In Thai society, there are few Thai scholars who remain hopeful. One of them is Prof. Dr. Thongchai Winichakul, a former lecturer at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA, points to a way out for Thai society, once again in a time of crisis. The media needs to reinvent itself, and truly become professional.
It was also where locals were educated politically, and was a critical and important point in the political development in Isaan. The Isaan Record visits the site to learn about the life of those who searched for enlightenment, living as communists in the vast forest; those who reflect on what they learned after living in Dong Phra Jao.
An army of Khon Kaen Police were on hand as Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha surveyed the areas experiencing significant flooding, the prime minister’s first visit to the region after the Constitutional Court allowed him to continue in his position. Protesters were also on hand, holding signs like, “Flooding water, flooding debt, a false Prime Minister.”
Amid an ongoing attempt to demolish what’s left of the Seri Thai Airport and its history in Kalasin province, The Isaan Record explores another Seri Thai Airport in Sakon Nakhon province. Here lie the last traces of an airport built by the Seri Thai Movement, exhibiting the history of the political struggle in Isaan aimed to resist Japanese occupation during WWII. (Locals still refer to the area as an “airport” although it appears to been more of a “drop site.”)
In a time of political dissent, people in the Northeast have turned to unique ways of protesting. From July to August 2021, people all over Isaan participated in over 40 Car Mobs, a new way to protest–from the safety of one’s car. In her latest contribution, Saowanee T. Alexander underscores how Car Mobs have embodied the hopes and dreams of the pro-democracy movement in the Northeast.
Thailand’s tourist industry has long profited from inhumane and exploitative techniques in handling elephants. The COVID-19 pandemic has placed new pressures on human-elephant relationships. The elephant tourist industry is on the brink of collapse and wild elephant habitats are coming into closer contact with humans than before. How can Thailand better protect its elephants while bringing attention to elephant welfare with advocacy? Guest contributor Mark S. Cogan looks into the issue.
The Mekong River is unique in that it flows through and between so many countries. Every country takes what it can from it, leaving the millions who depend on it for their livelihoods and survival in an increasingly perilous situation. A team of guest contributors went to two communities in Isaan—one where the Mekong first touches the region in Loei and one 600 kms away in Ubon where it leaves Thai territory to learn how two communities are dealing with a drastically changing environment.