India Intelligence Report

 

 

   Military Coup in Thailand

  The Thai Army took over administration from to break deadlock and stop “rampant corruption” in the 74 year old democracy but promised to return “power to the people” as soon as possible but after cleaning the political system.
 

 

Hot Topics

Military Coup in Thailand
ONGC’s Mangalore SEZ
India Claims to be Yaws Free
Child Labor Targets Missed, Enforcement Tightened
Diplomatic Pressure on LTTE
Maoists Force Children to March for Peace

 

Other Stories

Child Labor Targets Missed, Enforcement Tightened
Diplomatic Pressure on LTTE
India Claims to be Yaws-Free
Maoists Force Children to March for Peace
ONGC’s Mangalore SEZ
   

The Thai Army took over administration from to break deadlock and stop “rampant corruption” in the 74 year old democracy but promised to return “power to the people” as soon as possible but after cleaning the political system. Attending the UN General Assembly session in New York , politically-embattled Prime Minister Thakshin Shinawatra, trying to stave off the coup, declared a state of emergency and announced the dismissal of Army Chief Sonthi Boonyaratkalin. Government spokesman accompanying Shinawatra said the coup could not succeed and “we're in control” but the ground situation in Bangkok looked different. The coup protagonists have voided the 1997 Constitution, the parliament (both the House of Representatives and the Senate), the cabinet, and Constitutional Court .

A military controlled television station has been playing martial music showing the photo of the Constitutional monarch sparking rumors that Boonyaratkalin may have the King’s tacit approval since the number of anti-Shinawatra protests over the year had grown steadily. Further, a "Council of Administrative Reform," with King Bhumibol Adulyadej as the titular head has been formed leading more credence to this rumor. However, Adulyadej has not appeared on television claiming control nor has any web sites been posted with such claims.

However, an announcement on national television, citing “peace and order,” said a martial law imposed on the nation revoked the Constitution and required all troops to report to duty and not leave without authorization from their commanders. There are rumors that Boonyaratkalin may not have the full support within the Army and a counter coup with Thai loyalist may be in offing. This announcement said that “The armed forces commander and the national police commander have successfully taken over Bangkok and the surrounding area” and that there “has been no struggle.” With about 14 tanks surrounding Shinawatra’s office, an Army spokesperson said that Deputy Prime Minister Chitchai Wannasathit has also been removed.

The Muslim Boonyaratkalin is known to be close to the king of the mainly Buddhist nation. He also now heads a Political Reform Council run by the military. Within hours of the coup, the Thai Bhat which has been growing strong collapsed to a three year low and Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor’s announced that they will review the credit rating for possible downgrades. The military has also order that the stock market closed to stop any financial hemorrhage. Commercial banks, businesses, multi-national companies have stopped operations for a day.

Shinawatra is a telecom billionaire and stands accused of sullying the 74 year democracy, dividing the people, and creating conditions necessitating a coup after the first one 15 years ago. The military claims that "The majority of people had become suspicious of this administration” which it says is “running the country through corruption.” It says Shinawatra’s administration has interfered with independent institutions such as the Election Commission (EC) “so much they could not perform in line within the spirit of the constitution.”

A previous deputy minister of the previous government suggested that new elections will be called in a few months and Shinawatra will be allowed to participate. In the meanwhile, an adviser to Adulyadej is expected to lead an interim administration even though senior military leaders are discussing the composition of such a government.

Shinawatra has a large following in the rural areas and even called snap elections in April to out-maneuver his metropolitan opponents. However, opposition parties called that election a sham accusing Shinawatra of sullying the EC to his favor and boycotted the poll. Those results were essentially internationally considered and constitutionally rendered invalid. Shinawatra had called another elections end of November but opponents have objected this re-run without fixing the basic flaws he introduced into the system. Several had openly asked the Army to throw him out and Boonyaratkalin had always publicly said that there was no danger of a coup.