Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Thailand's Thaksin Overthrown

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 The constitution was revoked, martial order was declared, and governmental, business, and academic institutions were closed.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.


piperfromtn said...

Remember the '50's song: On-ly Coup...?

jakeho said...

No but I remember the Beach Boys' hit, "Little Deuce Coupe." Hopefully, it is the "Only Coup" in Siam.

grgb4 said...

Mrs. Boonyaratkalin:  "It's 10 P.M.!   Where on earth have you been?  Supper's been ready for hours!"

Sondhi Boonyaratkalin:  "I overthrew Prime Minister Thaksin, revoked our constitution, took control of the TV stations, declared martial law, closed all businesses and schools, and declared a provisional government!"

Mrs. Boonyaratkalin:  "Well, you could have at least called!"  

jakeho said...

Welcome back, G! Glad to have you wit and humor back in the mix.

constancehogue said...

Thanks, James, for keeping us informed.  Keep up the good work!  Mom