Fields of Mine: Na Nong Bong, Thailand

YouTube Version  LOEI – Last February, the farmers of Na Nong Bong village won a small victory in their battle against the gold mine in their backyard. After years of organizing and petitioning for health tests, these bean and rice farmers had prepared their case against Tungkum Limited mining company. And, on February 8, the […]

Khon Kaen Reds Out on Bail

KHON KAEN – Three Red Shirt prisoners were released on bail from Khon Kaen Central Prison yesterday evening, a little over one week since four newly-elected Pheu Thai government representatives offered their parliamentary status as surety for their release.  All three suspects had been detained on charges related to last year’s May 19 arson and […]

Train in the Distance: Nong Waeng and the Future of Railside Slums

YouTube Version KHON KAEN – On January 5, 2011, Mr. Rangsan Khachen was reading his morning newspaper when he spotted his community’s name. Nong Waeng, his home of ten years, he read, could soon be transformed into a train station on a high-speed railway from northeastern Nong Khai, on the border of Laos, down to […]

Voter Turnout in the Northeast Below National Average

KHON KAEN – One month after the July 3 general election saw the opposition Pheu Thai party win a decisive victory with 265 of 500 parliamentary seats, the election season is wrapping up. Provincial Election Commissions have all finally released their election results, revealing that the Isaan voter turnout continues to lag behind the national […]

Thaksin’s Red Birthday Bash

KHON KAEN – Though July 26 does not mark a Thai festival or a royal birthday or even a Buddhist holy day, the city’s largest temple was filled to capacity yesterday morning with close to 600 Red Shirts observing a most unlikely holiday: exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s 62nd birthday. For the third year […]

KKU President Absent, NHRC Hears Law Dean’s Case

BANGKOK – The National Human Rights Commission of Thailand (NHRC) met yesterday to continue its investigation into the abrupt dismissal of Acting Dean Kittibodi Yaipool from Khon Kaen University’s Law Faculty this past June. Following his dismissal, Mr. Kittibodi asked for a hearing from the NHRC on the grounds that he was dismissed without due […]

Protest Village Celebrates Second Anniversary

CHAIYAPHUM – The sound of mor lam music, traditional to Northeast Thailand, filled the air last Saturday evening as Khon San villagers and friends gathered to celebrate the second anniversary of the founding of Baw Kaew village. In the past two years, Baw Kaew villagers have developed their community, seen success in their battle for […]

Off the Radar, Red Villages Wait

KHON KAEN – As the Election Commission continues to delay its endorsement of Pheu Thai’s prime ministerial candidate Yingluck Shinawatra, Red Shirts in Khon Kaen are collectively lying in wait. Much like the Red Village movement in the rural Northeast, urban Khon Kaen slums and neighborhoods have been quietly morphing into Red Villages of their […]

Land Dispute Lands Eleven in Jail

CHAIYAPHUM – Eleven men and women from Khon San district were placed under arrest this past Friday morning for trespassing on disputed land in the Khon San Forest Preserve. At dawn on July 1, over 100 black-uniformed and heavily armed officers from the Royal Forestry Department (RFD), the Forest Industry Organization (FIO), and the local […]

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