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Possible Military Coup in Thailand taking place NOW

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posted on Sep, 19 2006 @ 11:01 AM
A possible military coup is in progress in Thailand.
Tanks have surrounded the main Government building. I have just come across this on the TV on BBC who are sourcing latest Reuters information they are receiving. Also note that the military controlled broadcasting station has gone 'off the air'.
This is 'breaking news' on BBC broadcasts in South Asia.
I have not come across any online sources as yet but we will be sure to see more as the events unfold.
Care taker Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has been going through a political row admists allegations of corruption.There have been calls for his resignation. He is in a caretaker role as of now.
There have been recent fears of a coup and the excerpt from a local newspaper below (dated 12th September) has portrayed the same:
"I'm not requesting asylum," he joked yesterday with a Thai News Agency reporter covering the Sixth Asia-Europe Meeting in Helsinki.
One of Thaksin's daughters is studying in the United Kingdom and the family has a mansion in London.
Government Spokesman Surapong Suebwonglee said yesterday the prime minister's decision to cancel his return to Thailand had nothing to do with rumours of a possible military coup back home.
Surapong said that Thaksin, who yesterday attended the last day of the summit, had initially planned to return to Bangkok at 9am this morning and leave for Cuba tomorrow.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

If this indeed is a coup (and believe me tanks surrounding government buildings cannot mean many other things!!) then it is a well timed one as Mr. Shinawatra is busy attending the UN General Assembly in New York today. He was planning to cut short his overseas trip and return to Thailand a day earlier(this Thursday) than planned.
Reports suggest that a coup was 'attempted'
A coup in Thailand is definitely going to cause waves in the already unstable polictical environment there. This coup if successful will bring the 3rd regime under military rule in the region after Burma and Pakistan.
Immediate concerns may lie in the fact that maybe widespread looting and rioting may follow and Thailand is a a tourist magnet. All those who have relative holidaying there should contact them immediately.
Note: all sources are indicative of a coup and as far as I know this article is the first online indication of the actuall occurence of such events so far.

Related News Links:

Related Discussion Threads:
WAR: Thailand Threatens to Pull Troops
The Mystery Surrounding Montgomery Paisley
NEWS: Scores Killed in Thai Gun Battles

posted on Sep, 19 2006 @ 12:00 PM
This has been confirmed as a military coup.

Thai military launches coup, backs king

BANGKOK, Thailand - The Thai military launched a coup against Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Tuesday night, circling his offices with tanks, seizing control of TV stations and declaring a provisional authority pledging loyalty to the king. An announcement on Thai television declared that a "Council of Administrative Reform" with King Bhumibol Adulyadej as head of state had seized power in Bangkok and nearby provinces without any resistance.

image here

I cant say im surprised this has occured. This devolution has been brewing in Thailand for the last few years, at least. With terrorism wracking the nation and confidence in the government plummeting.

[edit on 19/9/06 by subz]

[edit on 19-9-2006 by DontTreadOnMe]

posted on Sep, 19 2006 @ 12:09 PM
The King of Thailand and the royal family of Thailand are extremely popular. The Thai troops have declared that they support the Kind, and not the unpopular PM.

The people just love the king, he is seen as being very wise and trustworthy.

-- Boat

posted on Sep, 19 2006 @ 02:32 PM
Yeah the king there is highly regarded and will end up settling the conflict. The PM has botched and postponed several elections to retain power and is quite unpopular. I doubt this will turn out bad as in turning Thailand into a military dictatorship, they just need to throw out the PM and schedule free and fair elections.

posted on Sep, 19 2006 @ 10:18 PM
The question on everyone's minds is that will that happen soon and not on some moving target of a date

posted on Sep, 19 2006 @ 10:41 PM
I live in Thailand and will say this coup can only be for the better.

For nearly 7 years now the present administration has ridden the country with corruption and exploitations in every way possible. Besides that it has spurred the insurgency in the south to a degree never before seen, where bombs have become the rule of the day.
Related ATSNN story. First Foreigner to Die in The Ongoing Violence of Southern Thailand

For my own account on the events from an inside perspective seeFirst Miltary Coup in 14 Years...

Other related links

[edit on 19/9/06 by khunmoon]

posted on Sep, 19 2006 @ 11:05 PM

posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 12:48 AM


Latest update…………
A so-called "Democratic Reform Council" declared itself in control and declared martial law nationwide. Terse announcements said it included the commanders of all three armed forces and the police. It said the coup was necessary to correct "unprecedented division in the country."

The Council said there seemed to be widespread corruption, and independent agenies were subverted by politicians, apparently a reference to the Thaksin government. "The national government through the current administration has caused conflicts and undermined the harmony of the people as never before in history."

Public acceptance remained unknown. The coup occurred late Tuesday night, when Bangkok was under a major rainstorm, and few people were seen on the streets.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

The whole report here.

posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 01:12 AM
Thank you for your input khunmoon.Much appreciated!
Could you throw some light on the possibility of any released timframe for a return to democracy and general elections?
Also a couple of questions on the Military structure:

Does Thailand have a Joint Services Chief(Commanding all services) along with the 3 chiefs and is he the one who has taken the reigns?
Or is it the Army chief?
Or the country does not reside under any one person as of now and is only under the 'military council' consisting of the chiefs?

posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 04:55 AM
Well Daedalus, I don't know much more than what you can read in the update. BBC has just (7.30 GMT) reported that the army commander, head of the coup council, have announced a new PM will be named within two weeks. But the little I know about the armed forces I'll tell here.

Since The Manhattan Coup in 1951 there seems to be a competition among the navy and army, which was clearly demonstrated at the latest coup in 1992, where a army commander gen Suchinda staged a bloodshed in the nortern suburbs of Bangkok, because after an election, against all promises he did not return to civil rule. As the fighting was going the navy crused the Chao Praya river in Bangkok with banners stating: "the navy does NOT kill people".

The Manhattan coup was an incident where the armycontroled airforce attacked and sank the flagship of the Thai navy, Sri Ayudhya. A dredge "Manhattan" was as part of an aid program to be handed over to the Thai government. Phibun, a general and veteran from the first 1932 coup, was in power, unboard the dredge for the ceremony, when a navy fraction tried to stage a coup by abducting him to the their flagship. The army in turn ordered the ship bombed and Phibun managed to escape. Thus the bad blood between the two services.

I haven't been able to google up anything on the episode, but it is mentioned in the following interesting document I came across Constitutions and Human Rights in Thai Political History.

If you want the details on the coup, you'll have to purchase the book, David K. Wyatt: Thailand, A Short History, ISBN 974-95754-44-X, a comprehensive, condensed and fact filled study worth every penny.

To the current situation. What I can see from the council as it appears on tv, all three arms are represented. But what will happen is imposible to quess for an outsider.

Fact is the ousted PM indeed did have deep and close relations with people in the army - else he couldn't have hanged on for 6½ year. He's known to be a close friend to the now retired gen Suchinda, who ousted, but unpunished got away with the 91 coup and its 92 bloodshed (another horrific story fascinating told by Wyatt).

An indication of somethings been going on lately among the top-brass, is the rearranging of posts of importance. Very convenient for the justification of those moves, a bombplot to assasinate the PM was revealed. One has to know that Thais are masters of bluff and lies, so the attempted bombing has by serious observers been called "a farce Mr Bean worthy".

What I know, the three arms seems to be seperated, each with their own command. The king would be the commander in chief of all services.

Hope this little will satisfy you. If you have further questions you're welcome.

PS. It is for certain, fractions in the army loyal to the PM exist. Whether they'll stage a counter-coups is only little likely. First remains to be seen if the PM will return to Thailand at all. He's closest family were reported leaving for Singapore late last night.

[edit on 20/9/06 by khunmoon]

posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 07:54 AM
Thanks for the background information Khunmoon.

Maybe you could help me to better understand something. Since Thailand is a constitutional monarchy, with the King as the Chief of State, why didnt the King dissolve parliament and force new elections?

If the King did not do so, why would any coup leaders be loyal to the King? Since, technically, he was derelict of his duties to his people and failed to exercise his constitutional right to remove an incompetant and corrupt Prime Minister.

posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 10:33 AM
I wish I could give you a qualified answer, Subz, but I'm no laywer, only an observer. The question certainly have been turned over again and again by the press. When I say press I'm referring to the two, as far as I know, independet English newspapers in Thailand, The Nation and Bangkok Post. The Thai press and media are close to 100% owned by the ousted PM and his affiliates. Even ITV, the independant tv channel set up as a result of the servere supression of information during the 1992 coup, is now owned by him. Well, I will shortly give you that story.

In the last days of May 92 as the violence raged, hardly anybody knew about it. The military owned tv channels broadcasted the usual shallow entertainmentstuff, as if nothing had happened. Those were the days before satellite-, cable-tv, cellphones and practically speaking also internet. Nobody even in Bangkok knew about, because the atrocities was centered round a university in the north of the town. Not even the King knew, nobody had bother to tell him. Until a relative of his called him from abroad and told him what CNN and BBC was broadcasting to the whole world - except Thailand. Most things that goes on there you're not supposed to know.

The King stopped the bloodshed by calling the two combatants, gen Suchinda and Shramlong, retired gen and governor of Bkk in consultations and sacked the former. As far as I'm aware it is the only time he have intervened in one of the democratic-casted constitutions they have had. They have had a few since the first 'democratic' one was drafted in 1976.

So why doesn't he intervene now? The present constitution of 1991 calls for him only to do so when the country is in grave danger, where the State might collapse and when a state of emergency has been declared. As far as I can follow the present events, that condition was fulfilled, and we are yet to know who actually called for the coup. Unfortunately, with so many things in Thailand we might never know.

That he didn't do it before, has to do with as devoted Buddhist he strictly follows "the middle of the road", I think. It could always have been debated if the condition justified an intervention. Up till now, if the annouced new election had proceeded they might have ended up in a bloodbath. Now we are hopefully spared for that.

One thing that needs to be understood is that the ousted PM was a master of spin and in finding the appropriate loopholes by which to achive his gains. Or maybe more correct he had the best experts and lawyers money can buy. And most of all he wasn't ridden by any moral issues at all. He just didn't care. If it wasn't clearly stated in the constitution not to do so and so, he would do it, if it helped him to achieve his gain.

The Friday before his infamous telecom deal, where he sold off his assets controlling the sector in Thailand, he had the laws for taxations of profits from share dealing changed. Thereby, the following Monday he was able to make a profit of $3billion - taxfree. He gives a damn about any conduct.

I've always called him Mr Mei-mie after his most used expression, mei-mie, which he used when asked questions of critical nature, meaning no,no... not at all. No wonder he always shunned reporters.

[edit on 20/9/06 by khunmoon]

posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 07:28 PM

Originally posted by khunmoon:
The Friday before his infamous telecom deal, where he sold off his assets controlling the sector in Thailand, he had the laws for taxations of profits from share dealing changed. Thereby, the following Monday he was able to make a profit of $3billion - taxfree. He gives a damn about any conduct.

Was a little bit exalted last night. Checked the figures this morning.

Thaksin's sale of Shin Corp. to Singaporean Temsak in the beginning of 2006 brought in 73.3 billion THbaht. It is about US$2 billion - only.

posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 10:30 PM

Originally posted by subz
Thanks for the background information Khunmoon.

Maybe you could help me to better understand something. Since Thailand is a constitutional monarchy, with the King as the Chief of State, why didnt the King dissolve parliament and force new elections?

If the King did not do so, why would any coup leaders be loyal to the King? Since, technically, he was derelict of his duties to his people and failed to exercise his constitutional right to remove an incompetant and corrupt Prime Minister.

An extremely prudent question!

But then again it brings to mind what happened in Nepal in the not so distant past!

Anyways the King's popularity seems to be much more in Thailand than that of the King of Nepal in his country.
Still the question persists: A coup is a coup and Thaliand has seen its fair share; I still wonder whether the King could have seen this coming(esp since he has witnessed over 15 coups?) and prevented something that will irk the international community, cause the economy to wobble and create civil unrest and turmoil.
It is yet to be seen if the King is supportive of the coup or not. And if he had the powers to dispose of the PM himself, I doubt that gives him much moral ground to support the coup as such.
Very interesting!

posted on Sep, 21 2006 @ 09:53 AM
Understand: The King is above politics, above any mortal, any of his subjects. He is named the ever enlightened, born into Buddhahood, "enthroned in a position of revered worship" no to be exposed "to any sort of accusation or action". He IS God. Though Buddhism doesn't operate with any deity, it is never the less how Thai Theravada-buddhisme regards their kings, as THE Buddha.

To fully understand it, you have to know Thai culture, not just from study, but from experience. The King is the unifying symbol to all Thais, regardless of class or political orientation. It is not just the institution that does it, it's the character of the person. That's what have created the extensive popularity of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Rama IX, "King number Nine" for short. Not since his grandfather, the legendary King number Five (1869-1910), a more popular and revered ruler have sat on the throne.

The King has his own privy council, consisting of up to 15 privies. What they discuss and when they meet is never published. It's reported when a cousellor is called to king, but they never make any comments. Out of the pattern and in context of whatever the situation, the press makes its own speculations. The council never put out announcements or - as far as I know off - declares anything. They are solely for the King's orientation and assesment of matters concerning the nation. You can be sure they discuss politics, and it has been clear for a long time that the King in no way seems to agree with Thaksin. But he would never say so.

In the strife between Thaksin and Sondhi Limthongkul (see First Military Coup in 14 Years Confirmed...), the King made one of his rare statements. He don't judge, condemn or approve on anything. He just said: "The King can do no wrong". He IS above any judgement or argue. Any counselling with the King are to be kept strictly confident. Any leak would be a grave violation of conduct with severe consequences.

The King himself only speaks in public twice a year. On his birthday, the 5th of December he adresses the people, and on the first day of New Year he adresses the government. He always speaks in general terms and never mentions names or specific events. He uses a allegorical language with his own idioms, like "it's not dishonourable to be poor" or "sometimes rich people steal". He never names or blames anyone. He tries to spur people not to be greedy, and promotes a "sustainable economy". Initator of a series of royal projects for the benefit of his people, he actually has one named so. But politicians don't give it much attention, there no profits in a sustainable economy.

Hope this have clarified your questions and shed a little light on what the the King stands for and his role in Thai society.

A very good link on the King is Wikipedia's.

PS. According to my spouse, Thai television has now announced the King has given gen Sonti his official endorsement.

[edit on 21/9/06 by khunmoon]

posted on Sep, 21 2006 @ 10:05 AM

To fully understand it, you have to know Thai culture, not just from study, but from experience.

This is so true. All Thais love the king. His picture is everywhere, The Queen's picture is everywhere. In the zoo, on the road, NBK, etc... Before a movie is played in the cinema everyone has to stand and pay respects to the King. On Monday everyone wheres yellow, usually with the King's crest on it. And on other days many where yellow just to show their respect for the King. Like many Thais, I even where a yellow bracelot that says "Long Live The King" in Thai.

The Royal family is self supportive, they don't take from taxes or the government. All their money comes from donations and other things, like selling yellow shirts and bracelots.

The King's endorsement is as good as win, well, that's assuming he only endorses one candidate.


[edit on 21/9/2006 by SportyMB]

posted on Sep, 21 2006 @ 08:27 PM
BBC News now features a very good article on the subject.
Thai king remains centre stage

[edit on 21/9/06 by khunmoon]

posted on Sep, 21 2006 @ 08:31 PM
Well it seems that things are going very smooth in Tailand, at least the news are showing business as usual and people are just doing their thing without minding the military show on the streets.

Even the US has not given anything more than a word of caution to Americans in that country right now.

Actually it looks good.

posted on Sep, 21 2006 @ 11:13 PM
Here is a really comprehensive report from International Herald Tribune going behind the scenes of the event.

It also covers the most asked questions in Thailand right now:

What will happen to Mr Thaksin's vast fortune?
Will he be put on trial for his bloody "War on Drugs"? A campaign staged in 2003 taking the lives of about 6000 people, the official number, unofficial figurs surpass 15000, and it is one of the worst violations of human rights in recent times.

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