September 20, 2006

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Remain calm

Thailand has its traditional coup d'etat but some hardy souls are bravely dealing with the dangerous situation:

The coup went largely unnoticed in Thailand's popular tourist districts, where foreigners packed beer bars and cabarets oblivious to the activity about three kilometers away.

But word raced among street vendors hawking T-shirts, who packed up their carts and started heading home.

Be strong, you visitors of Patpong. They shall not overcome.

posted by Simon on 09.20.06 at 07:55 AM in the ASEAN category.


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Ha, Simon,you beat me to it! I was going to create a post called "Calling for Thai takeout" about the corrupt telecoms tycoon that whose interest in mobile capital (that is, selling Shin to the Singaporeans) brought on this coup d'etat.

While it is always regrettable that constitutional checks and balances are overrun, the corruption that prevented the legitimate impeachment proocess to take place was hardly the high road...

posted by: HK Dave on 09.20.06 at 11:45 AM [permalink]

I think this is an adjustment rather than a coup. I am suspicious as they say that tanks were lined up outside the government palace and everyone knows there is no way a tank could get through Bangkok traffic

posted by: da on 09.20.06 at 03:18 PM [permalink]

Thaksin won several fair elections in a row, and has been predicted by many to continue that trend. Just because you don't like someone winning elections doesn't mean that you should remove them by force.

After all, Bill Clinton was unfaithful, yet the public judged him worthy.

Who are people to complain that he is corrupt is a MAJORITY of people still vote him in?

So what happens next time Thaksin supporters don't like the government? After all, there are still the majority in the countryside. Launch they own coup? What would people be saying to that? That it is undemocratic?

Jeez, talk about double standards.

posted by: bx on 09.20.06 at 03:35 PM [permalink]

I'm with BX on this. It's the same problem people face with Hamas - if a democracy elects someone, that's who you've got to deal with until the next election. Sure the current guy had his problems, but he followed due process whereas his opponents subverted it (boycotts, pressure on courts etc.) to the point that it made a coup possible. Dave is also right but Thaskin in genuinely popular and has the majority. Just because Bangkok doesn't like doesn't make it right to oust him by coup.

posted by: Simon on 09.20.06 at 05:06 PM [permalink]

But the problem is quite dissimilar to Hamas. The Thai people elected Thakskin years ago. His involvement in securing the sale of the Thai national phone carrier to S'poreans through his families own stake in the company brought about huge dissaproval from the Thai population. This dissaproval sent him into creating the snap election (tv) show, in which the opposition refused to take part. After this, because there was nobody in control of the country briefly he was asked to come back and take charge of the interim government that eventually many people feared was never going to let go of power. Thakskin also dismissed the General that is presently waging the coup for the ridiculous reason of trying to disrupt due political process by asking (haha) that the election be sped up so cohesiveness would return to Thai politics. There are many more incidents of Thakskin corruption which would make this post too long for the financial readers of your world, suffice my friend in Bangkok who is just a student at Thaamasat U, (an arts student no less) is much more in favor of the General than he is of Thakskin and he tells me that this is a common feeling.

posted by: Colum on 09.20.06 at 06:04 PM [permalink]

see my post at

posted by: shwe on 09.20.06 at 09:26 PM [permalink]

see my post at

posted by: shwe on 09.20.06 at 09:26 PM [permalink]

See my post at

posted by: shwe on 09.20.06 at 09:26 PM [permalink]

"I'm with BX on this. It's the same problem people face with Hamas - if a democracy elects someone, that's who you've got to deal with until the next election. "

This logic may apply to Palestinians. But I am at loss why other governments are supposed to be obliged to deal with them and send them truckloads of money, just because they have been elected. I deal with whom I want to deal with. There is no obligation on my part to deal with those I don't want to deal with. I am not arguing that they should be removed by force, unless they attack others.

It is a ridiculous situation when Israel is pressured into talking to Hamas which doesn't recognised its existence, and scrapped all the previous agreements. It is also interesting that Hamas apparently want to talk to someone who, in their view, does not exist.

posted by: Boris on 09.22.06 at 09:38 PM [permalink]

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