Friday, March 6, 2009


Thailand Coup

On September 19th, there was a Thailand coup and it was probably the strangest coup ever. The coup soldiers did not fire one shot and no one was killed. Tourists and Thais actually stood with the soldiers and took photographs of themselves with the soldiers. A foreigner actually said, ''Is there a party going on?” Why was it a party?

The Thailand coup by the military was like a party because the man they toppled had become very unpopular with large segments of the population. This man's name is Thaksin Shinawatra and he was the prime minister of Thailand. He is why this Thailand coup was a necessary evil.

What started the Thailand coup ball rolling was when Thaksin sold his company to a Singaporean company called Temasek Corporation for 73 billion baht (about 2 billion US dollars) in January 2006. Thaksin's company is one of the largest mobile phone companies in Thailand. The company also sold satellites. This company had made the Thaksin family the richest family in Thailand. He sold the company and did not pay any tax on the transaction. Nobody in his family had paid taxes. Outside the family, nobody could believe that they could complete such a large financial transaction. The Revenue Department insisted they did not have to pay taxes, but many people became very skeptical. Their skepticism led to protests and the protests led Thaksin to have to call elections.

These elections did not solve his problem and also led to the Thailand coup. These elections were held in April 2006 and all the major parties decided to boycott the election. They did not trust Thaksin and they felt that a fair election could not possibly be done with him in power. It was Thaksin versus nobody and nobody won. So many people were disgusted with Thaksin that they voted no. Thaksin did not accept the results of these elections and decided that another election was necessary.

When was there going to be a new election? Thaksin first said that it would be October 15th. It was then found that the people who ran the election on April 2nd were indeed corrupt and they were all thrown in jail. They had to replace these people and these people were not prepared to have an election on October 15th.

Uncertainty was what finally led to the Thailand coup of 2006. Nobody knew when the next election was going to be. Nobody knew if Thaksin was going to run in the new election and whether he was going to allow a new election or not.

When Thaksin left for New York City, the soldiers decided it was a perfect time to launch a coup and they did. Thaksin has never come back and nobody knows when he will.

In a nutshell, this is why a Thailand coup happened in 2006