I’m Lao. So what? You’re so damn Thai!

Isaan people have long been discriminated against, not only by regular people but also by the religious world. Ubon Ratchathani University professor Tee Anmai recounts his experience as a novice from Isaan when he was called “Lao” and rejected by Bangkok temples.

Future flood mitigation in Thailand will require individual accountability

It’s the flooding season in Thailand once again. As flood plains are further encroached up, cities are inundated and rice fields submerged. Successive governments have failed to adequately address the problem. In his latest contribution, Mark S. Cogan points out that Thai society’s pervasive use of plastic clogs up water drainage and frustrates attempts to keep Thais high and dry. But it will take a change in society’s use of plastic to keep rising waters at bay.

May love overcome all the dictators

How did you lose your love? To death? To prison? Or to a mysterious disappearance? For Thalufah activist “Mint” or “Mintermint,” the love of her life was taken away when the authorities stripped him of his freedom, locked him up behind bars at the Bangkok Remand Prison, and denied him bail.

Vaccination-saturated Bangkok starts sharing

In early August, Bangkok had one of the highest vaccination rates in the world. It seems it was only for this that the rest of the country started to get its fair share of vaccines. How much have other regions caught up in vaccination rates?

Udon Thani provincial budget woes are the direct result of centralized government

Thailand is one of the most centralized countries in the world, yet the topic of decentralization rarely makes the headlines. Yet the funding from Bangkok can change the fortunes of a province. Recently, ambitious plans by Udon Thani were not just shut down by Bangkok but the provincial budget for the coming year was slashed. Mark S. Cogan examines Udon’s calamitous situation and how it fits within Thailand’s enfeebled decentralization efforts.

In the battle against COVID-19, some Thai provinces cry foul

Vaccination efforts in Thailand have recently shifted from Bangkok to the provinces. But all is not equal between provinces. At the start of the third wave, Bangkok justified taking most doses because it had more cases. But in the Northeast, Surin has faced a major outbreak but it receives a fraction of the vaccinations its neighbor Buriram receives. Mark S. Cogan examines how unclear criteria has perpetuated inequality and deprives those who need and deserve a vaccination.

Factoring in Bangkok into Thailand’s notable vaccination inequality

In July, the share of new Covid-19 cases in Thailand shifted decisively from Bangkok to the rest of the country. By early August, Bangkok comprised only a fourth of cases, but government vaccination efforts still centered on the capital. At a time when there’s a shortage of vaccines, why hasn’t the distribution of vaccines been more equitable regionally?

Social stigma a major barrier to controlling COVID-19 in Thailand

As daily deaths reach 300, Thailand’s government has continued the struggle to curb the spread of the Covid-19 virus. It has been unclear with messaging and accused of using Covid restrictions to silence critics. What’s made matters worse is instances where those testing positive suffer stigmatization. Mark S. Cogan looks at the social costs of stigmatization and how the government could do better to limit it.

Letter to Bangkok: Thailand’s inequality puts millions at risk

It seemed that Thailand had avoided the brunt of te Covid-19 epidemic and was praised by international bodies. The government crowed its success and laid out schemes to bring tourists back to safe Thailand. Then the virus caught up with the country in April. The government chose a strategy that favored Bangkok and tourist destinations and deprived millions in the provinces from vaccination.

Folk ballads, prophecies, and ideologies: The arms of the Holy Man’s Rebellion in war with Bangkok

The Thai-language side of The Isaan Record has been publishing a series on the “Holy Man Rebellion” of 1901-02. We are sharing select pieces to our English-language readers. In this article, Weerawat Somnoek looks at the most powerful weapon used in the “Isaan Phi Bun Rebellion” against the dominance of Bangkok. It was not their swords or spears, but their ballads that helped spread and strengthen a certain ideology among the oppressed that inspired them to stand up against authority.

Book on Bangkok gives fresh insights on its troubled relation with Isaan

Philip Cornwel-Smith’s latest book, Very Bangkok, might have been just another of the umpteen guide books on Thailand’s capital, Bangkok. Why another book on this egotistical and egocentric subject? But Cornwel-Smith is no typical guide. The very breadth of Very Bangkok provides a comprehensive and fresh take on the capital and its role within the country. It also gives us new insights into Isaan and its troubling relationship to the capital.

The crisis of pervasive moss in the Mekong

The phenomenon of persistent moss in the Mekong River is not a natural occurrence

Journey of the red shirts continues

After the 2010 violent crackdown, the redshirt movement was diminished. Following the 2014 coup d’etat, they were hunted down. However, in the latest student demonstrations, the red shirts in several provinces have made a comeback, fully proclaiming themselves a part of this current resistance for democracy.

Chronicle of struggle of Phongsathon : Sensation of being accused of lese majeste

“I’m not going to stop carrying on nor stop speaking out. I’ll continue the fight as long as I’m still breathing,” writes Phongsatorn “Boy” Tancharoen, Maha Sarakham University student charged with lese majeste.