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“Ya Ba” speed demons

Pic of the Week – 27 August 2007

Two speed-crazed Thai youths brawl while anxious bystanders look on

by Jonathan Taylor © 2007

Jonathan adds:

“Thailand’s spiralling drug problems were supposedly going to be eradicated by the Thaksin government’s ‘War On Drugs’ campaign. In actuality this gave the police free licence to commit extrajudicial killings of anyone suspected of dealing in narcotics. The campaign’s official death toll was 2,500, including an eight-year-old boy, but many human right groups dispute this number, making it much higher. Ya ba translates into English as ‘mad medicine’.”
[Editor's note: Ya ba is the Thai name for tablets containing a mixture of methamphetamine ("meth" or "speed") and caffeine.]

PG Author: Jonathan Taylor

Jonathan Taylor is an English freelance photographer whose work has appeared in numerous international publications. His Photography School Asia photography classes are now available online via his website:

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