Leaders need history lesson | Bangkok Post: opinion

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Leaders need history lesson

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One of Thailand's greatest points of pride is that the country has never been controlled by Western colonial powers. Ask any Thai why that was the case, and they will cite the culture of openness and flexibility that enabled the country to learn from the outside world in order to readjust old ways and meet new challenges. 

Being a predominantly Buddhist country, we Thais also believe that ours is a land of compassion and hospitality, especially toward visitors. This is reflected in the old Thai expression, "Whoever comes to our home, we must welcome them".

Thailand has benefited from this open culture both politically and economically. The modernisation process initiated by King Mongkut and King Chulalongkorn played an important role in keeping the country safe from the threat of Western colonisation. By embracing an influx of Chinese migrants during the early Rattanakosin period, Thailand was given a strong business sector which has helped the country succeed in a competitive global economy.

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