The coup: September 19 news


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September 19 news

Overall
[Posted on September 19 to clarify the confusing events at the time]

What has apparently happened: From New York, PM Thaksin declared a state of emergency recalling Commander-in-Chief Sonthi from the deep south--this was, in effect, firing him. At about the same time, the military under Gen. Sonthi staged a counter-coup and cancelled Thaksin's state of emergency taking control of key areas in Bangkok. [This was posted on the night of the coup. It was being reported at the time that the Thai army had split into opposing factions and would soon be fighting for and against the PM. In reality, Thaksin was likely attempting to fire the army commander once he realized a putsch was likely.]

Update - 23:51, September 19, 2006
Sources report tanks are arriving at The Nation newspaper building.
BBC reports imminent clash between factions: BBC news: "Thai media say that two army factions appear to be heading for a clash, with one side backing the prime minister and the other side backing a rebel army chief."

Update
- 23:33, September 19, 2006
BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) The Thai military has launched a coup against Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, circling his offices with tanks and declaring a provisional authority.

Right: Spokesman reading the government announcemnt on TV. (We are told this is army spokesman Maj. Gen. Praphat Sakuntanak)

Update - 23:30, September 19, 2006
The early reading of this event on Thai news sites is that this was a preemptive strike to stop a coup by the Commander-in-Chief Sonthi.

Update - 23:27, September 19, 2006
Sources have informed us that negotiations between the government and Prem broke down this morning over Thaksin's ouster.

Update
- 23:26, September 19, 2006
So far mobile phones, land lines and the internet are still working (but slow at times).

Notice on TV - 23:13, September 19, 2006
All Thai TV stations are showing a notice. A rough translation is:
At present the government reforms the democratic regime with the King as chief .
The army commander and national police commander have controled the situation in Bangkok and boundary areas already.
There is no opposition.
To maintain the peace of the nation we ask people's cooperation and forgive the inconvenience.
(The notice did not state a curfew was in effect.)

Update - 23:05, September 19, 2006
The Nation Channel reports that troops from Lopburi are now in the Bangkok taking up positions.

Update - 23:00, September 19, 2006
Agence France-Presse (AFP) is reporting that army officers loyal to the sacked army C-in-C have seized control of Government House, but this is unconfirmed.

The internet is becoming very slow...
- 22:55, September 19, 2006
We will try to keep posting as long as we are able.

BBC just flashed on screen that the "president" of Thailand had called a state of emergency
- 22:49, September 19, 2006

Latest eyewitness reports
- 22:49, September 19, 2006
Tanks on the streets... at Nangloeng intersection, in front of Prem's house, at government house and at the Rama V statue

All TV channels showing films of The King
- 22:33, September 19, 2006

Thaksin declares state of emergency - 22:23, September 19, 2006


Thaksin's final address - September 19, 2006
This is former Thai PM Thaksin Shinawatra's declaration of a state of emergency made on September 19, 2006. The announcement was made from New York and only appeared on one TV station in Thailand--the other stations already had been seized by the military (or was under orders not to change their broadcast schedule for the PM). Thaksin's announcement starts in mid-sentence and is eventually is cut off when troops seized the station.

Latest eyewitness reports - 22:19, September 19, 2006
Police are closing the streets...
Tanks on the streets...

Coup speculation updated - The Nation, September 19, 2006
Channel 9 and 5 have been ordered to stand by for special announcement as coup speculation reached the highest pitch.
Coup was widely speculated after many army units were moved out of their barracks on pretext of personnel rotation.
Sources said Channel 5 would broadcast an announcement by the military at 10 pm while Channel 9 may broadcast announcement of caretaker Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra from New York.
Channel 5 is playing songs in praising of His Majesty the King in an indication that an announcement may be made soon.
Earlier, the day an army source said Army Commander-in-Chief has instructed all army units in Bangkok to standby for an important event.


Army units in Bangkok ordered to stand by in case of emergency: source - The Nation, September 19, 2006

Coup rumours widely spread - The Nation, September 19, 2006

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