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Thai monks bring grocery store to the poor as pandemic hits incomes
22 September 2021 - A group of Thai monks and volunteers wearing protective clothing carefully navigate the bumpy roads of a Bangkok suburb in a golf cart, towing a trailer loaded with fresh vegetables. 'Groceries are here! Groceries are here!' a monk announces through a loudspeaker. Their mission is to donate food and necessities to vulnerable people hard hit by the pandemic. (more)

Thailand makes COVID-19 protective gear out of upcycled bottles
3 September 2021 - With an abundance of plastic waste but a scarcity of personal protective equipment (PPE), Thailand is turning trash into treasure by upcycling bottles into protective clothing for people at risk of coronavirus infection. Though these are not medical-grade, they provide at least some protection for those potentially exposed to COVID-19, and one PPE suit can be made using only 18 plastic bottles. 'We're saving lives and the environment as well,' the Chakdaeng temple abbot said. (more)

Thailand floats hydro-solar projects for its dams as fossil fuel supplement
20 April 2021 - Thailand is close to completing one the world's biggest floating hydro-solar hybrid projects on the surface of a dam, a step toward boosting renewable energy production after years of criticism for reliance on fossil fuels. ... Thailand has long relied on coal for power, but plans for new coal-fired projects have been met with opposition over health and environmental risks, and two proposed southern coal plants were shelved in 2018. (more)

Struggling Thai fisherman finds rare Melo pearl worth $320,000 while walking on beach
12 February 2021 - Struggling fisherman Hatchai Niyomdecha was picking up oyster shells with his family last month when they stumbled upon three beautiful shells sticking to a discarded buoy ball. It turned out the fishing family had an extremely expensive pearl from a large snail, the Melo Melo, on their hands. (more)

Showers of lotus flowers mark end of Buddhist Lent in Thailand
1 October 2020 - Thousands of Thai devotees lined the banks of a river winding through Bangkok on Thursday [1 October] to hurl lotus flowers onto a barge carrying a golden Buddha to celebrate the end of a three-month period marking Buddhist Lent. From before dawn, people gathered along the river bank clutching bunches of white lotus flowers as a symbol of purity. Many wore face masks to ward against coronavirus and the crowds also included Buddhist monks in bright saffron robes. (more)

Thai villagers save ancestral forest
29 September 2020 - Using activism and scientific research, a Thai community stopped a wetland forest from being turned into an industrial zone. (more)

Endangered tigers captured on camera in Thailand bolster hope for species' survival
28 July 2020 - Conservationists have captured footage of endangered tigers in a region of western Thailand for the first time in four years. The footage of the big cats is rekindling hope that tigers are returning to the forests of the country after being poached to near extinction and sold in the illegal wildlife trade. (more)

Thai entrepreneur connects Michelin bistros to those in need
14 June 2020 - Natalie Bin Narkprasert's business was in Paris. But she was locked down by COVID-19 restrictions and stuck in Thailand. er heart was in Thailand, too -- and it ached for her compatriots who were suffering in the pandemic. So she recruited a network of volunteers, including Michelin-starred chefs, to help those in her homeland whose already modest incomes were shattered by the pandemic restrictions. (more)

Rare turtle lays eggs on tourist-free Thai beach
5 June 2020 - A critically endangered turtle emerged from the sea to lay at least 80 eggs on a Thai beach just minutes before the start of World Environment Day -- just one sign of how wildlife is making the most of the coronavirus pandemic limiting human movement. The Hawksbill sea turtle chose a beach on Koh Samui, an island typically visited by several million people each year. ... 2020 has been a bumper year for turtles in Thailand, which has recorded the largest number of nests of rare leatherback sea turtles in two decades, found on beaches empty of tourists. (more)

Thailand's tourist drought leaves space for shy sea mammal
23 April 2020 - It's rare to see a threatened species of sea mammal in shallow waters in southern Thailand but thanks to travel restrictions that have stripped popular destinations of crowds of tourists, a large group of dugongs has made their presence known. Dugongs -- closely related to the manatee or sea cow -- are officially classified as vulnerable. ... Naturalists report other marine animals are also taking advantage of the tourism slump that is leaving coastal regions tranquil and undisturbed. (more)


Success of Maharishi's Programmes
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Dhammajarinee Witthaya School for at-risk girls in Thailand wins Rona Abramson Women's Initiative Award
29 April 2020 - The 2020 winner of the Rona Abramson Women's Initiative Award is the Dhammajarinee Witthaya School in Thailand. The school is a refuge for over 1,000 at-risk girls from nursery school through grade 12 - helping them grow in a loving and protected environment, and empowering them to live healthy, productive and successful lives. The school focuses not only on students' immediate survival needs, including proper food and healthcare, but also their long-term integrated development. This includes twice daily practice of Transcendental Meditation by all the girls, resulting in reduced stress and increased happiness and academic success. The unique curriculum also incorporates practical life skills and vocational training. This annual award is part of the Rona and Jeffrey Abramson Foundation's commitment to supporting women leaders who apply effective, creative, inspirational and entrepreneurial programmes to improve their communities and the world. (more)

Thailand: Maharishi Vastu meditation hall inaugurated
15 February 2020 - The largest Maharishi Vastu meditation hall in the world was inaugurated near the end of last year, at the Dhammajarinee Witthaya School - a girls boarding school southwest of Bangkok, Thailand. The beautiful two-storey building, designed according to Maharishi Sthapatya-Veda architecture, is 5,000 sq m (almost 54,000 sq ft). The school now has over 1,000 students who practise the Transcendental Meditation technique twice daily; the teaching staff also practise TM. The school was founded over 20 years ago to provide at-risk and orphaned girls a safe place to live, proper food and medical care, quality education and traditional Buddhist instruction. It is the only free Buddhist boarding school for girls in all of Thailand. (more)

Buddhist school in Thailand offers Transcendental Meditation to its students
22 June 2015 - The Dhammajarinee Witthaya school in northern Thailand continues to be a very special school where poor or orphaned girls can get free education from kindergarten to grade 12. Thousands of girls have been uplifted from poverty under the leadership of Buddhist nun Acharn Yai, the school's director and principal. Over 400 students are enjoying their twice-daily practice of Transcendental Meditation, saying it relieves stress, and promotes inner peace and mental clarity. 'Before learning to meditate I felt frustrated and didn't want to do anything. But when I close my eyes to meditate, my frustration decreases, my irritation subsides and I feel good. . . . I can focus on my studies more,' said one student. (more)

Promoting the feminine entrepreneur
30 November 2014 - 'Enabling female entrepreneurs worldwide to develop the confidence to be successful without sacrificing their own values is where Transcendental Meditation and all of Maharishi's consciousness-based programmes come in', said Arabella Higgins, educator, teacher of TM, producer of sustainable leadership programmes, and school administrator. With regards to Arabelle's current research on business practices of the women entrepreneurs of Thailand she said, 'female entrepreneurs will often view the business as a family, bringing employment and supporting the community'. (more)

Educating from the inside out in Thailand
3 November 2014 - The Excellence in Action page of Global Good News is featuring two articles on the Dhammajarinee Witthaya School in Thailand, where 400 at risk girls have learned the Transcendental Meditation technique. In the interview Principal Acharn Yai explains that TM is not only a way to help girls with a history of extreme poverty, broken homes, and domestic violence find their way to a successful and happy life, but its a way to create peace for the entire country. (more)

Thailand: Buddhist nun brings Transcendental Meditation to her school for at-risk girls

16 March 2014 - Acharn Yai is a Buddhist nun who is committed to employing the best of modern technology to help her school thrive. She is the founder of Dhammajarinee Witthaya School in Thailand, the first and only free Buddhist boarding school for Thai girls who are at risk due to poverty, abandonment, or abuse. The school has 530 in-residence students, preschool-grade 12, taught by 41 teachers. The girls not only receive safe haven and a free education, they also practise Transcendental Meditation, which Acharn Yai credits as the turning point for the school--since the girls started meditation, they now win top academic awards, live in harmony together, and have learned skills to succeed in a culture that would otherwise exploit them. Acharn Yai learned Transcendental Meditation in 2008, and is the first Buddhist nun to be trained as a teacher of the technique. (more)

Thailand: Buddhist school for girls offers Transcendental Meditation
10 August 2013 - In Thailand, over 400 girls are blossoming like beautiful lotuses at the Dhammajarinee Witthaya School--the first Buddhist boarding school for girls from kindergarten through 12th grade. By providing a rigorous modern academic curriculum along with Buddhist teachings, the school helps girls to lead better lives, and become the future leaders of their communities. Because many have suffered past trauma, the school also includes yoga and Transcendental Meditation as part of the daily routine, to reduce stress. (more)

Thailand: Rajapark Institute offers SCI degree programmes, Consciousness-Based Education schools flourish
17 July 2013 - With the support of Maharishi University of Management in the USA, Rajapark Institute in Thailand now offers a BA degree for women in the Science of Creative Intelligence (SCI). A Master of Arts degree in SCI is also offered now by the Institute; a dual degree will be awarded from both Rajapark Institute in Thailand, and Maharishi University of Management. The Institute has expanded to include 10 branch campuses throughout Thailand, and the student body has increased from 700 to 3,000. (more)

At Thai school for girls, Transcendental Meditation improves behaviour and understanding
23 April 2013 - Acharn Yai, the principal of Dhammajarinee Witthaya School for Girls in Thailand, has seen changes in the students after they learn Transcendental Meditation. Many come from poor families and broken homes, or are orphans who have been vulnerable to abuse and violence. 'It becomes much easier to take care of them,' Acharn Yai said. 'The aggressive behaviour decreases, their grades go up and they pay more attention to what we teach them. When they have inner happiness they soak up whatever knowledge we give, unlike before.' One of the high school students said, 'Back home I was a hot-tempered person, but since I learned TM, I feel a lot calmer. I feel that I'm happier and my learning ability is better. I feel that I'm happy all day.' (more)

Thai school for disadvantaged girls benefits from Transcendental Meditation
23 April 2013 - 'In Thailand we have many girls who lack opportunity for proper education,' said Acharn Yai, the Director and Principal of the Dhammajarinee Witthaya School in Thailand. The school, founded by Buddhist nuns, is the first and only school of its kind in the country, attended by girls from poor families in provinces all over Thailand. The school's educational programme utilizes Transcendental Meditation to help the girls relieve stress and improve their focus and creativity. (more)


Flops
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Nearly 450 schools shut as pollution chokes Thai capital
23 January 2020 - Authorities in the Thai capital ordered nearly 450 schools to close on Wednesday [22 January] as pollution levels reached dangerously unhealthy levels. Like many growing Asian cities, Bangkok is plagued by vehicle fumes, dust from construction sites, and emissions from industry but the burning of stubble and undergrowth in fields in surrounding rural areas is believed to contribute to much higher pollution levels in the dry, winter months. (more)

Thailand finds fourth coronavirus ahead of Lunar New Year
22 January 2020 - Thailand has quarantined a fourth patient with the new coronavirus, including one Thai national, authorities said on Wednesday [22 January], days before Saturday's start of the Lunar New Year holiday is expected to bring an influx of Chinese tourists. At least nine people have died from the flu-like virus in China following an outbreak in the central city of Wuhan, and more than 470 cases have been reported globally. (more)

Salty water in Bangkok is new 'reality' as sea pushes farther inland
20 January 2020 - Bangkok's water authority says tap water is becoming saline as seawater pushes up the depleted Chao Phraya River, a growing risk faced by many of Asia's coastal cities. ... The drought conditions have worsened saltwater intrusion, which can have major impacts on farming and on health as drinking water is contaminated, said Suppakorn Chinvanno, a climate expert at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. (more)

Air pollution soars in Thai capital, authorities issue warning
19 December 2019 - Authorities in Thailand's capital warned people to wear face masks or stay indoors on Thursday [19 December] after choking air pollution returned to Bangkok following months of clear air in one of the world's top tourist destinations. No cause was given for the deterioration in the air quality, which tends to get worse in the dry season from December to April. (more)

Thai farmers asked to delay rice planting as drought bites
22 July 2019 - The Thai government has asked farmers to delay planting rice because of drought and the pumping of water from reservoirs for irrigation threatens household supplies, an agriculture ministry official said on Monday [22 July]. Farmers in the world's second-biggest rice exporter usually plant their main crop in May, the beginning of the rainy season, for harvest between August and October. (more)

Plastic bags jam stomach of dead pilot whale in Thailand
3 June 2018 - Some 80 pieces of plastic rubbish weighing eight kg (17 lb) were found in the stomach of a whale that died in Thailand after a five-day effort to save it, a marine official said on Sunday (3 June). Globally, eight million tonnes of plastic -- bottles, packaging, and other waste -- are dumped into the ocean every year, killing marine life and entering the human food chain, the United Nations Environment Programme said in December. (more)

Bombings in Thailand target tourist cities, killing 4 people
12 August 2016 - Attackers using firebombs and homemade explosives struck a series of popular resort cities and beach towns across Thailand in some of the worst violence to hit the country since a military coup two years ago. At least four people were killed and dozens wounded, including 11 foreigners. The attacks occurred south of Bangkok and several of the blasts -- including one on Patong beach in the tourist town of Phuket and four in the seaside resort city of Hua Hin -- appeared designed to strike the tourism industry, which provides vital income to the government. Police said firebombs also triggered blazes at markets and shops in six places, including Phuket, Trang, Surat Thani, Phang Nga, and a souvenir shop in the tourist town of Ao Nang, Krabi. (more)

Series of blasts hit resort towns in Thailand
12 August 2016 - A series of blasts hit three of the most popular tourist resorts as well as towns in southern Thailand on Thursday and Friday, killing four people and wounding dozens, days after the country voted to accept a military-backed charter in a referendum. Four bombs exploded in the upscale resort of Hua Hin on Thursday evening and Friday morning. Other blasts hit the tourist island of Phuket, a resort town in Phang Nga province, and Surat Thani, a city that is the gateway to islands such as Koh Samui in Thailand's Gulf. The attacks are bad news for Thailand's tourist sector, which has been one of the few bright spots in a sluggish economy. 'Why now when the country is getting better, the economy is getting better, and tourism is getting better? We have to ask why and who did it,' Thai junta chief and Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha told reporters. (more)

Thailand bombs: travel warnings as tourist resorts hit by fatal explosions -- as it happened
12 August 2016 - There have been multiple explosions in nine incidents in at least five separate locations across Thailand in the past 24 hours -- Hua Hin, Phuket, Phang Nga, Surat Thani, Trang. The attacks appear to be at least in part targeting areas where tourism is important. Foreign embassies are warning visitors to Thailand to be vigilant. As details of each incident trickle out, it is clear some of the devices were detonated using timers or a mobile phone signal. (more)

Tourist towns of Hua Hin and Phuket in Thailand hit by deadly explosions
12 August 2016 - A series of apparently coordinated blasts detonated across Thailand have killed at least four people and injured dozens, including in the tourism hotspots of Hua Hin and Phuket. The blasts, which appear to have been coordinated to target tourist hotspots around the country, took place just a few days before the first anniversary of a devastating bombing at a Hindu shrine in Bangkok that killed 22 people and wounded more than 100. The first blasts also took place on the eve of the birthday of Queen Sirikit in Hua Hin, a town where she and King Bhumibol Adulyadej maintain a summer palace. Thailand has a history of violence in southern areas from an ongoing low-level insurgency but bloodshed rarely spreads to Phuket or Hua Hin. (more)

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