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PAGE 1 of 217
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Perspective [TEXT]
Topic & Description
1 .
Election banners and brochures distributed in the southernmost provinces reveal how each party understands and is concerned about the situation in the deep South. ''Road without dust'' billboard campaigns appear on many main roads in the three southernmost provinces.

Category : TEXT / Perspective
26 Jun 2011
2 .
Contract farmers can make it with hard work
Karmin Jarukajornjinda is content with his way of life on the Kwai Noi River in Kanchanaburi province. He is leasing land on the river's edge for about 35,000 baht a year and raising 80 baskets of tabtim fish _ a cross of two species of the genus Tilapia. Mr Karmin started raising fish three years ago with only eight baskets, and after seeing the potential of the business he constructed more baskets. He aims to keep expanding his business.

Category : TEXT / Perspective
15 May 2011
3 .
Trapped in a cycle of debt
Thongchai Kongkalai's farm in Nakhon Nayok province looks cluttered, but everything on it has a purpose, down to the overgrown grass and fallen banana leaves that are used to feed the pigs. No ready-made feeds or chemicals are to be found on the 160-rai farm. Mr Thongchai used to contract his produce to an agribusiness conglomerate and he also held a position at the company.

Category : TEXT / Perspective
15 May 2011
4 .
The research team led by Watana Sakchoowong, of the National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department recently finished the first phase study on the abundance of lianas and their impact in Kaeng Krachan National Park. Nine study plots, each covering one rai, have been established where a large number of lianas are reported.

Category : TEXT / Perspective
1 May 2011
5 .
Free speech flows along the King's road
Bangkok's Ratchadamnoen Avenue doesn't have a Speaker's Corner like London's Hyde Park, but it has also become known as a haven for free speech and an active springboard for political activists. Constructed in 1899, the street has played a key role in defining the country's modern history. Some of the most notable events Ratchadamnoen (meaning King's walk or path) has provided the venue for include the student uprising on Oct 14, 1973, the popular protest against the government of General Suchinda Kraprayoon in May 1992, which led to the infamous Black May crackdown, and the initial phase of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship's (UDD) red shirt rallies last March around Phan Fa Bridge, before the protesters moved on to Ratchaprasong intersection.

Category : TEXT / Perspective
27 Feb 2011
6 .
--No Title--
'There must be a process whereby we as a nation learn from disasters; if not history will keep repeating itself,'' said Yongyuth Krajangloke, the chief of Khiriwong sub-district in Nakhon Si Thammarat province, where on Nov 22, 1988 flash flooding caused mudslides laden with thousands of illegally felled logs to smash through villages in several areas of the province. Initial estimates were that 231 people were killed, some of them relatives and neighbours of Mr Yongyuth. The figure was later revised upwards but there are no clear records of the death toll in the mudslides, although it is known that about 700 people died as a result of the flooding in the South that year. Headlines in the Bangkok Post on Nov 23 reported ''Death toll rises as floods sever links to South'', and there were general reports about impassable roads and inundated communities, including the resort town of Samui. But there were no stories specifically about the mudslides. This might be due to the fact that most provinces in the South remained underwater at that time and communication links and power supplies were badly affected.

Category : TEXT / Perspective
20 Nov 2010
7 .
Cairo defined hurdles, Jakarta lauds progress
When US President Barack Obama first addressed the Muslim world in its traditional heartland last year, his speech was laden with references to the past, to Islam and to the tensions plaguing the Middle East. Updating his speech on Wednesday on the far eastern fringe of that world, his upbeat remarks about Indonesia's democracy, development and diversity spelled hope for the future. But they were also veiled references to autocratic Muslim countries. He held up Indonesia as an example for others to emulate, praising the progress it has made from dictatorship to a vibrant democracy tolerant of other religions.

Category : TEXT / Perspective
11 Nov 2010
8 .
--No Title--
Shortly after I learned I would be making a short trip to the Maldives, a friend of mine asked if I was sure I'd be going there alone.

Category : TEXT / Perspective
4 Nov 2010
9 .
Victim of his own elevated expectations
At the Bunch of Grapes bookstore on Martha's Vineyard, the sojourning President Barack Obama bought a few books, including ''To Kill a Mockingbird'' by Harper Lee. It was for his daughter, but it may have also conjured a sweet memory for the beleaguered president. Only a couple of years ago, when he was campaigning, Mr Obama inspired comparisons with the noble lawyer Atticus Finch. Now, after flipping about on some hot-button issues, most recently the plan for an Islamic community centre and mosque near ground zero, he's more likely to be painted by disillusioned supporters as Atticus Flinch.

Category : TEXT / Perspective
23 Aug 2010
10 .
Climate scapegoats?
Serd Tanmak, from Nayong district in Trang province, says he is being asked to pay a very high price in the name of mitigating global warming. ''One hundred and fifty thousand baht per rai, plus interest _ that comes to 1,434,375 baht for the nine-rai para rubber plantation on my ancestors' land,'' he said.

Category : TEXT / Perspective
3 Jan 2010
11 .
Wearing out his welcome
Li Yuzhou's children think their father is in jail, training to be a police officer. This is what the children, aged five and six, tell neighbours when they ask.

Category : TEXT / Perspective
6 Dec 2009
12 .
The liquid of life
The very survival of the Libong people in a sustainable environment has always been at risk due to continued excessive use of groundwater for agriculture and household consumption. Water scarcity has often led to confrontation and conflict among the more than 2,500 Muslim inhabitants on the island. ''When I was young, severe water shortages were routine every summer. The average person knew he had to sweat it out in the baking sun, waiting in an endless queue for water from the bore wells,'' recalled Usin Choke-amnuaysit, the local public health official.

Category : TEXT / Perspective
19 May 2009
13 .
On International Women's Day, it's still a man's world
Warp knitting machine technician _ man. Administration assistant _ woman. Flight operations officer, foreman leader, technical coordinator, project development officer _ men. Secretary (bakery production officer), Japanese translator, reservation officer, accountant _ women. If these designations were not intuitively obvious, you must not work in the Nonthaburi synthetic fabric factory where warp knitting machines are a masculine domain, or haven't been cruising the online jobboards, where it seems employers and recruitment agencies _ labour laws be damned _ still cast a slightly discriminating eye when it comes to hiring.

Category : TEXT / Perspective
8 Mar 2009
14 .
Falling between the cracks
Ratchaburi native Panisara Boonnarong is willing to work hard, and she is used to doing so from dawn to dusk at her own home. At the moment, however, she finds herself jobless, with no government assistance, and at 47 she is no longer healthy. Before this period of unemployment Ms Panisara normally woke up about 5am to prepare food for her family, then after finishing the morning chores she moved directly to her sewing machine, usually about 6am.

Category : TEXT / Perspective
1 Mar 2009
15 .
Demands of the landless
LAST WEDNESDAY, more than 500 members of the Thailand Networks for Land Reform (TNLR) submitted a petition to Deputy Minister of Interior Thaworn Senneam at Parliament. The NTLR is comprised of many grassroots organisations from all four regions of the country, as well as a large number of the urban poor who are deprived of the right to land and housing.

Category : TEXT / Perspective
15 Feb 2009
16 .
Fear in the forest
'!Do you know the word 'fear','' asked Prue Odochao, a Thai-Karen whose home is in the Mae Lan Kham forest reserve area, soon to be part of the Ob-karn National Park in Chiang Mai province if the measure gets approval. His own fear stems from not knowing if providing for his family will get him arrested.

Category : TEXT / Perspective
15 Feb 2009
17 .
Economic forecasts only 'guesstimate'
Having heard a few so-called ''economic gurus'' predicting that the condition of the Thai economy would be negative this year, Varakorn Samkoses, a former deputy education minister writing for Matichon, tried to clarify the issue, saying he wanted to lead the general public away from confusion and uncertainty.

Category : TEXT / Perspective
14 Feb 2009
18 .
The ongoing fight for citizenship
It's a safe bet that luxury sedans _ particularly those flying a Union Flag and carrying foreign dignitaries _ do not often find their way to Kham Pheng Ngam. Yet, two weeks ago, late on a sunny Tuesday morning, there it was _ a sleek, silver Jaguar, nosing its way through the shady back sois of the Chiang Mai community and dropping its passenger, British Ambassador Quinton Quayle _ with an entourage of Thai TV cameramen in tow _ at the entrance of its urban slum.

Category : TEXT / Perspective
1 Feb 2009
19 .
Where does the money come from?
The Abhisit Vejjajiva government has been in charge for nearly one month and the supplementary budget is under consideration in Parliament, noted a Matichon editorial. The stimulus measure has been labelled a populist scheme by government critics, and some aspects have caused confusion. For example, some people misunderstood the one-time 2,000 baht grant to workers who contribute to the social security fund with less than 15,000 baht monthly salary, thinking they would get 2,000 baht every month. The 2,000 baht one-time grant was later extended to cover state enterprise employees and civil servants, including tambon and village heads.

Category : TEXT / Perspective
31 Jan 2009
20 .
Old wine in a new bottle
The Democrat Party's economic stimulus measures have been compared to the populist policies of the old Thai Rak Thai (TRT) party by Dr Niphon Phuaphongsakorn, president of the Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI), noted a Matichon writer.

Category : TEXT / Perspective
24 Jan 2009
21 .
Tutu urges fasting for Zimbabwe
JOHANNESBURG : South African Nobel peace laureate Desmond Tutu has called on all South Africans to join his weekly fasting in protest at the humanitarian crisis in neighbouring Zimbabwe, media reports said yesterday. The 78-year-old Anglican archbishop said he had been fasting once a week in solidarity with the hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans facing food shortages and a cholera outbreak.

Category : TEXT / Perspective
12 Jan 2009
22 .
Nai Jam, a 35-year-old from Burma's Arakan state, lives behind the padlocked door of a local NGO's library _ a tidy but sparsely furnished room in a crumbling concrete apartment complex in Samut Sakhon.

Category : TEXT / Perspective
11 Jan 2009
23 .
Abhisit builds economic teamwork
This week Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva led the government's economic team, including Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij, to pay a visit to the Bank of Thailand (BoT), to square differences in attitudes and exchange economic information and opinions so that everyone can be on the same wavelength with regard to the economic situation the country is facing, reported a Thai Rath writer.

Category : TEXT / Perspective
10 Jan 2009
24 .
Abhisit will be hard-pressed to govern successfully
If Abhisit Vejjajiva had come to power in a period of political stability by virtue of his Democrat party's winning the majority of votes in a general election, he would have had high potential to become the most outstanding prime minister Thailand has ever had due to his personal attributes, said Boonlert Changyai, a Matichon writer.

Category : TEXT / Perspective
27 Dec 2008
25 .
Parliament ushers in a new day
The House of Representatives extraordinary meeting on Dec 8, 2008 to select the 27th prime minister of Thailand taught an expensive lesson to former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his supporters in the newly formed Puea Thai party, said a Matichon writer.

Category : TEXT / Perspective
20 Dec 2008
26 .
Iran policy has failed
Mohamed ElBaradei is director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005. He sat down in Vienna on Dec 2 with Borzou Daragahi of the Los Angeles Times. Excerpts of that interview follow:

Category : TEXT / Perspective
13 Dec 2008
27 .
Fortune looks favourably on Democrat party
There are no permanent foes or friends in politics. It is quite normal for politicians to switch camps in a democratic form of government, noted a Thai Rath writer.

Category : TEXT / Perspective
13 Dec 2008
28 .
Party dissolution ruling comes as no surprise
It was no surprise that the Constitution Court voted unanimously to dissolve the People Power and Matchimathipathai parties, and the Chart Thai party, by a vote of 8:1, last Tuesday, stripping Somchai Wongsawat of the prime ministership while he was in the process of holding a cabinet meeting in Chiang Mai. The 37 PPP, 43 Chart Thai and 29 Matchimathipathai executives were also barred from engaging in politics for five years.

Category : TEXT / Perspective
6 Dec 2008
29 .
All of Thailand loses
One must accept the truth right now that the country is facing an economic tsunami from the US sub-prime problem that is causing global economic recession. What makes it worse is the internal conflicts raging in the country, said Chetana Chanit, a Matichon writer.

Category : TEXT / Perspective
29 Nov 2008
30 .
Southern disappearance: A case study
Before June 24, 2007, Mayateh Maranoh was a school caretaker in Yala's Bannang Sata district. He lived with his wife and two children in a small A-frame house, surrounded by palm trees and, at the time, Paramilitary Unit 41, which was conducting a survey of villagers in the area. The unit had set up its camp behind Mayateh's home, and according to the testimony of one Unit 41 junior officer, the caretaker was quite neighbourly, and provided water for the unit's cooking and consumption.

Category : TEXT / Perspective
23 Nov 2008
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