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Dear Friends, (by Na Tasukon )

Yesterday was a day of tragedy for our city and our country. Not since the sacking of our ancient city of Ayudhya has Thailand come under attack in such a manner. And just as then, everything burned. Only this time, it was our own fellow Thais, bred of hatred and greed that did this.

After government forces broke through to the main protest site at Rajaprasong, and the remaining core Red leaders surrendered to authorities, there began a well organized and systematic series of arson attacks on major commercial, financial, and government buildings. The list is long and by now well documented on the front pages of every newspaper in the country. What I found of note was that during the surrender speech, it was the protesters who were most unhappy with the declaration of the 'end' of the fight. Let us be very clear, that after months and some might say years of political and emotional brainwashing, the Red masses now had a mind of their own, and it was apparent that these leaders were quick to wash their hands free of responsibility for the incitement they had created, manipulated and funded for the past three years.

So I ask you all now to once again understand the situation for what it is. This was never a fight for democracy, for fair elections, or even a fight to destroy some invisible barrier against the poor built by the rich. Barriers that never existed in this country beyond the realities of any other developing nation. Last night was the true colors of the movement showing itself for all its shamelessness. This fight was always about political manipulation of the worst kind. It was about a continued and heavily financed campaign of disinformation that lead people to their deaths on the streets of Bangkok and then the blame was cast back at the government. The government did not lead people into the streets. The government did not tell people to set buildings on fire and endanger entire communities. The government did not use force first. These are undeniable. You cannot pose there waving the Thai flag in your hand, claiming to be fighting for this country and at the same time stand by and laugh, clap and dance (as witnessed on TV) as you set this country on fire. That is an image that will forever be engrained into the minds of many Thais.

I was appalled to read some of the comments on the websites of many major news organizations who covered Thailand. I will not begin the debate here about the lack of impartial coverage, that has been well highlighted and argued. What shocks me is the narrow mindedness of individuals who commented from around the world on our government's authoritarian 'crack down'. Not only un-educated individuals, but even the audacity of an organization like Amnesty International, some of whose members I actually consider my friends to make an uninformed, and quite frankly dangerous statement saying that the government was using unnecessary force on unarmed, peaceful protesters. This is the kind of lie that undermines the noteworthy principles of Amnesty international. The organization's country head should be sacked for writing such blatant rubbish, thereby compromising his own mission in Thailand. Do these people have eyes? Do they not see that this government tried so hard to use peaceful means for the last two months to the point where their stance became their biggest weakness? I have never in all my years of living in numerous countries, seen any government who had the patience (justified or not) to deal with such violent and ill-intentioned protesters as peacefully as I have seen here. Not until the country had reach its breaking point, did the government crack down. And I say now, that the majority of people here feel deep down to their core that these actions were absolutely and completely justified.

The tragedy is the misunderstanding. That is what got our country into this mess, and it is also what makes fools of people who comment on things they know nothing about. They think because some poor farmer stands in the middle of the road crying out 'democracy' that that is a battle of the disadvantaged for justice. But if they knew that that farmer sold his land under a scheme by the former PM to foreigners, and now was left only with the remnants of the cash he earned and is angry at this government for not subsidizing the rice prices because he is now only a middle man without land. They foolishly believe that that farmer was systematically prevented from access to opportunities... when in fact he robbed himself of those opportunities when he supported a man who lied to him, who gave him 'tea money' for his vote. And he looks to us as the one who wronged him. He and his like wronged themselves a long time ago. They shout at the coup plotters. They decry that this government is backed by military force. But the reality is democracy is a fluid state of governance. And especially one that is still maturing like Thailand, you cannot stick to absolutes. Remember, America was built on the ashes of a violent revolution, and even after hundreds of years, people in the United Kingdom still had to form a government out of coalition. Democracy is varied. Don't stand there and point fingers at this administration saying they never won an election. Winning an election is only as worthy as the transparency of those votes.

What we can all learn from this is that sometimes what you most want to achieve can be destroyed by your actions. These Red leaders for months have threatened violence on a grand scale in order to change the 'rule' of this country. Well in a moment of desperation their gang of supporters achieved that last night. Violence on a grand scale that hasn't been seen in Thailand in over 200 years. But they have destroyed their goal. Thais have a knack for friendliness and forgiveness, this is a well known trait. But last night, nation wide was fomented a deep sense of resolute purpose. That many people will never forgive these so-called protesters for what they did. What their actions represent, and all who supported them.

Thais are a resilient people, what was burned can be rebuilt and Bangkok will set about doing just that. But these protesters, what they fought for they will now begin to pay a very long and heavy price. For there will be no sympathy, or compassion, or understanding for their suffering in the future. Which is a loss indeed... Because compassion is something we Thais always have for one another. Maybe one day we will come to understand how this one man Thaksin Shinawatra, literally because of his own bitterness managed to nearly destroy a country. That will probably be about the same time I begin to understand how some people could champion his cause as something that was justified, when it was never at all. This man hid behind the veil of democracy and blinded an entire swath of our population.

The tragedy is all those poor souls out there who are only too happy to give their 2 cents worth on a matter they didn't know anything about.

I pity them. But as for Bangkok, we will survive and flourish once again.

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