Postcard: Chiang Rai

David Longstreath / AP

Thaksin supporters at the homecoming of the ousted former PM arrives at Bangkok's Suvarnabumi airport on Feb. 28

She mailed the letter but didn't hold out much hope. After all, Mati Sae-Ang was just a noodle-soup vendor, with a heroin addict for a son. Still, after watching her boy stick needles in his arms for a decade, what harm could there be in sending then Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra a note identifying her son's dealer in the northern Thai town of Chiang Rai? A billionaire tycoon turned politician, Thaksin had just launched a war on drugs. The campaign would be assailed by human-rights activists for claiming more than 2,000 lives in just three months in 2003. But...

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