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> Coup in Thailand, Breaking news
Barrett
post Sep 19 2006, 11:10 AM
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CNN is saying there is a coup attempt right now in Bangkok, showing the army and police all over the city. Can anyone on the ground give an update of what is going on?


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uncle_davros
post Sep 19 2006, 04:41 PM
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Isn't it exciting, they are finally gettin rid of the Prime Minister.

The majority of Thais that I know will be happy that he is gone


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Caro!
post Sep 19 2006, 04:44 PM
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yes, but do you thing it will be like a civil revolution???

Caro!


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whereshegoes
post Sep 19 2006, 04:45 PM
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I don't think there will be much civil about it...


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Paul
post Sep 19 2006, 07:01 PM
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Hi there has been a coup in Thailand with the chief of the Royal Thai military temporarily taking over. This will probably be taken well by most people and there is no need for any violence. Unfortunately Thai politics had been going down the way of Western politics with pathetic politicians doing little but sqabble for power and try to build their own little empires. Hopefully what has happened will be a quick and useful reminder to the politicians that they are there to serve the people and to be of benefit to the people - not themselves. I think there is no need for tourists to worry at this stage.


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allthai
post Sep 19 2006, 08:30 PM
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QUOTE(Barrett @ Sep 19 2006, 11:10 PM) *

CNN is saying there is a coup attempt right now in Bangkok, showing the army and police all over the city. Can anyone on the ground give an update of what is going on?


I was here during the military take over of the government in 1990, the
riots following in 1992. Then the King stepped in, the riots stopped, a
new constitution, elections and democratic government was formed within 6 months.

The latest demonstrations started against PM Taksin just last year. He
sold his huge telecom business and didn't pay any tax (he is the richest
man in southeast asia). This got people angry and they demonstrated for
him to resign. Tens of thousands showed up at Sanam Luang park and stayed there for weeks. This caused the Taksin Govenment to hold new elections 8 months ago and 50% of the people did not vote in protest as there was no one to run against Taksin's Thai Rak Thai Party. Takin's party won but it was declared unconstitutional as not enough people voted. PM Taksin then went to the King and told him he would resign and the King agreed it would be best for the country so he left office, went to Europe for 3 months then came back and took over again. New elections were to be held the 15th of Oct. But the Taksin Government just this week changed it to November.

The coup makers called themselves the Democratic Reform Council, led by Gen Sonthi. The council cited unprecedented division in the country,
widespread suspicion of abuse of power, and activities bordering on lese
majeste for taking power for a period they promised would be temporary.

All of this is going to play out at Sanam Luang Park in Bangkok where all
the demonstrations are held. You will be far from this area no worries.

I knew this was going to happen sooner or later.

The Thai people are pretty used to this. Chuan Leekpai, who was the last
PM before Taksin, was the only one to ever hold a full term in office.
This is all normal for Thailand.

The people are now waiting for a speach from the King who after all is the
real leader in this country. Talking with the Thai people this morning in our neighborhood everyone seems to like Gen. Sonthi. They believe he is the only person who has strong contacts with the King.

Everything will continue to run fine just as it has during all the other
take overs. It just makes life more interesting here, this is Thailand.

I wouldn't be worried. The problem may come in 6 months or longer if there is no election for a new PM or constitution. Thais don't like to have the same government for very long. They have learned in the past that corruption in the government grows the longer a party stays in office. The Thai people love the democratic system and will make sure it continues. I am sure the King is now meeting with the military General and others to make sure new elections are held very soon.

My wifes friends in Bangkok went out last night and had pictures taken with the troops in armored personal carriers. This is not a bloody coup with riots etc. and I don't expect it will be.

You have a bigger change of getting injured or killed slipping in your bathroom or being hit by a car crossing the street than visiting Thailand.

Have fun
Randy and Ning
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Paul
post Sep 19 2006, 08:42 PM
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I agree with the above comments. Seems very sensible. I am in Australia at the moment and just ringing my wife and kids now, as they just woke up. They didn't actually know what was happening as last night there was no movies or anything much on TV and still not much news this morning. They are on the outskirts of Bangkok. No great change for most people and no real concern. I don't think this will lead to massive riots or protests in the short term. If the military hands over power in good speed, which I think is likely, this will be a bloodless coup and as mentioned a good reminder for politicians to represent the people, not themselves.
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Barrett
post Sep 19 2006, 09:28 PM
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So here's what I really like: there's 130+ posts on this on LP Thorn Tree and because we have quality, thoughtful posters here we have captured as much or more information in this relatively short thread.
Thanks for the updates, please keep them coming as this is likely of great interest to many backpackers!


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uncle_davros
post Sep 20 2006, 12:25 AM
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I emailed a Pommie mate of mine who has been living there for years.

Here is his response - Sorry about the language

Dave and Loose

Theres a F*#$in koo going down ........

Tanks in the street .........

We snuck Nan home under cover of darkness last night .........

Martial law ..... curfew ...... faaack and its pissing down with rain
this
morn ............. theyve shut off the TV stations .......... Ive got
to
go to the office as Ive got a load of customers going to Koh Tao
tonight
for diving ..... faaaaack !

Better to stay home and drink .......... faaaaaaaaaaack !

Will they show the footie tonight tho ......?

Love Dave and Nan x


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stevejames
post Sep 20 2006, 06:53 AM
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Hi guys

As "luck" would have it, I am in Thailand at the moment... the news broke at about 10pm last night, saw it on BBC News 24 blaring out from an expat bar. A bit pants-wetting at first, I admit, seeing the headline "BANGKOK TANKS", and it was concerning when the cable channels were switched off as they were broadcasting speeches from Thaksin ohmy.gif

But I'm out in Kanchanaburi and everything is same same here. The banks are closed as a public holiday has been declared, but apart from that you wouldn't know anything different. There is no panic or extra police or army prescence. Neither the locals nor the expats I've spoken to seem at all worried by the development. Indeed, there have been rumours flying around for weeks that this would happen. Elsewhere, the airports are still open and it's business as usual.

The coup has been peaceful; there are currently no reports of violence or demonstrations. For those holidaying or due to holiday in Thailand, check the travel advice for your Government. The UK Foreign and Commonwealth office, http://www.fco.gov.uk, is currently dispensing the following common sense advice:

QUOTE

On 19 September 2006, the Thai Army Commander, General Sonthi Boonyaratglin, announced that he had established a Reform Council to take over the administration of the country. A nationwide state of Martial law has been declared. The British Embassy in Bangkok is closely monitoring the situation. If you are currently in Bangkok, you should avoid moving around the city wherever possible. If you intend to travel to, or are currently in Thailand, you should monitor all available information on the local situation and keep in contact with your tour operator. You should also avoid any demonstrations and large crowds. Movements around government buildings in Bangkok and in public may be restricted until the situation becomes clearer.


Note that your Government's advice may differ. For example, the Australian Government are currently advising AGAINST travel to Thailand.

A good source of local knowledge is the English language paper Bangkok Post - they are posting frequent updates under the "Breaking News" section as new info comes in.

YOUR CORRESPONDENT wink.gif
Steve


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ScottWoz
post Sep 20 2006, 07:58 AM
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Great info Steve, nice correspondence work. Good to see you timed your trip to perfection! Take it easy..


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peacefrog
post Sep 20 2006, 08:09 AM
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I left Thailand on Monday... and my friends there are not answering my emails. But I guess that's just a case of everybody swarming into the internet cafes to read and report on what's going on.

Thanks to the insiders for the infos.

Steve, I'm a bit jealous I would have loved to be special correspondent too... but anyway I don't like tanks and guns and uniforms. Take care


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whereshegoes
post Sep 20 2006, 11:30 AM
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Excellent Steve!!! Thank you for checking in with us. Boy, we are special and lucky to have our very own on the spot reporters! In the thick of it all ohmy.gif

Please let us know if there is anything we can do for you...we Podders have to take care of each other!

Good luck and be brave! Keep us posted as we will be watching your pod closely clapping.gif


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Paul
post Sep 20 2006, 09:41 PM
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Oh, someone more on the spot has beaten me with an update. That was a good report on what is happening.

I have also posted a pod based on research and talking to my wife and kids who are in Bangkok.

Also todays BBC web news has some good pics that sum up what is happening and cover both sides of the views. All in all very calm and peaceful. Damn I wish I was there to take some pics and say hi to the soldierss.

Paul
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uncle_davros
post Sep 21 2006, 12:16 AM
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Because I was worried for my friend, I have sent him a food parcel of Walkers crisps and Mini Cheddars. Hopefully they will get through and he won't starve


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