Saturday, March 29, 2008

Thai PM Samak talks about a coup

I guess it was passing the military police at all the intersections. It's funny but -- before I saw the relevant article today -- taking a cab though Bangkok yesterday it felt to me as if a coup was "in the air." I asked the taxi driver what was going on with all the military police everywhere. He said "the King is visiting . . ." (and he gave a place name I didn't recognize). A reasonable and perfectly innocent explanation. Nevertheless, thoughts of another coup lingered in my mind.

Perhaps the premonition was not absurd. According to a front page headline in this morning's Bangkok Post, Thai PM Samak says he thinks some people may be plotting another coup. Of course, this word comes from Samak who is gives the impression as being someone who shoots off his mouth without thinking much beforehand.

According to the Bangkok Post "a highly placed source in the army" says that some Thaksin classmates from the armed forces academy didn't agree with PM Samak's army reshuffling, and now they are trying to create division between Samak and top generals by spreading rumors of a coup.

"The military won't do it for sure," said Samak, citing his faith in General Anupong. The article notes that Samak has put trust in General Anupong. The pro-Thaksin Class 10 members don't want Samak and Anupong to become any closer, and so are claiming Lt-Gen Prayuth is preparing to stage the coup.

According to the paper, the only two people with the resources to stage another coup are Lt-Gen Prayuth and General Anupong. These men supervise "security affairs in Bangkok and the Central Region."

Other happenings:
  • Yesterday also saw a major protest by the anti-Thaksin/anti-government called PAD (People's Alliance for Democracy). The Bangkok Post reports the number in attendance was "in the thousands." The protesters decried the government's plans to make changes to the country's charter.
  • Thaksin now plans to return to Bangkok Sunday from London, 11 days earlier-than expected.

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