The coup so far

September 19

8.00 am Thaksin Shinawatra calls an urgent teleconference with all armed forces’ commanders at Government House, but none attend.

Gen Sonthi Boonyaratkarin, the army chief, later says the meeting is hastily called. Rumor then spread around the capital and the stock market that a coup is under way.

Midday After finishing the web camera teleconference with Thaksin, who is in New York, several Cabinet members check with reporters to see if there really would be a coup.

6.30 pm The Army’s special forces from Lop Buri move into Bangkok. Gen Prem Tinnasulalonda, president of Privy Council, has an audience with HM the King, reportedly on a merit-making ceremony for ML Bau Kittiyakala.

6.55 pm Thai News Agency reports that Thaksin will return to Bangkok on Thursday, instead of Friday.

8.00 pm 191 police officers receive M16 rifles to prepare for an anti-riot assignment.

9.00 pm The Army’s special forces from Lop Buri arrive at the Army’s Bangkok headquarters.

Web surfers post messages on asking if there is a coup.

9.10 pm The army-owned TV Channel 5’s mobile TV broadcast unit arrives at the Army’s Bangkok headquarters.

9.30 pm TV channel 5 cancels regular programming and puts on air royally-authored songs.

Reporters at Government House say the situation is normal, but rumor was rife that Deputy Premier Pol Gen Chidchai Vanasatit and Defence Minister Gen Thammarak Isarangkun have been under custody.

Panthongthae, Thaksin’s son, reportedly has left Thailand for the UK.

9.40 pm Police commandos arrive at Baan Chansongra, Thaksin’s residence.

10.00 pm Army tanks take position at Bangkok Makkawan Rangsan Bridge and Rajdamnern Avenue.

10.10 pm CNN reports Bangkok situation.

10.20 pm Thaksin declares a state of emergency via phone from New York. He also issues two orders, transferring Gen Sondhi from the post of Army Chief to the PM’s Office, and naming Gen Rungroj Mahasaranond as the officer in charge of the crisis.

11 pm “The Administrative Reform Council” (ARC) issues a first statement on TV network, saying the armed forces and national police have peacefully seized control of Bangkok and surrounding areas. Soldiers seize the Shinawatra Building, iTV television station and Thaksin’s residence.

11.15 pm Soldiers erect steel barricades at Sri Ayudha and Rajdamnern Roads.

11.50 pm ARC issues the second statement explaining the reasons for the coup d’etat, citing national disunity and rampant corruption. ARC says it plans to return power quickly to the people.

12.39 am ARC issues a third statement, nullifying the constitution, the caretaker Cabinet and the Constitutional Court.

Phuket News

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