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Turbulent Thailand

From Kyoto to Paris, Thailand's tradition of exile lives on

Dark times present leaving as the solution, whether for musicians or royalty

Thailand's history of coups and strict law of lese-majeste have pushed many activists and political leaders into exile. (Photo by Kosaku Mimura)

BANGKOK -- Early this month, Pavin Chachavalpongpun, a former Thai diplomat who edits the Kyoto Review of Southeast Asia in Japan, said he and his partner were attacked at home in bed early on July 8 by a masked man with a nonlethal chemical spray.

Pavin's allegation is being investigated by Japanese police, but any suggestion of Thai government complicity has been strongly rebutted by the army chief, Gen. Apirat Kongsomgpong. "We have our hands full in addressing problems internally in Thailand," he told Reuters. "And to think that we dispatch people to go assault people overseas -- that is impossible."

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