Since 2006, Thailand has been plagued with an unending storm of political conflict. Political thought is divided on nearly every single issue; from former Prime Minister Thaksin’s reign, the monarchical institution, nation development, democracy, elections, reform, politicians, political parties and so forth. The 22 May 2014 coup has exacerbated Thailand’s political situation. Activists, politicians, and even ordinary citizens branded as “ideologically hardcore” were left with no choice but to flee the country in self-imposed exile.
As the Thai military government starts opening up new Special Economic Zones along the border to provide cheap labour and a deregulated business environment for investors, villagers in the quiet northeastern province of Nakhon Phanom by the Mekong River are to be evicted from their homes.
Among a wilderness of green shrubbery, Somkit Singsong sat in front of a small clay hut outside his village in Khon Kaen province. Sporting a beard akin to Vietnamese revolutionary leaders, Somkit recounted the days when there was a bounty on his head. “They came for me at the crack of dawn. Helicopters with spotlights hovered over the village. They wanted to kill me,” he said calmly.
“Faiyen” is a pop and luk thung band well-known to red-shirts. With their lyrics sharply criticizing the elite, the band seeks to politically “enlighten” listeners. Faiyen have been harassed by the military until they have had to flee to a neighbouring country. Although their lives in exile are quite difficult and fraught with limitations, Faiyen is still continuing to write and sing songs for a revolutionary change in Thai society. One of Faiyen’s new songs is a chilling cover of The Hunger Games’ “The Hanging Tree.” Although both Faiyen and Katniss may sing this song, the place Faiyen are exiled to is no District 13.
More than ten years after the war on drugs wreaked havoc on many Lahu ethnic minority families in the hilly northern Thai-Myanmar border, arbitrary abuses and discrimination from Thai state authorities continue as they struggle to come to terms with their traumatic past.
Veteran The Nation journalist Pravit Rojanaphruk known for his anti-junta stances was allegedly ill-treated at the hands of the military during his 3-day detention.
For the past few decades, Malay, Thai, and Chinese locals living in the southernmost provinces of Thailand have had to carry out their lives amidst an atmosphere of violence and tension. The story examines the everyday's life of Muslim Malay and Thai-Chinese in Patani to see how the violence affects their life and their attempt to normalize the daily discrimination and conflict.
At the mention of the Thai sex industry, sexpats may start spouting off about their expertise in establishments at Soi Cowboy, Nana, Patpong, and Pattaya. Much less-publicized, however, is the local sex industry catering to Thais. Services offered at the so-called bathing-sauna-massage parlours are different from those for foreign tourists.
With an increasing need for energy, the Royal Cambodian Government has spent nearly a billion US dollars on a hydroelectric dam that it claimed was necessary for industry. However, the real social and economic cost of the dam, which will flood an area equivalent to a small province and submerge thousands of families’ houses, might far exceed its construction cost as it might deprive millions of Cambodians of their most important food staple.
Early August, Chiang Mai military court ordered a young mother, Ssiwimon, to serve 56 years in prison, reduced to 28 due to her confession, for lèse-majesté