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Heinecke Writes An Open Letter To Thailand

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Posted: 12 Jun 2014 | 9:38 am

In yesterday's Bangkok Post, one of Thailand's leading hospitality figures Bill Heinecke wrote an open letter over the current political issues that face the country and the tourism sector. It's an insightful read. Find the letter as follows:

"In the wake of recent political developments in Thailand, I feel compelled to address what I believe to be gross misinterpretations of the current situation in the country by certain Western nations and and elements of the international media.

As a naturalised Thai citizen born in America, I feel that I have a unique perspective on recent events. I have lived in Thailand for more than 51 years but have not forgotten my Western roots. I feel obliged to say something about the reaction in the West towards these recent events.

I am distressed by the interpretation of a number of Western governments and the international media of both the coup that recently took place and the situation that led to the coup. Put succinctly, many of you have got it wrong.

From where we sit in Thailand today, it was not an issue of which political party was in the right. All Thais will pull together to work within a system that is acceptable to the majority of Thais and is sustainable. Vilifying one party or politician will not lead to constructive reconciliation moving forward.

A coup d'etat is not a positive event by any means. I do not believe the Thai military considered it to be positive, but rather a necessary step that was taken reluctantly.

I cannot think of one Western country that has in recent memory experienced the social and political gridlock that Thailand suffered for the past six months, resulting in government and political paralysis against a background of increasing violence and needless loss of life.

As the situation in Thailand escalated, it became painfully clear that there would be no resolution as neither side of the political divide offered any reasonable compromise or demonstrated any inclination to compromise. The military showed great restraint as it stood by watching the situation deteriorate, allowing ample time and opportunity for the politicians to resolve the crisis.

The price for that period was paid for by the Thai people, in blood, stress and economic sacrifice and only when it was clear that there was no other reasonable solution did the Thai military step in."

To read the full article in the Bangkok Post CLICK

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