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  • LIFE

    Can a righteous resistance ever cross the line?

    Life, Sawarin Suwichakornpong, Published on 22/01/2021

    » Sabotage, in French and in English, indicates the act of deliberately destroying or damaging property. It's an apparatus that aims at weakening an enemy or oppressor through means such as subversion and obstruction. It is a tool that, we are told, has been adopted by French workers as a substitute for strikes, but sabotage doesn't limit itself only to workplaces. Its literature survey connotes that it occurs within a variety of contexts -- in wars, political and social campaigns, or socio-economic programmes that effect someone's livelihood. In all cases, however, the intent of sabotage is analogous -- to use extreme civil disobedience to inflict damage upon goods or properties in order to serve a particular purpose or higher goal. The end justifies the means, according to the saboteurs.

  • LIFE

    The humane truth

    Life, Sawarin Suwichakornpong, Published on 11/12/2020

    » In the treatise Politics (328 BC), Aristotle wrote that man was by nature a social animal, and society was something in nature that preceded the individual. The human that didn't partake in society, he opined, was either a beast or god. The English philosopher, Thomas Hobbes, delved into a darker side and argued that if men wanted to survive they would voluntarily uphold laws, give up their rights and obey an absolute power that protected them. Left on their own, men were naturally unsociable and didn't depend on anyone but themselves to survive. Self-preservation was their ultimate objective. They perpetually competed against one another. Their natural state was a state of war, in which they distrusted their own species and reasoned with a fist in order to attain power over their fellow beings.

  • LIFE

    A deal to save the planet

    Life, Sawarin Suwichakornpong, Published on 04/09/2020

    » The rising temperature of Earth's climate is wreaking havoc on our ecosystems by generating extreme changes in the weather, unresolved seasonal changes, and ecological damage. While there is ample evidence to suggest climate change took place even in prehistoric times, scientists have observed that the rate and degree of change since the mid-20th century has been accelerating, concluding that human activity has been the major driving force underlying this drastic transformation.

  • LIFE

    A unity of none

    Life, Sawarin Suwichakornpong, Published on 17/04/2020

    » In the morning of Aug 25, 2017, a group of militants belonging to the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) unco-ordinatedly attacked police and border guards in northern Arakan (Rakhine) state, killing at least 12 officers. The Myanmar Armed Forces, known as the Tatmadaw, retaliated by launching a military counter-insurgency campaign in order to capture the perpetrators who attacked the border garrisons.

  • LIFE

    Welcome to the Asian century

    Life, Sawarin Suwichakornpong, Published on 06/03/2020

    » 'The man who finds his homeland sweet is still a tender beginner; he to whom every soil is as his native one is already strong; but he is perfect to whom the entire world is as a foreign land." Hugh of Saint Victor.

  • LIFE

    Magic in the mundane

    Life, Sawarin Suwichakornpong, Published on 02/08/2019

    » Hailing from Chon Buri, Duanwad Pimwana is one of Thailand's best known fiction writers. Acclaimed for her imaginative takes on the realities of Thai society, Duanwad has authored numerous literary works, including novels, poetry, short stories and writings that mostly blend elements of magic with social realism that aim to highlight the socio-political conditions of the working class as a means to critique the power structures behind them. Bright, or Changsamran in Thai, Duanwad's first feature novel, won the prestigious SEA Write Award in 2003. By the time it was released in America last year, Bright was the first book by a Thai woman writer translated into English. The book is translated by Mui Poopoksakul, a Berlin-based translator who has done a remarkable job in translating the mundane into the magical.

  • LIFE

    Finding the heart

    Life, Sawarin Suwichakornpong, Published on 05/07/2019

    » Elaine Castillo's deep dive into California's Filipino diaspora is warm and layered, filled with wonderful language.

  • LIFE

    The lives of others

    Life, Sawarin Suwichakornpong, Published on 07/06/2019

    » Born in 1969 to a farming family in Chon Buri, Pimjai Juklin -- aka Duanwad Pimwana -- is one of Thailand's preeminent writers of contemporary fiction. After briefly working as a journalist, Duanwad started writing short stories. She was first published in 1989 in a local Thai magazine. In 2003, she published her first novel, Chang Samran (Bright), which won the SEA Write Award, making her one of only seven women writers to have won the prestigious award since its inception 40 years ago.

  • LIFE

    A shady underworld

    Life, Sawarin Suwichakornpong, Published on 03/05/2019

    » We, The Survivors, the fourth novel by the Malaysian-British Tash Aw, is a compelling account of the life of a working-class lad named Lee Hock Lye, or known among friends as Ah Hock. It's a vivid tale of an imaginative young man with ideas of setting foot in a better place than a ramshackle village where livelihood depends on fishing and harvesting cockles from the polluted mudflats. Ah Hock isn't an angry young man, nor is he an idler who accepts whatever comes his way as fate. He tries hard with life, changing numbers of jobs to make ends meet, hoping one day he'd move to settle down with a house and family in Kuala Lumpur or Singapore or even farther afield. The world that he inhabits, however, is a microcosm of the much larger equilibrium, where society permits a select few to climb the ladder, and the majority -- the ilk of Ah Hock -- remains stuck in poverty, leading a life that's going nowhere.

  • LIFE

    City of angels and demons

    Life, Sawarin Suwichakornpong, Published on 22/03/2019

    » You can leave the place where you were born, but it never truly leaves you. It's always there, calling you home.

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