About Us

History  

Our making was part of a dire history. It came into existence after Netiwit, an undergrad student, was ousted from his position of the President of the Student Council of Chulalongkorn University in 2017. Just because of his action, by walking out from the university ceremony, questioning the authoritarian culture in the university. He felt hopeless to do activism in university, instead, he found an incredible alternative to renew enthusiasm for creating changes in the society by ways of writing and translating books.

And then came the press…

Samnak Nisit Sam Yan Student Publishing House (or short name: Sam Yan Press) was founded by Netiwit Chotiphatphaisal and his student colleagues at Chulalongkorn University for the purpose of providing spaces for students to present their thoughts and opinions, translate interesting and activism books from foreign languages. 

The name reflects the recognition and value of the local community surrounding the university, ‘Sam Yan’ which nowadays are being destroyed and losing their identities. Netiwit and friends are advocates for the university to be inclusive and value the ways of community life. The name also reflects our sense of belonging while we, students, face the challenges in the world we have roots in.

Writing and Translating as Ways We Fight for Democracy

We have our own beliefs that fighting for democracy can be accomplished through many approaches. From publishing works, thinking critically and creatively, including writing, translating, editing, proofreading, drawing, and designing book covers, along with arranging contents, are all the ways we fight for democracy. Fighting means participation and collaboration from all of us. Planting the seed of democracy together is a necessarily long and arduous mission. 

Our Books 

Since the beginning, the Press has been constructed on the foundation of international unity, cooperation of youth, the need of justice, nonviolence and democracy.  

 The first work published by the Press was ‘Time is on our side: A birthday book for Joshua Wong’. The book contained translated essays from Martin Luther King Jr. ( Letter from Birmingham Jail) and Liu Xiaobo (Tiananmen Square: The hunger strike declaration, 2 June 1989), as well as a translated interview with Joshua Wong, Netiwit’s Hong Kong friend who was arrested by the order of the Government of China. 

After that, we have begun publishing works written by notable thinkers such as ‘Two Concepts of Liberty’ by Isaiah Berlin (in which the Press is the first publisher to print his essays in the Thai language), ‘On Tyranny’ by Timothy Snyder, ‘Personal Responsibility Under Dictatorship’ by Hannah Arendt, ‘Letter to Dr Huzak’ by Vaclav Havel,  as well as an activism handbook from Gene Sharp, ‘From Dictatorship to Democracy’ and ‘Beautiful Trouble: A Toolbox for Revolution’.

What We Have Advocated

Animal Rights

We have learnt and been challenged about the horror we treat animals in Thailand and in the world. In general, Thai people believe It is our responsibility to be kind to animals in order to make merit in certain religious conditions. However, our aim is to launch a campaign and raise awareness in our society on this particular issue, in secular terms of environmental, moral and ethical responsibility. To fulfil our goal, we have published a variety of books on Animal Rights, one of them is ‘Why Vegan?’ (2021) by Peter Singer. And we will continue to issue more really soon.

Milk Tea Alliance and Chinese Dissidents

We live in a world where totalitarianism is surging, and the great allure is China. The People’s Republic of China is gradually becoming stronger,  gaining more reverence in the international community. Nevertheless, the Central Government treats minorities brutally and keeps the entire republic under surveillance and restrictions.   Today’s China values power over the liberty of its people.

We reflect that Thai society is leaning towards totalitarianism, and being submerged in the Chinese government domination. In order to preserve our freedom and liberty as well as global solidarity, we should learn from people who have experienced it. We placed our mission in introducing renowned Chinese-language works of great Chinese dissidents and other ethnic intellectuals to Thai society, in the Thai language. We have translated the work of Liu Xiaobo and Ilham Tohti, Uyghur professors and received much positive feedback from Thai readers.

With our great determination, we value the collaboration with Milk Tea Alliance, so we have produced books for Thai to learn more about the resistance of Hong Kong and Taiwan, such as ‘Vigil: Hong Kong on the Brink’ by Prof Jeffrey Wasserstrom, ‘Taiwan is Not Chinese’ by Hsueh Hua-yuan, Tai Pao-Tsun, and Chow Mei-li, and so much more waiting to be discovered.

Secular Buddhism

Inspired by the work ‘This Life’ by Martin Hagglund and ‘After Buddhism’ by Stephen Batchelor. We think that the Buddhist culture in Thailand should be more open and vibrant for young people. The call for a revival of Buddhism in a new context is echoed. We don’t think that the culture has no value, but it should be renewed and reinterpreted and give meaning to people in this more uncertain world. So, we have published a series of Secular Buddhism such as, ‘Secular Buddhism’ by Stephen Batchelor, and will soon be published ‘After Buddhism’ by the same author, as well as ‘Revamp’ by Winton Higgins.

Education

Questioning and demanding of change against authoritarianism in schools and universities. Especially, promoting liberty — freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom of expression — in schools and universities which students must acknowledge and not be controlled under authoritarian regimes.

Feminist Sam Yan

We also have a remarkable branch, Feminist Sam Yan, to represent and support women’s voices in our society, and the world. We have published ‘Men Explain Things to Me’ by Rebecca Solnit.

How We Work

We have not only students but also many professors, both in Chulalongkorn University and from other universities who take their time as editors of translated volumes and co-translated in the pursuit of free thoughts and with solidarity in the faith of democracy.

Doing for the Better World 

We hope what we are doing will bridge diverse knowledge and philosophical thoughts and their applications in order to promote a secure foundation for upholding human rights both in and out of Thailand. We also wish to continually strengthen communication between professors, students and the general public. Sam Yan Press is yet another pillar of support for democracy that was born from cooperation, perseverance, self-examination and most importantly, freedom of thinking and expression. 

Our Press had worked under Sathirakoses-Nagapradipa Foundation (Sulak Sivaraksa as the Honorary President), which is the Thai foundation aiming to promote culture and literature.

In 2021, The Press formed the social enterprise “Nisit Sam Yan Co., Ltd.”

How Should You Help Us

To support the translation projects and others that we are doing, including such training as the translator, and group studying, please share and support us on Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) or contact us for sponsorship at contact@samyanpress.org


Get to Know Us

Netiwit Chotiphatphaisal, Founding Editor

A founder and a founding editor of Nisit Sam Yan Press, an advocate for human rights, education reform, and military conscription abolition since high school days. His renowned Thai book, ‘A Bad Student in an Excellent Education System’ is a memoir based on his journeys and experiences in struggles for educational reform in his high school. He also brought a variety of such inspiring and provocative books into the Thai language. He is now in his last year of college as an undergrad. Recently in 2021, he was elected to be the president of Chulalongkorn University’s Student Union with a landslide.

Krittapas Chedjaroenrat, Managing Editor

A political science student majoring in international relations at Chulalongkorn University, and the Vice President of the Political Science Student Union. Experienced in executive and management in the Student Union, and the Student Assembly, which has been working inclusively with the local Sam Yan community, and held movements pushing human rights, democracy, and other social issues to be echoed and be solved. Joining in English-Thai translation, editing, and proofreading at Nisit Sam Yan Publishing. 

Jirapreeya Saeboo, Managing Editor

A junior-year international relations student at the Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University. An enthusiast in the fields of critical feminism, marxism and political economy. Aimed to build a strong student community to engage in social movements for a fairer society. Currently working on co-translating ‘Mutual Aid’ by Dean Spade with Netiwit.

Suphanut Aneknamwong, Managing Editor

A political science student majoring in Government at the Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University. An experienced writer, interested in technology, politics, and social issues. Also working side by side with activists and colleagues in student activism through student organisations which to support and promote democracy in Thailand.