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    Posted May 27, 2014 by
    SPSomtow
    Location
    Bangkok, Thailand
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Thai military declares coup

    More from SPSomtow

    Proportional Response

     
    On Day Five of Thailand’s Military Regime, there was very little news at first. Substantive information, such as the whereabouts of some missing journalists and academics, has been a little hard to come by.

    However, two reporters, Wassana Nanuam of the Bangkok Post and Suppalerk Thongchailit of Thai Rath, received one of the fabled “invitations” and survived to tell their tale. Apparently their reeducation session consisted of a “talking-to” by a Major General, who told them that General Prayuth wanted them to go easy on him and not ask him such aggressive questions. The army requested the reporters’ cooperation and assured them of General Prayuth’s altruistic intentions.

    It does appear that high ranking officials in the army, with its hierarchical structure and tradition of obedience, have had a bit of culture shock, realizing for the first time what journalists actually do for a living.

    Perhaps these portentous “invitations” contain nothing more sinister than a chat with the school principal. People are curious to hear what the more high-profile “guests” of the junta may have to report.



    Towards evening, there came word of a six-man “advisory board” being set up to help run the country. Names included M.R. Pridiyathorn Devakula as economy czar. Since he is the chairman of the Bangkok Post, it appears that paper at least will survive any media shut down.

    Four “reconciliation centers” are going to be set up in the four main regions of the country in order to open up a dialogue between the still bitterly opposed factions whose conflict precipitated the takeover.

    In Bangkok, there seems to be more talk about the cancellation of a sold-out Taylor Swift concert slated for June 9th, than of more serious issues. Swift tweeted. “I’m so sad about the concert being cancelled.”

    The decision by the Central Chain to postpone its USA Fair 2014 may not be surprising in view of the United States’ suspension of 3.5 million dollars in military aid to Thailand, though the fact that Pringles Chips could be deprived of a public booth for three days gives new meaning to the phrase “proportional response”.

    A ray of light came at 9:33 pm when the junta announced that the nationwide curfew would now be in effect only from midnight to 4 am. It was too late to party by then, but tomorrow is another day.

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