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Bangkok takes coup in its stride
September 20, 2006 12:54 IST
Despite the apparently intimidating presence of military tanks and armed troops at key points in the Thai capital Bangkok on Wednesday morning, the city continued with its daily life as if nothing had happened.
The city's streets were free of notorious traffic jams mainly because the Democratic Reform Council now in charge of the capital had declared a national holiday.
Bangkok's popular street vendors continued plying their trade and people could be seen using public transport and walking in the markets without much concern.
Thailand is no stranger to military interventions and the only thing unusual about Tuesday night's coup was that it took place after 15 years. There have been more than 16 successful coup attempts since the establishment of a constitutional monarchy in 1932.
Most of the military takeovers have been accomplished without the use of military force.
The recent coup confirmed months of speculation in the media about its imminence, a possibility steadfastly denied by the armed forces till Tuesday.
Media commentators expressed cautious optimism on the unfolding events in the country pointing out that it was necessary to restore faith in democracy.
'It must be stressed that the first task of the coup group is to restore the confidence of both democracy loving Thais' as well as the international community and foreign investors so that democracy will be restored.
'But this time, it will come equipped with inbuilt self-correcting mechanisms so that military coups will be put to rest for good and provide a sustainable democratic system in the country,' Bangkok's English language daily The Nation reported.