New Yorker’s have snow days. Thai’s have military coup days.

I arrived back from a weekend vacation in Koh Tao to witness a military faction has taking over Bangkok at around 9pm. There are reports of fires being set on the grounds of Thammasat University and anti-Thaksin remarks being made by the students. All classes and businesses will be shut down tomorrow. There are rumors that all internet and phone circuits will be shut off tonight. A woman just came on the TV that has been repeating several propaganda messages over the past hours and said that they have announced the new PM Akraratorn Chularat. As of now some of my classmates at Chulalongkorn University have notified me that they are not leaving their homes until further notice from the new ruling junta has be received. All TV news channels such as BBC and CNN have been taken off the air and either displays some sort of propaganda programming or a black feed.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is on his way from New York to an unknown destination. The Thai people, especially in Bangkok, have been irritated due to the constant corruption suspected by the Thaksin Thai Rak Thai party. Thaskin owns a major cell phone company, the BTS skytrain in Bangkok, and the new airport which is mere days from its grand opening. The corruption and relentless nepotism of the Thai Rak Thai party has led to political unrest throughout the nation’s capital and now a military coup that comes unexpectedly to many.
This year marks King Bhumibol Adulyadej 60th anniversary of his ascension to the throne. His deteriorating state and the uncertainly of his heir, the Crown Prince has posed many questions to the future stability of Thailand; a subject little spoken throughout Thailand because of the strict silence that is preserved around the monarchy. The Prince has been under the constant supervision and support of a very wealthy businessman known in Thailand as ousted PM Thaksin Shinawatra. With the instability of his country and PM Thaksin with the crown prince in his pocket the future of the government has been uncertain since the last election.
Now reports are in that the Council of Administrative Reform has taken control of Bangkok under the direction of the king. Perhaps it is more than just the people of Bangkok that want Thaksin out of office, but the silence of the crown makes these matters hard to interpret and even harder to separate from fiction. The one truth that can be maintained is general consensus. Within every single small, educational establishment, business firm and newspaper lives an opinion that does not permeate through the walls. Within in the borders of Thailand it is accepted that the king remains at his stature and that speaking otherwise will disrupt the social fabric of the monarchy. So silence is maintained, enjoyed, and expected.
As tanks crash and clank down the streets of Bangkok the public sits, waits,and watches propaganda films on the TV of a king that has stood the test of time and now much survive another round of the infamously corrupt Thai political arena.

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