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  • NEWS

    Voices of the silent

    Spectrum, Ezra Kyrill Erker, Published on 11/03/2012

    » Last Thursday was International Women's Day, an occasion that for a century has served for people to demand greater civil rights, representation and equality; to honour wives, mothers and girlfriends and the accomplishments of women; to call for an end to global hunger and poverty; and, increasingly, to highlight the plight of refugees and the displaced.

  • NEWS

    Supporters knocked for a loop by MMA ban

    Spectrum, Ezra Kyrill Erker, Published on 08/04/2012

    » Less than a week before muay Thai's application to the IOC and World Games, and a few days after Spectrum reported on a high-profile local mixed martial arts (MMA) competition, MMA was banned in Thailand by the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT) on the grounds that it was hurting the image of muay Thai. MMA is a discipline fought in an octagonal cage using any number of fighting and grappling techniques. To hone stand-up combat techniques, many international competitors train in muay Thai, and for years MMA fighters have been coming to train in the Kingdom.

  • NEWS

    The knock-on effect for Bangkok's knock-offs

    Spectrum, Ezra Kyrill Erker, Published on 20/01/2013

    » Last week, a man came to tell Jasmine, a vendor in the Nana area, that the Department of Special Investigation would be conducting a raid. He took the unusual step of telling her not only to temporarily close down, but to move all of her counterfeit goods back home for two days.

  • NEWS

    As seen through the lens of an insider

    Spectrum, Ezra Kyrill Erker, Published on 16/09/2012

    » Over the course of 25 years covering Myanmar and Southeast Asia as a photojournalist, Thierry Falise has come under fire from Lao militia, been hit by shrapnel covering riots in Bangkok and come face to face with a diminutive follower of the 10-year-old twins commanding God's Army who would stand on a chair to beat his wife.

  • NEWS

    Dead child walking

    Spectrum, Ezra Kyrill Erker, Published on 22/07/2012

    » Just returned from a visit to Bangkok's notorious Bang Kwang prison, Toshi Kazama is ready to talk about criminal justice. On a rainy evening at the Foreign Correspondents' Club last week, the Japanese-born photographer shows slides of his photographs of juvenile offenders and speaks about the complexities of capital punishment. He has been photographing young people on death row since 1996, mostly in the US, where he has lived since the age of 15, and more recently across Asia.

  • NEWS

    For-profit business model sees citizens reap dividends

    Spectrum, Ezra Kyrill Erker, Published on 03/06/2012

    » In Yangon an organisation, FXB Myanmar, gives vocational training and business opportunities to HIV-positive workers and women rescued from the Thai sex industry. A manufacturer of affordable foot pumps for irrigation, Proximity Designs, has a network of distribution channels to upcountry farmers that NGOs and government organisations envy. BusinessKind-Myanmar sells low-cost mosquito netting in malarial and dengue fever regions, and half of its work force is also HIV-positive. Myanmar Business Executives provides low-interest microcredit and networking outlets to needy individuals and organisations.

  • NEWS

    Muay Thai strikes for Olympic glory

    Spectrum, Ezra Kyrill Erker, Published on 08/04/2012

    » An eventful week for combat sports in Thailand culminated on Tuesday night at Lat Phrao's Bangkok Convention Centre with a showcase of muay Thai, Thailand's traditional martial art, for an international audience.

  • NEWS

    A mercenary's tale

    Spectrum, Ezra Kyrill Erker, Published on 06/05/2012

    » Peter Slade was once in prison for five years on charges of murder, conspiracy to commit another murder and attempting to overthrow a foreign government _ partly a victim, he says, of a corrupt Australian judicial system. He fought in the Vietnam War, was a security contractor in 1973 Rhodesia, a debt collector at home in Melbourne and as far afield as Nigeria, and arrived in reconstruction-era Cambodia and Iraq without connections but a desire to start anew, in stints that would last some seven years each. He witnessed first-hand the Bangkok coup that killed journalists Neil Davis and Bill Latch in 1985 and was on the beach in Patong the morning the tsunami struck Phuket in 2004.

  • NEWS

    Ghosts among the people

    Spectrum, Ezra Kyrill Erker, Published on 22/01/2012

    » They come from Iran and Sri Lanka, Pakistan and China, central Africa, Cambodia and elsewhere around the world, fleeing persecution for their beliefs or serious concerns about their safety and that of their families.

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