Skip to main content

Bangkok calm on second day of Thailand's coup

By Paula Hancocks, and Simon Harrison, CNN
updated 8:06 AM EDT, Fri May 23, 2014
Thai soldiers patrol near government buildings in Bangkok on Friday, May 23. Thailand's army announced the previous day that it has taken control of the country in a coup, just days after it surprised the government by declaring martial law. <a href='http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/19/asia/gallery/thailand-crisis/index.html' target='_blank'>See the Thai army impose martial law before the coup.</a> Thai soldiers patrol near government buildings in Bangkok on Friday, May 23. Thailand's army announced the previous day that it has taken control of the country in a coup, just days after it surprised the government by declaring martial law. See the Thai army impose martial law before the coup.
HIDE CAPTION
Military coup in Thailand
Military coup in Thailand
Military coup in Thailand
Military coup in Thailand
Military coup in Thailand
Military rule in Thailand
Military rule in Thailand
Military rule in Thailand
Military coup in Thailand
Military rule in Thailand
Military rule in Thailand
Military rule in Thailand
Military rule in Thailand
Military rule in Thailand
Military rule in Thailand
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Not much of a military presence on the streets of Thailand's capital
  • Soldiers only in evidence around key military buildings such as Defense Ministry
  • Protest camps -- yellow shirt and red shirt -- have now emptied

Editor's note: CNN TV has been taken off air in Thailand. The people of Thailand deserve to know what is happening in their own country, and CNN is committed to telling them. Follow our updates on Facebook and Twitter, and share your updates from Thailand via CNN iReport.

Bangkok (CNN) -- The morning after Thailand's military came clean and admitted their operation to restore order was in fact a coup, the capital appeared normal with shops open and commuters heading for work -- though schools were shuttered.

Surprisingly, there was not much of a military presence on the streets, with the exception of the heavily-armed troops stationed outside key buildings in the city, including the Defense Ministry and the Army Club.

We spotted only four soldiers in their camouflaged fatigues during our journey around Bangkok -- though more were undoubtedly deployed overnight following the imposition of a curfew between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.

Thailand military coup latest
Anti-government protesters welcome coup

Every now and then vehicles with darkened windows arrived at the Army Club, where the coup was declared, to deliver those people summoned by the military administration. Anyone who didn't accept this invitation faced an arrest warrant.

Military officials haven't provided much explanation about the reasons for the summonses, saying only that it's necessary "to ensure smooth operation of restoration of peace and order."

There were rumors that TV stations were slowly returning to air after being switched off by the military, though foreign news stations such as CNN and the BBC remain blacked out.

Meanwhile, protest sites belonging to both "red shirt" supporters of ousted former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, and the "yellow shirt" protesters associated with Bangkok's urban elite and middle class have emptied -- the detritus from their long struggle all that's left.

These cities within a city have stood for months. The yellow shirts' former camp by the Democracy Monument is now a mountain of rubbish and abandoned tents awaiting removal by the army of municipal workers with their trucks and cranes.

Many of the refuse workers seemed cheerful as they started the massive cleanup operation, seemingly oblivious to the seismic political shift going on around them.

It certainly doesn't feel like a coup as you would imagine it.

But after months of protests -- and periodic outbreaks of violence -- many ordinary Thais seem content to let this play out for the time being, with many of the opinion that anything that avoids further chaos and might help to resolve the political conflict is a good thing.

READ: Thai military moves to tighten its grip

READ: Thailand coup: A cheat sheet to get you up to speed

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Thailand coup
updated 3:21 AM EDT, Thu August 21, 2014
The military leader who took control of Thailand in a coup in May has been named the country's prime minister.
updated 12:37 AM EDT, Mon June 16, 2014
Thailand's new military ruler has added a personal touch to the post-coup charm offensive, writing the lyrics to a pro-junta ballad.
updated 1:03 AM EDT, Tue June 10, 2014
Pageant winner Weluree "Fai" Ditsayabut has relinquished her title under a barrage of criticism over her comments about red shirts.
updated 7:32 AM EDT, Wed June 4, 2014
They may not be led by Katniss Everdeen, but Thai protesters have adopted one of her symbols. Jessica King reports.
updated 3:29 AM EDT, Mon May 26, 2014
The general who seized control of Thailand in a coup has announced he has received royal endorsement to run the country.
updated 3:01 PM EDT, Sun May 25, 2014
Former Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is no longer in military custody, according to a highly placed source in the junta.
updated 5:36 AM EDT, Sun May 25, 2014
Photos of the demonstrations against military rule in Thailand.
updated 4:03 PM EDT, Sat May 24, 2014
U.S. suspends $3.5 million in aid to Thailand after the military took charge of the country.
updated 8:05 AM EDT, Fri May 23, 2014
Thailand's military declared Thursday that it has taken control of the country in a coup. What does it mean? Here's our explainer.
updated 8:06 AM EDT, Fri May 23, 2014
If you're planning on visiting the country, you should be aware of what's going on.
updated 4:55 AM EDT, Fri May 23, 2014
The U.S. Ambassador to Thailand, Kristie Kenney, reacts to the Thai military coup.
updated 8:04 AM EDT, Fri May 23, 2014
The Thai military has censored TV and radio -- and social media could be next.
updated 2:02 PM EDT, Thu May 22, 2014
Many people are going about their lives as normal -- some are even responding playfully.
One iReporter living in Bangkok says he is more worried about neighborhood snakes than the military coup.
updated 5:48 PM EDT, Thu May 22, 2014
Thailand's military chief announces coup in a televised national address.
ADVERTISEMENT