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  • LIFE

    New books worth reading

    Life, Anchalee Kongrut, Published on 29/12/2016

    » From Dust To Dust: A Journalist's Memoir

  • LIFE

    No rhyme, no reason

    Life, Anchalee Kongrut, Published on 02/05/2016

    » There's a beautiful piece of prose in a Thai poem that reads: "Kavee rue lang laeng Siam" -- (Siam never runs out of poets). Composed over 120 years ago by Prince Paramanuchit Chinoros, the verse is part of Samuta Koj Kam Chan, and it describes the golden age of Thai literary culture, in which poetry was ingrained as part of people's speech. It was a time when rhyme and stanza were infused in normal dialogue. Men wrote poems, or sang them for courtship.

  • LIFE

    Bringing the gift of light

    Life, Anchalee Kongrut, Published on 15/02/2017

    » For many Thais, access to electricity is just a flick of a switch, but for those living in the remote mountainous area of Mae Hong Son, the poorest province of Northern Thailand, access to electricity is still a dream far from coming true.

  • LIFE

    When the price isn't right

    Life, Anchalee Kongrut, Published on 21/11/2016

    » Regardless of the market price, khao remains a symbol of life and sustenance, of joy and sometimes pain, especially for farmers who tend to the minuscule grains. Rice is in our mouths, but given its economic and cultural importance, it also occupies a special place in Thai people's hearts.

  • LIFE

    Unconventional conservationist

    Life, Anchalee Kongrut, Published on 02/03/2016

    » By look and temperament, Sasiprapa Raisanguan, a 22-year-old staff member at the Centre for Protection & Revival of Local Community Rights (CPCR), doesn't fit the stereotype of a Thai conservationist. She is no starry-eyed tree-hugger clad in natural-dye cotton, nor does she have a hemp rucksack or ride a bicycle to reduce her carbon footprint. At our interview in Chiang Mai, Sasiprapa arrives on her motorcycle, which she calls "a practical choice" to getting around the northern city where her office is.

  • LIFE

    Unforgettable Puey Ungphakorn 

    Life, Anchalee Kongrut, Published on 09/03/2016

    » Today marks the centennial of Puey Ungphakorn, a remarkable man who lived a remarkable life as a founding father of the modern Thai economy, pedagogue at Thammasat University and Bank of Thailand, role model and larger-than-life figure who was influential during some of the most momentous years of Thai history.

  • LIFE

    A chance of less haze?

    Life, Anchalee Kongrut, Published on 20/01/2016

    » Despite the cool weather, the period between late January to March is not a pleasant time for villagers in Lampang and the other northern provinces. It is the time that haze -- caused by the swathes of smoke from forest fires and the burning of agricultural waste -- blankets the region. The man-made smog has been an inevitable seasonal event. Every year, farmers need to clear agricultural leftovers on their farms before sowing new seeds in May. In the old days, haze was tolerable. But mono-cultivation, especially large scale corn plantation, has recently forced farmers to clear large plots of land quickly for re-harvesting.

  • LIFE

    Drought, fishing scandals and winding roads

    Life, Anchalee Kongrut, Published on 23/12/2015

    » In the past year, environmental disasters once again proved how much of an impact they have on everyone's lives: the air we breathe (the haze in the South, blown over from Indonesia); the water we use (the contentious Chao Phraya roads); the lights we see (the coal-fired power plants); the ground beneath our feet (the gold mining scandals); the food we eat (the fishery disputes). In all of this, local communities and the rural poor feel the heat and the fire more than Bangkok's urbanites and they're the people who keep showing public resistance against environmental problems and the depletion of natural resources, despite the grip of military rule.  

  • LIFE

    Out with the old, it seems

    Life, Anchalee Kongrut, Published on 08/12/2015

    » Over the past year, several neighbourhoods in Bangkok's old city have undergone big changes. Saphan Lek, Tha Phra Chan, Tha Tian, Khlong Thom and Woeng Nakhon Kasem, for instance, have made headlines since these old-school quarters have been cleared and upgraded, with the removal of street vendors and the moving in of developers. We can expect a more visible facelift next year. 

  • LIFE

    Sustaining environmental activism

    Life, Anchalee Kongrut, Published on 21/10/2015

    » The demography of environmental activists in Thailand has shifted. The pioneering generation, those inspired by the life and death of the late Sueb Nakhasathien, the forest official who committed suicide in what is believed to be a protest against bureaucratic hopelessness, have started retiring, or feel too tired and have moved into other fields.

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