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Showing posts from December, 2015

Our Grand Experiments With Life

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When it comes to life, work and travelling, there's never a dull moment. The monotony of daily routine is simply not there. Uniformity is tedious, and I avoid it, and boredom, at all cost.

I lose track of time, and sometimes forgetful of the past. This year has been filled with events and incidents, often overflowing beyond my control and desires. I guess 2015 has been both a blessing and curse, taking a toll on the body and mind. Scars run delicately on limbs, and the mind has not been able to escape the onslaught of impatience.

But I've accepted the facts of my life, somewhat. And I do [and sometimes 'try'] approach the bounties and challenges with that typical Zashnain-outlook, coupled with heavy doses of skepticism of anything resembling institutionalism.

Anyway.

To my courageous colleagues, undaunted partners and patient friends, I thank you for the efforts to overcome the never-ending tide, your silent sacrifices in an unsympathetic realm, and the unique bond, lo…

Detachment, Disenfranchised Communities in Southeast Asia

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Investigation of Death in Detention Reveals Nothing

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Thailand authorities have created a committee to investigate the cause of death of a suspected insurgent at a military interrogation centre, which is located in conflict-torn Pattani province. However the group has yet to come out with any conclusion to their investigation.

Will there ever be justice?
[View the story "ThaiSouth: Suspect Dies in Army Custody" on Storify]




Muslim Students, Activists Observing Human Rights Day in South Thailand

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Human Rights Day is observed by the international community every year on 10 December. It commemorates the day in 1948 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Meanwhile in conflict-torn southern Thailand, a Patani group of university students and civil society peacefully rallied for peace, self-determination and the right to be heard.

For more info: https://www.facebook.com/media.FreeVoice/posts/891916374255669

Photos courtesy: Free Voice












[View the story "Patani Community Calls for Peace, Justice on Human Rights Day" on Storify]


From Upper Middle Income Economy to Uncertainty

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Thailand is one of the great development success stories. Or now, more like, was one of those almost forgotten stories of achievements.
The country was once known for its smart economic policies. Now all you get is someone ranting about happiness and his grand "road map" -- which is impossible for the working class, much less foreigners, to decipher. Okay so you won't find the population empowered to cooperate with the ruling military elites. What's left then, besides the patriotic songs and ultra moral obligations? 
Nothing, in fact.

Melody of Elitism

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Corruption. "Former Democrat Party MP Wilas Chanpithak has accused the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration of corruption in the purchase of pianos for its schools at a cost of 1.3 billion baht between 2008 and 2014. He said the schools do not even have staff who can teach piano. Mr Wilas, a former chairman of the anti-corruption committee of the House of Representatives, said he investigated the purchases on his own after receiving complaints from the general public and teachers at BMA-run schools." (Source: Bangkok Post)So while Bangkok's city hall is occupied in crony capitalism, what happens to the poor, what happens to the marginalized? 


Thai authorities also seem disinterested in addressing the needs of slum residents in areas of shelter, and land ownership. There’s also the broader problem of urban poverty, especially unemployment, low incomes, adequate healthcare and a lack of access to basic urban services.

I’ve also come across many who are concerned about the …

Recycled Tragedy of Repression

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One would expect the Thai authorities to learn from best practices, especially when they have been conducting repeated damage control (PR they call it) exercises. Obviously not. Throw out the "Lessons Learned" manual, or just let it gather dust. Who cares.

It would not harm the junta's road-map for their alleged democratic reforms, for the 'happiness' of their people, if the generals allowed the ordinary citizens, and in this case mainly young people, to gather peacefully.

Aye, everyone knows the military rules Thailand however suppressing youths (who are the leaders of tomorrow) do not benefit the institution, much less the need of the junta to be seen as legitimate. I'm sure the international community are still observing and concerned about acts of impunity, and these constant detentions. How will Thailand ever regain its reputation when Thais constantly suffer at the hands of those who claim to represent their good interest?


So now, just like yesterday an…

Forgotten, and Mortal

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Everyday he works. A business that yields little to offer comfort. Forget luxuries. 

This livelihood, work, that makes him a forgotten mortal. The hours that he spend, making him toil, under the weight of a caste; of which no one cares.





The Glamor of Kuala Lumpur: High Status, Gutter Reality

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Nightly rain, then the sudden drop. Cold wind, brings about the memories of homelessness and hardship. Kuala Lumpur, a city that seeks an image of prestige. The population, perhaps due to ignorance, allows the weak to falter. A continuation, this cycle, of a class gap that we take for granted; should we care?

Success, rank and wealth. Words that ring with redundancy, at least to me. Unable to come to terms with reality, and the painful truth of poverty, we welcome the rain; and disappear into the night.





The Disapproving Consciousness

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Several nights in Kuala Lumpur, and this city has never failed to drain me. I grow weary quickly, from the moment my legs take me towards the dirty pavement, and then the swirling madness of the corporate rat race, followed by the humidity that saps the body. Kuala Lumpur reminds me of mortality, of mine and of those who have touched my life, often for the worse.

Life, the tussle, on the streets and then a forgotten alley; back in the mud.

Yet in the back lanes of seclusion, I see the faces of those who struggle against the cannibalistic desires of the city. The very people who scuffle to free themselves from hardship.

I am inspired, even for a while; thoughts racing, fueled by adrenaline, and that brief moment in time -- of realization, that I am not alone.