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Tanks in Chiang Mai
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  1. #1
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    Tanks in Chiang Mai

    Tentative Thais greet sawadee-coup
    Thais unfazed, some wary as tanks roll past doorsteps
    Thursday • September 21, 2006
    Tham Chen Fye
    newstoday.com.sg

    CHIANG MAI — Residents living in Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's hometown in Chiang Mai woke up to a surprise when they saw soldiers carrying guns and military tanks surrounding the premier's home, as news of an overnight military coup raised concerns about the country's future.

    A military source yesterday confirmed that Mr Thaksin's home there has been taken over, as has his residence in Bangkok.

    Mr Thaksin's younger brother and family live in Chiang Mai, but so far their whereabouts are unknown.

    Members and supporters of ruling party Thai Rak Thai (TRT) are keeping a low profile, following reports of several Thaksin aides — including Deputy Prime Minister Chidchai Vanasatidya — being detained in Bangkok.

    Meanwhile eyewitnesses said that several TRT members of parliament have also been detained at Chiang Mai airport.

    In previous times of crisis, Mr Thaksin had retreated to his rural bastion, drawing on his immense popularity among Chiang Mai's farmers and labourers to counter political threats.

    But the grassroots support could not save the premier from Tuesday's coup, when senior army commanders rolled tanks into Bangkok's streets and decisively pushed him from power.

    The move was hailed by critics — who had campaigned for months to unseat the premier amid allegations of corruption — but left his supporters stunned.

    Yesterday, all was quiet in the main northern city and tourist hub as government offices were shut due to the military takeover. But the locals seem unfazed by the military presence on the streets, with some even snapping away with cameras at the unusual sight.

    "It's true that Thailand has a history of military coups, but it's not every day that we can see this — and this time its peaceful," Dr Chakrin Vinwanglee, an off-duty medical doctor told Today.

    However others such as housewife Chuanchom Siri-anan are apprehensive about the country's future.

    "A lot of us don't know what to do. I hope that the political situation will return to normal soon," she told Today.

    The military presence had some here worried that the situation could deteriorate into violence.

    Dr Tanet Charoenmeuang, a political science lecturer at Chiang Mai University, warned that the military may outstay its welcome if it holds on to power for too long.

    "Thailand is at the crossroads of democratic reform, and the military should not hold on to power for too long, because the Thai people will not tolerate it," he said.

    Mr Thaksin is reportedly heading to London for a "private visit", after cutting short his trip to New York for the United Nations general assembly meeting.

    Political watchers said that the premier may not return home any time soon, as there may be a possibility of him being arrested on charges of corruption.

    However, Thaksin supporters hope that the premier will be able to come back soon.

    "I'm worried about him. As a Thai, he should be able to come back to Thailand, but not right now. The military might arrest him," a construction worker who gave his name as Suriya told AFP.

    "I am very confused by the whole situation. I am not angry at the military but they should know that Thaksin is a good person."

    Carpenter Suvit Kaewmala agreed, saying Mr Thaksin had worked hard for ordinary Thais. "I feel very sorry for Thaksin. He did many good things such as helping the poor," he said.

    "Anti-Thaksin people blame him for every problem in Thailand, but Thaksin is not the cause of all our problems."

    Copyright MediaCorp Press Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. #2
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    Re: Tanks in Chiang Mai

    does anyone know whereabouts Thaksin's home is?

  3. #3
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    Re: Tanks in Chiang Mai

    Quote Originally Posted by Betti
    does anyone know whereabouts Thaksin's home is?
    You mean the one in Chiang Mai, or the one in Bangkok? ... or the one in London? ... or the one in Singapore?

    For Bangkok, I understand its around Ratchadewi area?

    Planning to go take photos?

  4. #4
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    Re: Tanks in Chiang Mai

    Did hear it was Doilo, but can't be sure Betti.
    To be happy with where you are, first be happy with who you are.

  5. #5
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    Re: Tanks in Chiang Mai

    Quote Originally Posted by Betti
    does anyone know whereabouts Thaksin's home is?
    Try asking at the family business

    http://www.shinawatrathaisilk.co.th/

  6. #6
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    Re: Tanks in Chiang Mai

    gee, no, I just don't want to bump into tanks unexpectedly while taking a leisurely ride around town.

  7. #7
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    Re: Tanks in Chiang Mai

    Looks like more opportunities for tourists to take photo's with the military. They can tell there friends back home they were in a war zone, What an adventure holiday, a war with out the danger.

  8. #8
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    Re: Tanks in Chiang Mai

    how much really does millitary personel are paid? i guess its not very good - compare to an office executive..

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