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Patong, Phuket's holiday hub, under curfew at 10pm last night

UPDATE Military Calls in 'Hot List' of Rivals as Thailand Tourism Faces Second Curfew Tonight

Friday, May 23, 2014
UPDATING All Day, Every Day

KEY Internet service providers were being called to a meeting with Army authorities today to discuss ways of controlling and censoring comments and articles detrimental to the wishes of the National Peace and Order Maintaining Council. At 4pm, the coup commander speaks to all Bangkok ambassadors at the club.

Original Report

BANGKOK: A list of more than 100 names was displayed on television today as the military leaders of Thailand ordered ''prominent figures of rival sides'' who could possibly cause trouble to report to the National Peace and Order Maintaining Council.

The list included some military officers who are known supporters of powerbroker former PM Thaksin Shinawatra and ex Cabinet ministers but also included civilian protest leaders from both anti-government and pro-government groupings.

Deposed Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, the sister of Thaksin, was among the first ordered to report in an earlier list. She has already contacted officials to say she would do as ordered, according to Thai media.

At the same time, other leaders, held in custody since the coup was announced yesterday, were being allowed to return home, according to the coup military spokesperson.

With General Prayuth Chan-ocha moving swiftly to prevent any threats, the coup's top commander assumed control of the country.

While all television stations were still screening the NPOMC image today, life was continuing as normal in Bangkok, Phuket and other parts of Thailand.

The effects of the coup are just beginning to be felt, with cancelled bookings and tighter travel warnings deterring nervous tourists from visiting Thailand under military control.

Although many people could see that the generals had to intervene because the threat of violence had grown too great, media rights groups condemned the suppression of television and radio coverage.

The NPOMC was beginning to report the news itself, screening a short news service that showed street protesters from both sides being bused out of Bangkok.

Last night's 10pm curfew heightened concern but the military organised buses to transport tourists from Thailand's international airports.

The biggest problem in the capital, as retail stores and restaurants shuttered up early, was finding a taxi. Many drivers opted to go home early.

The streets of central Bangkok were packed with vehicles as people scurried to beat the deadline, a situation that is unlikely to reoccur as people plan their outings with greater care.

With the military carefully targetting the people it sees as most likely to cause problems, it's expected that the curfew will be lifted before Monday. It will need to be.

Photographs taken at 10pm last night in Soi Bangla, the popular walking spot in Phuket's Patong holiday hub, show all the nightspots closed. It will be the same tonight, authorities are being led to believe.

Phuket and other destinations in Thailand that depend solely on tourism will have to be revived quickly or the severe wound now being inflicted on tourism could put the industry into a coma from which it could take months to recover.

Governors of Phuket and all provinces throughout Thailand were being called to meetings today at which more of the planning for the coup is likely to be explained in detail.

Phuket's Governor Maitree Intrusud and the governors of the other 13 southern provinces were required to meet in Nakhon Si Tammarat at 10am.

Possibly for logistical reasons, they were not moving to Bangkok for a second, larger gathering of provincial governors this afternoon.

Schools have closed throughout Thailand but the country was operating normally today despite the coup.

Weekend football, including Phuket FC's match against Khon Kaen, has been postponed because inevitably crowds are in breach of a ban on gatherings of five people or more.

Comments

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Would there be taxi's available to take arrival passengers to hotels in Phuket after 10pm tonight?

Posted by Anonymous on May 23, 2014 10:10

Editor Comment:

It's fairly certain the needs of tourists will be met.

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So this was and is the economic tsunami I predicted in January? Mai son jai, I love it, I don't care, I love it.... good song that. Cry baby cry. 3 months of peace and quiet. Glad I am retired and could not give a toot about about money. Suffer little children. Ed am I still a doomsayer?

Posted by DuncanB on May 23, 2014 10:25

Editor Comment:

Other readers will draw their own conclusions, DuncanB. There are many ways of describing people who are only concerned about themselves and who take perverse pleasure in the pain suffered by others.

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Sorry ED. Rose coloured glass smashed long ago. I don't give two hoots about my self. But the little child like people here could not see the warning signs. Trouble is, nobody is taught there to plan for the future. Only today exists. Only the money exists for today. Now tomorrow has bitten them in the face. I say again, mai son jai.

Posted by DuncanB on May 23, 2014 12:26

Editor Comment:

The use of the word ''them'' indicates a lack of objectivity, DuncanB. You may not know enough of the right kind of people.

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"Schools have closed throughout Thailand but the country was operating normally today despite the coup."

yeah well...I wouldn't say that everything is normal

Posted by sky on May 23, 2014 13:26

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I wanted to write this already a few weeks ago. It's not my business as someone who just lives since a few years here and is ready to move on. But I just had a big breakfast for small money in Cambodia and some time to write.

It seems like the golden years are over. Thais thought it would go on forever, no matter how badly they treat their guests. Prices are way too high and increasing. Too much traffic by high end cars which are seen as normal. So many people are crazy for the money and trying to play the game like idiots. Those are the people destroying it but nobody is stopping them. Let me predict that the baht will fall for another ten percent. Thais will fail to meet their payments for their monster trucks. Not only tourist numbers will decrease but also prices for condos and second hand cars. And finally, there are two things that will happen. One that I don't want to mention .. could happen any time, the other in 2015. Than a conflict in the south, an emerging conflict in the north and east. Guys .. It doesn't look good!

It's your ego btw

Posted by LemmeDooms on May 23, 2014 14:14

Editor Comment:

who is btw and what does his or her ego have to do with your comment?

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"Lemme(Dooms)ayer", They don't call it 'Teflon' Thailand for nothing. Whilst must of us disapprove of the coup d'etat, the country will bounce back. Approximately 25 million tourists come to LOS and rising each year, so there must be a reason why the country remains popular. The baht is not falling as markets, (especially in Asia) are already seasoned to Thailand's antics, and certainly the golden years are still here.

Posted by reader on May 23, 2014 15:13

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have just returned from Patong last weekend, am more concerned about how locals(especially my friends there) will survive economically during this time.They work 1pm till 1am 6 days a week and earn next to nothing,with a curfew in place they will have nothing.

Posted by Tatianja on May 23, 2014 15:36

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Watching BBC news here in Philippines they just showed a report of a small anti-coup demonstration in BKK. Perhaps 200 people at best.

I wonder if these reports are seen in Thailand or not.

Posted by ThaiMike on May 23, 2014 17:42

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The Anti-Coup demonstration is at the National Stadium BTS station and it appears to gather strength. The Army has not reacted to it yet. Watching live report on BBC world right now.

Posted by ThaiMike on May 23, 2014 18:07

Editor Comment:

There have been symbolic protests but nothing that isn't peaceful.

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Yes, it looks peaceful so far but since it's in clear defiance of the orders given by the Junta it will be interesting to see how the army reacts to it. Protesters appear to shoot video and most likely post them in social media, which may trigger more people to join the protests.

Posted by ThaiMike on May 23, 2014 18:27

Editor Comment:

Can't see people turning out in masses for that one. Journalists are rightly upset.

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The curfew is a world-class blessing in disguise, for those tourists/expats/Thais that would otherwise perish in the deadly midnight to 5 am drunken shift on the roads. Yet they'll never know they now have more time on this earth, as they ironically complain about early bar closures, a life saving measure for some of them. Amazing Thailand indeed. A permanent 10 pm curfew would save hundreds of lives, in and outside the country!

Posted by farang888 on May 23, 2014 21:46

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A group of 3 soldiers was shown to enter the protest site and told the protesters they will not do anything but asked them to come down from the BTS platform.

Crowds responded with " Ok pai ! " and appeared to throw items at them. The 3 soldiers (no idea what rank) walked away.

There is also a black banner on the platform reading " Stop the coup " and protesters mostly wear black. Some have taped their mouths shut with black tape.

What I hear from my friends in Thailand, none of this is broadcast anywhere over there.

Posted by ThaiMike on May 23, 2014 23:41

Editor Comment:

Nah, it's easily found online, ThaiMike. This is a noble, principled protest but the reasons for shutting down the media briefly are sound. Thailand was heading for bloodshed this weekend. The military intervention has probably averted a catastrophe, if not a civil war. Thailand has never had a greater opportunity to change for the better. The military is right, for once.

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@Tatianja

...they will have to come back to Russia and find a job in Moscow, especially since ave.salary of qualified person there is up to 2X of ave.US figure ;)

Posted by Sue on May 24, 2014 01:46


Thursday October 23, 2014
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