Photo: Baci ceremony, Luanag Prabang.

Culture and politics forum

Visiting countries with repressive regimes.

Posted by MADMAC on 19/6/2009 at 14:28

As everyone here knows, the governments of Burma, Laos and Vietnam are not representational governments and still jail people for political dissent. Should we visit these countries, given that our visits create revenue for those very regimes? Presonally I'm conflicted on the issue. It is true that the visa fees and any taxes on goods or services purchased while in the given state support these governments. It is also true, however, that the bulk of the money spent supports the local populatio ...

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Muay Thai

Posted by MADMAC on 1/7/2009 at 17:03

I am just curious, but this very Thai cultural phenomenon is extremely popular here. Are any of the travelfishers either fans or participants? I boxed for ten years and am now training at a Muay Thai gym where I live. Great workout for conditioning. There is a group of kids from the US and Europe who are living in Ubon Ratchathani and fighting professionally on the Muay Thai circuit. I went to watch some of their bouts a few months ago. Some of them have become very, very good. ...

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China invests in Myanmar

Posted by BruceMoon on 17/7/2009 at 19:36

According to an AlJazeera press report, nearly 90% of foreign investment into Myanmar comes from China. Last year, China invested some nearly $1 billion in Myanmar. http://english.aljazeera.net/business/2009/07/200971633541548833.html It appears the thrust of the investment is based on China shoring up access to Myanmar's energy resources. From this, one could conclude that tourists ought no longer boycott Myanmar as the withdrawal of their financial contribution is now a meaningles ...

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Myanmar - a television documentary

Posted by BruceMoon on 14/7/2009 at 16:45

The ABC Australian television program Foreign Correspondent has scheduled for Tuesday 14th July an indepth program on Myanmar. The program describes the content as: [colour=blue]"Last year Cyclone Nargis devastated Burma. Thousands of orphaned children were left to fend for themselves. Undercover camera teams risk jail to reveal their touching stories of the youngest survivors". Foreign Correspondent programs are usually hard hitting and revealing. ABC Australia also screens Foreign ...

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Where is the Forum Quick Link

Posted by BruceMoon on 17/6/2009 at 09:12

SomTam There needs to be a QUICKLINK for this one (just as there is for Idle Banter). Cheers ...

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Islam, Christendom and the origins of my nick

Posted by MADMAC on 27/6/2009 at 23:40

Starting with the origins: "From your comments, now I know how you chose the first three letters in your name." Funny you should say this. I picked up that nick in Somalia in 93. I latter (98) had a Somali girlfriend and she LOVED that nickname. She never used my real name. OK, on the the conflict between Islam and the west and now Islam and the rest. The roots of the current conflict begin with the Mahdi in Sudan. During this era, Islam was faced with a major question it could not a ...

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Communist insurgency in Thailand for Travellers

Posted by MADMAC on 18/6/2009 at 14:41

For those who are interested in getting a feel for this conflict (which is the root of the current Red-Yellow political crisis), I would recommend reading up on it first. The communist party had a strong following in Isaan, and I have already visited one old battlefield in Mukdahan province. During the 60s and 70s there was a level one insurgency in Thailand, much of it centered in Isaan and supported by the CHICOM government. It never gained sufficient traction, and was ultimately defeated by ...

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Original Stephff cartoons

Posted by somtam2000 on 20/6/2009 at 16:19

Top Bangkok website 2Bangkok has a great collection of cartoons by Stephff. Regular readers of the Nation and Bangkok post will recognise his work. Lots of great images and fodder for political debate! Interesting the #125 was rejected by the Nation... Images are here: http://www.2bangkok.com/08/stephff/stephff.shtml ...

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Khaosai Galaxy

Posted by MADMAC on 21/6/2009 at 23:11

I have been looking for tape on this guy for two decades, and now it's out there. For any fans boxing fans out there interested in this legendary Thai champion, there is now video of him on youtube. I would have thought his all round skills would have been sharper, but he's a one truck monkey - but it's one impressive trick. VERY hard hitting 115 pounder. The hardest ever. He's now a comedian on Thai TV and a major personality in Thaialand. ...

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