Friday, September 22, 2006

Coup blimey, what a week it's been in Thailand!

My timing's as impeccable as ever - I came back home to the farm (which is right in the middle of Thailand) from Bangkok three days before the military coup which (as of today) still sees tanks and soldiers on the streets in parts of Bangkok.
(I say my timing's as impeccable as ever because I left Patong Beach in Phuket exactly one week before the tsunami struck at the end of 2004. Lucky or what?!)

However (and unlike the terrible events of 2004), this has so far been a very peaceful coup, with no fighting and no loss of life, and with apparent support for it right across the country. Certainly where I live in rural Thailand people have accepted it and see it as having been necessary after all the political turmoil and resultant social problems of this year. It's certainly a uniquely Thai way of sorting a serious national mess out, and my hat off to them for having the guts to do it in this way.

The Thai peoples' (justified in my opinion) complete loyalty to their King helps ensure that whatever happens with their governmental system, Thailand never really changes at heart - and that is an extremely good thing. Although they are Westernizing here at an amazing rate, clearly they are in no imminent danger of losing that essential "Thainess" that is treasured the world over.

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