After the Floods, Plans for Factories in Isaan

KHON KAEN – When the mobile cabinet meeting rolls into Udon Thani on February 21, Withoon Kamonlnaruemet, the president of the Khon Kaen branch of the Federation of Thai Industries, is prepared to woo cabinet members with a presentation. Mr. Withoon and a committee headed by Khon Kaen Governor Sombat Triwatsuwan plan to request a […]

Organic Farmers Get Raw Deal

KHON KAEN – The floodwaters have receded, the fields are cleared, and Udom Phanprasri spends his week transplanting his new rice stalks in straight lines across his muddy plot. Neighbors drop by and watch quietly as he sinks the stalks one by one. In Yangyong village, Mr. Udom is well known for his mastery of […]

Article 112 Reform in the Provinces

KHON KAEN – The Campaign Committee to Amend Article 112 of the Criminal Code (CCAA 112), the first aggressive, nationwide campaign to reform the world’s harshest lèse-majesté law, made its way to Khon Kaen this past Sunday with a panel discussion and petition-signing held at Khon Kaen University (KKU). Over 100 signatories gathered in the […]

NEWS IN BRIEF: Red District Movement Expands into Khon Kaen

KHON KAEN – This past Sunday morning, Red Shirt politicians, DJs, local leaders, and hundreds of villagers gathered in Ubolratana district’s Khok Glang Nong Lai village to celebrate the opening of 68 newly minted Red Villages, as well as the inauguration of the province’s first official Red District. “I hereby open this Red District, [made […]

Education Reform Finds a Home in Khon Kaen

GUEST CONTRIBUTION by Lukas Winfield KHON KAEN – Thirty-some elementary students pick through a mountain of trash, carefully selecting old milk boxes, discarded spools of yarn, broken necklaces and other landfill gems for an art project. They are students from the local Non Chai Municipal Elementary School who have been studying Khon Kaen’s waste system […]

Red Village Thwarted, a Community Divided

KHON KAEN – In Non Reuang, an unassuming Northeastern village located just 15 kilometers north of Khon Kaen city, fallow rice fields line pothole-ridden roads made dusty with windswept topsoil. Here, most residents are looking to have those roads repaved. Others are interested in having the local elementary school’s bathrooms renovated. These are the daily […]

NEWS IN BRIEF: Foreign Retirees Find Unlikely Home in Rural Buriram

BURIRAM – After living in Switzerland for 18 years, Lanee Jaeger recently returned to her home village of Baan Na Phaeng in Na Pho district to fulfill her Swiss mother-in-law’s dream. On December 9, Ms. Lanee officially opened a foreigner village called Lanee’s Residenz that sits on the fringes of the Isaan village where she […]

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 […]

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