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Month: April 2011 (Page 1 of 3)

WSJ: Abhisit says he’ll dissolve House by Friday

A Wall Street Journal story today:

Thai Prime Minister to Call Election

BANGKOK—Thailand’s Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said he plans to dissolve the House of Representatives by Friday and call what he described as a landmark election for the Southeast Asian country, which has been plagued by deep and sometimes deadly political divisions.

The piece also includes a ten minute interview with Abhisit, embedded below:

Reminder: Twitter list of Thailand journalists and commentators

2011 04 29 thailand twitter list

Just a quick note, in these times of ongoing Thailand-Cambodia clashes, that I maintain a public Twitter list of Thailand journalists and commentators.

There are currently 40 members. You’ll find print and TV reporters, both foreign and Thai, as well as various writers, bloggers, and other observers here. The list is, I hope, a helpful resource for those looking for timely and credible information.

Al Jazeera: “Thai-Cambodia clashes continue despite truce”

Al Jazeera English today:

Thai-Cambodia clashes continue despite truce

A brief cease-fire between Thailand and Cambodia has broken down, shattering hopes for a quick end to the border conflict as the two sides exchanged fire for an eighth day and the death toll rose to 16.

AP: “Thailand, Cambodia cease-fire reached after week”

The AP today:

Thailand, Cambodia cease-fire reached after week

PHANOM DONGRAK, Thailand – Thai and Cambodian military commanders agreed to a cease-fire Thursday after seven days of artillery duels killed 15 people, Cambodia said. Thailand did not immediately confirm it, but the contested border was quiet most of the day.

11 links

Some Thailand-related, some not.

  1. Singapore’s ‘Mentor’ Seeks a Sturdy U.S.Wall Street Journal
  2. The miracle of iodine: How 10 cents and some table salt can raise IQs in the developing world — GlobalPost
  3. Thailand Caught on the Thaksin ReboundWall Street Journal
  4. Does journalism work? —
  5. Peruvian Chefs Add Flavor to Quito, EcuadorNew York Times
  6. What’s the Single Best Exercise?New York Times Magazine
  7. Is Sitting a Lethal Activity?New York Times Magazine
  8. Mobile Journalism Reporting Tools Guide — Reynolds Journalism Institute
  9. How to Get a Real Education — Scott Adams in the Wall Street Journal
  10. Just for fun: What American English sounds like to non-English speakers — YouTube video: “Prisecolinensinenciousol, a parody by Adriano Celentano for the Italian TV programme Mileluci…”
  11. Video above: “Ueli Steck speed solo Eiger record,” on YouTube. (Via Kottke.)

Austin Bush talks about Bangkok street food

2011 04 27 thai street food

In Jake Warga’s recent radio piece on “PRI’s The World,” Austin Bush discusses Thai street food. Worth a listen.

(Image: Jake Warga/”PRI’s The World.“)

NYT on fermented fish dishes and cancer in Isaan

A New York Times story from yesterday:

In Thailand, Love of Food Carries Deadly Risks

LAWA, THAILAND — The villagers in this poverty-stricken farming community are passionate about their food, especially the traditional varieties of fermented fish that one aficionado describes as tasting like heaven but smelling like hell.

It can be a fatal attraction, medical researchers say. The raw fish that is so avidly consumed in the stilt houses that sit among rice paddies and wetlands of the country’s northern provinces contain parasites that can accumulate in the liver and lead to a deadly cancer. Known as bile duct cancer, it is relatively uncommon in most parts of the world but represents the majority of the 70 liver cancer deaths a day in Thailand, according to Dr. Banchob Sripa, the head of the tropical disease research laboratory at nearby Khon Kaen University.

WSJ editorial: “Thailand Going Rogue”

Just briefly, following the story I pointed out yesterday, here’s more from the Wall Street Journal. This is an editorial today on the ongoing Thailand-Cambodia clashes and Thai domestic politics:

Thailand Going Rogue

Fighting over the disputed territory surrounding the Preah Vihear Temple along the Thai-Cambodia border resumed last Friday, with both sides trading artillery fire and accusations of targeting civilian villages throughout the weekend. The Associated Press reports 12 soldiers confirmed dead.

The world may never know which side started the latest clash, since Thailand continues to resist allowing international observers to monitor the area. And both countries deserve some blame for stirring the pot at various times. Nevertheless, it has become increasingly clear that the Thai military is doing nothing to ease the tension.

WSJ on Thailand-Cambodia clashes and Thai elections

Today’s WSJ:

Thai-Cambodia Border Dispute Adds to Election Worries

A simmering border conflict between Thailand and Cambodia has killed at least 10 soldiers over the past three days and also threatens to complicate a heated political environment in Bangkok, where rumors are swirling about military coups or other ways to block planned elections.


The conflict also might complicate Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva’s plans to dissolve Thailand’s parliament next month and pave the way for elections to be held as soon as June. The 46-year-old, Oxford-educated economist is counting on the vote to end five years of instability and violence and enable Thailand, Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy after Indonesia, to build on its rapid recovery from the global economic slump.

But some analysts say there is still a risk the vote might not take place at all.

(Emphasis mine.)

Reuters story on upcoming elections: “odds favor Thai PM”

A Reuters story from Friday:

When television broadcasters suddenly went off the air in Thailand recently, many people thought it could only mean one thing: the start of a military coup.

Authorities were quick to assure the public the three-hour blackout on April 21 was the result of a faulty satellite, not a putsch. But the coup speculation in a country that has seen 18 military takeovers since the 1930s illustrates the depth of uncertainty ahead of elections in late June or early July.

The odds favor the Democrat Party of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva in the coming poll. But he’s unlikely to win by a comfortable margin. And regardless of who prevails, neither side may respect the result.

If Abhisit loses, his royalist and military backers are unlikely to give way quietly, possibly using judicial intervention or a coup to restore the status quo.

But if he wins, the red-shirted supporters of his political nemesis, self-exiled former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, could take to the streets in a new wave of anti-government protests.

Worth a read.

(Emphasis mine.)

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