Bangkok (CNN) — The Thai army declared martial law throughout the country Tuesday in a surprise move that an aide to the embattled Prime Minister said the government didn’t know about beforehand.
“They took this action unilaterally. The government is having a special meeting regarding this. We have to watch and see if the army chief honors his declaration of impartiality,” the aide said, describing the situation as “half a coup d’etat.”
Lt. Gen. Nipat Thonglek told CNN the move was not a coup.
“The Army aims to maintain peace, order and public safety for all groups and all parties,” a ticker running on the army’s television channel said. “People are urged not to panic, and can carry on their business as usual. Declaring martial law is not a coup d’etat.”
Martial law went into effect at 3 a.m. on Tuesday, the ticker said.
All Thai TV stations are being guarded by the military, Thai public television announced, showing pictures of soldiers and armored vehicles taking positions outside broadcast facilities in the country’s capital.
Despite proclamations that markets would open ‘normally’, Thai SET50 (stock market) futures are indicated to open -4.2% – its biggest drop since January’s collapse. Thai CDS are modestly wider (+5 to 130bps) but early Bhat weakness has been rescued back by a mysterious bidder (rumored to be the central bank by several traders). The last 2 times martial law was invoked – in an entirely non-coupy-coup-like manner – general market weakness was less than we have seen so far. Of course, the army has decided that in the interests of avoiding the “provocation of unrest and triggering fear” it will “ban the broadcast and distribution of news.” Nothing like a military-coup, that is not a coup, with total media censorship to encourage capital flows and maintain peace in the nation.
BANGKOK – Thailand’s prime minister was ordered by a court to step down Wednesday in a divisive ruling that handed a victory to anti-government protesters who have staged six months of street protests — but does little to resolve the country’s political crisis.
The Constitutional Court found Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra guilty of abusing her power by transferring a senior civil servant in 2011 to another position. It ruled that the transfer was carried out to benefit her politically powerful family and, therefore, violated the constitution — an accusation she has denied.
The ruling also forced out nine Cabinet members but left nearly two dozen other ministers in their posts, including Deputy Prime Minister Niwatthamrong Boonsongpaisan, who was quickly appointed the new acting leader.
Thailand’s Government Savings Bank (GSB) president admitted that clients withdrew 30bn Baht (around $1bn) in a single-day last week and Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) and Krungthai Bank (KTB), although of a much smaller magnitude, have also seen withdrawal spikes of similar magnitude according to The Bangkok Post. The ‘bank run’ comes after speculation that cash at the state-run banks are being used by the government (which is in turmoil) to fund farmers (who have not received their ‘promised’ rice subsidies of over 130 bn Baht). Withdrawal requests are met with banks warning that there were insufficient funds at the time due to many depositors withdrawing cash. One depositor, rather ironically summed it up, “I started to feel concerned that my money may become only paper.”
Via The Bangkok Post,
The deposit flight from the Government Savings Bank (GSB) is not out of fear for its financial stability but rather is a response to speculation the state-run bank is involved in lending to the troubled rice subsidy of the Yingluck Shinawatra government.
Spikes in money withdrawal have also been seen at the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) and Krungthai Bank (KTB), although of a much smaller magnitude.
17 years ago, the first major Emerging Market crisis started in Thailand, leading to the Russian default and the collapse of LTCM ushering in the era of Too Big To Fail. This time, all the world needed for the second major EM crisis, was for Ben Bernanke to announce he is giving global central planning a break (because one can be certain the Untaper will be right back on the agenda as soon as the S&P enters a bear market). Ironically, Thailand has largely been insulated from the EM decimation, even through it is now in as bad a political shape as it ever was, and one day ahead of the February 2 general elections things are getting from bad to worse. AFP reports that explosions and heavy gunfire rattled Bangkok Saturday as pro- and anti-government protesters clashed on the eve of controversial Thai elections seen as unlikely to end a cycle of violence in the kingdom after months of opposition rallies.
As if emerging markets didn’t have enough things to worry about following a week in which both the Turkish and Argentina currencies are in free fall, overnight we got a stark reminder from Thailand that the country where the 1997 Asian Crisis originated, is also on the brink and getting worse following news that a anti-government protest leader was shot and killed.
Reuters reports, citing a spokesman for the national police, that the dead man as Suthin Tharatin – one of the protest leaders- was shot in the head and in the chest.
He was killed when when violence erupted as demonstrators blocked early voting in many areas of the capital ahead of a disputed election next week. “It brings the death toll to 10, with scores wounded, since protesters took to the streets in November, vowing to shut down the capital and force Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra from office.”
Thailand’s Finance Ministry has been taken over by more than 1,000 anti-government rioters, Reuters reported witnesses as saying. The leader of the protest movement has urged the demonstrators to seize other government buildings.
Across the city, around 30,000 protesters chanted “Get out!” and spread out across Bangkok to besiege government offices, military and naval bases and state TV channels.
Protest leaders estimated that at least 1 million anti-government protesters would gather near Democracy Monument for an organized march through the city. Latest police estimates showed that some 200,000 people have gathered on the streets, the biggest rally in three years.
Anti-government protesters wave national flags during a demonstration in Bangkok, Monday.
About 1,000 anti-government demonstrators forced their way into Thailand’s Finance Ministry on Monday and protest leaders called for the occupation of other government buildings in an escalating bid to topple Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
The swiftly rising political tension came as more than 30,000 demonstrators marched to 13 areas across the city, raising the risk of a clash with police, a day after about 100,000 gathered in the city’s historic quarter.
The protesters, led by the opposition Democrat Party, say Yingluck has become a puppet for her brother, former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a 2006 military coup and convicted of graft two years later — charges that he says were politically motivated.
PHUKET: The hundreds of thousands of protesters in Bangkok’s streets will target television channels, the military and police today as concerns grow about Thailand’s future.
The decision to march on the media outlets turns the massive but peaceful street revolt in an unpredictable and potentially dangerous direction.
Thailand’s major free to air television channels effectively ignored the largest street demonstration Thailand has seen in years on Sunday, despite its obvious news value.
Many countries have issued travel advisories telling tourists to avoid the crowds in Bangkok. Today, with hundreds of thousands of people surging through the capital, those warnings are likely to become stronger.
Splintering the anti-government disturbance – by most estimates the protest brought between 500,000 and one million onto Bangkok’s streets on Sunday – leaves police in Bangkok being forced to deal with incidents on-the-run.
The protesters aim to topple the ”Thaksin Shinawatra regime” and end the corruption and nepotism now widely acknowledged under his government and subsequent ”Red” governments.
However, many previous ”Red” supporters have gone over to the traditionally ”Yellow” opposition, blurring color lines and leaving the government of Thaksin’s sister Yingluck, the present Prime Minister, increasingly exposed and liable to collapse at any moment.
Thirteen organisations and businesses have been nominated as the protesters’ targets today.
They are the offices of Channel 3, Channel 5, Channel 7, Channel 9 and Channel 11, along with Thai Armed Forces Headquarters, the Royal Thai Air Force, the Royal Thai Army, the Royal Thai Navy, the Royal Thai Police, the Royal Thai Metro Police, the Ministry of the Interior and the Bureau of Budget.
The media is being targetted for showing allegiance to the government. Protesters say figures revealing the true large scale of the demonstration have been suppressed and footage has been screened sparingly, if at all.
Anti-government protesters forced their way into Thailand’s Finance Ministry on Monday, laying out sleeping mats in its rooms and hallways in an escalating bid to overthrow Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
They also broke into the compound of the Foreign Ministry, a Reuters witness said.
The seizing of government buildings by protesters led by the opposition Democrat Party thrusts Thailand into a new chapter of political volatility three years after it was convulsed by its bloodiest political unrest in a generation.
The protesters say Yingluck is a puppet of her brother, former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a 2006 military coup and convicted two years later of graft – charges that he denies. Thaksin lives in self-imposed exile but exerts enormous influence over his sister’s government.
It’s been two-and-a-half years since we posted a similar article to this. In just that short time, the national average gas price has gone up from $2.86/gallon to $3.72/gallon, a 30% increase. This is our updated list of where to bug out to.
That which mathematically cannot continue will not continue. Western countries, led by the United States and Europe, are in deep economic trouble. Massive debt levels are strangling their economies, and once great nations like Greece and Spain have been reduced to third-world status with staggering unemployment levels and almost daily violent riots.
Though 42 countries/regions ban importing Fukushima agricultural products at the moment of 11/20/2012, Fukushima prefecture is going to export 360kg of the apples to Thailand in order to fight harmful rumor.
They are going be sold at major supermarkets in Bangkok from 12/14 to 12/16/2012.
Fukushima prefecture exported peach to Thailand this September. The buyers of Thailand is supposed to have commented they want to sell more Fukushima fruits.
A “renminbi bloc” has been formed in East Asia, as nations in the region abandon the US dollar and peg their currency to the Chinese yuan — a major signal of China’s successful bid to internationalize its currency, a research report has said.
The Peterson Institute for International Economics, or PIIE, said in its latest research that China has moved closer to its long-term goal for the renminbi to become a global reserve currency.
Since the global financial crisis, the report said, more and more nations, especially emerging economies, see the yuan as the main reference currency when setting their exchange rate.
And now seven out of 10 economies in the region — including South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand — track the renminbi more closely than they do the US dollar. Only three economies in the group — Hong Kong, Vietnam, and Mongolia — still have currencies following the dollar more closely than the renminbi, said the report, posted on the institute’s website.
The South Korean won, for example, has appreciated in sync with the renminbi against the dollar since mid-2010.
We had great hopes that following the return of Merkel from vacation, the VIX would finally post an uptick. Alas, it appears that the Fed’s new market desk head will not relent until the VIX is at or below 0 (alternatively, stock volume will hit 0 first, in either case confirming the death of equities as anything resembling a discounting mechanism, and validating it as a plaything of central banks). Which means that until reality does come back first slowly and then very fast, we have to focus on more “off the beaten path” news. Such as this one courtesy of BBC: Thai MP Boonsong Kowawisarat ‘accidentally kills secretary.’ With a submachine gun. In a restaurant. Has yet to be arrested. And faces a $636 fine if convicted.
Senator Boonsong Kowawisarat took out a 9mm Uzi submachine gun while waiting for food, the Bangkok Post reported.
He told police the gun accidentally discharged and his secretary was shot in the stomach.
Police say that the shooting happened in Phrae province, northern Thailand.
Police say that because Mr Boonsong was in shock after the incident, the restaurant owner rushed the secretary to hospital where she succumbed to gunshot wounds.
Buyers from Thailand say they are satisfied with the testing procedure that the Fukushima prefectural government has in place.To recap that testing method (for more details about peaches in Fukushima, see my previous post about Fukushima peaches offered to the Imperial Family):
Take a small amount of sample from each peach farmer.
Test it using the NaI scintillation survey meter with high detection limit (probably 25 becquerels/kg).
If the sample registers more than 50 becquerels/kg, then test it with the germanium semiconductor detector that the prefectural government owns, again with relatively high detection limit (about 10 becquerels/kg).
If the sample tested using the germanium semiconductor detector has less than 100 becquerels/kg, all clear!
Looking at the pictures of how they test using the NaI scintillation survey meter (click to enlarge), the sample size looks no more than 100 milliliters. Testing laboratories run by the citizens’ groups in Japan and by private companies require at least 1 liter (1,000 milliliters) of samples to be effective, and they use the same or better NaI scintillation survey meters.
The article below from Fukushima Minpo says one additional thing and that’s troubling; rice from Fukushima has been exported overseas AFTER the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident. I wasn’t aware of that news.
Thailand’s new prime minister last night opted for a high-risk gamble to try and save Bangkok from devastating flooding by allowing some of the surging waters to enter the city.
By deciding to proceed with a controlled release of water through the city’s network of canals, Yingluck Shinawatra and her senior officials are hoping to ensure any flooding to the capital city reaches no more than ankle deep. But they admit what they are doing is a gamble that could go wrong.
European central banks have become net buyers of gold for the first time in more than two decades, the latest sign of how the turbulence in the currency and debt markets has revolutionized the bullion market
The purchases are minuscule compared with the size of the global gold market, but highlight a remarkable turnaround from a wave of heavy selling by European central banks.
The role of central banks in the gold market will be a central topic of debate at the annual London Bullion Market Association conference, the largest gathering of the gold industry, in Montreal this week.
The switch from large selling to buying has helped propel the gold price more than 25 percent higher so far this year, hitting a nominal record of $1,920 a troy ounce this month. The shift in Europe comes as central banks in emerging markets are also loading up on gold.
Mexico, Russia, South Korea and Thailand have all made large purchases this year, in a move to reduce their exposure to the dollar. Globally, central banks are set to buy more gold this year than at any time since the collapse of the Bretton Woods system 40 years ago – the last time the value of the dollar was linked to gold.
Due to the Silver Futures was executed more than 10% of the latest settlement price, Thailand Futures Exchange (TFEX) decided to suspend trading of all Silver Futures series for a certain period, from 14.34 onwards, and recommenced the trading of Silver Futures from 15:04.
The Pre-open session started from 14:54 to 15:04 hrs (10 minutes before Silver Futures resumption) and the daily price limit would be expanded to no more than + 20% of the latest settlement price.
The suspension was in accordance with derivatives regulations stated in Silver Futures’ contract specification.
The TFEX temporarily suspended trade of silver contracts for 30 minutes after prices rose beyond the daily 10% ceiling. Trading was allowed to reopen at 15:04 pm, with the price limits increased to 20% of the last settlement price.
At the end of the afternoon session, the August silver contract was quoted at 1,315, up 70 from Friday, while October contracts rose 133 to 1,439.
Mr Boonlert said prices were being driven by both speculation and investor fear, and cautioned investors to monitor global market trends closely.
Image: The US-ASEAN Business Council, a who’s-who of corporate fascism in the US, has been approached by Thailand’s “pro-democracy” UDD for support. The UDD never fully explains what corporations like Exxon, BP, Goldman Sachs, Monsanto, or other banes to humanity have to do with democracy or what sort of support was asked for or promised. (click image to enlarge)
The council in 2004 included 3M, war profiteering Bechtel, Boeing, Cargill, Citigroup, General Electric, IBM, the notorious Monsanto, and currently also includes the criminal banksters of Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Chevron, Exxon, BP, Glaxo Smith Kline, Merck, Northrop Grumman, Monsanto’s GMO doppelganger Syngenta, and Phillip Morris. Admittedly, these corporations are more synonymous with mass murder, mass corruption, corporate fascism, crony-capitalism, warmongering, lies, deceit and all the other ugly aspects that truly define “globalization,” than they are with any tenant of “liberal democracy.”
Bangkok, Thailand July 30, 2011 – The mechanics of world empire, in particular the current corporate-financier oligarchy has been examined in great detail. The US State Department, supporting NGOs funded directly by both US taxpayers’ money as well as funds from the Fortune 500 corporations they serve, alone constitute a global-spanning, incessantly meddling homogeneous network working to undermine both personal and national sovereignty while replacing national governments around the world.
Photo: Globalist warmongering degenerate Anne-Marie Slaughter makes her rounds at the Fortune 500-funded Chatham House. She is the author of the book “A New World Order” and believes foreign policy should be shifted into the unelected, unaccountable hands of corporations, foundations, and NGOs.
Perhaps sensing that the secrecy and public ignorance the global elite have been operating behind for decades is now fading, globalist footstool and degenerate warmonger Anne-Marie Slaughter has written a sweeping essay openly admitting “foreign policy” is moving beyond governments and being put into the hands of unelected organizations, corporations, NGOs, and “social movements.” By social movements, Slaughter cites and apparently is referring to the “Arab Spring” which is on record the result of US meddling and organizing, and nothing close to resembling true grassroots activism. It is merely the latest trick out of the social engineering, human exploitation, propagandist playbook.
As we peel back the layers of Slaughter’s vision of the “new foreign policy frontier,” we see nearly every institution, organization, NGO, or consortium mentioned lined with Fortune 500 corporate sponsors and representatives pursing an agenda of global economic and military hegemony. No one would suggest that manipulating people on a massive scale, leveraging legitimate ideals such as democracy, human rights, or freedom to further a corporate-financier oligarchy’s agenda constitutes anything progressive, nonetheless, Slaughter seems to believe this is not only the future of foreign policy, but an appropriate future at that.
Image: The cover of globalist, degenerate warmonger Anne-Marie Slaughter’s book “A New World Order.” Slaughter believes the future belongs to “global networks” which upon closer examination are all chaired, funded, and directed by the Fortune 500.
It should be noted that Slaughter has sat upon the boards of Fortune 500 corporations McDonald’s and Citigroup as well as a Council on Foreign Relations board member. She is the author of a book literally titled, “A New World Order” whose catch line is “Global governance is here.” In it she argues that such governance is done through “a complex global web of government networks.” Upon examination it is obvious to anyone who looks into these “networks” that they represent the Fortune 500, answer to no one, and apply the rule of law as an arbitrary reflection of their self-serving interests subject to change upon a political whim. Despite Slaughter’s enthusiasm for a “New World Order,” in reality it is the recipe for a corporate fascist planetary regime and constitutes the greatest threat to humanity.
Bangkok, Thailand July 4, 2011 – At face value, Thailand has been dealt a horrific blow during July 3rd’s elections. Hailed by the foreign press as a historic landslide victory, globalist-stooge and exiled convicted criminal Thaksin Shinawatra’s proxy party, led via overt nepotism by his own sister, has won the elections and will form the next Thai government. While the foreign-media fixates on the fact that Yingluck is the first female prime minster of Thailand, they fail to mention, or even attempt to dispute, is that she was virtually unknown just weeks agoand is literally running as a place holderfor her brother Thaksin.
Photo: Thaksin Shinawatra, a long time servant of the global elite, since before even becoming Thailand’s prime minister in 2001, reports to the CFR in New York City on the eve of the 2006 military coup that ousted him from power. He has now returned to power in Thailand via a proxy political party led by his own sister, Yingluck Shinawatra. Securing the votes of only 38% of eligible voters puts on full display how tenuous his support really is within a nation he claims stands entirely behind him.
Another factor completely ignored by the media is the actual mandate Thaksin’s party, who claims the majority of Thais stand behind, has to run the country. Out of Thailand’s eligible voters, only 74% actually came out to vote. Of that 74%, Thaksin’s party secured only 263 of 500 seats in the parliament, a mere 52% of the parliament with many of these seats won by very slim margins. 52% of the 74% that bothered to even vote gives Thaksin’s Peua Thai Party (PTP) a mere 38% mandate, a far flung, embarrassingly low number for a party that claims support from the majority of the nation.
Elections around the world often sport similar realities when the glossy front pages of globalist magazines and carefully worded columns in papers are discarded and the math actually done. Democracy in actuality, by no stretch of the imagination, is the voice of the people speaking out, but rather a carefully arranged charade composed to lend otherwise illegitimate leaders their “mandate.”
BANGKOK (AP) — On the grounds of a Buddhist temple, dozens of white plastic bags lay in carefully arranged rows. Each sack was knotted at the top and contained the remains of a fetus.
Thai authorities found about 2,000 remains in the temple’s mortuary, where they had been hidden for a year — apparently to conceal illegal abortions.
A strong stench had drawn police to the temple in Bangkok’s old city Tuesday, and authorities searching the mortuary — where bodies awaiting cremation are normally kept — initially found more than 300 fetuses. They returned Friday to find more than five times that number, according to police Lt. Col. Kanathud Musiganont.
Health officials, police and charity workers counted the fetuses, placing each one in a white plastic bag bearing the charity’s name in red Thai script and Chinese characters. The group is often involved in the handling of remains, including recovering bodies from accident scenes and organizing burials.
As the remains were laid out, Buddhist worshippers left offerings for the fetuses: milk and bananas to nourish their spirits in the afterlife.
Abortion is illegal in Thailand except under three conditions — if a woman is raped, if the pregnancy affects her health or if the fetus is abnormal.
Although Thailand is home to a huge and active sex industry, many Thais are conservative on sexual matters, and Buddhist activists especially oppose liberalizing abortion laws.
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said Friday that more must be done to prevent illegal abortions but that his government would not revise the laws. He said his government has discussed the matter and believed that “the existing laws are appropriate and flexible enough.”
Several people have already been arrested in the case: two undertakers for hiding bodies to conceal the cause of death and an abortion clinic employee on charges of operating an unlicensed medical clinic and performing abortions. The undertakers could each be sent to prison for up to a year and fined 2,000 baht ($67). The clinic employee — who police said confessed she had delivered the fetuses to the morgue workers starting early this year — could face up to five years in jail and a fine of 10,000 baht ($333).
BANGKOK, May 19 (Reuters) – The Thai stock exchange was on fire and parts of Bangkok were hit by power blackouts on Wednesday as violence continued, even though anti-government protest leaders surrendered and troops said they were in control.
The stock exchange building was on fire, the exchange’s president told Reuters, while witnesses said major tourist hotels had lost power as black smoke billowed around buildings in the Thai capital.
The stock market had closed early due to the violence.
Thai Defence Minister General Pravit Wongsuwan said a curfew may be imposed on Bangkok to deal with continued unrest after troops dispersed anti-government protesters in a major offensive that killed at least four people and wounded 50 others.
Bangkok was burning today after Thai protest leaders called a halt to months of anti-government demonstrations leaving their followers to wreak havoc in retreat.
The stock exchange and two shopping centres were set alight after a bloody army assault on the barricaded encampment forced the Red Shirts to surrender. Protesters have also set the offices of TV station Channel 3 on fire, trapping 100 staff in the building.
The dawn offensive left five dead, including an Italian journalist, and dozens more were wounded.
Smoke rises from burning fires in downtown Bangkok, Thailand, following the surrender of anti-government leaders to the police Wednesday, May 19, 2010. The Thai government is attempting to end the two month long standoff with Red Shirt protestors with a massive military crackdown. (AP)
BANGKOK — A night curfew has come into force in Bangkok, the first declared in the Thai capital since 1992.
The 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew was enforced Wednesday following an army assault on the anti-government protesters.
At least six people have been killed and nearly 60 injured in clashes.
The last such curfew was declared in 1992, when the army killed dozens of pro-democracy demonstrators seeking the ouster of a military-backed government.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.
BANGKOK (AP) — Downtown Bangkok became a flaming battleground Wednesday as an army assault forced anti-government protest leaders to surrender, enraging followers who shot grenades and set fire to landmark buildings, cloaking the skyline in black smoke.
Using live ammunition, troops dispersed thousands of Red Shirt protesters who had been camped in the capital’s premier shopping and residential district for weeks. Five protesters and an Italian news photographer were killed in the ensuing gunbattles and about 60 wounded.
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