NYT: “After Upheaval, Not All Is Well With Thai Youth”

Story in today’s NYT: After Upheaval, Not All Is Well With Thai Youth

NA CHUEAK, THAILAND — Three months ago, images of protesters battling the military in the streets of Bangkok seized the world’s attention. Now, by some measures, Thailand is bouncing back: the country’s economy is projected to grow as fast as 7.5 percent this year, and the government is pushing ahead with a program of “reconciliation” with its opponents.

But even as Thailand pulls itself back together, there are concerns that deep-seated problems among its young people represent a quieter, long-term threat to the country’s future.

Declining education standards — as well as reports of growing violence and drug and alcohol use among the young, which some analysts see as related issues — are contributing to fears that Thailand’s dream of joining the ranks of the world’s most developed countries may be getting more and more elusive.

By Newley

Hi. I'm Newley Purnell. I cover technology and business for The Wall Street Journal. I use this site to share my stories and often blog about the books I'm reading, tech trends, sports, travel, and our dog Ginger. For updates, get my weekly email newsletter.

2 replies on “NYT: “After Upheaval, Not All Is Well With Thai Youth””

A few weeks ago I was attacked by three Thai teenagers at the Silom intersection opposite Lumpini Park. It was about 10.30pm and I was trying to get a taxi. They were very quick and very coordinated. While two ran off with my iPhone the third kept me on the ground and said in perfect English not to chase them, and acted like he was helping me. Then he ran off too.

The next day I could see (using an application on my Mac) that my iPhone was in Soi Chulalongkorn – 5 mins from where the attack happened. That Soi is directly behind Chula University and is home to thousands of students. After two days the phone had been wiped clean.

After I spoke to several people it turns out that this area is now a hotspot for attacks, which occur almost every night. The police, apparently, do nothing about it.

The story paints a very bleak picture of the upcoming generation of Thai’s. I can only hope that the government finds some way to cope with the multiple issues that seem to be increasing in scope and severity. Given the level of corruption in the Kingdom and the ability of many to turn a blind eye I can’t see much improvement in the near future without sweeping changes.

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