- "Sorry for the bad photo (how do you take a picture of a TV?), but this with patriotic music is on every channel now."
In the small hours of the morning, Seattle time, Our Man in Thailand wrote:
The coup is on. It is going down right now. The next 24 hours are going to be crazy (again, I am safe as is everyone who has a lick of sense to stay away from possible clash areas). This, again, is what nobody—not the NYT, my diplomat sources, or my Thai friends—predicted at all. The martial law state, oddly, seemed mellow and almost over—and now what is happening?
It seems what is happening is the army taking the side of the yellow-shirt, anti-Yingluck (and her brother Thaksin) protesters. After a court ordered Yingluck and some of her ministers to step down earlier this month, the military—who are sworn above all to "protect and worship" the aging, ailing king and try to keep his hands out of such minor matters as state politics—had been negotiating talks between the two sides for two days. (With leaders from the two sides taking selfies with their cell phones, as many of the journalists writing about the talks pointed out.)
And then, just like that, with no obvious inciting action, they announced they were suspending the constitution and taking over for awhile.
OMIT wrote that his sources said the internet would be cut off, starting between 8 and 9 pm (it's past 11 pm there now); that red shirt protesters (pro-Yingluck and Thaksin) would be gathering, perhaps near the airport (the NYT has reported that some gathered in "the outskirts of Bangkok" but were dispersed by masked soldiers); and that no more than four people would be legally allowed to "gather."
The military unit involved in the coup, OMIT says, has been named "the national order-maintaining council." The Thai military has officially denied that this is another coup.
In other Thai news, civilians have filed a police report against a red-shirt leader for failing to pay the expected bribes:
Sixty locals of Sakaeo province filed a complaint against a red-shirt leader on Sunday after he refused to pay them the bribes they were promised.
Three representatives of the locals: Kampoaun Laosao, Jakkapong Duangnil and Wiriya Promwach, told the police each local was offered the bribe from a member of the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship to join two protest sites on the weekend in Khon Kaen province and Aksa Road in Bangkok.
The deal was each would get THB1,000 per day plus the cost for transportation... When they received no payment, the locals filed the police report and the leader was invited to Nong Mark Fai police station for a negotiation.