Fishing Without a Net: Fish Farms and the 2011 Floods

YouTube Version KHON KAEN – This year’s floods ravaged much of Thailand, leaving over 600 dead and millions displaced. In the Northeast, farmers everywhere are beginning to clean up destroyed crops and prepare for the next harvest season. But while millions of rice farmers await their flood insurance from the government, 2,200 baht per rai […]

OP-ED: Solving Isaan’s Education Problem

GUEST CONTRIBUTION by John Draper In 2011, the 2010 Ordinary National Education Test (O-NET) results by province were made available to the public for only the second time in the history of this standardized nationwide test, and students in Northeast Thailand achieved terrible results.  This article considers the reasons for these poor academic results, focusing […]

In Udon, Red Villages Grow into Red Districts

UDON THANI – As Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is losing popular support, facing fierce criticism for her management of the massive floods plaguing Bangkok, her strongest supporters, the Red Shirts, are finding new ways to strengthen their movement and prepare for the worst. With fears of a looming coup, Red Shirt leaders in Udon Thani […]

NEWS IN BRIEF: Khon Kaen’s Brewery Keeps Singha Afloat

KHON KAEN – As floodwaters continue to threaten parts of Thailand’s capital, the emergency closure of many large water manufacturing sites in the Central region has sparked widespread concern. The Singha Corporation, for one, which estimates a hold of 35% on the domestic water market, has been forced to close four of its seven factories, […]

Review of The Ideal Man: The Tragedy of Jim Thompson and the American Way of War

The Ideal Man: The Tragedy of Jim Thompson and the American Way of War by Joshua Kurlantzick (Hardcover edition John Wiley, November 2011). ISBN: 978-0-470-08621-6. US$25.95. 272 pages. In Graham Greene’s prescient anti-war classic The Quiet American, OSS operative Alden Pyle espouses an alternative to communism and colonialism in early 1950s Vietnam. With a little […]

Khon Kaen’s Flooded Commend Relief Efforts

KHON KAEN – From sunup until sundown Phongsak Chonchee rides a boat across an unfamiliar landscape. As a subdistrict officer in Khon Kaen’s flooded Chonnabot district, Mr. Phongsak and his assistant have taken responsibility for the 315 families stranded in the middle of the swollen Nong Kong Kaew Lake. Since September 27, he’s been ferrying […]

Yingluck’s Rice Policy Discourages Local Corruption, Farmers Say

KHON KAEN – As the Pheu Thai government launches its rice mortgage scheme today in 31 provinces, experts fear that the new policy will offer little benefit to small-scale farmers and instead invite increased graft and corruption among millers and national politicians. Many of Thailand’s rural rice farmers, on the other hand, commend the policy […]

World Habitat Day Kicks Off in Khon Kaen

KHON KAEN – As countries around the world prepare to celebrate World Habitat Day on October 3, residents of Khon Kaen took to the streets Friday to share their concerns about housing security in their city. The rally began on the steps of the Provincial Hall before participants marched through the streets to the mayor’s […]

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 […]

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