Roundup of TV images from September 20, 2006

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September 20 news

Roundup of TV images from September 20, 2006

Right: Sonthi reading his initial statement on TV at 09:00

Below: The team of officers appearing with him along with large portraits of the King and Queen.

Below right:
Fortuneteller Mor Nid. Two weeks ago Mor Nid forecast three letters that would stand for people or things involved in a change for the nation. The first letter was thought to stand for "court." The second was thought to stand for "Sonthi" or "Saprang" (of the 3rd army region who is anti-Thaksin) and the last letter for the military. Since the coup Mor Nid's "accurate" prediction has been widely covered by the press and discussed among the public.

Blocking CNN and BBC reports with Ashlee Simpson - September 20, 2006

International reports on the recent coup via cable operator UBC are being blocked at times--particularly when someone airs a view contrary to the new official line. The images used to temporarily block the reports are these amusing montages of movie and musical personalities.

Election date - 15:40, September 20, 2006
BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) The army chief leading the coup in Thailand has said there will be a general election in October 2007.

Civilian government in 2 weeks - The Nation, September 20, 2006

Selective blocking of foreign new reports? - 14:09, September 20, 2006

During a BBC report on the coup, a Chula academic was interviewed. She started to criticize the coup by saying "I would like to see him (Thaksin) properly tried in a court of..." At this point the report was cut off and the screen changed to a "We will return in a moment" graphic.
We also noted this during a CNN report that started with some people applauding Thaksin--the report was quickly cut off.

CNN and BBC unblocked - 13:31, September 20, 2006
Cable operator UBC has unblocked CNN and BBC.

Coup leaders moved to censor media, ban public gatherings
- The Nation, September 20, 2006

September 20 front pages

Bank of Thailand Governor reportedly accepted to become the Prime Minister - The Nation, September 20, 2006

Thaksin seeks exile in London - The Nation, September 20, 2006


Almost like being there: Photos from downtown - 09:13, September 20, 2006

What a coup is like in Thailand - 05:41, September 20, 2006

A coup in Thailand does not mean that everything comes to a stop for an extended period. During Thai coups and even outright paralysis of top Thai governments organs in past decades, the Thai bureaucracy remained in place providing all basic government services through days and weeks of crisis. During this present incident mobile phone and internet connections were never offline (except for when some sites were overwhelmed by heavy traffic). International broadcast media was cut--most likely for fears that the tenacious Thaksin would attempt a speech that would then find its way back to his rural supporters on television.

Patriotic images of the King were used in conjunction with announcements from the new regime to show that its activities were not being made at the expense of royalty. Even the junta's name, "Committee for Democratic Reform under the Monarchy as Head of State," emphasizes this. Using royal imagery and the prompt audience with the King at midnight Tuesday is intended to pacify die-hard rural Thaksin supporters who might otherwise oppose the new order.

Bangkok covers a large area and most of the overt military activity is only happening in a small area that houses government offices far downtown near the old part of the city. In addition to this there is a military presence at broadcast media outlets around town and at key intersections in the city. Business and tourism areas such as Silom, Sathorn, and Sukhumvit should not see much disruption. While traffic last night was lighter than normal from our vantage point in northwestern Bangkok, there was a continuous flow of vehicles along Ratchadapeisek Road and the elevated expressway at Weepahwahdeerangsit Road as usual.

Much of the military's security activities now are aimed at making sure military units loyal to Thaksin do not try to cause trouble or create a provocative incident, as well as maintaining general law and order in a time of uncertain authority. In the past Thaksin has proved himself to be decisive and cunning in his political dealings far beyond what is expected for a traditional Thai politician. There will be concern that Thaksin will not give up easily if there is any way to strike back. As Thaksin allies are accounted for throughout the country, fears for confrontation should be diminished.

The Thai military has had a dismal record of governing after coups and this must certainly be making generals think twice before every move they make.
* There will be fears for the Thai economy if the Shin Corp buyout deal is halted or reversed and this could have severe consequences for the Thai baht valuation. How hard the military decides to go after Thaksin and his assets will be key.
* TRT contains the brightest and most ambitious of Thailand ruling classes including local strongmen and business tycoons. These people will be anxious to see how deeply the military sword will cut into TRT ranks in terms of arrests and investigations for profiteering. Who, if anyone, might be barred from future political life will also be watched closely.

The nature of the junta's plans should be known by midday Bangkok time as there is a meeting at 9:00am with university presidents, permanent secretaries of ministries, and other key government bureaucrats for an expected explanation of the military government's plans.

Holiday - 03:14, September 20, 2006
Government worker and bank holiday declared for today (September 20). The stock market will also be closed for a day.

Arrests? - 02:59, September 20, 2006
The coup thread on the 2Bangkok forum has many unsubstantiated reports from the Thai-language internet about progress on arresting figures "close to Thaksin."

TNA goes quiet - 02:56, September 20, 2006
While the rest of the interent was buzzing with news and rumors about the coup, the Thai News Agency (TNA), probably understandably, had nothing to say. Their top story in English remains "Thai PM sees need to conclude FTA with US."

Thai govt spokesman says coup cannot succeed - Reuters, September 20, 2006
..."Now we're in control," he said, adding it had not been decided when the prime minister would return home after addressing the U.N. body later on Tuesday...
More on Thaksin's aborted state of emergency announcement

A series of screen grabs showing the end of Thaksin's attempt to declare a state of emergency in Bangkok and recall the commander-in-chief of the army at about 22:20 on September 19, 2006.

Thaksin's state of emergency announcement...

was apparently cut off...

and after about 30 seconds replaced by an official announcement graphic.

Then a short return to commercials...

before the army spokesperson came on.

Troops arrive at CAT - 01:35, September 20, 2006
Sources say troops are at the Communications Authority of Thailand (CAT). This means the military can turn off mobile phones and the internet if necessary.

No PM: Fourth degree from the military being read on TV - 01:26, September 20, 2006
The fourth decree by the military has been read (right). It seems to say there will be no new PM. Power will be in the "leader of the reform" (Commander-in-Chief Sonthi). There will be no ministers. Their power will be in the deputy chief of each ministry (we believe this means the permanent minister). They stress it will still be a democracy under the King.

Update: from The Nation: Months of rumours come true
...But logistics did not go his way. Thaksin planned to have his message sent via satellite signal to Channel 9. But he was told that it could not be done technically. It would work out better if he spoke over the phone directly to the TV channel.
Thaksin decided to switch to Channel 11 to air his state of emergency declaration. But before he could do so, the military took over Channel 11. The editors and reporters were taken to another room.
All the other statecontrolled TV stations, owned by the military, were ordered to stand by to air an important message.
But somehow Thaksin did not face a total blackout. He was allowed to air his state of emergency declaration on Channel 9, with a still photo of him accompanied by his live telephone speech.
Sources said the military confrontation could last until tomorrow while all the combat military personnel were summoned to station in their bases.
At the time of going to the press, nobody would dare predict the final outcome...

New Prime Minister? - 00:42, September 20, 2006
Some sources claim that Akrathorn Jurarat has been named Prime Minister. He is "chairperson of the Administrative Court."

- 00:41, September 20, 2006
The 1997 constitution has been cancelled by the military.

- 00:40, September 20, 2006
Cable operator UBC has cut their news channels, but other channel are still broadcasting.

- 00:40, September 20, 2006

From The Nation:
Statement from the military reformist
The following is the statement from the miliary reformist.
There has been social division like never before. Each side has been trying to conquer another with all possible means and the situation tends to intensify with growing doubts on the administration amid widespread reported corruption.
State units and independent organisations have been politically meddled, not able to deliver their services as specified in the Constitution.
The administration is also usually bordering on "lest majest" actions against the revered King. Despite attempts from social units for compromises, there is no way to end the conflicts.
The revolution body thus needs to seize power. We have no intention to rule but to return the power to the people as soon as possible, to preserve peace and honour the King who is the most revered to all Thais.

Thaksin's state of emergency cancelled by the military - 00:24, September 20, 2006
New orders read in part: The military is forbidden to move by order of Commander-in-Chief Sonthi, the leader of the reform.

Links from the forum
- 00:21, September 20, 2006
M60 tank at Government House
Tanks at Equestrian Plaza
Cavalry with yellow bands
Tank on Rajdamnoen Avenue
Another tank at Government House
RTA Men surrounding Government House

- 00:14, September 20, 2006
Sources report that soldiers have taken control of the Nation Channel, but have left the newspaper alone.

- 00:07, September 20, 2006
We have more unconfirmed reports of media outlets being surrounded. No word on ISPs yet.

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