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NGO Illusions We Want to Believe

With his international best-sellers Three Cups of Tea and Stones into Schools, Greg Mortenson ascended to the peak of the NGO world. The books detail the mountain climber’s experience in building and expanding his charity, the Central Asia Institute, which builds schools for girls in remote and desperately poor regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Both books illuminate how an American – with the right mix of tenacity, cultural sensitivity, and political deft – can surmount the physical and cultural barriers of Pakistan and Afghanistan to effect positive change

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With his international best-sellers Three Cups of Tea and Stones into Schools, Greg Mortenson ascended to the peak of the NGO world. The books detail the mountain climber’s experience in building and expanding his charity, the Central Asia Institute, which builds schools for girls in remote and desperately poor regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Both books illuminate how an American – with the right mix of tenacity, cultural sensitivity, and political deft – can surmount the physical and cultural barriers of Pakistan and Afghanistan to effect positive change. Mortenson’s inspirational tales have become required reading for American schoolchildren who donate their lunch change to Afghan schoolgirls, and US soldiers deployed to fight the Taliban.

So tens of thousands of Mortenson’s fans, including myself, were left speechless when the writer Jon Krakauer, an early backer of Mortenson’s CAI, and the TV news magazine 60 Minutes suggested that Greg Mortenson fabricated certain aspects of … Read More…

Thailand is among the region’s more open economies, with exports accounting for around 65% of gross domestic product (GDP)

However, investment slumped in the first half and this contributed most to the contraction in GDP on the demand side. Private fixed capital investment dropped by 16.9%, reflecting weak external demand, the impact on business sentiment of the political uncertainty, as well as more cautious lending by banks. Foreign direct investment applications declined in value by 47% in the frst 7 months of 2009. Public investment fell by 9.1% in the first quarter, then rebounded by 9.6% in the second on faster disbursement by the Government and state enterprises.

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Opinion

Thailand’s Vaccine Strategy: What went wrong?

Questions are being asked, and not answered, over the decision to rely almost entirely on Siam Bioscience, a local, palace-owned company with no experience of making vaccines, for the country’s vaccine needs, until an unseemly scramble began this year to procure alternatives.

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Last year Thailand won worldwide praise for its effective measures to contain COVID-19. This year the government is facing growing public outrage over the failure to control new covid outbreaks, and the slow acquisition of vaccines.

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Business

Thai economy in the pandemic era: can it ever be the same?

What is the way forward for Thailand, and how strong is the case for a radical overhaul of economic and development policies?

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Forecasts for Thai economic growth this year have been widely slashed to less than 2%, some much lower, reflecting growing gloom about the trajectory of an economy battling the third wave of COVID-19 and resulting lockdowns and social distancing measures.

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