Dinosaurs take over Government House, symbolising Thai democracy

The junta’s installation of dinosaur statues at Government House for Children’s Day has backfired, drawing satirical comments that Thai politics is already haunted by ‘old dinosaurs’.
 
Thailand’s Department of Mineral Resources unveiled 20 dinosaur models on the lawn of Government House for National Children’s Day this Saturday, 14 January.
 
But the stunt by Thailand’s military government has backfired, inspiring cynical criticism that Thai politics is already haunted by ‘old dinosaurs’ — a term used to describe persons whose views and values are drastically outmoded.
 
 
Dinosaurs at government house (Photo from Matichon Online)
 
In response to a Bangkok Post article on the model dinosaurs, one user comments, “Certainly for many years until the coup, there were indeed many dinosaurs at Government House as well as in the Parliament Chamber. Those dinosaurs were voracious and always hungry”.
 
Another writes, “The most fearsome dino at Government House is the tyrant-osaurus.”
 
Cartoonists have commonly used dinosaur illustrations to symbolise the entrenched influence of ‘the establishment’, and recurring ills of Thai politics such as the military’s influence.
 
One cartoon published by Thai Rath newspaper mocks the fact that the process of drafting a new constitution for Thailand has been led by elderly politicians such as Meechai Ruchuphan, who served previous military governments. 
 
The cartoon pictures an attempt to bring a dinosaur back to life with “ancient power”, with the caption reading “Choosing just the head … ready to go”.
 
 
The dinosaur’s tail reads “Thailand is frozen” while its body reads “state officials inherit power”
 
In another cartoon captioned ‘The World’s Last Dinosaur?’, a dinosaur whose tail reads ‘bureaucracy’ devours a skytrain, harking to unfulfilled promises by the junta to upgrade the country’s public transport systems.
 
 
 
The dinosaur’s body reads ‘Injustice, Carelessness Bringing Down the Government and Bureaucracy’
 
The theme set by the junta for Children’s Day this year is ‘Land of Happiness Under the King’s Knowledge’. In addition to dinosaur statues, the military government has organised exhibitions and other activities related to King Bhumibol at Government House on 14 January.
 
The dinosaur models reflect species of dinosaurs whose fossils have been discovered in Thailand.