• Wednesday, September 20, 2006

    A Very Thai Coup

    The news is out now, Thailand is under marshal law. The military took over the government last night while the PM was away in New York getting ready to give a speech to the UN.

    There was a media blackout. The only source of info was from the net and the trusty, but flowery, BBC. The army took government house and took over all radio and TV stations, even the ones it doesn’t already own, and eventually stopped satellite transmission.

    This morning the phone was going from 5am. Offices were closed and a public holiday declared. The daughter's school called and said they were closed, a cop-out if you ask me. I’d got her ready for school and then find they’ve called it off. There’s one unhappy parent who will be asking for a refund for today’s fees.

    The wife’s office was closed and then open. We took her in and then headed off, cameras at the ready to witness a coup firsthand. Fighting through road blocks and military checks we made it to walking distance from parliament.

    This was early this morning and the whole area was barricaded by railings guarded by soldiers and tanks. Thai and foreign reporters were gathered by the railing watching from a distance. Deciding that we wanted a better view of things and taking the risk that no one could hurt a three year old we marched on through the barricade. I heard a few Thais on phones saying that a foreigner and a kid had walked through and they followed.

    We led a small group of these guys a distance of more than a kilometre through a deserted street, past parliament, troops and tanks. We stopped they stopped, we moved sides of the street and so did they. It was like we were leading our own little movement, quite amusing.

    Most of the soldiers were fine and just wanted to talk to my daughter. She managed to charm them with a wai (traditional Thai greeting) and we got some pics of her by the tanks and some soldiers. If these guys are anything to go by there won’t be much blood spilt during this revolution. Most of the tanks were decked out in flowers.

    The wife’s firm ordered all staff to leave early and the general office gossip was about taking money out of the bank and stocking up on rice. This all seems like scaremongering to be honest. The army have now stated that they will appoint (somewhat un-democratically) a new PM in the next two weeks and begin writing a new constitution, as they’ve just scrapped the existing one.

    T.I.T (This is Thailand)

    A Very Thai Coup



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