Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Another coup d'etat in coup-ridden Thailand

This is democracy in action in Thai style. The Thais are generally peace-loving people in this predominantly Bhuddist-dominated country.

Coups are nothing new to Thailand, but many hoped that after 14 years of uninterrupted civilian rule, the days of revolving door military regimes might finally be over.

Many believed that Thailand's economic and political maturing meant that coups were outdated in this age of globalization.

In recent months, however, mass protests and an impasse over flawed elections have thrown the country into its worst crisis since the last army takeover in 1991.

In Thailand, politics has been dominated by rival military-bureaucratic cliques headed by powerful generals. These cliques have initiated repeated coups d'etat and have imposed prolonged periods of martial law.

Parliamentary institutions, as defined by Thailand's fourteen constitutions between 1932 and 1987, and competition among civilian politicians have generally been facades for military governments.

Gen Sondhi, the first Muslim army commander in Thailand, was appointed to the army's top post last year with a mission to deal with an Islamic insurgency in the country's south. Now he has dismissed the country's prime minister and taken charge of the country as acting prime minister.

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