Coup D'Etat Part Deux
I just dropped my dad off at the airport, and contrary to rumors, cars, planes, and trains are still very much on the move. Well, sort of. There was literally nada traffic along Viphavadee-Rangsit, which, under normal circumstances, is almost unheard of at this time of hour. In general, the scenes on the streets are calm and, with the exception of the eerie absence of traffic, everything seems perfectly normal.
The latest rumors say that Thaksin and his family have been reunited in England, and General Sondhi will be making a televised statement at 2 PM.
I'll try to keep updating as, ahem, rumors/news become available. Might be a bit sporadic, though, as I have other things to do today.
EDIT @ 10:18 AM: Thai TV is back on air. At least their regular programming is. News has yet to make an appearance, except for ITV which is currently airing a newscast of an event. CNN, BBC et al are still MIA.
EDIT @ 10:29 AM: The Nation will be updating continuously throughout the day.
EDIT @ 10:33 AM: The popular forum, Ratchadamnern, at Pantip.com has been suspended. Also, many Thai sites have been difficult to access, probably due to the sudden surge of visitors overnight.
EDIT @ 10:46 AM: I forgot to mention this earlier, but on my way back from the airport, I flipped on the radio to 102.5 and SexyBack by Justin Timberlake was on, followed by silence, then Nelly Furtado's Maneater, and then...more silence. For some reason I have this mental image of a military dude sitting in a closed radio booth trying to decide on what to turn on next -- Stars are Blind by Paris Hilton or Buttons by the Pussycat Dolls? Oh, the dilemma!
In the meantime, all other radio stations have resorted to playing hotel elevator music.
EDIT @ 11:06 AM: New Mandala talks about the importance of the number nine, since the coup occured on 9/19 at 9 pm.
EDIT @ 11:15 AM: Thai New Yorkers speak out -- New York City Network for the Defense of the People's Constitution of Thailand.
EDIT @ 11:21 AM: To whoever posted this and this, thanks so much for the shout-out! This is insane -- I have gotten over 500 hits in the past three hours; normally I only get 100 a day. In the meantime, I'll try to keep the updates going as regularly as I can.
EDIT @ 11:21 AM: I just saw my uncle on Thai TV (channel 3), which is weird because my mom just called him last night at his hotel in Italy. Like all ministry senior officers, he was called back to report in at the army headquarters.
EDIT @ 11:31 AM: Check out live pictures at Bee's flickr page.
EDIT @ 11:34 AM: According to latest updates from The Nation, "An AMC spokesman reads an order of AMC leader Gen Sonthi for the Information and Communication Technology Ministry to check and censor any type of information dissemination that could affect the works of the AMC."
If my blog suddenly disappears, you'll know why.
EDIT @ 11:43 AM: Make way for the "new prime minister."
EDIT @ 11:54 AM: Let me reiterate that so far this has been a bloodless revolution. While both anti and pro-coup supporters have taken to the streets, there hasn't been any apparent violence as of yet.
EDIT @ 12:01 PM: Looks like the rumors were correct -- Thaksin has taken up residence in London, though the whereabouts of his children is still unknown.
EDIT @ 12:17 PM: My friend just called saying that he's spotted a humvee parked in front of the Shinawatra building along Viphavadee Rangsit. Also, another friend heard that General Sondhi is asking the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to revoke Thaksin and Potjaman's passports.
EDIT @ 1:21 PM: Sorry for disappearing; I couldn't log onto blogger for almost an hour. Latest rumors say tanks are rolling in not far from where I live along Viphavadee Rangsit Rd. Also, the Don Muang airforce military base I use as a short-cut on my way to uni everyday has set up check-points upon entering and exiting. And finally, a friend who lives around Sanam Bin Nam says that oodles of soldiers have taken over the streets right outside her house.
EDIT @ 1:26 PM: I'm off to find some lunch. If I can get onto blogger when I return, then I'll definitely try to continue updating. In the meantime, Bkkpundit, take it away! :)
EDIT @ 2:01 PM: CNN, BBC, et al are BACK!!! Now if only we could just get the tanks off the streets...
Oh, and I just found out that uni's going to be up and running again tomorrow. Le sigh.
EDIT @ 2:09 PM: Is anybody else in BKK having phone troubles? I'm having problems contacting people and vice versa. Also, I can't seem to log onto MSN at all...
EDIT @ 2:12 PM: Check out Steve's comment on the current happenings here in Thailand.
EDIT @ 2:27 PM: CNN and BBC may be back on air, but strange things are going on here: just now, a reporter was analyzing the current situation in Bangkok when all of a sudden UBC cut them off due to another "sun *cough* bullshit *cough* outage." When I switched over to BBC, another similar "sun outage" occured the second the reporter started talking about Thaksin's cancelled UN speech. A quick switch back to CNN showed that UBC had replaced the sun outage notice with video clips of... CELEBRITIES. (!!!!!) No, I'm not even kidding. I wish I were making this stuff up, folks, but alas, looks like this is how it's gonna be until things blow over. Anyway, CNN coverage is finally back now that they're talking about, um, stocks.
EDIT @ 3:28 PM: Some dude just made an announcement on TV saying that meetings or get-togethers with five people or more discussing anything political are banned. I want to say something really catty now, but will refrain from doing so; I think I stand enough risk of getting my ass censored as it is. Still, 1984, anyone?
EDIT @ 11:00 PM: Sorry for disappearing, but I was busy, uh, studying. (Hey, I have a really scary Biochem exam this Friday, okay?) Anyway, moving on. My dad, who's in Phuket, says that things are as normal as can be down there. Here, on the streets of Bangkok, things have remained relatively peaceful in what CNN has dubbed a "bloodless revolution." I wish I could say more, but we're still getting the lovely celebrity montages whenever clips about Thaksin's popularity in the provinces comes on. In the meantime, Thai TV says that the internet is to be approached with caution since malicious content and rumors are most likely to be found there, as opposed to Thai TV, which says it has only been reporting "the truth."
Oh, and in case you were wondering, UBC's now infamous celebrity montage includes the likes of Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Britney Spears, Ashlee Simpson, and Scarlett Johansson. Oh, and Joshua Jackson, too. Again, I'm not even kidding. I wish I were, because, dude, if you're going to make a cheesy celebrity montage, why oh why would you ever think of including a now defunct Dawson's Creek star?
I'm just saying. That's all.