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Living Through a Military Coup

Posted by Stuart at 11:32 PM on September 19, 2006

I've seen the scene played out on CNN before: tanks rolling through the streets of some large capitol city as the army steps in to take control. The only difference is that the tanks are rolling through the city that I am now living in.

It appears that there is a military coup in progress here in Bangkok as I type this. No one is really sure what is going on, but it looks like the military is taking advantage of the fact that the Prime Minister is in New York at the UN right now, and they have surrounded the Parliament building with tanks and soldiers.

I don't live near this area of town at all, so the only thing I see is the long lines at the registers of local convenience stores and the fact that all of the public TV stations are playing music to honor the King.

Just now, an announcer came on TV to say that the military and police are now in full control of Bangkok and surrounding areas. A lot more information can be found online at the normal new outlets and at my favorite Thai website, 2Bangkok.com: http://www.2bangkok.com/highemer.shtml

So we will see how this plays out over the next few days. I have to admit that I am a little bit worried, though, since the Prime Minister also has a lot of allies in the military. It seems that a worst-case scenario is if the military starts fighting itself. That would obviously be a bad situation.

However, for now, the bottom line (for those of you who know me), is that there is no fighting going on now. I am safe, my refrigerator is stocked, and I am not in danger.

Posted by: Joe on September 20, 2006 12:18 AM

I'm hoping it works out without too much drama affecting civilians (although I'm hearing there are rallies already). Peter's mother and grandmum are leaving Saturday for Thailand - I'm concerned for youself and his fam. Keep the updates coming (whenever possible.

Posted by: HRT on September 20, 2006 1:38 AM

Thank you for calling this morning. I really did appreciate your thoughtfulness and concern for my motherly worrying nature. I know that you will be wise in your choices throughout this ordeal. Our prayers are with you.

Love to you,

Posted by: Krasin on September 20, 2006 1:46 AM

Don't worry. There will not be violence. The coup was successfully staged by troops loyal to statesman Prem and the monarchy. This is the end of the worse prime minister Thailand has seen since 1932.

Posted by: Joseph on September 20, 2006 5:05 AM

My best wishes are with you, Stuart. When I read about the coup today, my first thoughts were about you. I'm glad you're safe & doing OK.

Posted by: Chris on September 20, 2006 8:07 AM

Stu - Glad to hear things are quiet so far in your neck of the woods. Been thinking about you and glad to read the update you posted. Keep them coming.

Posted by: David on September 20, 2006 9:57 AM

Hey, Stuart!

I'm glad to hear you're okay. I just heard the news on MarketPlace (PBS) of all things. What you haven't seen in the last month on your journeys to the political edges of the world. I'm really enjoying your dispatches. Thank you.

Stay safe,

Posted by: Morrie on September 23, 2006 6:56 PM

Hey Stuart, its a little late (laptop woes) but just wanted to say to you and your Thai friends, take care. I'm sure things will work out OK. I have great faith in the people of Thailand, and in their Armed Services who I believe merely want to do the right thing by the people. As soon as I heard the news, like most of your readers the first thought was "hope Stuart's OK".

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