Military Coup in Thailand
It seems that Thailand is once again in the news. On Tuesday last week I traveled to a friend's site for a theater camp. There were five of us and we were staying at a hotel. We were awoken by phone calls and text messages from Peace Corps staff telling us that there was a military coup and we were all to stay where we were. Not so bad for us, as we were with friends. As three of us were wardens, we spent awhile contacting everyone in our group with the news. The next day was declared a public holiday so schools and banks and such were closed. So the camp was canceled. Unluckily for me I had come down with pink eye (which they call red eye here, and it is red because the conjunctivitis is accompanied by hemoraging!) So Tara's people took me to the nearest town to find a doctor. After that was taken care of they brought us back to Tara's site where we hung out, watched movies, played games, etc. We were given the all clear on Thursday but were told that we were not allowed to go to Bangkok and all our meetings were moved until the next week. So on Friday, Natalie and I headed back to my house. It really felt like a six day weekend! I heard that there were tanks and soldiers in bangkok, but no violence. Everything seems back to normal now. I will be going to bangkok on Friday. So I guess I can say I'm REALLY a peace corps volunteer now that I've experienced a coup! Below is the announcement from the American Embassy.
PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT - THAILAND
1. This Public Announcement is being issued to alert U.S. Citizens traveling to and residing in Thailand to the recent military coup in Thailand. This Public Announcement expires December 19.
2. On September 19 a military group calling itself the Council for Democratic Reform Under the Constitutional Monarchy (CDRM) seized control of the Thai government and declared martial law. The CDRM banned any political gathering of more than five persons. The CDRM also banned the hoarding of goods or the increasing of the price of goods of any kind. The CDRM announced it will appoint a civilian government within two weeks as the first step to returning the country to democratic government.
3. The military deployed troops around key government facilities and other strategic locations, but there is little visible military presence elsewhere. There have been no indications or reports of any violence at this time.