that Thaksin and his participation in the second Gulf War and acquiescence to a CIA prison on Thai soil is the sort of model of cooperation that Western powers want from Thailand.
Under this viewpoint, this is how Thaksin, quite authoritarian while in power, was continually considered the embodiment and proof of democracy in Thailand. It is why his calculated political sieges of Bangkok in 2009 and 2010 have often been defined internationally as organic protests of people rising up to demand democracy. It is why Western powers are now angling to disparage the junta for their drift into China’s orbit.
The cartoonist expresses this viewpoint by showing the foreign representatives as the parents of Thanathorn, and thus encouraging the Western reforms they intend for Thailand.
Heartthrob Thanathorn is known as “Daddy” by his supporters who call themselves “Fah.” This is a Thai drama where a young girl named “Fah” called her older lover “Dad” to disguise their relationship.]
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