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Thailand: Coup Update

Thailand Sep 19 Coup
Picture from HelloonEarth2006

It was a holiday today in Thailand after the military ousted Prime Minister Thaksin's government last night while he was away in in New York. There are no reports of violence and people are venturing out in the streets.

Stickman has pictures from Bangkok this morning and describes the situation on the ground

The atmosphere was not really what I had expected. While tanks and armed soldiers are never the most comforting sight, they seemed to be relaxed, and no-one seemed to be too tense. For sure, it did not seem like they were on high alert or anything like that. Soldiers wandered around casually, chatting to each other, and many had the famous Thai grin from ear to ear.

The coup seem to be enjoying the support of Thai people

A lot of the soldiers were given flowers by the onlookers, many also offered cold drinks. Without exception, everyone seemed to be in favour of the coup. Many people wore yellow, showing support for The King and all of the soldiers wore a yellow ribbon, not only on their person, but on their guns. All military vehicles and tanks also had a yellow ribbon – signifying their loyalty to The King.

There are more pictures at 2Bangkok.com)

The blogger at 19Sep (a blog created to document the coup) tries to comfort people who have friends/relatives visiting Thailand and people who were planning to visit the Kingdom and are now thinking of cancelling the trip

I want to state cleary that there is no Gun Fire or any violence until now and doesn't tend to be too. Live seems to be as usual, anyone can walk around the street, some companies still open. So you don't have to worry about safety for your friends or relatives, Thai or non-Thai, who currently are in all part of the country. They may be exited but they all are still fine.

Update: Thai blogger Gnarlykitty writes that the blog 19Sep is now dead.

Ministry of Information and Communication Technology is now in charge of the internet. You are now all forbidden to post political comments on public forums. Future of Thai bloggers however is still unknown.

The blog is offline outside Thailand too. So it might be the author halting the blog and not censorship. Other blogs from Thailand are still online.
Update2: The blog is online now.

Adam's Gecko also writes about the people's mood

Today had been declared as a bank / civil service holiday, but everything else appears to be open as usual. It's just a regular morning in my part of the Big Mango, and people around here seem to be in a good mood. I think there is a lot of relief that the regime change took place last night without any shooting, and today is really a new day for the country.

The blogger is also reporting on the appointment of an interim prime minister

The Bank of Thailand Governor, MR Pridiyathorn Devakula, is on his way back from the IMF/World Bank meeting in Singapore, and has apparently accepted the position of interim Prime Minister. Note: “MR” is not for “mister” but is an abbreviated honourific title indicating his degree of relatedness to the royal family.

Cowboy Caleb, a Singapore resident currently in Thailand is posting a running commentary of the situation on his blog has an update where Mr. Devakula has denied the appointment.

Steve commenting on Thai blogger Lynn's post on the coup is looking the complex political situation facing the coup leader Gen. Sonthi.

The General can either hold elections or delay elections. If he holds elections, he will loose domestically. If he delays elections, he will lose internationally. The Thai Right is in a strong position here. If the General delays elections, they can demand elections and thereby gain international credibility. If the General holds elections, they can either boycott the elections if they think they will loose or participate in the elections if they think they will win. The precedent for annulling the results of an election that the party of opposition boycotts has already been set by the Thai Left, so the Left will have a difficult time deflecting a boycott by the Right.

22 comments

  • Good to see that everything is going to be peaceful at the thailand cup.
    I hpe the democrats win the reace.

    Thank you for sharing this story with me !

  • Is anyone listening to Radio Free Asia? I heard that CNN & BBC are blocked, but that RFA is still broadcasting? Is that right?

  • […] Also, check out the RFA’s blog page. Does Global Voices Online have a formal relationship with the Broadcasting Board of Governors? […]

  • To answer Colin’s question: CNN and BBC are distributed by cable providers in Thailand (a cheaper option for viewers than buying your own satellite dish) while RFA is accessed by shortwave radio. Getting the cable operators to switch off some TV channels is much easier than jamming shortwave radio signals. I don’t know for sure what the situation on the ground is at this very moment regarding any of these services, but if CNN/BBC remain inaccessible while RFA is, that would be the most logical technical explanation.

  • […] Way back when I discovered Global Voices Online, I accidentally subscribed to the Thai feed only. Up until now, this seemed like the wrong global voice to be subscribed to, but today it pays off, with several coup-related posts, including this nice round up of Thai bloggers’ reactions. […]

  • Interesting, isn’t it, how bloggers, and others whose views correspond closely to that of western governments, can be quite serene, almost joyful, when it comes to extra-parliamentary actions that benefit western capitalism and the World Bank? One can imagine the reaction among this element if Communists or other anti-capitalists had come to power using precisely the same means and employing similar ends.

  • Urnotme Uwantobeme

    Situation normal. International News should be up and running as all free-TV channels are operating at their regular programming. People should be going on normally on the 21st. My friends went golfing on the dayoff given my the coup leaders. One shot a 94, so he was rather upset and stressed. He said he blamed it on the coup, but I believe it was his short game that was lacking.
    A 2 weeks time frame for the military to cede power. If they can keep that time frame, then all is good. Hope it’ll remain peaceful. Hope Justice will prevail.
    Long Live the King!!!!

  • […] A Thai American friend also complained to me of the one-sidedness of the media’s coverage of this coup. This blog is recording some of the action with bloggers in Thailand. […]

  • Tanyasorn

    However peaceful this coup may be. It is still wrong for the people in charge to blocked access to Intl news coverage and the Internet.

  • Urnotme Uwantobeme

    I’m in Thailand and have had no problems whatsoever in accessing international news. I was able to keep up with Reuters, BBC, and CNN on the internet. I’ve been anciously reading the latest updates on the situation in Bangkok via The Nation website.

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