Siam VoicesPosts by Saksith Saiyasombut & Siam Voices

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  • Thailand and Cambodia stuck in the schoolyard as another border conflict erupts

    By Apr 23, 2011

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    by James Goyder For the second time this year the ongoing tension on the Cambodian border has escalated into outright war. In both instances each side has alternated between casting aspersions and artillery. It is predictably unclear exactly what the catalyst was for the most recent renewal of outright hostilities. Like two schoolboys, separated by

  • Thailand’s armed forces: Overemphasizing the loyalty

    By Apr 21, 2011

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    Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Army Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha (AP Photo)

    By Saksith Saiyasombut When General Prayuth Chan-ocha took over as commander-in-chief of Thailand’s armed forces last year, he made in no uncertain terms right off the bat what his top priorities are: protecting the royal institution and going after everything and everyone that is deemed a threat to it. Since then, he apparently still is not tired to emphasize

  • “Only taboo when it’s inconvenient!” – Interview with Thai author Kaewmala on the outrage at topless Songkran dancers

    By Apr 19, 2011

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    By Saksith Saiyasombut Traditionalists and other self-proclaimed heralds of the ‘true’ Thai culture are having a tough time these days. Especially in the most recent Songkran (the Thai Lunar New Year) festivities they bemoan that it essentially has been reduced to almost a week full of excessive water fights and heavy drinking, that lead to

  • Thailand’s red shirts: Astroturf or real grass?

    By Apr 12, 2011

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    Thailand’s red shirts: Astroturf or real grass?

    By Dan Waites Here’s one for you. What do Thailand’s red shirts and the United States’ Tea Party have in common? Answer: both have been derided as “astroturf” political movements – fake grassroots protest groups established to further a hidden corporate or political agenda. In August last year, The New Yorker published a fascinating article

  • Updates on the Thai-Cambodian conflict

    By Apr 11, 2011

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    A Cambodian Buddhist monk walks toward the Cambodia's 11th century Hindu Preah Vihear temple, which was enlisted as UNESCO's World Heritage site in Preah Vihear province, about 245 kilometers (152 miles) north of Phnom Penh, Cambodia Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2011. Pic: AP.

    By Florian Witulski (Guest contributor) The heavy clashes in February at the Preah Vihear Temple have been the peak in the ongoing Thai-Cambodian border dispute. I went to Sisaket on the Thai side during the clashes and followed many villagers who had been evacuated. Most villagers moved to the next biggest city Kantharalak. Several villages

  • Thank you for the whitewash, Thailand

    By Apr 10, 2011

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    A farewell service for late Reuters cameraman Hiro Muramoto held in Tokyo last year. Pic: AP.

    By Dan Waites “Thank you, Thailand” was the headline on the front of yesterday’s edition of The Nation above an “exclusive interview” with Japanese ambassador to Thailand, Seiji Kojima. The story opened as follows: The Japanese ambassador to Thailand has these special words for the Thai people: “A friend in need is a friend indeed.”

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