The Isaan Gender Diversity Network comes out to create space for equality and acceptance

LGBT groups have long been active in cities like Bangkok and Chiang Mai. But in Isaan, members of LGBT community are forming the region’s first-ever network, aiming to fight for equal rights, challenge stereotypes, and create understanding of LGBT issues.

The Good Daughters of Isaan (21) – Our readers respond, raising questions about inequality, racism, and gender relations

In this final part of our series on the mia farang phenomenon in Isaan, we capture some of the comments and feedback we received from Thai and foreign readers. Themes raised by our readers included attitudes towards Isaan women and men, and questions about equality, social mobility, racism and the position of Isaan within the Thai state.

Nong Bua Lamphu locals block entrance to limestone mine after negotiations fail

Locals in Nong Bua Lamphu’s Dong Mafai district yesterday escalated their opposition to a limestone mine in a long-running dispute with the mining company and the state.

Pressure to amend military-drafted constitution is growing

Activists and civil society groups in the Northeast have launched a campaign to draft a new constitution as youth protesters across the country are calling for democratic change.

SOTUS: Stifling Thailand’s young intellectuals

The initiation rituals of freshmen students common at universities and high schools across the country not only stifle the young generation’s creativity and critical thinking, but it also breeds authoritarianism, writes student activist Phongsathon Tancharoen.

“We won’t take this anymore…it stops with our generation” – Observations from a youth protest in Ubon Ratchathani

Youth protests against the government are on the rise again in the Northeast and across the country. Patawee Chotanan observed a protest in Ubon Ratchathani and made eight interesting observations.

After court rejects petition to free dissident, he is released from mental hospital

A government psychiatric hospital unexpectedly released a dissident late today after spending nearly two weeks there. Tiwagorn Withiton was admitted against his will on July 9 after wearing a shirt with the slogan, “I lost faith in the institution of the monarchy.”

Civil rights groups urge release of Khon Kaen man held at mental hospital

A Khon Kaen man was admitted against his will at a mental hospital after he posted online photos of himself in a shirt with the slogan “I lost faith in the institution of the monarchy.” Questioning the legal grounds for the forced admission, activists and civil rights groups are calling for his immediate release.

Remembrances of Red Trauma (25) – Lessons from 2010: History doesn’t repeat itself

Political scientist Chaiyan Rajchagool reflects on some of the lessons of the struggle of the Red Shirts and the fatal crackdown in 2010. [VIDEO]

Remembrances of Red Trauma (24) – Rebuilding shattered dreams of democracy

The bloody crackdown on protesters in 2010 is seared into the mind of Thanat Thammakaew. For the writer, known by his pen name Phu Kradat, the traumatic events became a political awakening and a source of inspiration for his writing.

Remembrances of Red Trauma (23) – Lessons of the defeat of the Red Shirts

“Back in 2010, I thought the protests were taking us close to a change towards a democratic system, where everyone would be under the constitution.” “But it didn’t turn out like that. We lost. We failed,” says Thanat Thammakaew, who is known by his pen name Phu Kradat. The prolific Isaan writer reflects on the Red Shirt movement.

Remembrances of Red Trauma (22) – The forgotten art of the Red Shirts

Artistic expression had an undisputed place in the Red Shirt movement. But little of the art of the Red Shirts has been preserved. Not only because it was destroyed by the 2010 crackdown, but also because it wasn’t seen as art in the first place, says art critic and curator Thanom Chapakdee.

Remembrances of Red Trauma (21) – Hakom

A village in northeastern Thailand is terrorized by a powerful ghost and descends into chaos as two factions fight over how to exorcise the demon. A short story by Charuphat Petcharavej that can be read as a parable of the country’s political conflict.

Remembrances of Red Trauma (19) – Ten years after the crackdown, the reckoning awaits

Ten years after the violence of 2010, the rattle of gunfire and the smoke of battle is still the mind’s eye of Teerapol Anmai, a professor at Ubon Ratchathani University’s Faculty of Liberal Arts. Back then he visited the Red Shirt protest sites which would eventually become the killing grounds for, as Teerapol puts it, “people who are seen as less than people.”