Mai Pen Rai

September 21, 2006 at 1:14pm By: Mr. T Posted in Mr. T's Den

...But no signs of any more protests at The Nation at all. That’s about all I can mention in terms of excitement or anything different. I haven’t ventured downtown or to the historic area so haven’t seen any other signs of the military. We’re still publishing, as are all other newspapers.

May be a net gain, as the ancien regime was rather odious and we had a strong editorial line deploring Thaksin and his cronies for corruption, whittling away the powers of governmental watchdog bodies and otherwise weakening civil society. Though as our editor writes in his opinion piece today, the coup is a high price to pay for fixing things up.

There had been swirling rumors for the last few months that a coup was in the works, though it still as something as a surprise since there hadn’t been one in 1991. This one is more popular than that one, since the government was in great need of an overhaul these days. Ex-PM Thakisn remains popular in the provinces with rural folk, who don’t bother to scrutinize their leaders that carefully and are happified by his talk of easy money and debt relief.

Wikipedia is amazing. They already had a full page of info out less than 24 hours after the coup. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/September_2006_Thailand_coup for details.

Hope there will be elections and the restoration of the constitution before too long, but the PM has left quite a mess to be cleaned up first.

Banks and schools were closed for a day but are open again like everything else now and in all respects appears to be business as usual, albeit under a new government. CNN was temporarily down but is back up, and the Internet is alive and well with no news sites blocked. Glad to report that all is peaceful in the capital, and especially in my uneventful southeastern corner of it. The daily commute to the Nation complex is not in the main part of town at all, so not much chance to see much of anything.

And another:

As you may have heard, Thailand had a military coup
late on Tuesday night.  Martial Law was imposed over
the entire country…complete with tanks, guns and
scary looking military people…I witnessed this on
television, probably like the rest of you…And was
able to get most of my information over the
internet…the Government blocked CNN and BBC in the
country, and all I had was Thai tv…not the greatest
thing when you’re trying to figure out exactly what’s
happening.  Things are a bit tense here, but I just
want to reassure everyone that I am nowhere near the
downtown area where this is all taking place, and am
isolated from it…the Canadian Embassy has informed
its citizens to stay away from downtown/tourist
places, which I am doing.  The situation is trying to
be resolved, but if it escalates, I will most
definitely be leaving Thailand…but right now it’s a
wait and see thing.

Prime Minister Thaksin has left New York, and is
hiding out in London.  His family is going to be
joining him there, and the word right now is, if he
tries to come back to Thailand he will be arrested.
Hopefully a peaceful resolution to all of this will
happen.

Mai Pen Rai.

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