Construction of the high-speed rail project may open up new horizons for Thai society. But it also has important collateral damage: the destruction of a unique urban space that has played an important part in Thailand’s visions of a possible democratic future. Guest contributor Eli Elinoff reflects on the loss of railway communities to the high-speed train project in Khon Kaen and beyond.
Soon, communities along railroad tracks in Khon Kaen will be forced to leave to make way for the construction of a high-speed train railway that connects Korat and Nong Khai. There is still no plan to relocate the more than 700 families residing in its way. The Isaan Record memorializes the people of Mittraphap community in this shortening period before they vanish.
Residents are rallying against a proposed 4,000-rai bioeconomy project in Ban Phai district of Khon Kaen. The major concern is that the project might turn the area into a new pollution hotspot as in Rayong’s industrial estate Map Ta Phut. The project and its potential effects have aroused concerns that the environment might be damaged and the historical heritage of the ancient town, Mueang Phia, might suffer destruction.
A member of parliament from the Move Forward Party reveals information about the military’s Information Operations (IO) during the no-confidence debate in the House of Representatives on the role of the prime minister who is responsible for IO. An IO document titled, “People of Khon Kaen,” is exposed, a watch list of 80 people and organizations apparently deemed as national security threats – including The Isaan Record.