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  • OPINION

    A tale of two Isan villages’ attempts to end poverty

    News, Sawai Boonma, Published on 07/05/2014

    » About three decades ago, a seemingly great idea was put forward with the express purpose of raising the incomes of the people of Isan — the Northeast — so that they would no longer be the poorest compared with Thais in other regions of the country. Having relatively less water, it was believed, was the key factor contributing to Isan’s lower level of development and poverty. With more water, Isan could be planted with more crops, including trees such as eucalyptus to be harvested as feedstock for paper mills, making it green all year round as well as generating more income for its people.

  • OPINION

    Getting rid of the government is the easy part

    News, Sawai Boonma, Published on 04/12/2013

    » Ask any of the participants in the massive anti-government rallies about their purpose, and the answer is likely to be to get rid of something called "Thaksinocracy". When asked what it means, the answer varies, but may be roughly grouped along these five "cracies".

  • OPINION

    Pawning rice is worse than pawning Thailand

    News, Sawai Boonma, Published on 05/12/2012

    » Since the launching of the rice-pawning scheme a few months ago ("pawning" is not only a correct translation of the Thai word jam nam but also reflects the sense of the scheme better than the "pledging" that many writers have used), two areas have been analysed most thoroughly: its potential impact on the budget and national debt, resulting from the large losses that will occur, and the corruption that is due to happen at various steps of the scheme. Some analysts go so far as to say that losses from this scheme will bankrupt the country and pawning rice is tantamount to pawning the country.

  • OPINION

    Healthy GDP does not mean healthy people

    News, Sawai Boonma, Published on 02/05/2012

    » Last week, when I first saw the BBC news headline, "Population and consumption key to future, report says," I thought, "Here we go again." And it has panned out just the way I thought it would.

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