Thai Coup d'etat
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Thai Coup d'etat Chiang Mai Reviews
Sep 19, 2006
The next morning in Chaing Mai I woke up to the sound of King Anthems blaring from loudspeakers. â€śI thought he just had his birthday or something?â€ť I asked Kiaw coming downstairs â€śWhatâ€™s the meaning of this racket?â€ť I yawned. The Thai ladies looked troubled and turned the TV set on. More yellow and photos of the Benevolent Monarch with anthem soundtracks all the channels were the same. â€śThis is really weird!â€ť I said but they ignored me concentrating on the subtitles flowing across the screen. â€śThe Armed forces of Thailand with official sanction of His Majesty has taken responsibility of the government.â€ť They said in a serious tone. â€śOh well, is that all?â€ť I asked, â€śso this is a coup I guess we wonâ€™t be going out today.â€ť Later I found out that they closed the Thai-Burmese border last night. Thank God I didnâ€™t get stuck in that awful place.
Iâ€™d always imagined a coup to be a rather violent affair with curfews and tanks bullets and dead civilians but this one was a walk in the park so to speak. The Prime Minister Thaksin Sinawatra was far away in New York attending a UN conference when he got the rug jerked out of him. It must be something like coming back from a regular all night binge to find that your teenagers have locked you out of the house with the consent of your wife, she had enough of you drinking the paycheck away. He hadnâ€™t actually come back though he was all cozy with his foriegn chums in a UK pad â€śtaking vacation with his familyâ€ť so he said. At least he finally had the time to spend all the loot he amassed.
The press/opposition and many rich Thais supported this military intervention like a pirate crew ticked off that the captain kept all the loot to himself. From what I gathered the poor got a bit from Thaksin (economic growth, infrastructure, and social benefits) as he was a clever guy but he had the politicianâ€™s proclivity to corruption. What can you expect? In general, the Chinese no matter where they are never think nationalistically, they only think pragmatically. Patriotism and sacrificing for your nation is not a logical thing to do its emotional, most often Chinese lack this emotion. In this train of thought, the only rational thing to do is to look out for yourself and therefore they are unashamedly corrupt. By the time he was unceremoniously dumped this tough talking school geek had a very entitled attitude to national resources. You canâ€™t let these people just take over a native population.
Whatever the case it was all done very smoothly and peacefully. Iâ€™ll have to give the military credit for a professional operation. Coups must be one thing Thais are good at especially after all that practice. They should give a few pointers to their neighbors, Burma and Cambodia, their people would be a lot less resistant to regime change; 1- play anthems on loudspeakers so everyone will know its another coup and can stay indoors. 2- donâ€™t start shooting civilians until a curfew has been announced. 3- donâ€™t kill harmless people like monks and children 4- donâ€™t level government buildings with tanks when theyâ€™re deserted anyway etc. Seriously just mobilizing all the troops in a bloodless coup costs money.
The Thais took this coup very well indeed on the highway to Bangkok the cars would pull over and children would climb on to the tanks to have their picture taken. The soldiers on the street were given yellow flowers it was like a national holiday. I thought the whole affair was rather boring, anthems to the king and praises to the army everyday but at least most people were happy. I guess it worked so well because they had the support of the king and therefore the people. Whether it was a positive event or not is up to the Thais, not me to decide.
Part of the Stumbling through the 3rd world again 2005-... travel blog
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