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Pacnet #55A – Looking Back at the Coup: Deja Vu or the End of Democracy?

Foreigners were surprised that many Thais welcomed the Sept. 19, 2006 coup in Thailand. The slight tension that developed seemed to have dissipated within days and replaced with a feeling of relief and a sense that the country had been given a reprieve. Martial law was announced and enforced, but selectively. There was little restriction of the press and restrictions on assembly for political purposes were not enforced unless the groups were advocates of the ousted regime. Many letters critical of the military government were published. Most people worried about their daily lives and didn’t think much about the freedoms being restricted; to be honest, it was difficult to figure out what freedoms were lost.