From Andrew Drummond, Bangkok,

Pic: news.cn

Thailand was today in fear of a military coup today after its Army Commander in Chief announced that he was bringing tanks into the capital for ‘Children’s Day’.

Then after police announced there  would be no Children’s Day in Bangkok this year as the city was ‘under seige’ the army changed its statement to say it was holding an extra special Army Day so that foreign envoys could view all the army’s new equipment.

Children’s Day is this Saturday. Army day is next Saturday.

Quizzed publicly by Red Shirt pro-government supporter Jatuporn Prompan leader of the government supporting United Front for Democracy Against as to whether he was telling the truth General Prayuth Chan-ocha replied: ‘Don’t be cheeky’.

Banter like this has put the city on edge. Rumours have been taking wings. Next Monday the PDRC – People’s Democratic Reform Committee – have announced they will close down the city blocking all major intersections in the city and government areas in their continuing protest against the ‘corrupt government’ of Yingluck Shinawatra in ‘Operation Bangkok Shutdown’.

The coup has even been predicted for the ‘third day’ when orchestrated violence its said will be followed by the army’s intervention to save the nation.

Over a hundred regional flights into Bangkok have been cancelled and intercontinental ones may follow.

And it looks certain that both the city closure and Thailand’s ‘military exercises’ will go ahead as scheduled despite the fact that Thailand’s Justice Minister Chaikasem Nitsiri’ has warned: “Those who take part in this wrongful conduct may be construed as supporting rebellion.”

UDD leaders have this week been stirring up rallies of government supporters in the country’s poorer northeast.

Meanwhile a company called ‘Red Shirt Travel’ is advertising ‘snowy’ holidays in Japan on Thailand’s DNN TV.

In Britain some 5,329 Thais have applied to vote in the election. That number will include many farmers’ daughters from the north east.


  1. By refusing to rule out a coup the general is seemingly leaving the door open if HE thinks it's in the national interest. For the first time I'm hearing non politically active Thais talk openly about civil war. What everyone seems to agree on is this will get worse before it gets better…

  2. I was in a second hand shop today and found an almost new copy of "One Crowded Hour" the biography of Neil Davis the Aussie cameraman killed in the coup of 1985. He had survived years on the front in Vietnam filming but died in a stupid incident when some dickhead launched a tank round his way in Bangkok. I was in Thailand and remember just how sad it was he died in such a meaningless way. His cameraman was killed with him and the camera kept rolling showing his death. Neil was somewhat of a legend as a pants man as well as a cameraman. God bless him.

  3. The US embassy has a very commendable Emergency Contact Web Page and other Embassies likewise. When is the British Ambassador in Bangkok going to demand of the FCO that British Citizens in Thailand have clear Emergency Contact Details on the Embassy Web Page or is it going to take the loss of British lives before such happens whilst the Ambassador moves serenely onwards and upwards.

    1. These public servants need to be constantly reminded they are paid to serve the public. They are not working for JP Morgan where profit is everything. Their wages are paid by the taxpayer to serve the taxpayer – nothing else. They act as if they are omnipotent.

      Politicians are also supposed to be elected to serve the people but now they are just beholden to the corporations that help get them elected.

      The real power lies with the masses but the clever politicians divide people along class lines to rule. This colour war is nothing knew. The American civil war is a good example with the blue and red coats. Thaksin has been well schooled by his foreign masters. Divide and conquer is perhaps man's oldest technique of warfare and conquest.

      Democracy is just a game the elite play to make it look like we actually have a choice. Like in America you get a choice between two wealthy ex-members of 'skull and bones.' The English with their feudal 'House of Lords' were no better and in Australia the head of state is the Queen of England who is really a German with a Greek husband.

      In the West we kid ourselves we actually have democracy.

      Thailand is now just a few decades behind the West. They have yet to be fully conquered by western corporatocracy but even now most country towns have KFC, McDonalds, Tescos and 7/11.

      Thaksin tried to sneakily slip through a free trade agreement with America which would have likely led to the likes of Monsanto and their genetically modified crops entering Thailand.

      We should worship our farmers as they provide our food, we should worship our teachers because they school our children. We should police our politicians as they are entrusted with the public's money. In Thailand politicians just don't get that- it is the public's money not their own personal funds.

      In the west we don't have bribery and kick-backs, we have 'political contributions or donations'

    2. I'm not sure what an Embassy could or should do for it's citizens in the event of an insurrection in Thailand apart from give fairly obvious advice like "don't go to areas where people are shooting each other".

      In the event of a coup, there will be a brief curfew then a couple of days later day to day life will go on largely as normal.

  4. Excellent, I can't wait to see the new T84 Oplot-M Main Battle Tanks will be rolling through Bangkok on Army Day.

    The T84 is better than the Stingray in the photo which is an economy main battle tanke (only Thailand ever purchased them, wonder why) and time will tell if it was a wise choice in replacing the M41 Bulldog, which was a light tank better suited to Lumpini Park duty.

  5. Like most expats with more than just a passing knowledge of this country, I view the current nonsense in much the same way I witness the occasional intra-school strife between warring children posturing like baboons straying into each other's territory.
    It really is of no consequence since irrespective of whichever group gains supremacy the same old kleptocracy will continue to steal and cheat with impunity.
    Elections do not a democracy make and the sooner the chattering classes understand this the better. Thailand has no meaningful rule of law and without it politics are nothing but a charade masking the reality of a Thai society which in historical terms is rooted in medieval serfdom exploited by baronies.
    Instead of warhorses and armoured knights flying the colours of their vested interests we have tanks and superannuated generals but all that noise and clamour is the same old same old. Whichever faction wins the day the results will be the same and no one of any intelligence would expect change.

    1. You are of course right about Thailand's feudalism. I would not, however, say that the present situation is a "nonsense….(like) warring children posturing like baboons". Although I realise you sat that for effect.

      In my view, no one faction will win the day conclusively this time round. The "nonsense" as you call it will continue. We are seeing a slow, very slow, development away from the baronialism you rightly mention. There are of course elements of that type of thinking still present in western countries today. Who really runs Britain?

  6. Gerry, the Thai chattering classes understand this, that is why they are out on the streets. They want real change, the thieving has allegedly reached levels not seen since the first Taksin government.

    Can they change the system?

    When there is no political ideology and MPs change parties for money I suggest there is no effective democratic government. All we have is pork barrel politics and politicians helping themselves.

    Reform may control them better and stem the leakage from the public purse but what is needed are competing strong political ideologies and conviction politicians – not ones that should be convicted.

    Sadly I cannot see any ideologies coming. I had a hope the red shirts would develop one but beyond wanting more pork for themselves and their Elite leader in exile I have not seen one.

    Therefore after a lot of blood is spilt it may well be business as usual.

  7. The real Lords of our corporatocracy are the banksters, the modern ball and chain is a mortgage which is a French word meaning 'death pledge' as people often died before the money was repaid. We are still serfs beholden to whatever interest rates or exchange rates they feel we deserve. They give us a card so they can charge us on both ends of a transaction for using our own money. Yet we just bend over and take it.

    They make then lose billions and then petition the Government for a bailout saying they are too big to fail and society will fall apart if they go broke. The public's money is then handed over to the privately owned banks. Most people still believe central banks are Government run- they aren't.

    War is their other big earner, there is no other better way to get taxpayers money into private pockets. The "War on terror" or as Bush called it "The ongoing war of terror" where he couldn't speak to the public without saying terror 50 times. Fear mongering so they can spend billions on a war and police state where their own companies provide all the hardware and reap all the profits from rebuilding etc.

    Suthep is the Dick Cheney of Thailand. Cheney was CEO of Halliburton before the "war of terror started' and was a text book war mongering profit seeker. Thaksin is the Silvio Berlisconi of Thailand. Someone recently posted some photos of a party where Thaksin was with some female pop stars and some of the red shirt leaders. You could see bottles of cognac and whisky that probably cost thousands. True champion of the poor, LOL.

    Thailand is a basket case, ruled by feudal Chinese moguls who'll happily spend millions at a casino or thousands on a bowl of shark fin soup, yet complain about paying their workers 300 baht a day. The Thai's who run much of the civil service and control the military don't have the contacts or business smarts to compete with the Chinese. They figure hitting them for 'tea money' is an easy way to get their share and the business moguls are happy to pay as they still profit anyway. The only losers are the poorer masses, the farmer, the factory worker or construction labourer. They are no better than slaves in modern Thailand.

    King Rama V was schooled in the UK, he introduced a lot of the things people think are Thai traditions. They aint. The British taught him how to deal with and tax the Chinese. This was the start of what we see now. The Chinese just want to make money, they don't care how.

    If we had real justice in the west, Bush, Blair, Cheney, Rumsfeld and co should be hanged as war criminals. "Weapons of mass destruction" was another lie they repeated over and over until it was believed. (almost).

    All I see in world politics is monkey island with some hairless monkeys in suits.

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