THAI COUP UPDATE
Thailand's latest coup d'etat, staged by the military to oust caretaker prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Tuesday night, turned out to be the mildest and most peaceful operation in the history of Thai political revolutions. No gunshots were fired. There were no clashes or bloodbaths. And many people, instead of being scared away by the tanks and troops that roamed the city, felt safe enough to approach and even give the soldiers bunches of roses.
That is how an article in The Bangkok Post began. The entire article is *HERE*. They keep records of these things like baseball statistics. Although it is the first coup in fifteen years, it is the 18th in the last 74 years. That’s why they need to keep statistics.
The coup leader claims he did not consult with the king before moving. That seems unlikely. According to the coup leader the king has since endorsed the CDR (Council for Democratic Reform), which has taken power via the coup.
Thaksin, the deposed one, may have seen the writing on the wall which is why he left the country the day before. His wife was in Singapore while he was in New York.
Thaksin still has great support in the countryside and was almost certain to win the election scheduled for November. His problem was in Bangkok where he was disliked by more than 80% reportedly. His political opposition had promised not to accept the results of the upcoming election, knowing they were going to lose it. They had also promised to continue demonstrations against him, perhaps escalating them.
Thaksin had made some moves which made it look like he might resort to force to put down the demonstrations. That is why he was deposed.
All is seemingly peaceful here. Many businesses were closed yesterday. Most girly bars were open. Schools are open today. Things are returning to normal.
The international news channels get shut down briefly when they start reporting on the situation here.
Toyota, which has its largest Asian production facility here outside of Japan, has shut down production.