I took a break from posting about the coup because no real information came forth for some time. However, this column I read over at The Nation (whose offices are apparently being guarded by the military) is just too good not to point out: Sonthi outsmarted Thaksin at the eleventh hour
If it’s true that General Sonthi effectively prevented bloodshed by initiating this coup, it’s nothing short of heroic, in my mind.
“However, an intelligence report reached General Sonthi’s camp stating that there would be bloodshed on Wednesday. The People’s Alliance for Democracy had planned to hold a political rally that day at the Royal Plaza in order to force Thaksin out of politics. Had that rally taken place, there would have been clashes between the People’s Alliance for Democracy and Thaksin’s supporters and blood would have been spilt on Rajdamnoen Avenue. If only Thaksin had promised that he would take a break from politics and allow a period of political reforms to take place, the PAD and other branches of the anti-Thaksin movement would have declared victory. All political confrontations would have subsided. Thaksin could have run for office once the Constitution was amended, and he would have been returned to the premier’s post, probably in the latter part of next year.”
Of course, there’s that whole thing about winners being the ones that write history and all that, but there’s a lot that makes sense about this story, and it seems to be corroborated by other sources as well. It’s too early to link; I want to check into this further.
By all accounts, Bangkok and the rest of the country is chugging along as normal, perhaps with an increased military presence, but that’s about it. The economy doesn’t seem to be affected too badly, and most people seem to be of the opinion that staging the coup was the right thing to do.
Thailand will be my home for a while, and right now, I am hopeful.