Friday, August 23, 2019

Thailand has dark history, but it never spread a global shadow  

Feb 21. 2019
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Re: “See Thai WWII history for proper understanding of ‘brutish and cruel”, Have Your Say, yesterday.

John Alexander Fitzpatrick rebukes me for my criticism of Britain’s behaviour overseas. I suggest he read Robin Grant’s letter, “Beware the dark nooks and crannies in land of smiles” (February 16). In it, Grant criticised me for noting that Thailand is still being called “the land of smiles”. 

As far as I can recall over my 72 years as a Thai, the “smiles” nickname was generated by foreigners who appreciated the kind treatment and smiles they received from Thai people. It is not a “self-congratulating claim”, as some people think.

What I wrote about British history was based on facts. There is no perfect country in this world. And most countries’ history books are self-congratulatory in nature.

Incidentally, Grant likes to take issue with me whenever I criticise Thaksin Shinawatra. He has shown himself to be a huge fan of Thaksin. He has also demonstrated that he knows Thailand better than most Thais do.

Vint Chavala

Chiang Mai

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