Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Thailand under Martial Law

Well, I just chatted with a different friend in Thailand and he said that there are soldiers with machine guns all over town, even at the malls (which are still open). He said that they have taken the entire satellite TV system down and they only have one local TV station, run by the government. There had been a report that international calls were blocked into Thailand, so I called him to make sure. I got through without problems, so, if they were blocked, they are back open.

He said that all major intersections are guarded by machine gun toting soldiers and it is now illegal to have a gathering of more than 4 people. They have installed a new Prime Minister, the Central Bank Chairman, who, interestingly enough, is a Muslim. We'll see how all that works out in the Buddhist country which is having all the Muslim separatist problems/bombing down south.

Pray for the people of Thailand.


JasonC said...

Rick, I think you should be specific as to whether that is Bangkok or Chiang Mai. While a few friends have said that there were some tanks spotted around Chiang Mai, things seem pretty normal here, with just a little lighter traffic.
I went to the mall and didn't see any soldiers at all. I also went to a market and it was business as usual.
I am sure that around more sensitive areas like government buildings there is more security, but I have yet to see in Chiang Mai.
Also, I have had a few Thais tell me they were happy about the change in government leadership.

JasonC said...

Also, TV is back to regular programming. We were able to get BBC and an Aussie station, but no CNN.

Morgan said...

Really? You didn't see any soldiers at the mall? We saw lots of armed soldiers all around Airport Plaza, including some crouching in the bushes (I am not joking! It was mildly humorous). They weren't inside the mall, though--just around the perimeter. We also saw a truckload of about 20-25 sitting at the intersection near our muu baan (on the Night Safari road) and saw groups of 5-10 soldiers at a few of the major intersections in our part of town. The area around the airport was crawling with them also. I guess it was sporadic, though. It does seem to be business as usual around here.

We have CNN back at our house, so that's good. :)

Rick Boyne said...

Well, thanks for your updates, guys! I am glad to know that there is more than one perspective on the same city. I'm also glad to know that things are pretty well back to normal. I was in some coups where you really did need to 'hunker down' and you had to get used to grenades and machine gun fire. The soldiers crouching in the bushes were there to rob you and you didn't dare go to the market or even outside your gate. At least your coup is "bloodless".

JasonC said...

Correction: Later I did venture out toward the southern part of the city and I did see quite a few armed soldiers. My bad.