Protests Ended, Thailand Begins to Heal

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BANGKOK, Thailand -- The streets of Bangkok were mostly quiet Thursday after the government used military force to crush recent demonstrations.

Some protesters were still holding out, however.

About 75 people have been killed and the city's business district has suffered billions of dollars in damage since the protests began 10 weeks ago.

The city's residents are beginning to pick up the pieces.

Bangkok's main commercial district which was the battleground in the final crackdown on the Red Shirt protesters was heavily damaged. Total damages from the political crisis has been estimated at $15 billion.

Restaurant owners share the sentiment of all of the business owners who were affected by the recent violence.

"Very, very hurt. I'm sad," said restaurant owner Pinpattra Premjaisuk.

However, a couple said they support what the government did in trying to restore normalcy in Thailand. Losing their restaurant they said was small compared to the big loss of their country.

"I'm a fighter," owner Narongchai Narapandhu said. "We must move on."

A shopping mall was set ablaze on Wednesday. A tie that still has a price tag attached to it, along with a burnt shirt and its price tag is evidence of looting that occurred during the crackdown. A discarded clapper which the Red Shirt protesters used in their rally lies on the ground among the ruins.

The city and some provinces still remain on red alert because of pockets of aggression from the disgruntled Red Shirt hardliners who also set businesses and other establishments on fire.

Firemen were still trying to contain the fire at the Central World Mall. It will take several months before all of the debris is cleaned up. But certainly, a much longer period of time for the country to heal.

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Lucille Talusan

Lucille Talusan

CBN News Asia Correspondent

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