From Manager May 24, 2017
Police Chief Chakthip Chaijinda: Under this sun, there is nothing Thai police cannot do!
[The saying “Under this sun, there is nothing Thai police cannot do” comes from Police General Phao Sriyanon, perhaps the most notorious Thai police officer, who was one of the pillars of the Phibun dictatorship. He is remembered in the West as “The worst man in the whole history of modern Thailand.”
It is probably not surprising that many Thais see things totally differently. Both the present-day Royal Thai Police and Thaksin have taken Phao’s declaration of absolute power as an affirmation of their duty as well as a threat to their political enemies (just as Phao meant it).
In 2003, Thaksin’s anti-drug trafficking speech boldly used Phao’s quote. This seemed to foreshadow the politicization of the police that bends to Thaksin dictates.
To the average Thai, the saying is probably met with resignation as it contains the reality of the police on the ground–that they have the legal power to control day-to-day life, decide who is charged, and often actively manage illegal activities for their own benefit.
The cartoonist makes light of the saying, showing various types of bombers–southern separatists, Red Shirts, and rouge Red Shirts (perhaps symbolized by the man in the checked shirt)–moving above the sun. This is a place where the Royal Thai Police’s self-declared absolute power cannot reach.]