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Tanks appear in Bangkok - reports

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1. Posted by Jase007 (Travel Guru 8870 posts) 10y

The BBC has just reported a news item on Thailand/bangkok.

2. Posted by RichyF (Budding Member 17 posts) 10y

so i take it the thai prime minister isnt in charge of his army?

3. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru 2457 posts) 10y

He's in New York anywa.

All Thai news websites have beeen cut off (talking to a friend in BKK), and all TV channels are showing archive footage of the King, but nobody has any more idea, just now.

4. Posted by Paul3879 (Respected Member 212 posts) 10y

Thailand's latest political crisis traces its roots back to January when Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra sold his family's stake in the telecoms firm Shin Corp.
The move angered many, mainly urban Thais, who complained the family avoided paying tax and had passed control of an important national asset to Singaporean investors.

It led to mass protests and calls for the resignation of the prime minister, who was already under pressure over his handling of a Muslim insurgency in the south and his extensive control over the media.

In a bid to tackle the crisis, and to show he still had widespread public support despite regular massive street protests in Bangkok, Mr Thaksin dissolved parliament in February and called a snap election for April.

Mr Thaksin's Thai Rak Thai party won 57% of the vote in the April election, but millions of Thais cast protest votes and the opposition refused to take part.

After weeks of limbo, Thailand's highly-revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej called the situation a "mess" and ordered the courts to sort it out.

The election result was ruled invalid by the Constitutional Court and a new date was set for later this year.

Mr Thaksin took a seven-week break from politics following the election, but came back to work in May.

The atmosphere has remained tense and uncertain.

Last month, he accused several military officers of plotting to assassinate him.

His opponents accused him of fabricating a story to win him support in the forthcoming election.

5. Posted by Paul3879 (Respected Member 212 posts) 10y

If anyone has any further information on this I would really appreciate it (as I arrive in Bangkok next week)!
To who-ever is out there..... Stay safe.
Paul

6. Posted by ahernster (Budding Member 33 posts) 10y

same goes, i arrive there also next week! I hope nothing bad happens, Anyone out there keep us posted and indeed stay safe!

7. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru 2457 posts) 10y

Not there myself, but know several who live there (including Thai's) and the info line is already running. Will update on local status as and when I hear something useful.

8. Posted by Paul3879 (Respected Member 212 posts) 10y

Thai PM 'overthrown in army coup'

Tanks took up positions outside Government House

Tanks in Bangkok
A faction of the Thai military led by the army chief says it has overthrown Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
Tanks surrounded the prime minister's offices and soldiers took them over, though it seems no shots were fired.

After announcing they had suspended parliament and the constitution, coup leaders went to meet the king.

A spokesman for Mr Thaksin, who is at the UN in New York, insisted the coup "could not succeed", and that the government was still in control.

Text: coup-leaders' statement

The spokesman said it had not been decided when the prime minister would return home from the UN.

However, in a broadcast on all Thai television channels the leadership of the armed forces said it had taken control of Bangkok, suspended the constitution and parliament, declared nationwide martial law and ordered all troops to return to their bases.

"We ask for the co-operation of the public and ask your pardon for the inconvenience," the announcement said.

Retired Lieutenant-General Prapart Sakuntanak said the seizure would be temporary and power "returned to the people" soon.

In pictures: Coup attempt

Declaring themselves the "Council of Political Reform", the rebels said they were led by sacked military commander General Sonthi Boonyaratglin and declared loyalty to the king.

However, the BBC's Kate McGeown in Bangkok says King Bhumibol is held in high esteem by all Thais, and the declaration of loyalty does not necessarily imply that he backs the takeover attempt.

Our correspondent says low-level rumours of a possible coup have been circulating for weeks.

There has been pressure growing on the prime minister to resign, including from groups close to King Bhumibol, following a political impasse in which April's general election was declared invalid, says the BBC's correspondent Jonathan Head in Bangkok.

But it had been thought that Thailand was making progress towards holding another election later in the year, our correspondent says.

Political impasse

Witnesses said several hundred troops were posted at key points around Bangkok, including at government installations and major intersections.

The streets in Bangkok were quiet on Tuesday night, our correspondent in the city says. People were calm for the most part, curious about what was going on, but some said they were scared.

Traffic moved through the streets normally and in the bars of the city centre foreign tourists seemed oblivious to what was going on.

One soldier on a tank said: "We don't know why we're here, we've been told to say nothing. We're just following orders."

Troops and guys dressed in Swat-style gear are strolling around

Russell Miles, Bangkok

Witnesses describe turmoil
Britons in Bangkok warned

Russell Miles emailed the BBC News website to say there were troops "dressed in Swat-style gear strolling around" near Government House, and "a tense, but fairly controlled atmosphere".

He said: "We saw a group of blokes bundling a cameraman and another chap into a van. We are taking photos, but not out in the open."

BBC World, CNN and other international news channels were taken off the air, and Thai stations played out images of the royal family and patriotic songs.

The EU's Finnish presidency expressed "grave concern" at events, and the US called on Thais "to resolve their political differences in a peaceful manner".

It is the first coup attempt in 15 years in a country where they used to be commonplace.

At the United Nations, where the annual General Assembly is under way, it was announced that the agenda had been changed to allow Mr Thaksin to address it in the coming

9. Posted by Paul3879 (Respected Member 212 posts) 10y

In short... Looks like its all over?
I would still appreciate any comments.
Paul

10. Posted by bagpuss34 (Budding Member 52 posts) 10y

I go to thailand bangkok in 2007, july time.. i just bought tickets yesterday...do you guys think it will all be over by then?? Im hoping so!!

Becca