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  • THAILAND

    Beasts of burden

    Spectrum, Tunya Sukpanich, Published on 27/10/2013

    » What began as a supposed attempt to stamp out elephant poaching has turned into a conflict of jumbo proportions.

  • THAILAND

    A childhood behind bars

    Spectrum, Tunya Sukpanich, Published on 22/09/2013

    » To their classmates at an elite Bangkok international school, Nip and Djo are much like any of the other hundreds of foreign students.

  • THAILAND

    Dark side of the force

    Spectrum, Tunya Sukpanich, Published on 06/10/2013

    » Early on the morning of Jan 20, 2011, a single gunshot rang out at Prachin Buri's Raboh Phai police station.

  • THAILAND

    Out of mind, in plain sight

    Spectrum, Tunya Sukpanich, Published on 21/07/2013

    » Son was a familiar figure wandering aimlessly and obviously "out of it" in Rangsit district, where he lived in a local temple. Rescue workers came to the temple in response to a call from a concerned citizen and took him for treatment at a government mental hospital, and slowly he regained his wits and memory. Son couldn't remember anything about his family but fortunately they did not forget him. Now he is safe, recuperating at his home in Chaiyaphum province. Son is one of a lucky few suffering from severe mental illness on the streets who receive attention and help. Most suffer in silence and loneliness.

  • THAILAND

    Foreign monks 'ain't misbehaving'

    Spectrum, Tunya Sukpanich, Published on 28/04/2013

    » The abbot of Bangkok's Wat Talom knows that the growing number of foreign monks staying there is causing disquiet in the local community, following complaints of overcrowding, soliciting cash and "improper" behaviour. Phra Maha Somnuek Chutintaro says the number of foreign monks at the temple in Phasicharoen district now totals 316, with the majority from Myanmar (160) followed by Bangladesh (60) and Cambodia (50) and the remainder from India, Vietnam and Laos.

  • THAILAND

    Breathing new life into the South's abandoned paddies

    Spectrum, Tunya Sukpanich, Published on 24/02/2013

    » At a training centre at the Buffalo Conservation Village in Suphan Buri province, some 120 villagers from Pattani province _ both Muslims and Buddhists _ are learning new farming methods, part of a government initiative aimed at revitalising rice production in the South.

  • THAILAND

    Seized wildlife trapped in legal limbo

    Spectrum, Tunya Sukpanich, Published on 20/01/2013

    » The death of an elephant taken in a raid on a private elephant park in Kanchanaburi province in April last year highlights the strain on state agencies charged with taking custody of seized wildlife. The female elephant and 18 others were taken after park owners failed to provide proper identification documents and turned over to the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre in Lampang province to await legal proceedings.

  • THAILAND

    Land reform an unkept promise

    Spectrum, Tunya Sukpanich, Published on 03/06/2012

    » On June 6, the Supreme Court will decide the fate of three village leaders who are among more than 100 people arrested in 2002 for trespassing on private land in Lamphun's Ban Hong district. The villagers say they were justified in taking over the idle private land for cultivation, as the pledge of successive governments to distribute such land to the poor has not been fulfilled. So far, 35 villagers from Ban Hong, including the three village heads, have gone to court and 23 have been sentenced to jail.

  • THAILAND

    Salvaging a Buddhist sanctuary

    Spectrum, Tunya Sukpanich, Published on 05/02/2012

    » A mong the major casualties of the recent floods was the 2,500-rai Buddhamonthon ("Buddhist park") religious park in Nakhon Pathom province. Today the park scarcely resembles the former green spiritual and recreational sanctuary in the shadow of Bangkok. The meticulously landscaped lawns are now covered with a thick layer of dried brown leaves and dead branches from trees and shrubs killed or severely shocked by the floodwaters that covered the park grounds for weeks. Many big trees were uprooted and still lie where they fell.

  • THAILAND

    Living over troubled waters

    Spectrum, Tunya Sukpanich, Published on 01/01/2012

    » Obstructions along canals in Bangkok and nearby provinces are commonly cited as a major factor behind this year's flood disaster. However, clearing them has proved a thorny issue for authorities as it means not only removing debris and sediment, but also tearing down people's makeshift homes.

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