Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Military Coup in Bangkok - interviewed by BBC Radio
I'm back home in Derbyshire, England and found out that there was a coup in Bangkok yesterday when my parents came to pick me up at the airport. I was a little surprised - but it made sense because thai people I spoke with said that although they _love_ their king they couldn't stand the prime minister. I think for thai people it will be a blessing and I'm sure the military was acting on behalf of the people and not to further the ambitions of a power hungry officials looking for an oportunity to seize power. I found the news reports interesting on the BBC showing footage of the military officers/police bowing (which incidentally all thai news anchors do as a sign of respect and humility) and then apologising for the coup and any inconvenience it might have caused.

I can only imagine this sort of thing taking place in the US or the UK where the military are influenced bu public opinion and so disgruntled themselves that they rebel against their leaders and oust them!!! how cool would that be.

Also, the thai people are very matter of fact about things and do not tend to overact, loot or go too crazy and are very peaceful and rely heavily on the tourism industry so I doubt they (or the military) will do anything to jepordize this. They also tend to act for the collective good and less about the individual... it will be interesting to see if an election will be called or whether they will propose an interim leader and what the king's reponse will be. One thing is certain though is that the Thai people adore their king (more than any other country I've visited so far) and although not a terribly political figure himself - if he asks for peace then the Thai people will obey him including the military although I doubt very much he wants to establish himself as an absolute monarch. He is very western and highly educated and I think will act in the best interests of the people.

These are my 10 cents anyway.

This morning - my dad woke me up - I'm recovering from my jetlag and I hardly know what time or day it is and which country I am and said that BBC Radio Derby were looking to speak to people who had recently visited Thailand - so he said I should phone in. They called me back within about 20 minutes and I was on the air speaking live to the presenter who was nice and easy to talk to. I told him pretty much what I've written above.. and told people not to be overly worried that had friends and relatives over there and how the Thai people didn't like the prime minister but loved the king. I also told him that I felt things would continue relatively normally and how they wouldn't want to damage the tourism industry and that I felt no indication that a coup was going to happen other than the deep resentment felt on the part of the Thai people towards their political leader. I was interviewed for about 5 minutes and then the presenter thanked me and then another lady whose son was in Bangkok and was from Burton on Trent was interviewed.

I wish I had been there when the coup happened and got pictures of the tank and experienced it.... if only I had stayed a day or two later. Oh well!

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