Sir Isaiah Berlin (1909 – 1997) was a Russian-British liberal thinker. He might be considered as one of the most important liberal thinkers in the twentieth century. Even he had an immense influence on western political thinking but few Thai academics have known his work not to mention people in general.
So far, I and friends produced a book called Messages to Our Century: Three essays for Our Century, the first book introducing him to the Thai public audience. Apart from this, we translated many of his essays also. In the future might be interesting to collect it and publish it into books.
Inspired by Joshua Wong, Hong Kong people, Uyghurs activists and the human rights activists around the world coming to meet each other at Oslo Freedom Forum, in 2019, Netiwit Chotiphatphaisaland friends founded Humanity Beyond Borders (HBB).
HBB, a non-profit project, gets monetary support mainly through annual donations via memberships and from Sam Nak Nisit Sam Yan Publishing. It has two aims; helping political refugees living in Thailand, and campaigning Thai people to know human rights problems.
Founded by Netiwit Chotiphatphaisal and his student colleagues in 2017 to translate and publish books written by activists campaigners, thinkers around the world into Thai as well as supporting, training young students to write, translate well. The Publishing aims to be a bridge between cultures, countries, and ages.
Since founding, the publishing has been publishing more than 15 books, working with more than 50 students and lecturers to achieve our aim for ‘knowledge for democracy, against dictatorship’
Gene Sharp (1928 – 2018) was one of the greatest strategists of our time. He inspired activists and people around the world to use non-violent resistance effectively, which result in the collapse of many dictators in many places.
Two decades ago, in Thailand, many academics cited him and his books were popular. However, it has been declining even the last coup happened; his ideas were not being discussed much in academic or activist circles; Unsurprisingly coincidence with the decline of activist forces and democracy movement in Thailand.
Sam Nak Nisit Sam Yan Publishing acknowledged the importance of Gene Sharp’s ideas; therefore we aim to publicize him, translate his books for ‘wider audience’ or so-called ‘common people’ rather than in academic circles. Thai people have much to learn from him to prepare themselves against the next possibly coup and resist the government still under the army influences in their daily lives.
We are now fundraising, calling for donations aiming to distribute Gene Sharp books as wide as possible. In the minimum objective, we wish to distribute 5000 books in every title.
I recently discovered that practising mindfulness and silence could help a lot for activism. Thomas Merton (1915-1968) is the one whom I read recently and was inspired by. I know he died when he was in Thailand but misunderstood that he died in Bangkok. He actually passed away in Samut Prakan, my hometown, in the Red Cross stay home where he came to a seminar addressing Marxism and Religion in 1968.
As I am active in the heritage preservation movement, after knowing the fact, I suddenly went out to find where he was, and found the article written by James Ford, a Zen priest, who came to visit here in 2019 as a source. In the article, it said that the building was scheduled to be demolished. However I feel the urge to visit and see by myself, and I am surprised to find that it still exists.