At the age of 23, Gao travelled to Thailand to escape intense fighting in his native Shan State in the east of Myanmar (Burma) and possible recruitment into the Shah army.
Thai authorities and Muslim rebels leaders have started peace talks aimed at ending almost a decade of unrest in the country's far south, as fresh violence killed at least five people.
The negotiations launched this week for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Thailand and the European Union have raised concerns among both Thai and European non-governmental organisations, who fear that EU demands could have a negative impact on Thailand’s progressive public health policies.
Days before leaders of the European Union (EU) arrived in Norway to collect this year’s Nobel Peace prize, Thai public health activists sent a letter to the northern powerhouse, warning that the EU’s 2012 accolades face a credibility test in this Southeast Asian country.
As Thailand braces itself to combat drug-resistant malaria, a spread of small, nondescript buildings scattered close to corn and rice fields along its hilly, western border are being cast into a bigger, international role.
When Thai police raided the headquarters of the popular alternative news portal ‘Prachatai’ and arrested its executive director, Chiranuch Premchaiporn, back in 2009, the 46-year-old media worker was completely in the dark about her crime.
From its imposing 14-storey building, Thailand’s criminal court hands down verdicts that rarely trigger a backlash. Those condemned to long imprisonment include Thais who supposedly violated the draconian lese majeste censorship law that protects this Southeast Asian country's monarchy.