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  • THAILAND

    The Surgeon

    Spectrum, Nanchanok Wongsamuth, Published on 23/10/2016

    » When Charan Mahatumarat found out that he won His Majesty the King's Anandamahidol Scholarship in 1984 to study craniofacial surgery, he started learning the royal language from a book he purchased.

  • THAILAND

    Caught in the madness of the system

    Spectrum, Nanchanok Wongsamuth, Published on 08/05/2016

    » The solider pointed towards Bandit Aneeya, the man the legal system has previously found to be insane, identifying him as the person who allegedly committed lese majeste. Bandit, who sat quietly throughout the court session on Wednesday as testimony from two prosecution witnesses was heard, flashed a smile.

  • THAILAND

    Where hope has vanished

    Spectrum, Nanchanok Wongsamuth, Published on 21/08/2016

    » It was the spot where the villagers had found the chequered loincloth of missing land rights activist Den Khamlae a week earlier. Banjong Sanitnit, Den's brother-in-law, stopped at a nearby tree. He lit six incense sticks and poured rice whisky into a clear plastic cup so that it was a quarter full. And then he prayed.

  • THAILAND

    A village haunted by superstition

    Spectrum, Nanchanok Wongsamuth, Published on 14/09/2014

    » More than 10 years ago a village in the northeastern province of Sakon Nakhon made headlines as the home of Thailand's most feared ghosts, known as phi pob, but these days the evil spirits appear to have simply vanished.

  • THAILAND

    An open road ahead

    Spectrum, Nanchanok Wongsamuth, Published on 16/10/2016

    » The Department of Land Transport is getting used to visits from people looking to invest in a driving school. A decade ago, there was only one private driving school registered under the department. But that quickly changed last year when at least one person visited every week to ask about the qualifications needed to open a school. The department now answers similar queries on a daily basis.

  • THAILAND

    Forest clampdown hurts poor

    Spectrum, Nanchanok Wongsamuth, Published on 11/09/2016

    » For the past 39 years, Anutas Pleeta's family have made a living out of growing para rubber on their four-rai plantation in the southern province of Phangnga. By this time of the year, the trees would have been ready for tapping and Mr Anutas would have had more money to support his family of five, who currently live off an average income of 45,000 baht per year -- less than half the daily minimum wage -- from rubber grown on another six rai of land.

  • THAILAND

    Reaching an uncritical mass

    Spectrum, Nanchanok Wongsamuth, Published on 22/05/2016

    » 'She's just a farmer. She knows nothing." That was the example Terachet Rojrachsombat used on Facebook to illustrate his lesson on ad hominem, or abusive, arguments. The post drew an immediate reaction.

  • THAILAND

    The jury's still out on young judges

    Spectrum, Nanchanok Wongsamuth, Published on 17/01/2016

    » Five years ago Thidaporn Kornchoodej, then a 24-year-old lawyer’s assistant, was asked to sit in court to hear the verdict in a case she’d been working on. Her client was an American businessman fighting for custody of his four-year-old son, and Ms Thidaporn ended up sitting alone in the room with the judge as she delivered her ruling.

  • THAILAND

    Gold rush crawls to a standstill

    Spectrum, Nanchanok Wongsamuth, Published on 06/12/2015

    » It was a billion-baht aerial survey of potential mineral deposits that sparked an enthusiastic start to gold mining in Thailand 32 years ago. Foreign investors were wooed and local communities were excited about the idea of new roads leading into their villages.

  • THAILAND

    School in the slow lane

    Spectrum, Nanchanok Wongsamuth, Published on 25/10/2015

    » Unlike his kindergarten peers who learn how to write the alphabet and memorise their times tables, a typical school day for three-year-old Titus Deesaen consists of observing rice fields, moulding candles and folding blankets.

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