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Thai spirit will always shine through

Essentially, Thailand is the lighthouse of freedom in this region. Myanmar and its generals, China and Mao, Vietnam and Uncle Ho, Laos and Uncle Ho, Cambodia and Pol Pot: what have they done for their citizens over the last 50 years?

Sacrificed them to a horror show. What has Thailand done? Spread Buddhism through tens of thousands of temples, offered a model in the selfless acts of His Majesty, launched world-class medical services, independent universities, birth control that ensures food, education health and hope. Then there's the good roads that allow speedy, comfortable travel anytime to any place, basic media freedoms, agriculture that's the envy of the world (Thailand is one of the very few nations that can feed itself), and the list goes on.

Dynasties, wars and coups have been going on in Asia for the past 1,000-plus years. The difference in Thailand is that leaders, whether elected or military, good or bad, are instilled with the unique Thai spirit. And if any one of them starts to go against it there is always somebody to notice and correct the behaviour. Right now is one of those "Thai spirit" events. To overseas media and governments: Let the Thai people defend Thailand. Be positive or be quiet. The light of Thailand shines bright, so much so that oppressed citizens from its neighbouring countries flee here, joining expats from around the world. Essentially, if everyone knew the real Thailand, the whole world would be clamouring to get in.

Al Eberhardt


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