‘Smart Farms’ Making Thai Agriculture Sufficient and Sustainable

By Kalinga Seneviratne

This article is the 20th in a series of joint productions of Lotus News Features and IDN-InDepthNews, flagship of the International Press Syndicate.

CHANTHABURI, North-East Thailand (IDN) – Thai farmers are going back to basics under a “Smart Farms” formula supported by modern information communication technology (ICT) integrated into a Buddhist concept of ‘sufficiency economy’ to make the kingdom’s lifeblood – agriculture and its small-scale farmers – sustainable into the foreseeable future. Continue reading “‘Smart Farms’ Making Thai Agriculture Sufficient and Sustainable”


Thai Doctor Creating Multi-Faceted Approach to Sustainable Development

By Kalinga Seneviratne

CHANTABURI, North-East Thailand (IDN) – A passionate, socially conscious doctor in this rural farming community in the north-east of Thailand is working with a school for marginalised children, supported by a foundation set up by Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, the second daughter of late King Bhumibol who died in October 2016.

The school aims at empowering the students to break into the medical field through an unconventional career path that is providing a multi-faceted approach to addressing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Continue reading “Thai Doctor Creating Multi-Faceted Approach to Sustainable Development”

Global Development Through China’s New ‘Silk Routes’


Analysis by Kalinga Seneviratne

BANGKOK (IDN) – When China hosted a two-day conference in May to help revive the ancient trade routes from Asia to Europe and Africa it was greeted with scepticism by most of the western media. But in much of Asia the mood was more of optimism and opportunity. Continue reading “Global Development Through China’s New ‘Silk Routes’”

Exercising Power Fairly More Important SDG Yardstick than Democratic Accountability

By Kalinga Seneviratne

BANGKOK (IDN) – In its 2017 Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific, the Bangkok-based UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) makes an interesting argument in regards to achieving the Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in seemingly downplaying the importance of democratic accountability and emphasising that how power is exercised is more important. Continue reading “Exercising Power Fairly More Important SDG Yardstick than Democratic Accountability”

Thailand Discovering the Power of Woman Travellers

By Kalinga Seneviratne

BANGKOK (IDN) – Thailand has long been a magnet for male travellers from the West, but now the kingdom’s tourism authorities are recognizing the power of woman travellers especially from Asia – among others from India, China and Japan.

“Sun is rising in the East (for Thailand),” says Srisuda Wanapinyosak, Deputy Governor for International Marketing (Asia and South Pacific) at Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). “Asian economies are good and people travel. This is a good opportunity for Thailand,” she tells IDN.

With European economies in the doldrums, Thailand has lost much of its former tourist market, but Asians have compensated for the decline, says Srisuda. There were nearly 8.8 million visitors from China in 2016 and 1.2 million from India visiting Thailand. The gender ratio was almost equal. Continue reading “Thailand Discovering the Power of Woman Travellers”

ICTs Between Money-Spinners and SDG Champions

By Kalinga Seneviratne

BANGKOK (IDN) – At the International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) annual flagship event ITU Telecom World 2016 from November 14 to 17, there was much discussion about the profit-making motives of technology providers and the need to integrate social goals to help achieve the UN’s new catchcry Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Continue reading “ICTs Between Money-Spinners and SDG Champions”