9.19.2006

Breaking: Coup in Thailand

As Mok's family is in Bangkok, this is worth watching:
BANGKOK, Thailand (CNN) -- Tanks have been seen rolling through the streets of Bangkok, Thailand, on Tuesday amid rumors of an attempted coup, witnesses tell CNN.

Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra -- currently at the U.N. headquarters in New York -- went on a government-owned TV station and declared a state of emergency, The Associated Press reported.

According to officials at the Thai mission at the United Nations, Thaksin has moved up his speech to the General Assembly to Tuesday night and will return to Bangkok after his address.

He had been scheduled to address the assembly on Wednesday.

Thaksin has been under considerable pressure to step down. Elections in Thailand are scheduled for November after the country's constitutional court ruled April's vote was unconstitutional.

Thaksin had called for the elections in April, three years early, after opponents accused the billionaire leader of abusing the country's system of checks and balances and bending government policy to benefit his family's business.
More than 10 tanks are said to have blocked roads surrounding the government offices, and, according to AFP, "the Army television is broadcasting images of the royal family and songs associated in the past with military coups."

Update: The coup attempt has been confirmed; apparently PM Thaksin Shiniwatra canned his army chief, and jeeps are patrolling the city.

Flickr photos tagged "Thailand" "coup." More images at ThaiPhotoBlogs. Please leave comments if you find any Thai bloggers covering this news.

Update: Thailand is under martial law and the Constitution has been suspended:
As soldiers and armored vehicles moved through Bangkok, an announcement from the military earlier declared a provisional authority loyal to beloved King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

The announcement declared that a "Council of Administrative Reform" had seized power in Bangkok and nearby provinces without any resistance. It recognized the king as head of state.


Image via Thai-blogs.com.

1 comment:

Norwegianity said...

It's impossible to get through to the Bangkok Post, and all the wire services have the same limited stories.

Given Thailand's history, I'm sure the country will be safe for tourism ASAP. And the PM will probably just become yet another exiled leader living in the U.S. which is only fitting given the way he screwed up their economy per the World Bank.