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Thailand has a violent history. In 1351, Ayutthaya was built on slavery to become Thailand’s most prominent city. In 1767, it was torched and destroyed by the Burmese.

Today, Thailand continues to have a dark shadow of human rights abuses.

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Took a day trip to the ancient city Ayutthaya. Photo by Ada Lee

Beneath the flashy tourist brochures of relaxing Phuket beaches, bustling Bangkok nightlife and the Chiang Mai's tranquil forests, there is poverty, war and violent political division.

Not far from the Bangkok Post office, there is the Khlong Toei slum. In the southern provinces of Thailand, a brutal ethnic war rages on, resulting in bombings, torture (including sexual violence) and death. In the north, there are extensive drug rings and corrupt officials who capture and sell migrants (from Cambodia and Burma) as slaves in the fishing, agriculture and sex industries.

Even in Bangkok, people have died in the streets fighting for their differing definitions of freedom. In homes, children are still exiled for being gay.

These are just a few of the things I’ve learned from attending various press conferences by Amnesty International, UN agencies and other advocacy groups.

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Launch of “Being LGBT in Asia” phase two at the Foreign Correspondents Club Thailand.

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President of Amnesty International Thailand speaking to journalists and government representatives.

This week I’ve written a story on the challenges faced by the LGBT community and migrants. I also have a story on the Amnesty International annual human rights report on the way.

From what I’ve experienced, the people of Thailand are kind and peaceful. Many are fighting for a better future. I hope they get it.

About the Blog

Parallax records the experiences of final year students of the B.A. (Media & Communications) degree who have won competitive overseas internships to work in Asian, Indian and Latin American media organisations.
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