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Thailand through the Eyes of the Media

Trample on democracy and it will trample on you

Voranai Vanijaka looks at how democracy for one man can mean dictatorship for millions of others...Read More>>>

Voranai Vanijaka, Bangkok Post, 20 November, 2011

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Terms and conditions apply

Arglit Boonyai looks at the latest underperformace by Thailand's Ministry of Education...Read More>>>

Arglit Boonyai, Bangkok Post, 19 November, 2011

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Red shirts split at seams

Saritdet Marukatat looks at the in-fighting that is tearing Thailand's red shirts apart now that they have no common enemy...Read More>>>

Saritdet Marukatat, Bangkok Post, 8 November, 2011

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Let's rock the keyboard

Voranai Vanijaka looks over Thailand's flood waters to see a dastardly deed being sneaked in through the back door...Read More>>>

Voranai Vanijaka, Bangkok Post, 6 November, 2011

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The 'Red Giard' cometh...

Arglit Boonyai reports on the self-styled defenders of democracy in Thailand showing their inteolerance for democracy in Thailand...Read More>>>

Arglit Boonyai, Bangkok Post, 27 August, 2011

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Killing me softly: the Newin Chidchob story

Voranai Vanijaka looks at the rise and fall of one of Thailand's most colourful characters...Read More>>>

Voranai Vanijaka, Bangkok Post, 21 August, 2011

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Knights of the square table

Voranai Vanijaka laments the nepotism that blights Thai politics...Read More>>>

Voranai Vanijaka, Bangkok Post, 14 August, 2011

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The cogs of corruption continue to churn

Arglit Boonyai looks at why the mai pen rai attitude hurts Thailand's development...Read More>>>

Arglit Boonyai, Bangkok Post, 23 July, 2011

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All hail the de facto prime minister

Voranai Vanijaka explains who really wears the trousers in the Shinawatra household...Read More>>>

Voranai Vanijaka, Bangkok Post, 17 July, 2011

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Yingluck Shinawatra: Thaksin's Truth Masseuse

Bangkok Dave strips away the layers of deceipt to uncover the man behind the woman who would be Thailand's next prime minister...Read More>>>

Bangkok Dave, Bangkok Dave Blog, 12 July, 2011

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Ammart learns naked truths about politics

Voranai Vanijaka looks at the politicking behind the politics in Thailand...Read More>>>

Voranai Vanijaka, Bangkok Post, 10 July, 2011

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Irony at the reins as the bandwagon starts rolling

This Nation editorial exposes the contradictory nature of Thailand's election results...Read More>>>

Editorial, The Nation, 06 July, 2011

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Blind loyalty not policies seem to matter for some voters

This Nation editorial analyses the motivation of voters in the Northeast of Thailand...Read More>>>

Editorial, The Nation, 20 June, 2011

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Building by persuasion

Voranai Vanijaka looks at why Phuea Thai is so popular among Thailand's working classes...Read More>>>

Arglit Boonyai, Bangkok Post, 19 June, 2011

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The sharpest political tool in the arsenal

Arglit Boonyai explores the role of the army in Thai politics...Read More>>>

Arglit Boonyai, Bangkok Post, 18 June, 2011

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Where is the outrage?

Bangkok Dave asks how terrorism, arson, nurder and violence can be forgiven and forgotten so quickly in Thailand...Read More>>>

Bangkok Dave, Bangkok Dave Blog, 17 June, 2011

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Colors bleed ahead of Thai polls

Seth Kane looks at the disintegration of Thailand's colored political alliances...Read More>>>

Seth Kane, Asian Times Online, 16 June, 2011

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Do we remember the burning of Thailand?

Voranai reminds us of the red shirts' version of democracy in Thailand...Read More>>>

Voranai Vanijaka, Bangkok Post, 12 June, 2011

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Better late than never means not taking the bus

Arglit Boonyai laments the Thai way of failing to deal with serious problems in society...Read More>>>

Arglit Boonyai, Bangkok Post, 11 June, 2011

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A portrait of a dysfunctional family

Voranai Vanijaka looks at the problems of the patronage system in Thai culture...Read More>>>

Voranai Vanijaka, Bangkok Post, 5 June, 2011

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We don't need another round of illegal killings

The Nation compares what Thailand really needs and what Thai politicians offer in a bid to win votes...Read More>>>

Editorial, The Nation, 4 June, 2011

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As Thais vote, a struggle with education

Ambika Ahuja looks at why Thailand's educational system needs reform if the country is to ever move forward...Read More>>>

Ambika Ahuja, Reuters, 31 May, 2011

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Ammart and prai family values

Voranai Vanijaka finds some common ground for the seemingly polarised sections of Thai society...Read More>>>

Voranai Vanijaka, Bangkok Post, 29 May, 2011

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Will the real Yingluck please stand up?

Arglit Boonyai gives an insight into the personality cults masquerading as political parties in Thailand...Read More>>>

Arglit Boonyai, Bangkok Post, 28 May, 2011

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Red Shirt Tactics that Led to May 19

Bangkok Dave looks beyond the red version of events during last year's peaceful riots in Thailand...Read More>>>

Bangkok Dave, Bangkok Dave Blog, 25 May, 2011

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Call for review of lese majeste law

Veera Prateepchaikul reports on the latest movement to change Thailand's often abused lese majeste law...Read More>>>

Veera Prateepchaikul, Bangkok Post, 23 May, 2011

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The clone Vs the puppet

Voranai Vanijaka looks at the merits or otherwise of the runners and riders in Thailand's upcoming election...Read More>>>

Voranai Vanijaka, Bangkok Post, 22 May, 2011

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Lights, camera, action: the election blockbuster is here

Arglit Boonyai exposes the superficial nature of election campaigning in Thailand...Read More>>>

Arglit Boonyai, Bangkok Post, 21 May, 2011

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Ammart and Prai: the Facebook War

Voranai Vanijaka explodes the semantic myth of what it means to be a peasant in Thailand...Read More>>>

Voranai Vanijaka, Bangkok Post, 15 May, 2011

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Thaksin gambles on radical wildcards

William Barnes analyses Thaksin Shinawatra's increasingly desperate bid to return to power...Read More>>>

William Barnes, Asia Times Online, 11 May, 2011

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Debunking the myths of Thailand's political divide

Walaya Jariyadham destroys the myths of Thailand's political divide with a few inconvenient truths that the red shirts try to ignore...Read More>>>

Walaya Jariyadham, The Nation, 22 April, 2011

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In the name of the King

Voranai Vanijaka looks at how Thailand's lese majeste law is abused for political gain...Read More>>>

Voranai Vanijaka, Bangkok Post, 17 April, 2011

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Decency drowns in a country without a sense of shame

Voranai Vanijaka exposes a fatal flaw in Thai culture...Read More>>>

Voranai Vanijaka, Bangkok Post, 10 April, 2011

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You are to blame for your country's appalling politics

This Nation editorial shows Thai people that good politics begins at home...Read More>>>

Editorial, The Nation, 9 April, 2011

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Driving fast and furious into days of thunder

Arglit Boonyai looks at the real reason why so many die on Thailand's roads...Read More>>>

Arglit Boonyai, Bangkok Post, 9 April, 2011

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Thaksin Shinawatra Hands Victory to Abhisit Vejjajiva

Shayne Heffernan of Live Trading News points out why Thailand comes second to Thaksin Shinawatra's feelings of self-importance...Read More>>>

Shayne Heffernan, Live Trading News, 9 April, 2011

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We all live in a second hand submarine

Arglit Boonyai questions the follies of military spending in Thailand...Read More>>>

Arglit Boonyai, Bangkok Post, 2 April, 2011

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Thailand doesn't need democracy

Voranai Vanijaka explains why he believes that Thailand doesn't need democracy...Read More>>>

Voranai Vanijaka, Bangkok Post, 27 March, 2011

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Time stands still in the age of avarice

Voranai Vanijaka offers a history lesson to highlight the greed that blights Thai society today...Read More>>>

Voranai Vanijaka, Bangkok Post, 20 March, 2011

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Big Brother keeping Internet clean for your own good

Human rights and social activist Jon Ungphakorn broaches the subject of oppressive media censorship in Thailand...Read More>>>

Jon Ungphakorn, Bangkok Post, 9 March, 2011

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Public education needs major overhaul pronto

Ulrich Werner, adjunct professor and director of international business development at Asian University in Chon Buri, explains why the Thai education system needs a complete overhaul...Read More>>>

Ulrich Werner, Bangkok Post, 9 March, 2011

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Veera stuck between the proverbial

Atiya Achakulwisut outlines the very real dangers of playing nationalist games by analysing the case of Thailand's Veera Somkhwamkid...Read More>>>

Atiya Achakulwisut, Bangkok Post, 5 March, 2011

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Our politicians lack ideological backbone

Arglit Boonyai explores the lack of ideology among Thailand's bed-hopping politicians...Read More>>>

Arglit Boonyai, Bangkok Post, 5 March, 2011

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The commendable castration of Mr. S

Voranai Vanijaka plays the cryptic game of Thai politics as he goes in search of palm oil...Read More>>>

Voranai Vanijaka, Bangkok Post, 27 February, 2011

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PR - public relations and populist rule

Arglit Boonyai takes a different view of an apparently good deed by the Thai PM...Read More>>>

Arglit Boonyai, Bangkok Post, 26 February, 2011

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With alternatives like these, let's try ping-pong for peace

Voranai Vanijaka takes a rational look at the very irrational warmongering going on between Thailand and Cambodia...Read More>>>

Voranai Vanijaka, Bangkok Post, 13 February, 2011

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Impressions of a 9-year-old at the border

Arglit Boonyai adopts an alter ego to give a child's perspective of the Thai-Cambodian border madness...Read More>>>

Arglit Boonyai, Bangkok Post, 12 February, 2011

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How do you tell red from yellow when it's white?

Suthichai Yoon explores the increasingly blurred line between Thailand's supposedly socialist and capitalist pseudo-political groups...Read More>>>

Suthichai Yoon, The Nation, 10 February, 2011

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Good Relations More Vital than Disputed Land

The Nation emphasises the importance of Thailand and Cambodia developing good relationships rather than fighting over land...Read More>>>

Editorial, The Nation, 6 February, 2011

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The Plague of Fanaticism

Voranai Vanijaka looks at the worrying trends of nationalism and fanaticism in Thailand... Read More>>>

Voranai Vanijaka, Bangkok Post, 6 February, 2011

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Of school admissions, tea money and family names...

Arglit Boonyai discusses the dubious admissions criteria for Thai schools... Read More>>>

Arglit Boonyai, Bangkok Post, 5 February, 2011

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More 'Undertakers' out there Who Deserve Punishment

Arglit Boonyai explores the role of scapegoats in Thai society... Read More>>>

Arglit Boonyai, Bangkok Post, 29 January, 2011

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PAD Trying Very Hard to Remain a Force in Thai Farce

Suranand Vejjajiva discusses the hypocrisy of Thailand's street protest groups... Read More>>>

Suranand Vejjajiva, Bangkok Post, 28 January, 2011

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Bought Grades, Sold Souls

Voranai Vanijaka gets to the root of the problem of why corruption prevails in Thailand. Read More>>>

Voranai Vanijaka, Bangkok Post, 2 January, 2011

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Make Love, Not Reconciliation

Voranai Vanijaka explains why Thaild doesn't need reconciliation. Read More>>>

Voranai Vanijaka, Bangkok Post, 26 December, 2010

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In Thai Society, We're Always Taking the Easy Way Out!

Arglit Boonyai uses recent examples of serious discretions by police and monks in Thailand to highlight a major flaw in the Thai psyche. Read More>>>

Arglit Boonyail, Bangkok Post, 11 December, 2010

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Under Thida, will the UDD Leopard Change its Spots?

With most of its leaders jailed, on the run or granted conditional release on bail after the military crackdown on the March-May bloody protest by red shirt supporters in Bangkok, the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship has been virtually leaderless and in disarray, like a rudderless ship which is also minus a captain. Read More>>>

Veera Prateepchaikul, Bangkok Post, 6 December, 2010

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Go on. Put the Blame on Me!

Over the two-plus years since I started this column, there are three things I keep hearing. Read More>>>

Voranai Vanijaka, Bangkok Post, 5 December, 2010

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Thaksin's 'Last War' is Warming up in the Northeast

With the bell yet to be rung, the two fired-up boxers are seething to get at each other and beat each other to a pulp in the fight of a lifetime which promises to be fierce and bloodthirsty. Read More>>>

Veera Prateepchaikul, Bangkok Post, 18 October, 2010

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Implications of Newin's Political Fortunes

Few politicians have benefited from Thailand's strangely short collective memory as much as Newin Chidchob, the provincial baron from Buri Ram. Despite his ban on holding political office for five years from May 2007, Mr Newin is the de facto leader of Bhumjaithai Party, a small partner in the coalition government with disproportionate power. Read More>>>

Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Bangkok Post, 15 October, 2010

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A guide to surviving Thailand for beginners

I have come to realise that many of my readers are foreigners (or farang as they are affectionately called in Thailand. Therefore I thought it would be especially useful for the farang to understand the personality traits of the Thai, because I firmly believe many of these traits are reflected in our system of government and are the cause of many problems we now face. Read More>>>

Songkran Grachangnetara, Bangkok Post, 6 October, 2010

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Factions went crazy at thought of Kowit leading party

The Opposition Pheu Thai Party's effort to change its party leader that ended up seeing Yongyuth Wichaidit re-appointed has raised many eyebrows over what is going on with the country's biggest political party. Read More>>>

Somroutai Sapsomboon, The Nation, 20 September, 2010

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Today is time to start the change

Today is Sept 19, the four-year anniversary of the military coup and the four-month anniversary of the military operations in May of this year. And I believe the future of Thailand has wonderful possibilities, if we learn to open our hearts and minds just a little bit more, the change won't come tomorrow, but the process of change can start today. Read More>>>

Voranai Vanijaka, Bangkok Post, 19 September, 2010

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Thailand: It's only in your mind

The government would like to rebrand Thailand, in accordance with the slogan "Thailand in your mind". Citizens are invited to vote on four choices: Thailand as a country of open-minded people with a positive attitude, or as a country with local wisdom that is still open to the world, or as the place where business, culture and nature converge into one destination, or as a hub for investment and exemplary service. Read More>>>

Voranai Vanijaka, Bangkok Post, 5 September, 2010

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Thaksin: I quit out of annoyance

Former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said on Thursday that he has quit his advisory posts for the Cambodian government and Cambodian prime minister out of annoyance. Read More>>>

The Nation, 2 September, 2010

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In Rural Thailand, an Unappeased Opposition Bides its Time

In front of the charred ruins of the municipal hall here (in Udon Thani), a huge poster carries the photographs of 76 people being sought in an attack on the building three months ago, on the day the anti-government “red shirt” protests were crushed in Bangkok. Only 11 have been caught. Read More>>>

Seth Mydans, New York Times, 31 August, 2010

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'Farang cannot know' - even if they do understand

Traditionally, the general Thai view is that some farangs may know a lot about Thai politics, culture, way of life and so on, but they will never be able to reach the core of Thai-ness. Read More>>>

Pavin Chachavalpongpun, Bangkok Post, 31 August, 2010

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Thaksin's Advisory Role Caused Economic Woes for Cambodia

Analysts this week have rightly focused on the political damage that followed Thaksin Shinawatra’s controversial appointment as economic advisor to Prime Minister Hun Sen in October. Ironically though, the resulting economic fallout was in many ways equally severe. Read More>>>

Steve Finch, Phnom Penh Post, 29 August, 2010

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The Hand that Rocks the Cradle

Every society has its superstitions - supernatural, paranormal and/or extra-terrestrial. Whether it's the hand of a god that creates so-and-so, the spirit that possesses so-and-so or the alien that abducts so-and-so - superstitions are meant to explain the unexplainable, but they often pose even more questions and problems. Read More>>>

Voranai Vanijaka, Bangkok Post, 15 August, 2010

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The Bright Yellow Washing Detergent

Patriotism is the love of one's country. Nationalism is the vanity of one's country. You see, dear readers, it is not about 4.6 square kilometres. It is not about Preah Vihear. Read More>>>

Voranai Vanijaka, Bangkok Post, 1 August, 2010

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Don't Shoot the Shyster!

Once again I've been dragged, kicking and screaming, into political punditry.  For the past week now, friends of mine in America and elsewhere have been emailing me a document which appears to be by the controversial lawyer-apologist Robert Amsterdam.  The header reads "The Bangkok Massacres: A Call for Accountability:  The Thailand White Paper Final by Robert Amsterdam". Read More>>>

Somchai Sujaritikul, Somtow's World, 29 July, 2010

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Amart and Prai

The income gap that we are so focused on is merely a symptom. The cause of inequality and disparity is the state of mind, the condition of the spirit, the cultural psyche and attitude. The red shirts made a good point, even though they made it badly: It's the amart (aristocrat) versus prai (ordinary people) dilemma. Read More>>>

Voranai Vanijaka, Bangkok Post, 18 July, 2010

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Death of a Nation? Paradise Lost? Death of Paradise?

There was a time, not that long ago, when Thailand was considered as just about the closest thing to Paradise on earth. In spite of the numerous military coups, it was a beautiful country, with people who were warm and friendly, welcoming visitors with that famous Thai smile, and where the sights and attractions, as well as the prices of things made it a "must go to" place for foreign travelers. Read More>>>

Just1Voice, Thai Visa, 10 July, 2010

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Is Thailand Ready for Socialist Welfare?

Arguments on the merits of transforming Thailand into a ''welfare state'' have been swirling for several years, but are now gaining momentum thanks to the Democrats' rethinking and to some extent relabelling of Thaksin Shinawatra's populist approach under the banner of social welfare. Read More>>>

Achara Ashayagachat, The Bangkok Post, 4 July, 2010

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Someday We'll Know - (Not) by Mandy Moore

Dazed and confused, burdened and morose, I was seeking answers. I flew to Greece, hitchhiked into the Valley of Phocis on the southwestern spur of Mount Parnasus and made my way to the Temple of Delphi to consult The Oracle. Read More>>>

Voranai Vanijaka, The Bangkok Post, 4 July, 2010

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CNN, BBC Fully Deserve Criticism

Dan Rivers' assertion that CNN's coverage of the crackdown on the red-shirt protest was "impartial" ("CNN, BBC correspondents defend coverage", The Nation, June 12) is simply untrue. The misinformation, generalisations and biases seen on CNN and BBC cannot be easily excused, especially because these reports brought the story of Thailand's conflict to the world - and the story the world saw was not the story of what actually happened. Read More>>>

Dave Sherman, The Nation, 21 June, 2010

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The BKPD Blues

If you see two policemen sitting on a motorbike together, it's not because they are best buddies and have vowed to fight crime together, pelvis to pelvis. It's because they put the down payment on the motorbike together, so they won't have to take the bus to catch criminals. Read More>>>

Voranai Vanijaka, Bangkok Post, 20 June, 2010

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Reds Planning Revenge

Anti-government red shirts seeking revenge are expected to instigate fresh turmoil in Bangkok and the provinces after the government lifts the emergency decree, security agency sources said yesterday. Read More>>>

The Nation, 20 June, 2010

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Sweeping away Foes in the Name of National Security

If the red shirt leaders are proven by court to have instigated violence, they must be put behind bars. By the same standard, those who abused their power must also face the music, be they military officers, police or politicians. Read More>>>

Suranand Vejjajiva, Bangkok Post, 18 June, 2010

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Smoke (and mirrors) behind Bangkok Fires

The arson attacks launched by anti-government protesters against Bangkok's posh Rajaprasong shopping district, private businesses and state agencies appeared to reflect the 17th-century French dramatist Pierre Corneille's advice that taking only half-hearted revenge is to court disaster. Read More>>>

William Barnes, Asia Times, 17 June, 2010

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Thai Turmoil was no Class War

We have seen the recent unrest in Thailand, with soldiers in the streets and protesters clamoring for democracy, before in South-East Asia. But was this really a clash between the "the haves" and "have-nots" as depicted by an almost unanimous chorus of foreign media? Read More>>>

Bertil Lintner, Sydney Morning Herald, 7 June, 2010

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The Red Shirt Guard Who Saved My Life

The recent red shirt protest was a bleak and dramatic time for foreign reporters, with the death of two correspondents and numerous others injured. But one Bangkok-based Canadian journalist owes his life to an heroic rescue by a red shirt guard. Read More>>>

'Special Correspondent', Bangkok Post, 6 June, 2010

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Unmasked: Thailand's Men in Black

A cigarette hanging from his lips, a sinewy man with a knotted-up beard perched on the back of a plastic chair and spoke into a military-grade radio. Read More>>>

Kenneth Todd & Olivier Sarbil, Asia Times, 29 May, 2010

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Schooling in Independent Thinking is Vital

The violence that began in mid-March and may flare up again any time is an indictment against the way people were and perhaps are still being taught at school in Thailand. Read More>>>

Anuraj Manibhandu, Bangkok Post, 28 May, 2010

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A Guide to the Perfect Thai Idiot

Ask Thais about the causes of last week's shameful event - or of any problems in Thailand for that matter - and they will readily point the finger somewhere else, never at themselves. Read More>>>

Sawai Boonma, Bangkok Post, 26 May, 2010

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Thaksin Still Stands amid Thai Turmoil

If Thailand's leaders hope to stitch their country back together again, they will have to come up with a way to deal with the man they blame for masterminding weeks of bloody street protests: populist icon and billionaire deal maker Thaksin Shinawatra. Read More>>>

James Hookway, Wall Street Journal, 21 May, 2010

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Middle Classes Are Key to Stable Democracy

Only when Thailand has enough salaried workers and business people who pay taxes will we mature as a democratic country, says economist Dr Narong Petchprasert. Read More>>>

Nophakhun Limsamarnphun, The Nation, 15 May, 2010

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Thai Power Grows from the Barrel of a Gun

The relative success of Thailand's red-garbed anti-government protest group in outmaneuvering the government and military owes much to Maoist revolutionary thought and guerilla tactics. Read More>>>

William Barnes, Asia Times, 13 May, 2010

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