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    Friendship Paid Member

    A friend endowed with these three qualities is worth associating with. Which three? He/she gives what is hard to give, does what is hard to do, endures what is hard to endure. A friend endowed with these three qualities is worth associating with. - Anguttara Nikaya, III.133, trans. by Thanissaro Bhikkhu More »
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    Troubled Thailand Paid Member

    There's no end in sight to the strife that has torn up the country for three years. It's tycoon and former PM Thaksin Shinawatra versus the traditional elites, with the king (and the people) in the middle. Meanwhile in the south, which has endured an active Muslim insurgency for years, rebels met with the government in Jakarta and seemingly hammered out a deal. But intermittet brutal violence still occurs, such as Tuesday's beheading. More »
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    Tough times in Korea and Thailand Paid Member

    It's not a great time to be running Korea -- either Korea. Kim Jong-Il reportedly had a stroke and then surgery. South Korea and the world watch anxiously. And more from restive Thailand, which just ousted its Prime Minister: More than an attack on the sitting government, the protests grow out of deep political and social divides that have hardened over the past three years and threaten the stability of Thailand. The protesters who are now camped in the mud at Government House represent the latest turn in a long-running struggle between democratic ideals and a traditional, hierarchical society that feels disenfranchised by democratic change. This time, whatever the outcome of the confrontation, analysts say democracy is likely to suffer. More »
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    Thai P.M. ousted by courts Paid Member

    Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej was finally forced out of office not by protests but by the Courts: Samak, 73, a self-proclaimed foodie, hosted a popular television cooking show -- ''Tasting and Complaining'' -- for seven years before becoming prime minister. But he also made several appearances after taking office, breaking a constitutional prohibition on private employment while in office. This isn't the end of Thailand's political problems b a long shot, and they still have an active insurgency in the South. More »
  • Violence in Sri Lanka and Thailand, Natural gas revenue in Burma Paid Member

    Burma's trade hit an all-time peak last year: $8.7 billion, much of it in natural gas exports to Thailand, according to the Bangkok Post. (UPDATE: Danny Fisher has a great post on remembering Burma today, with an amazing, Pulitzer-prize winning photo by Reuters photographer Adrees Latif as well.) The Tamil Tigers ask Norway to intervene in the vicious Sri Lankan civil war. More »
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    Makha Bucha Day, Wat Dhammakaya, and the Metta Center Paid Member

    Makha Bucha Day is a major holiday in Thailand and it falls tomorrow, February 21. According to Buddhist scriptures, nine months after Siddharttha Gautama attained enlightenment, on the full-moon day of the third lunar month, a total of 1,250 disciples of the Buddha from various places spontaneously assembled at Veluvan in Magadha to pay respect to the Buddha. This meeting is considered very significant in Buddhist history because first, it was done without previous appointment and was therefore a miracle, and secondly, all the disciples had been ordained by the Buddha himself and had attained sainthood and become arahants. Wat Dhammakaya's website will let you experience Makha Bucha from the comfort of your own home. More »