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 […]

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 […]

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