On September 19, 2006 the was a Military Coup D' Etat in Thailand. 

Thai Army tanks roll through Bangkok, Tuesday night September 19, 2006.

 

Note yellow ribbon on tanks cannon = Yellow Shirt tank!

 

250,000 Demonstrate against Thaksin at Siam Square in the Spring of 2006. 

Yellow shirts in the crowd represent support for the King & the pink shirts are worn by Chula University students ( the Chula University Campus is adjacent to Siam Square .. in fact MOST of Siam Sq is owned by the Chula University Trust,  After the Red Shirt riots of 2010 Chula reduced or waved rental fees until business was back to normal .. the rebuilding was incredibly quick .. the Loy Krathong candle festival on Chula's campus lake is the best!)

   

Thaksin Mai Noi, singer Lydia

  • Ousted Pm Thaksin has avoided criminal arrest warrants by remaining out of Thailand since his corrupt government was thrown out by the coup.
  • Ousted PM Thaksin, aka square head, is a funny guy. Thaksin owns the Manchester City Professional Football Team (England & not Man United) . Thaksin is trying to make British professional football players bow to him Thai style!

 

  • Thaksin's Mai Noi (literally minor wife) Lydia is a Thai pop singer & is commonly known to be Thaksin's Mai Noi.  Thaksin & Lydia often appear in public together.
  • The Mai Noi / concubine concept is an accepted part of Thai culture.  Many successful Thai men have younger girl friends.
  • Thaksin's wife, Pojamarn Shinawatra (left), has been convicted of tax evasion & fraud
  • She got 3 years but fled Thailand while on bail.  Three years in a Thai prison is truly hard time
  • Pojamarn Shinawatra's was convicted of defrauding Thailand of taxes amounting to 546 million baht (US$16.4 million).
  • Thaksin has been charged in the same transaction.

Suvarnabhumi Airport was claimed as one of the crowning achievements of deposed Prime Minister Thaksin.  The military-installed government that ousted Thaksin has opened several corruption investigations into the airport .. the airport has become a focal point of corruption investigations into Thaksin's administration.

July 5, 2007. The Military Junta has approved a new constitution. The new constitution severely limits the power of the Prime Minister & is in effect an anti-Thaksin constitution, taking aim at precisely the abuses the former prime minister is charged with.

  • The new constitution could be voted on as soon as August, 2007.  Copies of Thailand's 17th constitution in 75 years are to be distributed to every Thai  household ahead of the proposed August referendum.

4 months after opening Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport is suffering from cracked runways .. cracks large enough to pose a safety risk. 

The cracks were reported in the Bangkok Post 2 years prior to the airport opening.   A lawsuit was threatened by PM Thaksin, the Bangkok Post published a retraction & the editor who uncovered the faulty construction was fired!

More than 100,000 sq meters (1,000,000 sq feet) of runway are affected. The the construction was bonded by Diphaya Insurance. Repair costs are expected to be more than Bt1 billion ($25m)

Both domestic & international flights in January 2007 are being delayed dues to runway safety.

3 Months Post Coup Update

As usual the Thai people found a unique form of demonstration. Protesters are holding plastic banners with anti-Thaksin slogans .. plastic sheets made from hundreds of used consumer product labels .. shampoo . water. soft drink . 100s of labels .. an environmental statement in addition to political.

After the April mass demonstrations Thaksin initially agreed to step down .. the demonstrations went away  .. then he reconsidered & here we are in September ..

When Thailand's military decided to overthrow Prime Minister Thaksin he was in the midst of promoting his supporters into key posts in order for the the billionaire businessman to strengthen his grip on power

In order to build a criminal case against Thaksin (to help justify the coup) the military council has empowered Thailand's top graft investigator, Auditor-General Jaruvan Maintaka, to investigate the previously suppressed allegations of corruption in Mr. Thaksin's government.

Yellow ribbons indicate support for King Rama IX.  The Thai people's love for Rama IX is unfathomable to a westerner.

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Some of the tanks & most of the military are displaying yellow banners in honor of King Rama IX.( note yellow ribbon on the tank's machine gun barrel.)  The Thai people's love of King Rama IX would be impossible for a westerner to understand.

 

Wednesday evening Sept. 20:  Rama IX reports that he supports the military.  Apparently both the police & military are loyal primarily to the King.

  • There was a meeting Wednesday morning with university presidents, permanent secretaries of ministries, and other key government officials.

 

 
  • Bangkok TV Wednesday AM:  

  • The nature of the junta's plans should be clarified soon.

    • "Administrative Reform Council" leader General Sonthi told foreign diplomats that a civilian government would be appointed to run the country within two weeks.

      • General Sonthi is a Muslim who was in charge of the Thai Military in the Southern Provinces ( until recalled by PM Thaksin immediately prior to the coup).

      • The Southern Provinces are currently experiencing extreme Muslim terrorism .. 16 terrorist bombs went off in one day near & in Hat Yi in September 2006.

      • Eighty percent of people in the far south, an Islamic sultanate until it was annexed by Bangkok a century ago, are Muslim, ethnic Malay and do not speak Thai as their first language.

    • The "Administrative Reform Council" is still discussing the candidate for the caretaker prime minister but added that the person must believe in democracy and embrace the much revered Monarchy of King Rama IX.

    • A general election could be carried out by October 2007.

    • There appears to be selective censorship of the news.

    • No public gatherings are allowed.

  • All government officials, including university executive staffing, were required report to work at 9am September 20 . 

  • For the most part it seems to be business as usual. 

  • Banks are closed but many shops are open & there is little noticeable disruption in areas away from the blockaded government buildings.

    • Of utmost importance, the street food vendors were in their usual locations outside my apartment today.

    • Except for telephone congestion & interruption / apparent censorship of TV programming one would mostly not be aware of the situation.

      • Thank goodness ESPN is not interrupted!

 

The expressways were almost as congested as usual.

  • All basic government services are going on without much of a hitch.

  • Thaksin has applied for exile in the UK. 

    • Thaksin's family was allowed to leave the country for Singapore.

    • Many Cabinet members and other people deemed hostile by the "Council of Administrative Reform" have been detained.

  • Thaksin is (was?) one of the richest men in the world .. much of his problems involve shady off shore asset sales during 2005 & 2006 .. shady untaxed transactions while he was Prime Minister.

    • 100 billion Thb, 2.5 billion US, went untaxed because of complicated asset transactions in Bahama registered 'off shore' paper corporations.

    • The transaction that did Thaksin in.

      • Thaksin sold the Thai Telephone Monopoly, Shin Corp., to a Singapore Corporation in a shady (Enron like) tax free off shore transaction .. multiple Thaksin off shore holding companies were involved in the extremely complicated & 'shady' transaction.

        • It is said PM Thaksin used his government position to secure monopolistic government concessions & thus the Shin Corporation's (100% owned by Thaksin & family) virtual monopoly on Thai telecommunications.

        • He then sold his monopoly of Thai telecommunications to a foreign owned corporation & tried to hide the true nature of the transaction through the Thaksin wholly owned  Bahama Paper Corporations.

      • The Thai middle class saw this as a sale of a Thai national asset .. + it was un taxed & Enron like shady.

      • These transaction by the serving Thai Prime Minister were the beginning of the end of his government.

    • The disposition of the Thaksin assets will be determined by the "Administrative Reform Council".

 

 
  • The Stock Exchange of Thailand and Banks are closed.

  • Wednesday flights out of Don Muang International Airport are  leaving as scheduled.

  • Amazingly the tourist areas of Sukhumvit & Silom are seemingly uneffected.

For those with friends & family in Thailand:  The phone systems are working but with extreme congestion.

  • The Thai military is now in control of Communications Authority of Thailand. This means the military can turn off mobile phones and the internet if they desire.

  • note yellow arm bands for Rama IX.

  • As of 3 AM Wednesday this has not happened  ..telephone problems are due to the lines being over loaded.

    • If possible, limit your phone calls to allow emergency communication.

  • Skype computer phones appear to be functioning OK. :-)

  • Thai International Telephone Information.

 

Wednesday Morning Bangkok TV:

Approximate translation:

At present the government reforms the democratic regime with the King as chief .
The army commander and national police commander have controlled the situation in Bangkok and boundary areas already.
There is no opposition.
To maintain the peace of the nation we ask people's cooperation and forgive the inconvenience.

& now .. Latest Announcement from the Coup Leaders: 4 AM Wednesday.  .. YAWN..

  1. The current constitution, drafted in 1997, is now repealed.

  2. The House of Representatives, the Senate, the Cabinet and the Constitution Court are now dissolved.

  3. The courts of justice, except the Constitution Court, will retain their full power to adjudicate cases according to the law and the announcements of the council.

Facts & Background:

Tuesday September 18: PM Thaksin striving to control the long rumored coup declared a state of emergency recalled Thai Army commander Commander-in-Chief General Sondhi from the Muslim terror ravaged deep terror south of Thailand .. The Thai South borders on Muslim Malaysia.

The extremely unpopular Thaksin agreed to step down in April, 2006 .. then did a politician "two-step" & changed his mind.

PM Thaksin has been accused of extreme corruption.  Voter fraud.

Class 10 of the Chulachorn Klao Military Academy, who are loyal to Thaksin, were preparing to resist the Coup..

Steven Colbert / The Colbert Report on Comedy Central showed the Thai UN delegation text messaging during Bush's speech at the UN .. of course there was a military coup happening at that instant..