I spent four hours this afternoon walking around Bangkok and taking photos and talking to people. The image above very clearly illustrates the situation on the ground: Soldiers stand guard, while behind them civilians go about their daily lives. To the right, the two symbols of the nation — the country’s tri-colored flag and a yellow emblem of King Bhumibol Adulyadej — are united.
The city is calm. Traffic was light yesterday but appeared, in central Bangkok, to have nearly returned to its normal volume today.
Traffic has picked up a bit from yesterday, but it appeared to move more fluidly than usual. (Yes, this really is “more fluidly.”)
And, as ever, motorcycle taxi drivers lounged about and waited for fares.
To the news reports:
• Deposed PM Thaksin says coup was totally unexpected
• Sonthi says “all sectors” cooperating with new ruling council
• Rebel Muslim leader says coup may resolve dispute in south
• King endorses military’s takeover, orders people to follow general
Thai army bans “political activities”
Billionaire PM had no shortage of enemies
The lede of the day goes to DPA‘s Peter Janssen:
Bangkok (dpa) – Thailand has arguably taken coup-making to new heights of non-violence, judging by the peaceful response to Tuesday’s bloodless blitzkrieg that toppled prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra from power and put a junta in command of the kingdom.
Thai Army Commander-in-Chief Sonthi Boonyaratklin brought troops and tanks into Bangkok Tuesday night and took over the country without firing a shot, putting a junta in power that has promised to hand over the reins of government to a cabinet of appointed civilians within two weeks and hold a general election within a year.
“I have seen 15 coups myself in the past 30 years and this was the easiest one yet,” said Luzi Matzig, a long time resident in Thailand who runs Asia Travels, a tour agency. “A smooth-as-silk kind of coup,” quipped Matzig, playing on Thailand’s national airline’s advertising slogan “THAI – Smooth as Silk.”
Figures Behind the Coup (graphic)
Police, bomb plot file vanish