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タイを読む

私が近ごろ読んだタイに関する本の読書ノートです。
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Slithering South
2001, Steve Van Beek

In 1988, the author set out on his journey down the Ping River and, then, Chao Phraya River on a paddle boat. It took him two months to cover the entire 1150km.

In this travelogue, the author reveals his anthropological observations of people, villages and cities along the river which used to be the main means of transportation before the development of roads.



Thai Tourism: Hill Tribes, Islands and Open-ended Prostitution good
1995, Erik Cohen

This is a collection of theses by the author on three independent topics on tourism in Thailand; namely, hill-tribe trekking, island vacation and prostitution. Publication of the theses varies, as early as 1979 to supplements in 1995 upon publishing this book, giving a touch of historical tracing.


1. Thai Tourism: Trends and Transformations (1995)


2. "Primitive and Remote": Hill Tribe Trekking in Thailand (1989)
3. Hill Tribe Tourism (1983)
4. Jungle Guides in Northern Thailand: The Dynamics of a Marginal Occupational Role (1982)
5. The Impact of Tourism on The Hill Tribes of Northern Thailand (1979)
6. The Growing Gap: Hill Tribe Image and Reality (1992)

7. "Unspoilt and Enchanting": Island Tourism in Southern Thailand (1995)
8. Marginal Paradises: Bungalow Tourism on the Islands of Southern Thailand (1982)
9. Insiders and Outsiders: The Dynamics of Development of Bungalow Tourism on the Islands of Southern Thailand (1983)
10. "Marginal Paradises" Revisited: Tourism and Environment on Thai Islands (1995)

11. Thai Girls and Farang Men: The Edge of Ambiguity (1982)
12. Open-ended Prostitution as a Skillful Game of Luck: Opportunity, Risk, and Security Among Tourist-Oriented Prostitutes in a Bangkok Soi (1993)
13. Sensuality and Venality in Bangkok: The Dynamics of Cross-Cultural Mapping of Prostitution (1987)
14. Lovelorn Farangs: The Correspondence Between Foreign Men and Thai Girls (1986)
15. Tourism and AIDS in Thailand (1988)



竜王のメコン河
1995, ポール アディレックス

メコン川沿いにあると伝えられる幻のプーリ族の村に、アメリカ国防情報員、文化人類学者、ラオス右派解放戦士が、それぞれの思惑を持って潜入を試みる。



Cross-border Migration and HIV/AIDS Vulnerability at the Thai-Cambodia Border Aranyaprathet and Khlong Yai
2000, Supang Chantavanich et al.

This is a research paper on migrants and locals in two Thai-Cambodian border towns concerning HIV infection.

In early 1990s, the prevalence of HIV infection in Thailand spread to neighboring countries. In late 1990s, however, when the prevalence was somewhat subdued in Thailand, border towns started to act as new routes of HIV infection with the influx of migrant workers and prostitutes.

Aside from its main objectives, this paper reveals curious socio-demographic situations at the border towns.





Friendly Siam: Thailand in the 1920s
1928, Ebbe Kornerup

Originally published in Danish. The author traveled around Siam, presumably in the early 1920s. In this travelogue, the author expresses his anthropological and geographical observations in the north, northeast, central and south Siam.



From Siam to Thailand: Backdrop to the Land of Smiles
1982, Jorges Orgibet

The author is a long-time resident in Thailand since 1945, a contemporary and mutual friend of Alex MacDonald and Jim Thompson. He first served the USIS, then joined the NBC as a cameraman-commentator. He later opened the AP bureau in Bangkok and co-founded the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand.

In this book, the author shares his curious experience in Thai society and politics in the early post-war years.





Chasing the Dragon's Tail: The Struggle to Save Thailand's Wild Cats good
1991, Alan Rabinowitz

The author, as a zoologist, spent two years researching the wildlife in the Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary. Although he was on invitation by the Thai government, he was soon to be disillusioned at the government's sincerity to preserve the fast diminishing Thailand's wild nature.

This is a curious book that reveals the mechanism of Thailand's wildlife, as well as author's frustration with corrupt government officials, armed poachers and hypocritical Buddhist practices.





A History of the Kingdom of Siam up to 1770
1771, Francois-Henri Turpin

Originally published in French, four years after the fall of Ayutthaya. The author compiled this Siamese history based on earlier accounts and contemporary reports from French missionaries in Siam.

His description is vivid and detailed, providing significance to otherwise enumarative chronological events. Special emphases are placed on the reign of King Narai and the downfall of Ayutthaya in 1767.





My Country Thailand: Its History, Geography and Civilisation good
1942, Phra Sarasas

The author was a member of the People's Party. He was briefly appointed as Minister of Economic Affairs in 1937. This book was originally published in Japan in 1942 where he had stayed for three years.

The author freely criticizes evils of absolute monarchy, reflecting the sentiment of the People's Party in those days. Curiously, he's also critical of the dictatorial Phibun regime and deplores the failed attempt by the People's Party to bring about democracy in its real sense.





Money and Power in Provincial Thailand
2000, Ruth McVey, ed.

This is a collection of theses on emerging economic/political influence in provincial Thailand. The massive rural development since the 1960s made possible for provincial Sino-Thai merchants to accumulative considerable wealth, while the stability of parliamentary politics since the 1980s enabled them to directly participate in national politics.





Guns, Girls, Gambling, Ganja: Thailand's Illegal Economy and Public Policy excellent
1998, Pasuk Phongpaichit, Sungsidh Piriyarangsan, Nualnoi Treerat

This is a sequel to Corruption and Democracy in Thailand published in 1994. The authors examine illegal economic activities and try to estimate the overall size of underground economy as well as its political and social effects.


The authors propose decriminalization of gambling and adult prostitution to reduce economic distortion and political corruption, but foresee strong resistance from the police who cultivate profits by unofficially licensing illegal activities.





Wishes and Lies
1996, Pravit Rojanaphruk

This is a collection of twenty-five feature stories by the author, which appeared in the Nation between 1992 and 1995. The author boldly takes up social issues.





Seeking Shelter: Cambodians in Thailand
1987, Lawyers Committee for Human Rights

This is a human rights report on Cambodian refugees in Thailand in the late 1980s conducted by the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights in the U.S.

In December 1978, Vietnamese troops invaded Cambodia, expelled Khmer Rouge from Phnom Penh and installed a puppet government. The fall of the Khmer Rouge created the first opportunity for Cambodians to escape their perilous country. Massive flow to the Thai border followed. Each sub-group of refugees had its own reason to flee the country:
1. Farmers perceived likelihood of famine after devastating fights between the Khmer Rouge and Vietnamese troops.
2. Merchants worried about controls on trade by the Vietnamese occupation.
3. Urban inhabitants feared the prospect of another forced relocation to the countryside.
4. Ethnic Chinese suffered discrimination at the hands of the Vietnamese.

The Thai government didn't recognize these Cambodians as refugees as prescribed in the UN convention, but treated them as "displaced persons" with substandard shelters.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees directly supervised the Khao I Dang Camp, which accounted for 10% of all Cambodian refugees sheltered in several camps along the Thai-Cambodian border, but the remaining 90% stayed in camps controlled by three anti-Vietnamese rebel forces, namely;
1. DK, led by the Khmer Rouge
2. KPNLF, led by Son Sann
3. FUNCINPEC, titularly led by Sihanouk

The Thai government supported these three factions to fight against the Vietnamese occupation in hope of re-establishing Cambodia as a buffer state. Among these factions, the DK and KPNLF were known to treat refugees brutally, but the Thai government only started to take matters seriously after international humanitarian organizations publicly demanded the intervention by the Thai government.

The Task Force 80 was created in 1980 as a Thai military unit to supervise and provide security for Cambodian refugees. The actual supervision was entrusted in the hands of rangers--paramilitary troops largely made up of Thai villagers. The rangers turned out to be another threat for the security of Cambodian refugees.





The King of Thailand in World Focus good
1988, The Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand

This is a collection of selected articles that appeared in various newspapers and magazines.





Thailand's Crisis good
2000, Pasuk Phongpaichit & Chris Baker

This is a well-written analysis of the aftermath of the 1997 economic crisis.

First totally aligned with neoliberal economic policies of the IMF, the Chuan government gradually saw the devastating social effects. The economic crisis, coupled with much devalued baht, encouraged foreign capitalists to buy up Thai assets. Thailand is coming out of the crisis with more control by multinational corporations.

The Democrat Party restructured itself to serve the interest of Bangkok rather than that of the province. Chuan repealed Chavalit's promises to ease rural distress. The New Aspiration Party, in turn, emphasized its rural bias. Chavalit pictured himself as the leader of rural Thais fighting against Bangkok. Taksin's Thai Rak Thai Party sought support from small businessmen and farmers who felt neglected by Chuan's pro-American policies.





Buddhism, Legitimation, and Conflict awesome
1989, Peter A. Jackson

This is a truly amazing account of the political history of Thai Buddhism.

Prince Mongkut, while serving as the abbot of Wat Bowornniwet, was critical of shamanic and superstitious Buddhist practices. He set out on his religious reform which led to the establishment of the Thammayut Order. This was done in accordance with his encounter with Western science and philosophy, but his pursuit of rationalism and empiricism in Buddhist reform had its own limitation. He didn't go so far as to challenge the metaphysical doctrine of kamma which explained inequitable social hierarchy and legitimated the absolute rule by the king.

King Chulalongkorn heavily patronized the Thammayut Order as an elite group. He promoted Thammayut monks of royal blood to high positions in the Sangha, thereby placing the popular Mahanikay Order under royal control. Just as he strove to integrate numerous semi-independent kingdoms within the newly defined border of Siam, he also engineered to integrate various forms of local Buddhism under the single doctrine of Bangkok-based royal Buddhism. This religious integration was aimed at sustaining the stability of political integration. The Sangha Act of 1902 established absolute hierarchy of all monks in Siam, with the Supreme Patriarch acting the role of "absolute monarch" within the sangha.

The 1932 coup by the People's Party put an end to royal monopoly of political powers. As the Thammayut Order lost its royal patronage, its influence within the sangha diminished. The Sangha Act of 1941 abolished the absolute administration of sangha and replaced it with a democratic model with legislative, executive and judicial branches. The Thammayut Order seceded from the national sangha and established its own administration when it faced the government pressure to assimilate into the predominant Mahanikay Order.

As Sarit revitalized monarchy as a source of legitimation of his dictatorial regime, the Thammayut Order resurged as the leading force in the sangha. The Sangha Act of 1962 repealed the democratic administration of sangha and revived authoritarian hierarchy under the Supreme Patriarch. Sangha became a political institution to assist Sarit in carrying out his authoritarian policies on rural development and dissident suppression. While opportunistic monks were promoted, those who questioned the establishment or sided with popular sentiments were severely persecuted.

In the liberalized political situation after 1973, agitation to repeal the 1962 Sangha Act and reintroduce an amended 1941 Sangha Act intensified. In 1975, a reform bill for a new Sangha Act was submitted to the parliament. The bill passed its first reading in the House of Representatives but the Parliament was dissolved before the second reading, and after the coup of October 1976 the bill was abandoned.





タイ: 開発と民主主義 good
1993, 末廣昭

本書において著者は、サリット政権以降のタイの政治・経済・社会の動向を、「開発」と「民主主義」という二つの概念を軸として分析する。





Thailand: The War That Is, The War That Will Be good
1967, Louis E. Lomax

The author is a journalist. This curious work reveals American intervention in Thai politics during the 1960s.





From Japan to Arabia: Ayutthaya's Maritime Relations with Asia
1999, Kennon Breazeale ed.

This is a collection of theses concerning Ayutthaya's maritime trade with Asian countries.





Thailand: A Short History excellent
1984, David K. Wyatt

This is a pretty comprehensive chronological history of formation of modern Thailand. The author presents various political forces in Southeast Asia during the last millennium and examines their collaboration, conflict and absorption.





Traditional Festivals in Thailand
1996, Ruth Gerson

The author takes up major festivals in Thailand and describes their origin and meaning.


Buddhist FestivalsMaka BuchaCommemorates the gathering of 1,250 disciples of Buddha who came to hear him preach.
Visaka BuchaCommemorates the three major events in Buddha's life: his birth, his attainment of enlightenment, and his death or passing into nirvana. Most important day on the Buddhist calendar.
Asalaha BuchaCommemorates Buddha's first sermon.
Khao PansaBeginning of Pansa--Buddhist Lent.
Ohk PansaEnd of Pansa.
Thot KathinPeriod spanning 30 days from Ohk Pansa. Acquire merit by bringing gifts to monks.
Devo Merit CeremonyCommemorates the descent of the Buddha from Tavatimsa Heaven where he preached his deceased mother. Most often observed in northern Thailand.
Chak Phra CeremonyCommemortes the occasion when Buddha reached the city of Sankassa in India. Typical in southern Thailand.
Royal Barge ProcessionLinked with Thot Kathin. Rarely held due to high cost.
Agricultural FestivalsPloughing CeremonyFarmers from all over the country participate in Bangkok.
Rocket FestivalTypical north-eastern village festival. Farmers appeal to Phya Taen, god of the sky, and please him by firing rockets, to which he will resond by releasing his semen in the form of rain which will fertilize the earth.
Ghost FestivalHeld in the village of Dan Sai in Loei Province. It recounts the return of Prince Vessantara to his city after years of exile. It was said that the entire city came to meet Vessantara upon his return and even the ghosts could not resist joining in the festivities.
Traditional Cultural FestivalsSongkranAlso observed in Yunnan in China, Laos, Cambodia and Burma.
Swing CeremonyA young man seated at the front of the swing would try to grab the purse tied to a pole with his teeth. Discontinued after several fatal accidents.
Loy KrathongNang Nopamas, a daughter of a Brahmin priest during the Sukhothai period, first crafted a float in the shape of an open lotus flower.
Sporting FestivalsBoat RacesTraditionally, the races were sponsored by monasteries in Nan with monks rowing the boats, giving them the much-needed physical outlet following the period of confinement during the rains.
Kite FlyingFight between a large chula kite and a group of small pakpao kites.
Elephant Round UpIn Surin since 1960.
Royal FestivalsChakri DayCommemortes the coronation of Rama I on April 6, 1782.
Chulalongkorn DayCommemorates King Chulalongkorn's death on October 23, 1910
Coronation DayCommemorates Rama 9's coronation on May 5, 1950.
King's BirthdayDecember 5, 1927
Queen's BirthdayAugust 12, 1932






Reflections: One Year in an Isaan Village Circa 1955
2000, William J. Klausner

This is a collection of photographs taken by the author during his stay in Ban Nong Khon--a village 16km from the provincial capital of Ubon Ratchathani. The photographs reveal curious aspects of Isaan village life in mid-1950's.



Studies in Thai History good
1994, David K. Wyatt

This is a collection of articles by the author written over the period 1963 - 1989.






Poeykwan: The Remittance among Overseas Chinese in Thailand
1992, Suchada Tantasuralerk

Poeykwan (spelt 批舘 in Chinese) is a remittance system among the overseas Chinese developed over the past couple of centuries. Local Poeykwan agents collect money from overseas Chinese together with a short letter addressed to their families and relatives in China. The bills and letters are carried to China where Chinese Poeykwan agents deliver them. The delivery fee is 15 - 20% of the amount of money sent.

The formal postal service in Thailand started in 1885, putting an end to the era when the Poeykwan agents could send money freely. Ever since, the Poeykwan agents have adapted their form of business to cope with various government interventions and regulations.

Even today, despite the highly developed worldwide postal services and banking systems, the Poeykwan agents in Bangkok has steady customers. They often assume a form of travel agency. Their international network allows them to profit by non-formal currency exchange.

The historical significance of the Poeykwan system is that, through the transaction of enormous sum of money sent to China, the Poeykwan agents in Thailand themselves could acquire and accumulate vast capitals. Many of them emerged as capitalists, extending their business to former sectors as banking.





Temple Murals as an Historical Source: The Case of Wat Phumin, Nan good
1993, David K. Wyatt

The author looks into mural paintings of Wat Phumin in Nan Province, which are renowned for their artistic splendor. In his attempt to interpret the story behind the murals, the author excavates a long-forgotten episode of local Nan history.

Here, then, is another warning that what is widely perceived as Thai history is largely a local history of the Bangkok power elite.



In the Land of Lady White Blood: Southern Thailand and the Meaning of History good
1995, Lorraine M. Gesick

Scattered around the area surrounding what is known today as Songkhla Lake are remnants of ancient human landscape: Crumbling temples hundreds of years old, limestone caves with old Buddhist votive tablets which date back a thousand years.

Several temples in the area had long cherished old manuscripts from the 17th century. They were decrees from the Ayudhya king exempting those monasteries--and those under monasterial protection--from sending annual tributes to the capital city. Those manuscripts were worshipped with awe by successive local custodians, only consulted with on special occasions and with strict ritualistic procedures.

In the early 20th century, Prince Damrong and his circles were intent on collecting historical documents within the newly defined Siamese territory to make the official Siamese history. They took notice of these manuscripts and brought them back to Bangkok. Descendants of the custodian families, however, still hold today a manuscript merit making ceremony every year.

This is an anthropological probe into the sensibility of "history."





Into Siam: Underground Kingdom
1945, Nicol Smith

This is a memoir of the author--an OSS officer who trained Siamese agents and directed their infiltration back into Siam during the World War II.





Thai Women in Local Politics: Democracy in the Making
1995, Sheila Sukonta Thomson

The author examines sociological and economical difficulties which discourage women from entering into local politics.





Freedom Highway [fiction]
1999, Nigel Krauth

Stephan Brasch is a young American lawyer, a Harvard graduate. His mission in life is to do good to the society, but his choice of working in Thailand in late 1950s turns out to be nightmarish.

Dubbed as "political thriller of corruption and espionage," this novel depicts Thai society under the Sarit regime when assassination, corruption and CIA agents were abundant. Thailand was just about to be aligned with America's war on Communism.





Red Bamboo [fiction] good
1954, Kukrit Pramoj

This is a heart-warming story of Abbot Krang, Comrade Kwaen, and Kamnan Cherm in the village of Red Bamboo.

Comrade Kwaen gets inspired with communist ideology and starts his struggle against the institution of capitalistic feudalism in the village. Kamnan Cherm, as the administrative head of the village, experiences hell of a time, coping with Kwaen's uninhibited behavior. Abbot Krang, brimming with Buddhist wisdom, mocks Kwaen's fallacies, but, yet, with care as a childhood friend.



タイ国王暗殺事件 excellent
1964, レイン クルーガー

本書は、ラマ8世暗殺事件の裁判の過程を検討し、当時の社会情勢とも絡めて、タイの近代史における最大の論点である本事件の性格を浮き彫りにする。






Through Travellers' Eyes: An Approach to Early Nineteenth Century Thai History
1989, B. J. Terwiel

This is a curious attempt to reconstruct the Central Thai society during 1800 - 1850 from various historical sources. The term "Central Thailand" being defined by the extent of direct political control from Bangkok, it included following border provinces:

Southwest: Phetchaburi
West: Kanchanaburi
North: Kamphaeng Phet, Phichit and Petchabun (but not Phitsanulok)
East: Aranyaprathet
Southeast: Thung Yai (in present-day Trat)





Thai Society in Comparative Perspective
1991, Erik Cohen

This is a collection of theses on Thai politics, namely:
1. Thai Collective Identity: Unity Through Ambiguity
2. Sociocultural Change in Thailand: A Reconceptualization
3. Siam and the West: The Problem of Thai "Modernization"
4. Bangkok and Isan: The Dynamics of Emergent Regionalism in Thailand
5. Thai Democracy as National Symbol and Political Practice
6. Citizenship, Nationality and Religion in Israel and Thailand
7. Thailand, Burma and Laos: An Outline of the Comparative Social Dynamics of Three Theravada Buddhist Societies in the Modern Era

The author provides curious insights in making of modern Thailand. His probe includes the conflict between Bangkok and Isan, and a comparative study of Muslim Malays in south Thailand versus Arabs in Israel.





The Teachers of Mad Dog Swamp [fiction] good
1978, Khammaan Khonkhai

Piya was born in a rural village in Ubon. With the assistance of his uncle--an abbot in Bangkok--he finishes his education in a Teachers' Training College. With a sense of mission and lofty ideals, he chooses to go back to Ubon to teach in a rural village called Mad Dog Swamp.

The author compiled this book to introduce rural aspects of life as well as social realities. If carefully read, this book provides various examples of social customs and problems deeply rooted in Thailand.



Thai Administrative Behavior good
1957, James N. Mosel

This 53-page booklet is a reprint from "Toward the Comparative Study of Public Administration." The author examines historical development of Thai administration and points out dynamics and peculiarities of Thai bureaucracy up to 1956.





The Phi Tong Luang (Mlabri): A Hunter-Gatherer Group in Thailand
1992, Surin Pookajorn et al.

The Mlabri tribe in north Thailand was first observed by scholars in 1919. Their distinctive features soon came to draw various attentions, including the tourist industry.

They hunted and gathered food but didn't cultivate. For this reason, they needed to migrate regularly, staying only 5 - 10 days at one location. They didn't wear a shirt and gathered around a fireplace in the cold of night.

Today, due to several decades of deforestation in north Thailand, their nomadic lifestyle is difficult to maintain. Their present number is assumed to be between 100 and 200.

This book is a collection of theses on various topics on the Mlabri tribe; namely, their language, music, family system, use of wild plants for food and medicine, recent economic and social changes, genetic study, nutritional status, etc.





A Physician at the Court of Siam good
1986, Malcolm Smith

First published in 1946. The author was a British doctor. For five years during the 1910's, he served Queen Mother Saowapa--a daughter of King Mongkut, a wife of King Chulalongkorn and the mother of King Vajiravudh and King Prajadhipok.

In this remarkable book, the author recounts his first-hand experience at the Court of Siam, as well as his research on lives of King Mongkut and King Chulalongkorn. He spares a few pages in describing the Second King during Mongkut's reign, whose name rarely appears in books of political history despite his influential role and remarkable capacity.

He also inspects the polygamy in Siam from a medical point of view, revealing some curious points in understanding the lives of kings.





THAILAND King Bhumibol Adulyadej The Golden Jubilee 1946 - 1996
1996, ed. Anand Panyarachun et al.

This book was published in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the present reign. It carries hundreds of curious pictures of historical value. Its chronicle of major social events between 1946 and 1996 is well composed.




-- some curious dates from the chronicle ---
1948 May 28. Some 200,000 students are stranded as three thousand Chinese schools fail to open for the new term when the Ministry of Education refuses to grant them approval.
July 20. The Constituent Assembly discusses reverting the kingdom's name from Siam back to Thailand, as before the Second World War.
1949 Feb 8. Strict enforcement of visa regulations leads to three hundred Chinese citizens being deported.
Dec 16. The country closes its northern and northeastern borders to Chinese immigrants.
1950Mar 31. Foreigners are prohibited from owning land in Thailand.
1952July 14. Viewers watch Thai dancers in the kingdom's first television broadcast.
1953 Jan 2. A Royal Decree is signed making identification papers compulsory for all Thai nationals between the ages of sixteen and seventy.
Oct 1. A new bus system is introduced in Bangkok paralyzing traffic and confusing commuters.
Nov 3. Police issue fourteen rules for safe driving to curb rising traffic accidents.
1954Mar 1. Three WWII Japanese soldiers surrender on the Thai-Malay border after eight years in the jungle.
1955Apr 22. The Thai-Cambodian train service begins.
1959 Jan 19. The government bans the sale of all Chinese goods.
July 1. Legal opium smoking comes to an end, a milestone burned into the night with a fire set with 8,935 confiscated opium pipes.
1960Feb 1. Implementing a cabinet decision to discourage rock and roll, the Interior Ministry orders Bangkok municipality to prohibit bands from playing it in Lumpini Park.
1963 July 2. In a televised address, PM Sarit explains that Thailand will comply with a World Court ruling and withdraw from the temple at Preah Vihear.
July 16. The temple at Preah Vihear is officially returned to Cambodia.
1969Dec 21. The National Education Council grants permission to establish private colleges in Bangkok and Thonburi.
1970
Feb 11. Draft legislation is approved requiring foreigners to obtain permits to work or do business in Thailand.
Sept 10. Four thousand Chulalongkorn University students force their way into parliament for ninety minutes to obtain promises from the government to curb corruption.
1972Dec 19. A new Bangkok city administration plan is proposed: a governor and deputy governor will replace the lord mayor and the city will be renamed Krungthep Mahanakorn.
1974Dec 28. Former Prime Minister Thanom is arrested after secretly entering the kingdom; two days later he returns to exile in Singapore.
1976 Aug 19. Protesting police hold a rally in Bangkok and ransack PM Kukrit's residence.
Dec 7. All charges against former Prime Minister Thanom, his son Narong and former deputy Prime Minister Prapass are dropped.
1979 Jan 8. Thailand closes its borders to refugees from embattled Cambodia.
June 3. The Navy is ordered to repel all boats arriving with refugees from Vietnam.
1984 Feb 3. A radical one-way system introduced on seventeen Bangkok roads creates havoc.
July 3. In an initiative to alleviate worsening traffic conditions, HM the King instructs police to stop blocking roads for unofficial Royal Motorcades.
July 30. A charitable event turns to tragedy when nineteen of the nation's poor, mostly children, are trampled to death in a frenzied stampede for free ride.
Oct 4. Doctors confirm the kingdom's first AIDS case.
1985Mar 17. HM the Queen sees The King and I on Broadway.
1987 Jul 6. The Interior Ministry proposes a Condominium Act to the Cabinet that for the first time will allow foreigners to own units.
Oct 13. The Cabinet approves a decree that prisoners with AIDS will not be included in amnesties.
1990Sept 30. GATT rules that a Thai ban on imported cigarettes is illegal.
1991 July 2. The Cabinet cuts import duties on cars from 180-300 percent to 20-100 percent--placing imported cars on a vastly more competitive footing with locally produced models.
Oct 14. Thailand hosts the World Bank-IMF meeting; the government declares a two-day holiday to ensure a smooth flow of traffic in Bangkok.
1993 Feb 16. The Dalai Lama arrives as part of a group of Nobel Prize Winning laureates drawing attention to the plight of pro-democracy activists in Burma; the government issues the Tibetan spiritual leader's visa over military protests that it will endanger Thailand's standing with China.
Nov 4. The Palace announced the forthcoming publication of HM the King's translation of William Stevenson's novel A Man Called Intrepid.




Endangered Relations: Negotiating Sex and AIDS in Thailand
2000, Chris Lyttleton

The author is an anthropologist. He spent 20 months in 1991 and 1992 in two villages in Khon Kaen Province:
1. Don Han... typical rural village
2. Ban Khem... along the highway R2, several factories offer cash employment

He describes sexual behaviors in Isan and compares them with those of North Thailand. In North, prostitution is recognized as a profession while, in Isan, it is still despised. Northern women tend to enter into prostitution at young age to assist their parents and siblings, while Isan women tend to enter into prostitution after failed marriage to send money to their children.





Letters from Thailand [fiction] good
1977, Botan

This is a story of Suang U, a first-generation immigrant from China. He arrives in Bangkok in 1945 almost empty-handed and gradually works his way up as a successful businessman. But being successful in properly guiding his children turns out to be another matter.

This novel takes the form of his letters to his mother in China, from 1945 to 1967, in which the author expresses her sharp criticism of Thai society. It also carries curious anthropological depiction of the Chinese subculture in Thailand which, after all these years of government-led assimilation programs, can still be seen and is essential in assessing the ethnic diversity of contemporary Thailand.





History of Anglo-Thai Relations good
1970, M. L. Manich Jumsai

The author examines the historical relationship between Thailand and England, from the Ayutthaya period to the post-WWII period. His quoting of numerous original sources is curious and convincing. Through his discourse, the capitalistic nature of the British Empire becomes apparent.





King Chulalongkorn's Journey to India 1872
2000, Edward Bosc Sladen

This is a description of King Chulalongkorn's journey to British India. The royal party included
1. The King
2. Six Princes - two full brothers and four half brothers of the King
3. The Kalahome - Minister of War
4. The Minister for Foreign Affairs
5. The Private Secretary to the King
6. The Colonel Commandant of the King's Body Guard. Eighteen officers of various Departments of State. Twenty attendants.

They left Bangkok on three steamers on December 16, 1871, and came back on March 16, 1872. At the age of 19, the King had been on the throne for four years, but was still under the regency of Chuang Bunnag.





Real Life at Moo Baan Dek
1997, Rajani & Pibhop Dhongchai

Moo Baan Dek is a progressive school in Kanchanaburi. It was established in 1979 after the model of "Summerhill School" in England. There, children are not forced to attend classes and it is rather teachers' duty to make classes attractive.

The founder of the school got acquainted with Sulak Sivaraksa during the 1973-1976 period and engaged in political activities. After the massacre of 1976, he joined the Community Party of Thailand.

He rejects the idea of authoritarian school education in Thailand, prescribed by the Ministry of Education, and aims to give liberal education so that children will acquire independent attitude and critical thinking.





Capital Accumulation in Thailand, 1855 - 1985 good
1989, Akira Suehiro

In this book, the author carries out extensive research in tracing major capitalists in present/past Thailand, thereby explaining the social/economic structure of present-day Thailand.







A Window on Isan
1989, Peter Rogers

In this book, the author depicts general topics on Isan, its history, land, people, agriculture, festivals, and Buddhism. It also provides a number of curious pictures. Its publishing year 1989 gives it a touch of historical document as to what has changed and what has remained unchanged in Isan during the past decade.





The King of the White Elephant [fiction]
1940, Pridi Banomyong

This is a story of the Kingdom of Ayodaya and its wise monarch Chakra. In 1540, the Kingdom of Honsa attacks Ayodaya. King Chakra fights back to protect his country and people.

This is Pridi's only novel and is supposed to carry his political message at the early stages of the Second World War. The story was made into a movie in the same year.

Quote from the preface: "This novel is based upon certain well-known episodes in the history of Thailand: the invasion of the country by her neighbour, ostensibly with the object of securing a few white elephants, but in reality for the purpose of personal aggrandizement; the defeat in single combat of the ambitious and aggressive ruler by the greatest and noblest of Thai warriors; the decisive victory of Right over Might...."



High Banks, Heavy Logs [fiction]
1991, Nikom Rayawa

Kham Ngai was born in a rural village near the Yom River. He was brought up with an elephant named Phlai Sut who was born in the same year. They were playmates.

While Kham Ngai was conscripted to the army for two years, his father fell ill and had to sell Phlai Sut to the local boss Phaw Liang.

Having lost his dream of becoming a mahout, Kham Ngai worked as a forest laborer and, then, a wood carver. He made a deal with Phaw Liang that, if he carved a life-size elephant, Phaw Liang would trade it for Phlai Sut.

This is a 1988 SEA Write Award winner.



難民キャンプのパントマイム
1992, 矢野和貴

著者は1983年から1986年にかけて、難民定住調査員として在タイ日本大使館に勤務。日本へ定住を希望するカンボジア難民、ベトナム難民、ラオス難民のインタビューを行なった。また、1986年からはJVCのスタッフとして、カンボジア難民キャンプの機械技術学校プロジェクトに参加した。

本書では、当時の難民キャンプの様子や難民たちの人間模様、各国政府の対応等が紹介されており興味深い。ただし、客観的な観察よりも著者の内省についての記述が多く、ノンフィクションとしてはやや密度が低い。



Ramayana [fiction]
1797, ed. King Rama I

Rama is the crown prince of Ayudhaya where virtuous populace prosper. Sita is his beautiful wife. Ravana is the king of Lanka where evil giants live. One day, Ravana kidnaps Sita. Rama is determined to get her back by all means and starts his expedition....

Kings are reincarnations of divine figures. Magic weapons are decisive in conducting a war, whose power is enhanced by strict ritual ceremonies. Hermits and astrologers display supernatural powers. Extramarital romance is commonplace, whereas royal consorts are required to keep purity....

While there seem to be various versions of the classical epic Ramayana, this version is known to be compiled by King Rama I in 1807. This book is its English translation. The story reveals curious aspects of the mentality and logic of the ruling class in Siam up to the early nineteenth century.



Erawan Shrine & Brahma Worship in Thailand
1993, Trilok Chandra Majupuria

The Erawan Shrine was built in 1956 when the construction of the Erawan Hotel encountered various difficulties. It enshrines Brahma, a Hindu god with four faces and eight arms. In this book, the author gives basic lectures on Hinduism and Buddhism, and illustrates the influence of Hinduism in Thai society.