The first-ever religious ceremony dedicated to the Holy Man Rebellion of 121 years ago received a throng of attendees in Ubon Ratchathani last week. Community leaders discussed building a monument to commemorate the event as a way to make Saphue’s local history more widespread.
In response to popular demand (on the Thai-language side), we are bringing our readers a new set of items on the Holy Man Rebellion, part of an effort to rediscover Isaan’s lost history. This time we explore the causes behind the uprising of Isaan people 121 years ago. Although the lives of 300 rebels were lost in Ban Saphue, Ubon Ratchathani, there’s no memorial, no museum, no sign that the community has once seen so many die all at once. The Isaan Record presents the Season 2 of “The Isaan Holy Man Rebellion” to commemorate the 121st anniversary of the brutal crackdown.
“I’m afraid of COVID-19, but I’m more afraid of starving.” These words from an Isaan sex worker who decided to keep working at Surat Thani’s Samui Island despite high infection rates. Although aware of the risk, as household breadwinners they have been left no choice but to accept the risk. Guest contributor Min Thalufa reports from Samui Island about the struggle of Isaan women in the era of COVID-19.
A new law aiming to regulate activities of NGOs and nonprofits in Thailand is expected to pass soon. The government points out that every country has similar laws, necessary for public accountability. NGOs are concerned the law will impose severe restrictions on NGO actions and activities. Despite widespread opposition to this controversial legislation, the movement against it hasn’t gained much traction. Lertsak Kamkongsak, a leader of the Commoner Party, questions whether now is the time for people who have turned a blind eye to injustice to reconsider their position.
With the death of Professor Charles F. Keyes earlier this month, Isaan lost one of its oldest and best friends. He had done his field research in Maha Sarakham in the early 1960s and wrote what was his first most major publication and which began the most influential English-language book on the region:
“The heart of this law is about making the one being discriminated against and the one discriminating understand each other better, especially for HIV-positive people. The law also sets up a rehabilitation process that can lead to change for a better future.”
A young man aspires to become a judge. But his dream might be dashed simply because the agency doesn’t accept people living with HIV. Everyone applying for a position is forced to take a blood test. He can only hope that the judiciary will stop stigmatizing people like him, and open up its ranks for everybody equally.
The Isaan Record and the Thai Democracy Advocates group arranged a screening of the movie “Cemetery of Splendour” in London to raise funds to recover the lost history of the “Holy Man Rebellion” in Isaan. When asked about the political situation in Thailand, the noted Thai independent direct Apichatpong Weerasethakul said he maintained the hope of seeing the new generation continued to push for reform of the Thai military and the monarchy.
As the demand grows to amend or repeal Article 112, Thailand’s lese majeste law, so too does the number of people being charged with the offense. It remains controversial whether certain actions, such as burning the king’s portrait, can be construed as a violation under this law.
Ex-Minister of Justice Chaikasem Nitisiri calls for all prisoners of conscience to be released, the military to stop staging coups, and the judiciary to restore faith in justice in order to solve the ongoing political turmoil.
Over the past year, pro-democracy movements among the young generation have blossomed across the kingdom. The originally forceful campaign however has been curbed with constant arrests, intimidation, and violence. Despite facing such threats, one teen in Udon Thani remains unflinching, and turns to performance art to challenge the state’s attempt at oppression
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?