From Manager, May 4, 2021
Teenager: Teacher… Thailand sucks like you said… I want to leave this country, how should I do?
David Streckfuss: Marry with the lady from that country.
Caption: Must ask teacher David
[Refers to American scholar David Streckfuss who worked at Khon Kaen University and specializes in the lese majeste law. He also works as a head of news outlet “The Isaan Record.” The university recently terminated his work permit affecting his visa due to his political activities. Of course, authorities, in the Thai way, blame all this on procedures that have nothing to do with Streckfuss’ work.
Later, he married a staff member who works as the editor of “The Isaan Record.” Many people believed that his marriage was a tactical move in the efforts to extend his visa and staying in Thailand to continue his writing on lese majeste issues.
Meanwhile, in efforts to get Penguin and other activists released, small numbers of protesters, led by REDEM, gathered before the courts building, threw red paint on the building’s signs and threw firecrackers at authorities. At the time, it seemed the authorities were steadfast in their bail denials insisting, among other things, that those being bailed must agree not to recommit the offense for which they were charged.
All of this caused great frustration in anti-government camps, especially as the public seemed little interested in the drama as the third wave of covid was growing. The fighting by the courts was slavishly covered on Twitter, but the media, no doubt influenced by the military-dominated government, generally held back from any on-the-spot journalism, instead writing after-the-fact articles, summing up the events.
As this was happening, a Facebook group was started, expressing the the desire to leave the country over the perceived injustice of the government and courts in not releasing Penguin and the other student protest leaders on bail. It quickly gained hundred of thousands of followers. Some foreign embassies, perhaps not well-informed and not understanding the political message of the group–that Thailand was a failed and unjust state–posted articles promoting their nations as pleasant places for Thais to live.
The teenagers portrayed in this cartoon express this sentiment, asking how he could be able to leave the country over his frustration and live overseas. Then the joke is that the revered foreign academic, seen by many as a lone voice against Thailand’s lese majeste law, decided to get married to enable him to stay in Thailand.
The Manager cartoonists are always quick to mock to student protesters when it seems they are overstating their sense of oppression. Another example of this: Don’t let Myanmar become Thailand]
David Streckfuss got married
From Manager, May 4, 2021