Muay Chaiya- my move from peace studies to self defence!

I recently had the honour of training with THE master of Muay Chaiya, Kruu Preng (he’s the serious looking dude in the second row). Muay Chaiya was developed about 250 years ago in the town of Chaiya, in the South of Thailand (Surat Thani province) by a great soldier, Poh Tan Mah. It is based … Continue reading

Reflections on my time in Northern Thailand

My week in Northern Thailand was both enriching as well as an emotionally exhausting, frustrating experience. From an intellectual standpoint, while I am not new to the issue of human trafficking, I gained new insights into how it is so intimately connected to human vulnerabilities like statelessness. From an emotional perspective, I could no longer … Continue reading

Confessions of a recovering racist- part 2

I am a racist, I must confess. If you read my recent post on “The Price of Democracy in Malaysia”, you could be forgiven if you thought this blog was called “My Confessions”. Yes, I am a recovering racist, and this is my confession: It has only been under a week since the historic 9 … Continue reading

The dangers of a single story- Chimamanda Adichie

You will be richly blessed by this video!! This is an amazing speech by Chimamanda Adichie about the need to learn about the multiple stories to a situation/issue/people  rather than fall prey to stereotyping people under a ‘single story’. (I love her story of how her roommate assumed that she was a poor, uneducated African … Continue reading

Photo-journal of Burma border

The price of democracy in Malaysia

Today is a day in history for Malaysia. The Bersih 2.0 demonstrations (for clean and fair elections through electoral reforms ) brought out thousands (reportedly approx 20,000) to the streets of Kuala Lumpur, with the diaspora also united in that same spirit of hope and irrepressible freedom. This was the spirit of 1Malaysia finally trying … Continue reading

Photo-journal of Mae Ai, North Thailand

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The Golden Triangle- where Burma, Thailand and Laos meet

Today we visited the Golden Triangle where Burma, Thailand and Laos meet, with the Mekong Riverproviding some form of a border between each country. Needless to say that if you wanted to swim across the countries or dock your motor boat at the other side of the Mekong, you can. The unclear nature of the … Continue reading

Slavery and statelessness, and its forgotten victims

When we think about the abolition of slavery, we often think about the courage of William Wilberforce and the anti-slavery movement in America. We think of how humans have progressed from the abuse and racism that undergirds the violence of slavery, and we feel a sense of history in how we have progressed so far. … Continue reading