That, adds Pakorn, is "a good sign for humanity."
*The Asia Media Forum (http://www.theasiamediaforum.org) is a space for journalists to share insights on issues related to the media and their profession. It is coordinated by IPS Asia-Pacific.
There are conflicting opinions as to the origins of the Thais. Three decades ago it could be said with presumed certainty that the Thais originated in Northwestern Szechuan in China about 4,500 years ago and later migrated down to their present homeland. However, this theory has been altered by the discovery of remarkable prehistoric artifacts in the village of Ban Chiang in the Nong Han District of Udon Thani Province in the Northeast. These include evidence of bronze metallurgy going back 3,500 years, as well as other indications of a far more sophisticated culture than any previously suspected by archaeologists. It now appears that the a Thais might have originated here in Thailand and later scattered to various parts of Asia, including some parts of China. Siam is the name by which the country was known to the world until 1939 and again between 1945 and 1949. On May 11, 1949, an official proclamation changed the name of the country to "Prathet Thai," or "Thailand," by which it has since been known. The word "Thai" means "free," and therefore "Thailand" means "Land of the Free."