Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Table of Contents in The

#Cleansing democracy of socialism
#We Do Not Forget the 6 October
#Sewage Sludge as Fertilizer in Soybean Production
#Intertextuality as Discourse Strategy:The Case of ...
#Alienated Life : Socio-Economic Characteristics of...
#Empirical Evidence of Network Externality of Thail...
#Sufficiency Economy is Philosophy or Economy Syste...
#Confronting the Military in Thailand
#Thailand's Trouble with Islamists
#Thaksin Ups the Ante for Thailand's Generals
#The Philosophy of Sufficiency Economy
#Crimes Committed by the State: Transition in Crisi...
#Hinggil sa Pulitika ng Pangangalagang Pangkalikasa...
#The Pondok and the Madrasah in Patani
#On the Horns of a Dilemma
#Constraints on People's Participation in Forest Ma...
#Masalah dalam Penulisan Sejarah Thailand Masa Kini...
#Penelitian Mengenai Trafficking Manusia di Daratan...
#Bagong Pananaliksik sa Pagtatrapik sa Tao sa Punon...
#Will the Mekong Survive Globalization?
#Democratization in Thailand: Grappling with Realit...
#Mga Suliranin sa Nasyonalistang Historiograpiyang ...
#Recent Research on Human Trafficking in Mainland S...
#“Community Forest” and Thai Rural Society
#On the Politics of Nature Conservation in Thailand...
#On Knowledge, the Nation, and Universals
#Ties of Brotherhood: Cultural Roots of Southern Th...
#Pemahaman Terhadap Situasi di Thailand selatan Mel...
#Yunnanese Muslims along the Northern Thai Border
#Pag-unawa sa Kalagayan sa Timog bilang “Pag-aalsan...
#Provincializing Thai Politics
#Cinematic Narratives in Hero: Primordial Father an...
#The Last Samurai: Diversity issues through a Buddh...
#Thailand-Cambodia :A Love-Hate Relationship
#Understanding the Situation in the South as a “Mil...
#The Thai Cultural Constitution
#Problems in Contemporary Thai Nationalist Historio...
#History in the Remaking
#The Kingdom of Thailand
#Songkran Adventure: Thailand's New Year Water Fest...
#History of Thailand since 1973:Democracy
#History of Thailand since 1973:The Prem era
#History of Thailand since 1973:A return to militar...
#History of Thailand since 1973:Revolution
#The 1973 democracy movement
#The history of Thailand from 1932 to 1973 :Postwar...
#World War II : The history of Thailand from 1932 t...
#The pursuit of nationalism in The history of Thail...
#Internal conflict in history of Thailand from 1932...
#History of Thailand (1932-1973)
#Bangkok period
#Thonburi period
#History of Thailand (1768-1932)
#The final phase of The kingdom of Ayutthaya
#Contacts with the West of The kingdom of Ayutthaya...
#Economic development of The kingdom of Ayutthaya
#Social and political development in The kingdom of...
#Thai kingship in The kingdom of Ayutthaya
#The kingdom of Ayutthaya
#Sukhothai Kingdom
#History Thai

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Cleansing democracy of socialism

Cleansing democracy of socialism

Crushing the Thai Left on the 6th Oct 1976 and the consequences for present day politics
(Paper presented at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, September 2001
บทความนำเสนอที่ S.O.A.S. มหาวิทยาลัยลอนดอน กันยายน ๒๕๔๔)

Assistant Professor Ji Giles Ungpakorn
Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University,
Bangkok 10330, Thailand.
(Secretary of The 6th October 1976 Fact Finding Committee)


On the morning of 6th October 1976, Thai uniformed police, alongside armed semi-fascist thugs, crushed the student movement in Thailand. This brutal state crime was supported, either directly or indirectly, by all sections of the Thai ruling elite. Their aim was not so much the crushing of the young parliamentary democracy, which had arisen after the mass popular uprising three years earlier, but the destruction of the growing socialist movement throughout the country. This was achieved in the long term also by the subsequent collapse of the stalinist Communist Party of Thailand. This destruction of the left came not only in organisational form, but also in terms of the present collective historical memory about the Thai left. The results of “cleansing democracy of socialism” can be seen in the present corrupt and money dominated system of Thai parliamentary politics. Yet, the impact of the Asian Economic Crisis and a whole new generation of people with little knowledge of the 1970s, means that socialism may yet creep back into Thai democracy. The Populist policies of the new Thai Ruk Thai government may be an indication of social pressure from below and the re-emergence of class-based politics.


Crushing the Left in 1976

The received wisdom in Thai society states that “socialism is an alien creed, not popular with Thais”. Yet there was a time when a significant proportion of the population openly supported socialist ideas. In the General Elections of January 1975, three left-wing parties, The Socialist Party of Thailand, The Socialist Front and New Force Party won a total of two and a half million votes or 14.4% of the total vote (Morrell & Samudavanija 1981; 265). In addition to this, the ideological influence of the illegal Communist Party of Thailand was particularly significant among young students, trade unionists and farmer-activists. In present day Thai politics all political parties are allied to capital and business and even the memory of 1970s radicalism seems to have been eradicated. How did this happen?

In the early hours of 6th October 1976, Thai uniformed police, stationed in the grounds of the National Museum, next door to Thammasat University, destroyed a peaceful gathering of students and working people on the university campus under a hail of relentless automatic fire . At the same time a large gang of ultra-right-wing “informal forces”, known as the Village Scouts, Krating-Daeng and Nawapon, indulged in an orgy of violence and brutality towards anyone near the front entrance of the university. Students and their supporters were dragged out of the university and hung from the trees around Sanam Luang; others were burnt alive in front of the Ministry of “Justice” while the mob danced round the flames. Women and men, dead or alive, were subjected to the utmost degrading and violent behaviour. One woman had a piece of wood shoved up her vagina. Village Scouts dragged dead and dying students from the front of the campus and dumped them on the road, where they were finished-off. A young man plunged a sharp wooden spike into the corpses while a boy urinated over them. Not only did the state’s “forces of law and order” do nothing to halt this violence, some uniformed members of the police force were filmed cheering-on the crowd.

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We Do Not Forget the 6 October

We Do Not Forget the 6 October

The 1996 Commemoration of the October 1976 Massacre in Bangkok
Presented at the workshop on 'Imagining the Past, Remembering the Future'
Cebu, the Philippines, March 8-10, 2001
Thongchai Winichakul
University of Wisconsin-Madison

On the morning of 6 October 1996, a symbolic cremation was held at the soccer field inside Thammasat University in Bangkok for over forty people who were killed in the massacre at the same place twenty years earlier. After the massacre, a little over half of that number were identified and claimed by their families, presumably for proper cremations. Nobody knew the whereabouts of the rest since the day they died. The cremation was only symbolic because no corpse was actually cremated. Each of them was represented in a simple, undecorated sheet of paper with his or her name written on it. All of them were put in an urn – the kind that was normally reserved for people of high status -- that was elevated on top of a big platform on one curve of the soccer field. Some pictures of the identified ones were put on that platform for people to pay respect. But most had no picture, except the ones of what happened to them in the massacre. Yet, all were honored as individuals who had faces, bodies, names, and families like everybody else in the world, but whose lives ended abruptly on the Wednesday morning of the 6 October 1976.

The symbolic cremation was performed according to the Buddhist tradition. In addition, spiritual leaders of other faiths also provided services. Many respected civic leaders delivered speeches. Then a modified Buddhist ritual was “re-invented”. About fifty Buddhist monks and nuns presented at the event led a quiet walk anti-clockwise three times around the soccer field. Everybody at the cremation participated, led by those who carried wreaths and flowers in dedication to the fallen heroes and heroines. In the middle of the field, a small platform was a set up for a huge gong. The sound of the gong, the very low pitch and its echo, was the only noise accompanied the walk. It was a Dhamma walk, a form of meditation and merit-making, during which participants were instructed to consider the truth of life and death. After the walk, everybody paid the final respect to all “bodies” in the urn. We put paper flowers for the death underneath the urn, as we normally do in a normal cremation at a Buddhist temple. We prayed for them one last time. At that moment, the reality struck very hard on me. Most of them never got cremated properly after their death, let alone any other forms of respect for humanity. It took twenty years to have them cremated properly in public, from the place where their lives were unjustly cut short. In a Buddhist country where compassion and kindness are said to be abundant, twenty years was such a cruelly...long time.

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Saturday, June 30, 2007

Sewage Sludge as Fertilizer in Soybean Production

Tawadchai Suppadit
The Graduate Program in Environmental Management, School of Social Development and Environment, National Institute of Development
Administration, Bangkapi, Bangkok 10240, Thailand

This research sought to study the growth, yield, yield components, seed quality, including nutrient and heavy metal content of soybean cultivar Chiang Mai 60 (CM. 60) by using sewage sludge from domestic wastewater treatment as fertilizer. The experiment used a completely randomized design, divided in 6 treatments with 4 replications and was conducted from February to June, 2004. Sewage sludge was mixed with soil at the rate of 5, 10, 15
and 20% by weight, and chemical fertilizer (12-24-12) was applied at the rate of 10 grams/basin.

The results showed that soybean growth, yield, yield components, seed quality, protein and lipid were significant (P<0.05), showing the best potential productivity at 5% by weight and being better than chemical fertilizer. The residues of heavy metals (lead, cadmium and mercury) accumulated in leaves and seeds, including in soil before and after the study were also significant (P<0.05) related to the quantity of sewage sludge used. Soil nutrients of all treatments were also significant (P<0.05). The data varied similarly to the residues of heavy metals. The replacement of sewage sludge for chemical fertilizer in plant production including soybean could be as a nutrient source. However, it must used in an appropriate rate. Moreover that, it should not be used in plants for human and animal consumption because heavy metals may accumulate in plant products.

Key words : nutrient, potential productivity, heavy metal

The extensive communities and industrial developments continue to cause environmental problems from amounts of water waste and pollutions in Thailand (Suppadit, 2003). Domestic wastewater is one of these problems which is related to community growth and population increase. Water pollution is caused by wastewater discharge or leakage, or discharge without control and treatment. In the future, clean water for consumption may not be available in Thailand (Suppadit, 2004). Therefore, the Thailand government tries to improve water quality with the proper operation of wastewater treatment systems. The major aim of wastewater treatment is to remove as much as possible suspended solids before the remaining water is discharged back to the environment. After treatment, sludge content is about 60.0 grams/person/day (Tunnukit, 1999) which differs in type, characteristics, and composition depending on water utilization activities of these communities (Chawsithiwong, 2000). Sludge is composed of organic compounds, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium at levels of 50.0-80.0, 2.50-5.00, 1.50-2.00, and 0.020-0.500 percent/dry weight, respectively (Suntornvongsagul, 1994). At present management sewage sludge involves discharging it to public lands (Suppadit, 2004) which still has many problems for environment. A new concept for sewage sludge management involves its use as a fertilizer for crop production, including field and vegetable crops (Sermviriyakul, 2004). This study sought to apply sewage sludge to replace chemical fertilizers. This method may decrease the costs of soybean production, improve the environmental health and safety in long-term period and provide evidence for sewage sludge management in a community.

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Friday, June 29, 2007

Intertextuality as Discourse Strategy:The Case of No-Confidence Debates in Thailand

Savitri Gadavanij
School of Language and Communication, National Institute of Development Administration

The discourse of Thai parliamentary no-confidence debates is intended to be formal in nature, and is defined as such by the constitution and relevant parliamentary regulations. However, the reality of this ‘parliamentary’ discourse does not always meet this idea. There is evidence of mixed genres and the combination of the language user’s (henceforth S) voice and other’s throughout the discourse of the debate. The combination of genres and voices in the discourse represents two levels of intertextuality (Chouliaraki and Fairclough, 1999 : 49).

This paper argues that intertextuality is part of the in-built structure of the no-confidence debate discourse which operates in the face of three competing conjunctures: the debate’s purpose, its multiple audiences and its code of behaviour. Intertextuality reflects the struggle of the members of the Thai parliament ot balance three purposes: the desire of highly partisan debaters to cause maximum damage to the opposing side, there need to seek public support and the need to stay within the parliamentary codes of behaviour. In this light, intertextuality can be seen as a strategy enabling MPs to produce a kind of discourse that can serve these competing social and political purposes, and to do so within the constraints of its three conjunctures.

This paper tries to analyse the role of intertextuality in Thai no-confidence debate discourse. It adopts
Chouliaraki and Fairclough’s 2-level definition of intertextuality; the combination of genre and the combination of voices within the discourse. It argues that this can be used as a strategy to produce the most effective discourse within that particular context. This hypothesis is based on the concept of genre as ‘a socially ratified way of using language in connection with a particular social practice’ (Fairclough, 1995 : 14) such as interview genre, narrative genre, parliamentary genre and the concept of voice as an indication of who the participants of the discourse are and what identity they assume. This paper adopts discourse analysis’s assumption that language has dialectical relationship with the society. Therefore, since genre and voice are the textual representation of the interface between
discourse and society, the changing articulation of genre and the use of more than one voice may have the potential to redefine the context within which the discourse takes place. In this light, it can also be seen as a discourse strategy.

We begin section 2 with some background on Thai no-confidence debates to enable the reader to appreciate the role of these debaters within Thai society. Also we move on to the linguistic literature in an attempt to define the term intertextuality. Section 3 describes the data used in the analysis and the scope of our study. Section 4 to Section 6 are the intertextual analysis. We adopt Chouliaraki and Fairclough’s Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) framework (Chouliaraki and Fairclough, 1999 : 60) to analyse no-confidence debates discourse. This framework is used in order to detect intertextuality in the discourse and how it works. The analytical framework starts with the analysis of conjunctures in Section 4, the analysis of the relevant social practices in Section 5 and the analysis of the discourse in Section 6. The overall outcome of the CDA analysis is discussed in Section 7.

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Alienated Life : Socio-Economic Characteristics of The Ultra Poor in Thailand

Medhi Krongkaew
Professor of Economics, School of Development Economics, NIDA, Bangkok, Thailand. I wish to thank the Thailand Research Fund (TRF)
in providing generous financial support 10 me as part of its TRF Senior Fellowship. This has enabled me to engage several of my friends and
colleagues in four regional universities to carry out this research on Ultra Poverty in the four regions of Thailand. This paper only highlights
few findings of each region. For that, I may have missed some important points that regional researchers would have given their stronger emphasis.
I, therefore, take full responsibility for its errors and shortcomings.

One of the success stories about economic development of Thailand in the past 20 years is its record of
continuous reduction in the incidence of poverty defined as the proportion of Thai population having income lower than a designated ‘poverty line’. During the ‘economic boom’ periods in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the poverty incidence throughout the country fell so rapidly that, statistically, the incidence of some region (i.e. Bangkok) had approached zero, prompting some researchers to revise the poverty line upward to reflect the changes in population structure, nutritional requirements, consumption patterns, and prices.3 Then the crisis hit in 1997. As a result of a combination of various factors including mismanagement in the financial sectors, incorrect exchange rate and international finance policies, and fall in export earnings, Thailand lost most of its foreign reserves and was forced
to float its currency, which brought about massive capital outflows with ensuing negative effects on domestic financial, employment and general economic conditions. Companies went bankrupt, jobs lost, unemployment increased, and the average income of the Thai people declined. Between 1996 and 2000, the incidence of poverty has increased from 11.5 per cent in 1996 to 13.0 in 1998 to 15.9 in 1999, and finally to 15.0 in 2000.4 This level of poverty is roughly equivalent to the situation in 1995. In a word, Thailand has already lost 5 years of its economic development. If economic difficulties continue, the development and welfare losses can even be greater.

Yet, there is at least one group of the Thai population who are strangely relatively unaffected by this crisis. But the main reason for this is none other than the fact that they were not so much affected by the rapid economic growth that we have alluded to earlier in the first place either. Their lives have been practically alienated from the rest of the population for as long as they could remember. These are the ‘Ultra Poor’ of Thailand who live in the bottom rung of the Thai society, and seem to have always remained there. That is why a new word in Thai is coined to describe these people. We call them, in Thai, คนยากจนดักดาน(kon yak jon dak darn) of which ‘Ultra Poor’ or ‘Hard Core Poor’ is a close description.

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Empirical Evidence of Network Externality of Thailand’s Telephone System

Pipat Lueprasitsakul
School of Public Administration, National Institute of Development Administration.


Telecommunications infrastructure is a crucial element for economic development, especially for developing countries. However, telephone service in developing countries is typically characterized by a supply that does not meet demand. This means that the telephone service may not be available in some areas, or that there may be delays in getting a telephone. In terms of telephone usage, it means that telephone calls may not go through during
peak hours because of congestion. As the Maitland Commission (1984) noted, telecommunication is a missing link in much of the developing world.

During 1980’s, the problem of telephone shortage in developing countries had been modestly reduced
because of changes in telecommunications technology and policy. Hudson (1995) found that the average growth of the telephone line capacity per 100 population in developing countries between 1980-1990 was many times higher
than the average growth of their per capita GNP. However, the average level of telephone line capacity per 100 population for the low-income and the lower middle-income economies was relatively low, i.e., 0.5 lines per 100 population and 5 lines per 100 population respectively. Thus, there is still a significant gap in the access to telecommunications between the industrialized and the developing countries.

In the case of Thailand, the provision of domestic telephone service was undertaken by a state-owned
monopoly-the Telephone Organization of Thailand (henceforth, TOT). The enterprise failed to cope with the soaring demand for telephones during the 1980’s. The requests for telephone service took many years to fill, and the service was available only in densely populated areas. The government took many measures through a number of National
Economic and Social Development Plans (NESDP) to alleviate the telephone shortage problem. During the 5th plan (1982-1986), meeting the market demand for telephone was already a national policy goal. The level of investment budgeted for network facilities increased four fold. During the 6th plan (1987-1991), the export boom in the late 1980’s and the early 1990’s pushed the telephone demand up to an unprecedented level. It was apparent that the telephone supply became a bottleneck of economic growth. The National Economic and Social Development Board (1987) proposed that the role of the private sector in national development should be enhanced both in production and in provision of infrastructure of services hitherto provided by the government and that the state should encourage private sector participation in investing and operating public communications services. For example, joint investments, leasing and partial or total takeovers will be allowed. Therefore, during the 7th plan (1992-1996) the government allowed the private sector to participate in telecommunications development through a number of build-transferoperate (BTO) projects.

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