Isaan Lives – “I believe the villagers will protect me.”

GUEST CONTRIBUTION by Genevieve Glatsky, Jaime Webb, and Megan Brookens A train roared past as Kovit Boonjear, a man with a long pony-tail and mischievous look in his eyes, smoked a cigarette behind his modest home in one of Khon Kaen’s slum communities. “I never give interviews,” he said with a smile and more than […]

Sakon Nakhon court jails villagers for forest encroachment

The ongoing clash between the government’s forest reclamation policy and community land rights in the Northeast came to a head on October 21st. At the provincial court in Sakon Nakhon Province, nine villagers from Jatrabiab village received their sentences for encroaching on protected forests.

A long way from home – Isaan villagers’ experience of farmwork in Israel

Since the early 1990s, tens of thousands of Northeastern Thais have left their farms at home to work as agricultural laborers in Israel, often facing exploitation by manpower agencies and employers. Despite a recent push to improve the working conditions of Thai farmworkers in Israel, their situation often remains precarious. GUEST EDITORIAL by Matan Kaminer […]

Letter to the editor: Ratanawan monastery reflects a globalizing Isaan

This weekend I went to Nakhon Ratchasima (Korat) to attend a community-based ceremony called Gratitude to the Teacher at Ratanawan Monastery. Located on a hilltop amid perennial green forest, it is considered a forest-tradition temple, a sub-category of Theravada Buddhism. This type of tradition is interspersed throughout Isaan — you may be familiar with Luang […]