From Thairath. March 30, 2021
Title: Military force in the sea of blood
On truck: Myanmar
On banner at left: Friends of tyrant criminals [This accuses ASEAN nations of not acting to stop Myanmar from their violent crackdown. ASEAN did take a hands-off approach with member states in the past, but, this time, some members such as Indonesia have strongly called for ASEAN action.]
On ground from left to right: Kill children; Against Coup; Kill people
From Thairath. March 30, 2021
From Manager, April 4, 2021
On sign at top left: Thammasat
Caption, left: Real youth
Caption, right: Old men wishing to play with the kids
Phumthan: Do you see the name?… We are the same group.
[Refers to the new group Octoberists for Democracy (OCTDEM) founded by some of those who participated in the political protests of October 14, 1973 and October 6, 1976. The group has shown its support for anti-monarchy and anti-government groups such as Restart Democracy (REDEM). Like the recent reappearance of Red Shirt Jatuporn trying to start a new anti-government movement, OCTDEM consists of people with close ties to Thaksin such as Phumtham Wechayachai and Prommin Lertsuridej.
Opponents of the anti-government protests like to point to the violence-prone Restart Democracy (REDEM) as the face of the student protests. However, there have been efforts to recompose the protest around new leaders and shed the confrontation of past protests.]
From Thairath, April 1, 2021
Title: Only asking for the choice
Somyot says: Wishing for the death penalty to end all the problems and shorten time to a trial and then people don’t have to fight to release me.
On his shirt: Prisoner
In his hand: Justice; Death
Phi Nooring: Misery of the fighter
Mouse: Living with suffering
[Refers to political activist Somyot Prueksakasemsuk who was jailed and accused of several infractions including Article 112 along with other anti-government protest leaders. The courts have rejected all requests for bail citing several factors including the leaders’ vows to habitually repeat speaking out against the monarchy. Due to this, Somyot called for death penalty to end all his charges and prevent his followers from having to fight to save him from injustice.]
From Naewna, March 25, 2021
Top: This one has already has a drug to vanquish it. [meaning there is a vaccine for COVID-19]
Bottom: This one has not had anyone vanquish him yet. [meaning Thanathorn and his potent discontent that is embraced by Thailand’s youth is still potent]
[This notes that the danger of COVID-19 is on its way to be solved, but political discontent has yet to be solved.
Noting that this is from a very pro-establishment newspaper, the meaning seems to imply that Thanathorn needs to be vanquished or stopped as if he were a disease.]
From Thairath, March 23, 2021
Title: Mission for security
Left title: In the city
On the cameraman: Press
On man: People
Right title: Border Right, soldier on the truck: Food you asked us to buy is arriving now.
Sign on the truck: Army
Sign on the gate: Thailand-Myanmar Phi Nooring: Friends need to help each other.
Mouse: Don’t care about the world [meaning they do not care about the world’s opinion]
[Refers to the relationship between the Thai government and the Myanmar military. Recently, there was news that the Thai army provided 700 sacks of rice to Myanmar’s military. The Thai army contended that they were asked by Myanmar’s military to purchase rice in compliance with border-ties cooperation agreements, which was a normal practice.
The cartoonist contends that both militaries are bent on violent harassment of their citizens.]
From Manager, March 23, 2021
Joshua: You exactly followed my Hong Kong model… from the beginning to the end.
Caption: Joshua Wong must be happy.
[Refers to Thai anti-government leaders including Penguin, Anon and Rung (at left) who are now jailed. Early in the protests there was an attempt at synergy between the Hong Kong and Thai protests with each side sending words of support to the other.
Those opposed to the Thai protests accused the students of planning to “ruin” Thailand like they perceive was done by protesters in Hong Kong. This comes from a viewpoint that does not hold democracy as an important thing and instead lauds “order” that facilitates business and presumably prosperity.
The cartoonist sarcastically notes that the Thai protesters have matched the Hong Kong model after all and ended up in legal tangles created by governments with overwhelming power.]
From Thairath, March 31, 2021
Title: Canal blocker
PM Prayuth: If you dare enough, then try to overthrow me.
On vessels left: Violate human rights; Economic problems; Dictatorship On vessels right: Freedom; Democracy; Development; Country
Signs held by people left to right: Overthrow Uncle; Overthrow Prayuth; Overthrow Uncle
Phi Nooring: Like a crocodile laying down to block the canal
Mouse: He is a problem.
[Refers to PM Prayuth who the cartoonist shows is like the situation in the Suez Canal and blocking many things.
This also references the Thai proverb “a crocodile laying down to block the canal” meaning a person who blocks everything and becomes an obstacle to move forward or develop.]
From Manager, March 31, 2021
Sign on right: Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem (canal)
Red Shirt Jatuporn: He has been stranded here for over 7 years already… lets move him out of the way!!
Caption: The Suez Canal [saga] is ended… but this canal [saga] is not not over yet.
[This shows Jatuporn who launched a new movement to reunite all the anti-government forces under a new Red Shirt-like banner. Eschewing royal reform, the movement is an attempt to reset the protest movements to a single, focused goal–paint Prayuth as a villain and remove him from office, allowing the opposition to return to power.]
From Manager March 22, 2021
On the sign: We are Bang Kloi people
Thanathorn: What’s up… Ratskate!!!
Caption: Even a dog’s tick
[Refers to Thanathorn and his team (the woman on his back is Pannika) who have been adept in utilizing new trends–such as the latest social media methods for communicating as well as “canceling” advertisers supporting media that oppose them.
The cartoonist compares Thanathorn to a tick meaning a person who sticks to others for their own benefit. The cartoon references Thanthorn’s support for headline-grabbing causes like the Bang Kloi people who protested against the government regarding their lands in a national park.
Thanathorn also called on people to bring their skateboards (now a trendy thing) to the anti-government protest under the name of Khana “Ratskate” mimicking Khana Ratsadon, the Siamese revolution in 1932 that overthrew the absolute monarchy.
He used the hashtag #Ratskate and was photographed carrying a skateboard, which, to his critics, seemed disingenious for a 42-year-old billionaire. However, his popularity on social media is still the envy of every other political figure.]
From Manager, March 30, 2021
Left truffle: PAO Right truffle: Municipality
Thanathorn: The old one is not finished yet… [meaning he has yet to eat the truffle of failure from the PAO elections yet]
Caption: Actively collecting [them]
[Refers to the defeat of Thanathorn’s party in local elections. After failing in the provincial administrative organizations (PAO) elections, his party only received a few seats at the municipality elections. In Thai, the word “truffle” is also a symbol meaning “failure” or “disappointment.”
Despite the extensive press coverage of the student protests locally and internationally and his movement’s large footprint on social media, these election disappointments seem to indicate little depth to his political influence.]
From Arun, March 8, 2021
Inside the box: Kyel Sin “Angel,” A 19-year old girl was shot in the head amid the anti-coup protest in Myanmar
Title: Words from Myanmar
[Refers to Kyel Sin, known as “Angel” killed by being shot in the head while protesting on the streets of the city of Mandalay. She has become the symbol of defiance against against military rule. It seems the cartoonist is using the Statue of Liberty as a general symbol of freedom.]
From Thairath, March 6, 2021
Title: Will the number pass ours? [meaning PM Prayuth is hopeful the death toll in Myanmar will climb to surpass the death toll of the 2010 Red Shirt protests in Bangkok]
Signs held by the people: Anti-coup in Myanmar.
Sign in front of skulls: Crackdown on the people. May-April 2010; 99 died, more than 2,000 injured. [refers to the Red shirt protests in 2010]
Phi Nooring: Who will be crueler?
Mouse: Killing their own people
[This cartoon contends that the government hopes the death toll will pass that in Thailand in 2010. The numbers at top are the daily death took as the junta in Myanmar attempts to stamp out anti-coup protesters.
The hooded man refers to the Democrat Party. Around the 2009 and 2010 Red Shirt protests, this hooded man was used to insist that the Democrat Party was the villain of the protests as the then-protests were intended to unseat the Democrat-led government.]
From Thairath, March 10, 2021
On the monster: Privilege; Violate human rights; Illegal power; Injustice; Dictator dominates the country; Corruption.
On the map below the monster’s mouth: Thailand without freedom
Phi Nooring: Waiting to be destroyed.
Mouse: No future
Caption: Darkness is eating the country.
[The cartoonist contends that Thailand is under threat from the military-dominated government which is destroying the country.]
From Thairath, March 4, 2021
Title: The one under the chair is more difficult to expel.
Man under the chair: Negotiate for the Minister’s chair.
Phi Nooring: It belongs to the House of Cabinet for so long.
Mouse: The real owner of the house
On the license plate: Bangkok
[Refer to the news that a water monitor was found under Deputy PM Prawit’s car. In Thai the water monitor is called “hia.” Calling a person a “hia” is impolite.
The cartoonist insults MPs who try to lobby for ministerial posts saying they are everywhere and hard to get rid of like the odious water monitor. The cobra on the car refers to those MPs who betray their political cliques to support others.]
From Manager, March 15, 2021
On the grave: Big Joke Died 9 April (B.E) 62
On the sign on the building: Royal Thai Police Headquarters
Caption: This story is very supernatural.
[Refers to former immigration chief Surachet Hakparn, known as “Big Joke,” once a media darling for his fearless crackdown on wrongdoing before mysteriously being removed from his post at the height of his fame. The recent political reshuffles have apparently rejuvenated Big Jok’s career with a new appointment in law enforcement. There was never any public explanation of either his ouster or his reinstatement.
All of this demonstrates to the public how official promotions and demotions have little to do with merit, but instead are part of political maneuvering and vendettas.
From Thairath, March 3, 2021
Title: Cruel buddies in ASEAN.
Left on the military man: Thailand
Right on the military man: Myanmar
On the hat of man on the left: Overthrow uncle [meaning overthrown Thailand’s military dominated government]
On the shirt of the man at right: Anti-coup
Phi Nooring: Same slave of the dictator
Mouse: Are you still human.
[Refers to the similarity of police in Thailand and Myanmar using violence against anti-dictatorship protesters in their countries.]
From Thairath, March 22, 2021
Title: Asking for freedom like those kites
Names on the kites from left to right: Mike, Pai, Penguin, Somyos, Anon, Rung, Amy
[Refers to the leaders of anti-government protests who have been jailed due to allegations that they violated Section 112 of the lèse-majesté law. Bail has been refused as the government claims they have shown they intend to repeatedly break the law. However, hundreds of lawyers and other advocates have spoken out that they should be granted bail as their continued detention is irregular and cruel.
The cartoon refers to the custom at Sanam Luang of kite flying. Student protesters apparently had a plan to fly many kites so that they hovered over the adjacent Grand Palace area, symbolically putting their demands over one of the symbols of royalty in Thailand.
The cartoon also shows the shipping containers lined up to block the protesters from approaching (and presumably occupying) the Grand Palace.]
From Naewna, March 12, 2021
Left heading: Uncle Tu played with the reporters by spraying alcohol on them.
Caption: Very bad. Silly. Embarrass the whole world.
Right heading: Three-finger protester is aggressively peeing on the police.
Caption: Awesome… Very cool… Very supreme
[Refers to the reactions of the anti-government groups toward two different inappropriate behaviors. Much was made of PM Prayuth’s strange dousing of the media with alcohol when asked about cabinet appointments. Meanwhile the urination (or “pretend urination” as some sources contended) was praised by many on social media, with the contention that the government deserved it for restricting the rights of people to protest.]
From Thairath, March 12, 2021
Title: He deems to care… Everything he did is cute.
PM Prayuth: Killing the virus for the reporters.
Cameraman: Throw a banana peel to the head..!
Woman reporter: Splash the water to the reporter.
Reporters at the left corner: Being a place for him to vent his emotions.
Woman reporter next to the group of reporters: Who hit my head?
Phi Nooring: Acting like a bad kid.
Mouse: Doing things unwisely.
[PM Prayuth was criticized for his inappropriate behavior when he sprayed alcohol on reporters when asked about the appointment of new cabinet members.]
From Thairath, March 12, 2021
Left: On the street… to crack down on the protest
Right: At the Government House…to crackdown the reporters
[Refers to PM Prayuth who sprayed alcohol on reporters when he was asked about appointment of new ministers. The cartoonist draws a parallel to the crowd control measures of spraying water and irritants on anti-government protesters.]
From Manager, March 24, 2021
Police: I am so sorry my staff used more violence on you… I will scold them!
[This references the anti-government protests led by REDEM. This is a hardcore group that arose in the absence of the main student protest leaders who were controversially jailed without bail for alleged lese majeste offenses.
REDEM has been much more confrontational, fighting and throwing objects at police. They also are also well-organized–at a recent protest they carried rigging that was used to pull down shipping containers being used to block protesters from approaching the Grand Palace.
Some media roundly condemned the police for the violence at the protests while other media blamed REDEM.
The larger story is that this sort of violence from dwindling numbers of protesters is exactly what the government wants to demonize the movement and dampen wider support in society.
Within a week of the bloody protests, another protest was held at Rajaprasong Intersection far from the Grand Palace area that has seemed to be a magnet for violence. A new spate of student protest leaders was presented at the protest, some reading out heartfelt demands for change in trembling voices and all were praised on social media afterwards. It was also promoted on social media that this new protest was entirely peaceful and it drew many thousands of people, thus showing the continuing potency of the movement.
All of this was a reset to the spiraling violence that was playing into the government hands and limiting wider sympathy towards the students and their causes.]
From Manager, March 3, 2021
Thanathorn: Allowing the police to wear helmets is blocking the freedom of people to pee on their heads freely!
[As anti-government protests dwindled in 2021, the somewhat leaderless protesters, comprised of various groups, have become more chaotic in their activities.
At a recent protest, a protester was photographed urinating on a police officer (some sources later began stating he was “allegedly pretending” to urinate).
The cartoonist jokes that Thanathorn’s words about the freedom of the protesters being confronted with riot-gear equipped police or being blocked from occupying protest sites by shipping containers are ironic as the some protesters seem bent on bad behavior or violence.]
From Manager, March 4, 2021
Left: Military’s crackdown!!! [in Myanmar]
Right: Mob’s crackdown!!! [in Thailand]
[Refers to the different political situation in Myanmar and Thailand. The cartoonist contends that the military junta in Myanmar is using the violence to crackdown, while in Thailand, police have faced violence from anti-government protesters.]
From Manager, February 24, 2021
Right, Thaksin thinking: Unexpectedly asked about Tak Bai.
Caption: (If) Lost the memory… do not enter [Meaning something like, “if you have amnesia, better not enter”]
[Thaksin’s periodic appearances in the media are designed to show he is the master of the opposition and the wronged party in Thai politics. However, since the September 2020 rally to commemorate his ouster from power was taken over by students criticizing the monarchy, both Thaksin’s clout and the power of his party have come into question.
Thaksin joined a Clubhouse chat recently, no doubt thinking he would be treated as the elder statesman of anti-government agitation.
However, he was soon taken aback by pointed questions about the Tak Bai incident and his iron-fisted policies in the Thai deep south that led to a great number of killings. He ended up saying he did not recall much of the details from that time and that the south was under the military’s control, but he regretted the situation.
Thaksin also refused to endorse the wide-ranging reforms of the monarchy demanded by student protesters.
At left the cartoonist shows Thaksin as he likes to be presented–a new era businessman who can enter the chaos and create prosperity–but notes that the Clubhouse chat led even his allies to question his mastery of politics in 2021.]
From Manager, March 9, 2021
Right: Priang! Praing! [the sound of shooting]
Caption: Sir, they will kill all the family members!!!
[Refers to the Thai government’s inaction toward the situation in Myanmar. The cartoon shows a desire not to face the intense conflict.]
From Manager, February 17, 2021
Man: Smash it now
On the rice cooker: Manager Somchai
[Refers to the police who recently arrested Somchai Jutikitdet who is thought to be a major operator of illegal casinos in the east that were blamed for spreading Covid-19. Somchai is known as an untouchable, with strong ties to the police which allowed his casinos to operate openly. This cartoon refers to Thai proverb “hitting the rice cooker” similar to the English idiom “take the bread out of someone’s mouth.”
After being forced by public pressure, then government pressure, the police, led by National Police Chief Pol. Gen. Suwat Jangyodsuk, arrested Somchai.
The cartoonist contends that the police are sad to have to shuttered the lucrative casinos.]
From Thairath, February 25, 2021
Title: Foreigners use ‘spittoon’ to keep wine bottles. Thais use ‘spittoon’ as a mouth.
People around PM Prayuth: Admire Uncle Tu. Violate morals. Aggressive MPs. PM Prayuth: Love to hear a person talking who violated the laws. [this was PM Prayuth’s sarcastic comment on Thaksin’s Clubhouse chat meaning people seem to like to listen to Thaksin who fled the country to escape legal charges]
Phi Nooring: Tools for speaking beautifully
Mouse: Speaking with smell
[Refers to a humorous online post about an item on Amazon that was claimed to be a traditional Chinese fruit basket and decoration with a very high price. However, it was a spittoon with a trumpet-shape mouth like those used in Asia.
The cartoon uses the saying “spittoon mouth” meaning a person who loves to talk to benefit themselves. People saying abusive things are also personified as spit coming out of one’s mouth. All of this is combined to claim that the government has many negative comments to make.]
From Thairath, February 16, 2021
Title: Monument of ‘Boss Orders’
On the man’s shirt: Volunteer medic
On the monument: Killing people
People on the right: Count 1 to million for returning the power to the people
Phi Nooring: Good at attacking people
Mouse: Slave of the dictator
[Refers to the video of police beating a volunteer medic during the anti-government protest. The police insisted all was done according to the law and they were following orders. The cartoonist shows this event as a version of the police statue. Anti-government protest have vowed to turn out one million people to fight against the government.]
From Manager, March 2, 2021
Thanathorn: Why don’t you go out to lead the protest?!
Sai, Pakorn, Mike, Rung (left to right): We… want to play behind the scenes as well.
Caption: Second row of people who play behind the scenes.
[This cartoon is shows Thanathorn, Somsak and Pannika (at left), who always deny involvement in the anti-government protests despite seeming to cheer them on (along with several prominent Thai exiles). The cartoonist contends that it is clear that these people are directing the pace of the protests behind the scenes for their own benefit.
After the top anti-government protest leaders were arrested, accused of many things including violating the Article 112, the remaining anti-government protest leaders, Sai, Pakorn, Mike, and have not shown up as much to lead anti-government protests.
The cartoonist jokes they would like to stay behind the scenes where it is safe.]
From Manager, February 16, 2021
On Somsak’s Facebook post outside the jail: Now, whenever we evaluate the situation, we must say that we are not ready. There are still a lot of people who don’t agree with us. Besides, at the moment, our friends are arrested and denied bail. We must realize that if there is now a clash, it won’t make the situation better.
Penguin, Anon, Somyot and Patiwat: What!!!!
Caption: The master said too late.
[Refers to Somsak, anti-government protest cheerleader, and some say mastermind, who recently admitted via Facebook that the protesters are not ready to win against the government as a majority of people do not support their goals such as the reform of the monarchy.
Meanwhile, the four protest leaders, who repeatedly spoke out frankly on the subject, are in jail facing Article 112 charges.
Somsak’s admission seems to indicate that the protests leaders’ provocative statements were for naught and they have been used as pawns to test out the political climate for the ideas of dissident leaders like Somsak who live safely outside of the country.
The mention of a “clash” refers to the Thai style of protest that relies on provocation to get a response from the authorities and then use their response to discredit them and demand their ouster. For Somsak to wave off clashes is like saying protests will not work.
All of this is thought to provoke fear in those who spoke up for the cause and ended up in jail.]
From Thairath, February 27, 2021
Title: Vaccine…. slowly supports. Dictator… quickly supports.
On bottle: Covid vaccine
On gun: Myanmar
Phi Nooring: Good partnership
Mouse: Buddy of dictator
[Refers to PM Prayuth who anti-government protesters accused of acting slowly on procuring COVID-19 vaccines and failing to properly address the COVID pandemic in Thailand.
They also note that that Thailand quickly accepted the Myanmar junta as Thailand was the first country that allowed the Myanmar Foreign Minister visit it.
PM Prayuth denied he was supporting the junta and that Thailand adhered to the long-standing ASEAN traditional of intervening in the internal affairs of member countries.]
From Arun, February 16, 2021
Title: Myanmar military has started to arrest protest leaders and launch measures to control people. “Don’t kill the tiger to get off it”
On the tiger: People
[Refers to the Myanmar junta beginning to use force to deal with their opposition and the people who are protesting. This cartoon illustrates the proverb “riding on the tiger” meaning how it is difficult to get out of a dangerous situation–especially for leaders to step away from a situation where they rule with an iron fist.]
From Thairath, February 15, 2021
Title: Very kind adult…!
Above the coin: Increase 1 baht each per day
On the coin bag: Fund for school lunch
On the coin bags held by those MPs at right: Increase the civil officer’s salary; Budget for purchasing weapons; Budget for projects; Per diem for meetings; Changes
Phi Nooring: The adults receive unlimited funds.
Mouse: Will the kids be full?
[Refers to the Cabinet’s approval to increase the budget for school lunch by one baht from 20 to 21 baht a day. This cartoon notes that very little is allotted for children compared to the military-dominated government big spending projects.]