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Thailand: Coup Update

Categories: East Asia, Thailand, Breaking News, Citizen Media, Governance, Law, Media & Journalism, Politics

Thailand Sep 19 Coup
Picture from HelloonEarth2006 [1]

It was a holiday today in Thailand after the military ousted Prime Minister Thaksin's government [2] 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 [3] 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 [4])

The blogger at 19Sep (a blog created to document the coup) tries to comfort [5] 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 [6].

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 [7]

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 [7]

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 [8] 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 [9] is looking the complex political situation [10] facing the coup leader Gen. Sonthi [11].

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.