Updated: Reacting to the coup

22 05 2014

Will stop updating this page now and go to normal posting. It is left disorganized below as a snapshot of things.

Adam Russell’s listing of coups and rebellions in Thailand.

Military’s announcements are here. All in Thai at this stage.

The Nation reports that, the expected: “The National Peace and Order Maintaining Council issued its tenth order assigning the NPOMC chief to perform the duties and responsibilities of the prime minister and the Cabinet until the new premier is appointed.”Thanking the military

Anti-democrats are already thanking the military, and some are claiming, like 2006, this is a “good coup.”

Video is of military at ThaiPBS, shutting things down. Recall that this is an anti-democrat outlet.


Ernest Bower, a senior adviser and Sumitro Chair for Southeast Asia Studies & co-director of the Pacific Partners Initiative at CSIS responds to the coup and the options for the United States.

Siam Intelligence on what to expect:

This list is just our quick analysis from today’s information. We are very pessimistic right now for the situation.

We should see the new PM soon (within the next 3-4 days). The senate will act for the full parliament and nominate a new PM.
Possible PM candidates are General Prawit Wongsuwan, ex-Army chief and Palakorn Suwanrath, a Privy Councilor. Both are closed to the palace.
The new junta government will run the country for 1-2 years. Possibly longer than previous Surayud Chulanont government (2006-2007).
New Constitution will be drafted, we might call it 2015 Constitution. It will be more draconian than 2007 Constitution.
PDRC, Democrat Party, and all anti-Pheu Thai leaders will be released in the next few days. Pheu Thai and red leaders will be in custody longer.
The short term (1-3 months) outcome will be peaceful but it’s temporary peace.
The longer term (3-6 months and more) looks bad. Red Shirts will go underground. We might see some unrests.
The situation after that depends on the structure of the new Constitution and the call for ‘true democratic’ general election.
If the Constitution is undemocratic and the election is postponed indefinitely, the country (especially the junta government) will face the insurgency in North and Northeastern which is the red shirts’ bases.
The worst possible scenario is a chronic civil war. Same as Thailand’s ongoing Deep South Insurgency.

Andrew Spooner asks questions of the international community.

Reaction of the anti-democrats via The Nation:

Once the power seizure was announced, PDRC co-leader Phra Buddha Issara went on stage at the Chaeng Wattana rally site yesterday to announce victory and urge the crowds to go home.

The monk said he had advised PDRC secretary-general Suthep Thaugsuban, who is being detained by the Army, to not push too hard but he did not listen.

The monk explained that the Army had no choice but to seize power as the second round of talks had clearly failed. He added that he would find a team of lawyers to help fight for the release of PDRC leaders who have been detained as well as those facing arrest.

The monk, who appeared to be quite emotional, said the Army had given him their word that they will help all Thais become “good people”.

Buddha Issara also allowed the Army to dismantle the PDRC protest site at Chaeng Wattana Road before handing over three reform proposals to the soldiers. The Army sent about 20 buses to help the protesters get home, and it is believed that the monk is under detention at the First Artillery Battalion Headquarters.

Meanwhile, news of Army seizure and the detention of pro-government red-shirt leaders was met with jubilation by PDRC supporters.

At the same, place, an initial red shirt reaction:

In Chiang Rai, red-shirt leader Thanit Yunnasinikasem declared that the Army seizure was illegitimate and that he would do what he can to resist it.

“The country has no rules any more. Anyone can do anything they please, but the red shirts will not accept this,” he said.

He also promised that the pro-government movement would oppose the seizure both underground and openly.

Both the Bangkok Post and The Nation manage mealy-mouthed, weasel editorials. Both tut-tut about democracy and coups, but essentially posterior polish. As might be expected the anti-democrat supporting Nation cheerleads: “What is required is to make this power seizure lead to a sustainable solution for the country…”.

Khaosod reports that:

After the army announced the coup, a curfew has begun across Thailand. In one of several post-midnight announcements, the ousted Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, her sister Mrs Yaowapa Wongsawat and also top political figures in the government were ordered to report to the military on Friday morning.

No one should trust the military. Latest report is that the military has demanded that 23 Shinawatras and close allies “report.”

Khaosod defiant?:

From the Editors

Under martial law, the military is now authorized to censor the media as it sees fit. So far, the military has used this power to shut down the operation of at least fourteen news outlets. It has also warned all members of the press not to publish any material that could “incite unrest.”

We would like to clarify to our readers that these developments have not affected the impartiality of Khaosod English. We have not been forcibly censored or felt the need to exercise self-censorship at this time.

However, if circumstances arise that do require us to censor our material, we will notify our readers by posting a disclaimer at the beginning of any censored article. This way, our readers will not need to question the impartiality of our reporting.

But what now, under the coup regime?

Update: The New York Times on the coup:

The Thai military seized control of the country on Thursday and detained at least 25 leading politicians in a culmination of months of maneuvering by the Bangkok establishment to sideline a populist movement that has won every national election since 2001.

It was the second time in a decade that the army had overthrown an elected government, but there were signs that this takeover could be more severe and include sharp curbs on Thailand’s freewheeling media.

The coup was seen as a victory for the elites in Thailand who have grown disillusioned with popular democracy and have sought for years to diminish the electoral power of Thaksin Shinawatra, a former prime minister who commands support in the rural north. Unable to win elections, the opposition has instead called for an appointed prime minister, and pleaded with the military for months to step in.