Showing posts from October, 2015

Being Unwanted, Uncared

Those wandering the city,
wide streets that lead to narrow alleys,
accompanied by poverty; unnoticed,
or perhaps, ignored by the masses.

Tak Bai Tragedy: No Justice in Sight

In conjunction with the 11th anniversary of the brutal Tak Bai crackdown, I had sought some answers from an acquaintance who is from the south. He's attached with Free Media, a small independent group of concerned students and young activists actively conducting community media projects in south Thailand. [Ref:]

To one of my question about the sentiments of the southern population on justice, he simply uttered four words.
"No justice, no peace." Memories, frustration, sadness and anger are intertwined when one mentions the Tak Bai tragedy. which led to the violent deaths of 85 people in conflict-torn Narathiwat province.
"On October 25, 2004, army and police units fired on ethnic Malay Muslim protesters in the Tak Bai district of Narathiwat province, killing seven. Another 78 protesters suffocated or were crushed to death while being transported to an army camp in Pattani province. The military detained more than 1,200 people…

Reaching Out in the Rubber Plantation

Deep within the plantation, the darkness creeping before the fall of night, the battery-operated lantern provides some relief to my poor eyesight. This period of decreasing daylight in a rural wooded terrain proves to be a challenge.

Took me almost two days, by land, to reach my destination, yet a worthwhile journey in an ageing train and van. The Thai driver was a bit overzealous behind the steering wheel, and I'm left to nurse a stiff lower-back.
Preparing for this outreach took a bit of time. The travelling to different countries, the long journeys by road and rail, and the never-ending task of rescheduling. But outreach has been on my agenda for ages. I reach out to rural communities, conducting health-related activities, such counselling, skills building and focus group discussions.
The rubber plantation hides a small village in the middle of nowhere in Narathiwat province, where a conflict between ultra-nationalists and military has thrown communities into a bloodied void of s…