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The Thai Military are another major player in Thailand’s ongoing political conflict.  The Thai military overthrew the government of Thaksin Shinawatra in 2006, sparking 4 years of almost constant turmoil.  Civilian rule was restored in 2007, and the military has mostly stayed on the sidelines trying to restore order without overtly taking sides.  Please click here for more images

Bangkok

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The Thai middle class and cultural and business elite are another group that has taken center stage in the ongoing political conflict in Thailand.  They support the current government and are largely pro-monarchy and fiercely opposed to Thaksin and his political allies.  Please click here for more images.

Bangkok

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Thailand’s 4 year political upheaval seems like it never really ends – just carries on with different players taking the lead for a time.  At the moment the leading player is a group of largely rural Thais who form the “Red Shirts” who are demanding that the current government step down to allow for new elections.  The “Red Shirts”  are the largest voting block in Thailand and have been closely allied with former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra who was deposed by a military coup in 2006 and is currently in exile facing corruption charges. please click here for more pictures

Forbidden Dance


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Officials in West Java have finally decided to use Indonesia’s controversial Anti-Pornography law to prosecute four women who police say were dancing indecently at a bar in Bandung.  The over four hundred page law leaves alot of room for police and prosecutors to decide when the law has been broken.

Shariah Law in Aceh

Acehnese Schoolgirls walk through the grounds of Banda Aceh's main Mosque on the way home from their school

Acehnese schoolgirls walk through the grounds of Banda Aceh's main mosque Thursday Oct. 8, 2009 in Banda Aceh, Indonesia.(Photo/Ed Wray)

Acehnese schoolgirls walk through the grounds of Banda Aceh’s main mosque Thursday Oct. 8, 2009 in Banda Aceh, Indonesia.(Photo/Ed Wray)

Acehnese Schoolgirls walk through the grounds of Banda Aceh’s main Mosque on the way home from their schoolAcehnese schoolgirls walk through the grounds of Banda Aceh’s Grand Mosque on their way home from school.  Shariah Laws being proposed by Aceh’s  government, including stoning to death for the crime of adultry, have raised eyebrows among Indonesian government officials as well many citizens who oppose the strict enforcement of Islamic law. Please click here for more pictures.

Ramadan Time

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An Inodnesian Sufi man whirls in ecstasy before a Ramadan Dinner

“We come spinning out of nothingness, scattering stars like dust” – Jalal ad-Din Rumi

A Little Jewel

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I stayed on a beach nearby with a couple of friends and watched and listened (the explosions are really loud) to the remnents of the Kraktoa volcano erupt all night.  It is just amazing to watch the earth remake itself out in the middle of the Sunda Strait.  I’d recommend the experience to anyone.  More pictures here

I thought we were done with all this


Terrorist bombs ended an all too brief 4 year period of peace and calm in Indonesia last week.  As I heard the news and rushed over, I felt a real heaviness in the pit of my stomach.  I thought that Indonesia’s intense and often successful campaign against terror groups had put an end to the yellow tape, mangled bodies and grief-stricken relatives; and the feeling of dread whenever a bus tire explodes.  Its a sharp reminder that as long as even one motivated and twisted person remains at large, these things are possible.  Please click here for more images.