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    Posted June 12, 2014 by
    Bangkok, Thailand
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Thai military declares coup

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    Minor Group’s Bill Heinecke Posts Open Letter To Ambassadors and Media in Thailand

    Prominent Western businessman Bill Heinecke, based in Thailand for over 51 years, has published an open letter expressing his distress over the international media and Western governments' interpretation of the recent coup in Thailand, as well as the events leading up to the coup. (See full letter here: http://www.tatnews.org/open-letter-minor-groups-bill-heinecke/.)

    Mr. Heinecke argues that the coup in Thailand was "a necessary step that was taken reluctantly. ... 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 that there was no other reasonable solution did the Thai military step in.”

    He goes on to say that the coup “provides the platform for an effective “reboot” of Thai democracy that will meet the needs and aspirations of the Thai people,” which everyone wants; current events are a part of the struggle of a young democracy.

    Mr. Heinecke believes that “exaggerated media reports … paint a distorted and unrealistic picture of the situation in the Kingdom” which is unnecessarily causing travelers to cancel their trips to the Kingdom, further harming the Thai economy and the livelihood of thousands of Thais in the hospitality industry.

    He goes on to warn the media that if they continue “to promote sensationalistic and simplistic viewpoints of the situation in Thailand, they not only do a disservice to the viewing public but also run a very real risk of making themselves irrelevant.”

    In conclusion, Mr. Heinecke calls for realistic, sensible reporting from the ground in Thailand and states that, “Thailand very much remains open for business and is as safe, friendly and welcoming destination for tourists as it has always been.”
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