Friday, May 23, 2014

Friday, May 23, 2014
Jeab a journalist lost her job at Mono Broadcast for this pose (Khao Sod)
A so far peaceful coup was increasingly looking like it could turn mean in Thailand tonight as military men continued rounding up potential troublemakers throughout the country and dealt harshly with protesters on the streets of Bangkok.

Army Commander Prayuth Chan-Ocha was clearly going to take a no nonsense approach to any dissidents as he continued to call in politicians, activists, social commentaters, and even members of the armed forces and police, to submit themselves to his soldiers in Bangkok.

Raids were made on the Chiang Mai, north Thailand, homes of relatives of the two deposed Prime Ministers, Thaksin Shinawatra – now living in Dubai, and his younger sister Yingluck Shinawatra, and the military men  appear to working from lists prepared some time in advance.

While many politicians on both sides have been released from military custody but forbidden to leave the country, and the blackout on television and radio news has been lifted in the main, the curfew remains in force.

Anti-government protesters: Twitter Pic
Last night at least 100 were still in custody. They included politicians and bankers, said a military spokesman.

Fears that the red-shirted supporters of the Shinawatra governments would take unilateral action in the face of their defeat by the coup now seem real enough and the army's actions seemed pointed at isolating those groups.

The initial enthusiastic welcome for a coup which put an end to six months of demonstrations in which 28 people have been killed and scores more injured, mainly by demonstrators using army automatics and grenades, appears to be dissipating.

A raid on the home of a man with a comic cat in Ranong Province of southern Thailand seemed comical in itself. Kriangkrai Suetrong had made fun of the coup by dressing up his cat Johnny as an army general announcing a coup. But, no matter how absurd, it may indicate the extent to which the military has been cataloguing possible opponents.

And the attempted arrest of the Police Chief in the Thai resort of Pattaya also indicated that police loyal to Thaksin Shinawatra, a former police colonel himself, were also potential targets.

The policeman in question Police Lt. Colonel Supachai Phuykaewkhum has since gone missing together with his wife an ardent red-shirt from the Thai province of Roi-Et.

While anti-coup demonstrators did not reach high numbers it was clear the time to take selfies with soldiers had come to an end.

A number of demonstrators were manhandled before being taken off after protesting in central Bangkok’s Siam Square.

Today in the face of widespread international criticism General Prayuth spelled out his new temporary military government run by the National Peace and Order Maintaining Council.

Security grouping which includes Defence, Interior and Foreign ministries and the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology.  This is under the supervision of Supreme Commander Gen Thanasak Patimaprakorn;

-         Economic grouping which includes Finance, Commerce, Agriculutre, Labour and Transport ministries to be supervised by Air Force C-in-C ACM Prajin Jantong;

-         Social and Psychological grouping which includes Public Health, Education and Social Development and Human Security ministries to be supervised by Navy C-in-C Admiral Narong Pipattanasai;

-         Legal grouping which includes the Justice Ministry, Attorney-General’s Office, the Anti-Money Laundering Office to be supervised by Lt-Gen Paibul Kumchaya, assistant army c-in-c;

-         Special Operations grouping which includes all units under the jurisdiction of the PM’s Office permanent secretary with the exception of Budget Bureau to be supervised by the national police chief Pol Gen Adaul Saengsingkaew.

The General also ordered that funds should be made available to rice farmers in the north east within 15 days after the ousted Shinawatra government was unable to pay promised subsidies to them.

German photojournalist - just one victim of the conflict




  1. I congratulate the general on taking such swift action to nip any prospective Red Shirt violent reaction in the bud - no doubt he remembers the massive destruction and theft that occurred in Bangkok last time they rioted! The Western press get EVERYTHING wrong so he should ignore their twitterings. By the way, a spell of control of the police in Pattaya under the discipline of the neutral armed forces and a clampdown on the 'reputed' rampant corruption there I think is to be welcomed.