I’d like to use the blog today as a public service for our wonderful commenter Lyle, better known to you as the Bangkok Expat Mama. She’s an old friend of the UVA crew that lurks on these pages, and her adopted country of Thailand just had a bloodless coup while Prime Minister Thaksin was away at the United Nations.
They have shut down most web services, and Lyle’s few information outlets include this blog and Fox News, which pretty much defines “irony”. So I’m offering this entry as a way for people to talk to Lyle and to give her the news, as we have millions of sites at her disposal, and she has but a few.
These are the basics:
– Coup leader (Gen. Sonthi Boonyaratkalin) says action was necessary to end “intense conflict.” He said on TV last night he’ll turn the government back to the people as soon as possible.
– Sonthi, the first Muslim army commander in Buddhist-dominated Thailand, was appointed to the army’s top post last year with a mission to deal with an Islamic insurgency in the country’s south.
– Thai TV says that coup leaders have told the king they’re taking over the country, and I’m not sure what he said, but apparently the king didn’t like Thaksin.
– Police reportedly clearing streets, but no violence reported.
– Thai military says nation under martial law; constitution suspended.
– Gatherings of more than five people are banned.
– Ousted Prime Minister Thaksin is going to be hanging in London.
– Oddly enough, market watchers think this is all eventually good news.
This was just in from the AP wire:
BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) — The United States has urged Americans to reconsider any travel to Thailand while Britain told its citizens living there to stay in their homes, after the Thai military toppled the country’s prime minister in a coup… those already in the capital [should] stay at home, and monitor the media. The U.S. Embassy, in an e-mail to its citizens living in Thailand, said that while there had been no reports of violence in the overnight coup, Americans should “monitor the situation closely, avoid any large gatherings and exercise discretion when moving about the city.”
“At this point, we are not advising Americans to leave Thailand; however, Americans planning to travel to Thailand may wish to carefully consider their options before traveling until the situation becomes clearer.”
Anyway, Lyle, we’re with you over there and we hope you and your kids stay safe! Anyone who has more reports or questions or observations, you know where to click below…