The following is from a part of a 2002 quote of Jintara Poonlarb at the website AFANA.org:
“…The first time I performed on a real stage was the great concert “Isaan Khiew” – ‘Green Isaan’ which was a concert organized for promoting the Isaan Khiew project of Thailand aiming at developing the drought areas of Isaan… Many (super star singers) performed at that concert. They both were very nice to me being the newcomer. They took me by my hands and led me to the stage. I was so excited that I could not speak a single word at that moment. Working as a singer (at) a big record company, I had to wear very fashionable clothes. Sometimes I thought that was too much for a young girl from the Isaan country side like me. At the Isaan Khiew concert, I had to wear a shoulder-free blouse, I thought I could not wear it, it was just too ‘daring’. But… two super stars told me that it looked nice and I should wear it. Finally, I had to get dressed and go out to perform at that great concert….”
This ‘Green Isaan’ project is discussed at length in a document written by François Molle and Philippe Floch that is available at Academia.edu: The “Desert Bloom” Syndrome: Politics, Ideology, and Irrigation Development in the Northeast of Thailand.
3.4.1 The “Green Isaan” project
The first regional study that looked into ways to make northeast Thailand bloom was aptly called “Isaan Khiew” or “Green Isaan”. The fifth national economic and social development plan (1981-86)had (for the first time and on the ground of ‘national security’) included greater social and economic equity as an objective: a poverty-alleviation programme identified the 12,652 poorest villages (60percent of which were located in Isaan) and showered them with water supply, roads, schools,irrigation, electrification, and soil improvement (Baker and Pasuk, 2005). In 1987, Thai Army Commander in Chief General Chavalit Yongchaiyudh was aiming to become prime minister and in an attempt to build political support in Isaan, undertook to present His Majesty the King with a masterplan for the development of the Northeast.7 A severe drought had just hit northeast Thailand,and the project was presented as a response to it (Bruns, 1991). The report, prepared by British Biwater Company, was presented to General Chavalit in late 1987 and was geared towards the accelerated development of water resources, ensuring water supply, increasing reafforestation, and improving rural incomes (Biwater, 1987). Initial planning was largely done by army staff. The project met with “considerable criticism and skepticism” from politicians and academics (Bruns, 1991).
With irrigation seen as an essential input for regional development, the study continued to detail strategies for water resources development. Numerous projects of all sizes were identified, and it was thought possible to store almost 5 Bm³ of additional water (basically the sum of all technical feasible storage sites at full development, regardless of costs), serving an additional 1.8 million rai (288,000ha). Additionally, Biwater looked into interbasin transfer options (some of them studied earlier) worth an additional 2.8 million rai (448,000 ha). Even though Chavalit tried to negotiate a loan agreement with the World Bank, the proposed project did not materialize.
7 According to Pasuk and Baker (1997), Chavalit was able to divert 80 million baht from the government budget to the preparation of the Green Isaan scheme.
If you refer to that paper, you will see that although the Isaan Khiew project failed to be fully implemented, it had more successful successors.
A .pdf of the paper is available at SEA-User.org without the requirement of accessing it through your Facebook account (as seems to be the case at Academia.edu): The “Desert Bloom” Syndrome: Politics, Ideology, and Irrigation Development in the Northeast of Thailand.
Yet another source for a .pdf copy of the paper is at Horizon.Documentation.ird.fr: The “Desert Bloom” Syndrome: Politics, Ideology, and Irrigation Development in the Northeast of Thailand.
By the way, that paper is a section of a 448-page book called Contested Waterscapes in the Mekong Region: Hydropower, Livelihoods and Governance edited by François Molle, Tira Foran, and Mira Kakonen:
I wonder just how many of the papers listed at Academia.edu for François Molle may also be included within that tome?
The following short excerpt is from a book called The King Never Smiles: A Biography of Thailand’s Bhumibol Adulyadej, authored by Paul M. Handley:
Repeating that it was the king’s wish, Chavalit declared the army the kingdom’s primary force for development and poverty alleviation, under the king’s guidance. “We have massive lands, water resources, disciplined labor and machinery. The know-how we can get from other agencies,” Chavalit told a seminar. To this end, soldiers underwent development training to tackle a long list of official royal projects. The biggest effort was Chavalit’s famous Isan Khiew, or Green Isan, a massive program to ostensibly turn the dry impoverished northeast into a verdant land of plenty. More than $5oo million was allocated through several agencies under the military’s direction, and legions of soldiers went to work building reservoirs and water tanks and expanding water diversion projects. In the name of increasing forest cover, they also planted commercial eucalyptus farms for pulp.
That was pretty much the only reference to Isaan Khiew, I think.
Likewise for the book Money and Power in Provincial Thailand by Ruth Thomas McVey, from which comes this brief mention of the project:
Generals such as Chavalit Yongchaiyudh blamed rural problems on exploitation by the urban businessmen who also dominated parliamentary politics, and implied that military rule would provide the peasantry with a better deal. Chavalit also secured funds from the government budget to launch rural development programmes managed by the army. The Isan Khiew (Green Northeast) scheme was intended to show that the army was more concerned than civilian politicians were about the idea of rural development, and more efficient in its implementation.
And yet another book with a brief mention is The Thaksinization Of Thailand by Duncan McCargo and Ukrist Pathmanand:
Chavalit had a long-standing reputation for a number of things: he was credited with being a ‘political soldier’, one of the architects of the policies that had defused Thailand’s communist insurgency; and he was also extremely familiar with the illegal business activities (especially logging and smuggling) that thrived on Thailand’s borders with Burma and Cambodia. As army commander in chief during the 1980s, he pioneered a new role for the military as an agent of rural development, through projects such as Isan Khiew (the greening of the Northeast) and the New Hope programme in the Muslim-dominated southern border provinces. These projects involved potentially lucrative opportunities for collaboration with big business, and leading agribusiness group CP formed a close working relationship with Chavalit during this period….
I happened across a business calling itself Isan Khiew Karaoke listed on Painaidii.com that had precious little description. A Google map indicated that it was probably located in Nakhon Si Thammarat Province in a place called Chandi Town.
And of course, there is the Esarn Kheaw Thai Restaurant in London, England — TimeOut.com recently reviewed it: Esarn Kheaw.
“Janet Kiew” (11) Mülheim Open Air Rennbahn Thailändisches Musikfest Suriya Project Thai fest
asia siggi Uploaded on 13 Aug 2010
“Janet Kiew” thai festival 08.08.2010: Mülheim a.d. Ruhr Open Air an der Rennbahn Thailändisches Musikfest Suriya Project