Thursday, June 5, 2014

Day 4 under the coup

It was a strange day yesterday.  Things were normal and yet not so normal.  Went out for my morning walk as usual and things were pretty nice.  The grass is making a remarkable comeback in Lumphini Park as well as the number of runners, walkers, and those that hang out in the park in the morning for their socials.  My omelette man was still on the street and I bought his double egg version over rice for 35 baht.   Also went to the driving range and hit some balls, and met up with Bangkok buddy for some coffee in the afternoon.

All very normal.  But then...

It was announced that the Thai Army would be holding a concert at Victory Monument, the scene of protests just the week before.  There would be music, free food (Omelettes over rice - again), and even free medical checkups.  Later on in twitter, it was announced that it would even be televised.  Some photos from twitter follow.  Only in Thailand will the army hold a coup'etat and then within a few weeks,  stage a concert and party in the middle of one of the busiest intersection of Bangkok.  

When I got back to the condo, there was a small crowd of reporters and police in front of the Australian Embassy.  Evidently, a handful or should I say less than five, people showed up to support the stand of Australia against the coup.  Once again, there were more photographers and press than demonstrators and more police than the both combined.  Everything broke up quickly as it was just too hot to be out there too long.

I think these ladies need a little lesson on how to properly flash the 
Hunger Games sign.

It appears that the coup has finished its military phase and now there is a fierce media and social media war going on to control the public and world opinions.  Expensive media and PR companies have been hired  and experts in Social Media are lined up on both sides. Diplomats are flying in and out to reinforce relationships, and trade deals.  In my view, as long as its just words and pictures that are flying and not bullets, its fine by me.

From what I have seen so far, this coup is dramatically different that those in the past.  It was both masterfully executed and the team and steps that they have put in so far have been superb. They seemed to have covered every base and learned a lot from the prior coup.   In my view, this was not something that was a spur of the moment looks like  the actual coup and how to handle the aftermath was carefully thought out, planned and executed with military precision.  If this was a game of chess, the previous government didn't know what hit them and underestimated what they were up against...a Grandmaster of a player in uniform.

Now as the game unfolds, I think its going to be fun to watch indeed.

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