Today army chief General Sondhi Boonyaratkalin ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra as the PM was in New York to address the UN. Sondhi sent the Thai military into Bangkok's streets, cordoned off Thaksin's offices, took control of the television stations, and declared a provisional government loyal to the king. The constitution was revoked, martial order was declared, and governmental, business, and academic institutions were closed. On the street people emptied the normally bustling markets and red light districts. Thaksin, popular with the country's poor but less so with its cosmopolitan city dwellers, had recently been on the defensive with the nation's voters. Thaksin had called a snap election earlier this year after coming under heavy fire for his family's very profitable, controversial tax-free sale of shares in a large corporation. The election was boycotted by the opposition and invalidated by the nation's courts. Now it appears that the armed forces have attempted to remedy the situation after consulting with the country's revered monarch.
Cf. http://www.economist.com/agenda/displaystory.cfm?story_id=7938267 and http://apnews.myway.com/article/20060919/D8K87US00.html.