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Wed, September 20, 2006 : Last updated 22:59 pm (Thai local time)

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Home > Headlines > Coup as it unfolds

Coup as it unfolds

The Nation monitors the events that led to the coup as well as events after it as following:

Sept 19

8.00 am Thaksin Shinawatra calls an urgent teleconference with all armed forces' commanders at Government House, but none attends.

Gen Sonthi Boonyaratkarin, the army chief, later says the meeting is hastily called. Rumor then spread around the capital and the stock market that a coup de tat is under way.

12.00 am After finishing the webcamera teleconference with Thaksin, who is New York, several Cabinet members check with reporters if there would really be a coup.

6.30 pm The Army's special forces from Lopburi move into Bangkok. Gen Prem Tinnasulalonda, president of Privy Council, has an audience with HM the King, reportedly on a meritmaking ceremony for ML Bau Kittiyakala.

6.55 pm Thai News Agency reports that Thaksin will return to Bangkok on Thursday, instead of Friday.

8.00 pm 191 police receive M16 rifles to prepare for an antiriot assignment.

9.00 pm The Army'[s special forces from Lopburi arrive at the Army's Bangkok headquarters.

Web surfers post messages on Pantip.com asking if there is a coup de tat.

9.10 pm The armyowned TV Channel 5's mobile TV broadcast unit arrives at the Army's Bangkok headquarters.

9.30 pm TV channel 5 cancels regular programming and puts on air royallyauthored songs.

Reporters at Government House say situation is normal, but rumour was rife that deputy premier Pol Gen Chidchai Vanasatit and defence minister Gen Thammarak Isarangkun have been under custody.

Panthongthae, Thaksin's son, reportedly has left Thailand for the UK.

9.40 pm Police commandos arrive Baan Chansongra, Thaksin's residence.

10.00 pm Army tanks take position at Bangkok Makkawan Rangsan Bridge and Rajdamnern Avenue.

10.10 pm CNN reports Bangkok situation

10.20pm Thaksin declares a state of emergency via the phone from New York. He also issues two orders, transferring en Sondhi from the post of army chief to the PM's Office, and naming Gen Rungroj Mahasaranond as the officer in charge of the crisis.

11pm "The Administrative Reform Council" (ARC) issues a first statement on TV network, saying the armed forces and national police have peacefully seized control of Bangkok and surrounding areas. Soldier seize the Shinawatra Building, iTV television stationand Thaksin's residence.

11.15pm Soldiers put steel barricades at Sri Ayudha and Rajdamnoen Roads

11.50pm ARC issues the second statement explaining the reasons for the coup d'etat, citing national disunity and rampant corruption. ARC says it plans to return power quickly to the people

12.39am ARC issues third statement, nullifying the constitution, the caretaker Cabinet and the Constitutional Court.

September 20

1: 24 am The ARC issues its fourth announcement saying that while there is no prime minister, the power of the PM will belong to the ARC chief.  The statement says where there are no ministers, the permanent secretaries will take charge of their respective ministries.

8:00 am ARC spokesman announces Gen Sonthi will make announcement on TVs at 9 am.  The spokesman also announces that TV stations can resume their normal programmes but most continue to relay signals from Channel 5 except iTV, which briefly airs its morning news programme.

8:50 am: Permanent officials and rectors of universities start arriving at the Army headquarters to report themselves to the ARC. Khunying Jaruvan Mainthaka, the auditor-general, flashes a thumb-up to reporters.

9:16 am Sonthi holds a press conference. The first part of his statement is similar to the first statement of the ARC. He says the ARC has to seize power to solve the country's problems caused by the Thaksin admnistration.

Sonthi appears on TV along with the police chief and commanders of other armed forces in the four-minute announcement.

After Sonthi finishes reading the statement, a spokeswoman announces that the TV pool is disbanded and TV stations resume normal programmes.

9:50 am A source in New York tells a radio programme that Thaksin is considering whether to go to England or not.

10:00 am Sondhi Limthongkul, a decision maker of the People's Alliance for Democracy, announces that the planned rally in the evening is cancelled.  Sondhi also praises the army chief for staging the coup.

10:15 am Chamlong Srimuang, a decision maker of the PAD, passes the front of the army head office in a taxi. People give him an applaud as the taxi passes by.

10:40 am A spokesman of the ARC announces its fifth statement on TV pool that AMC invites students to take part in political reform. The spokesman says Gen Sonthi invites students to send suggestions on political reform to the ARC.

10:42 am A spokesman reads the sixth announcement of the ARC that the ARC realises the problem of farmers and is considering how to help them so they should not demonstrate now.

10:45 am An ARC spokeswoman reads the seventh announcement of the ARC that the political gathering of more than five people is banned.

The ARC spokeswoman also read the ninth announcement of the ARC that the ARC will take drastic action against any trader who hoards goods.

The spokesman announces the ninth statement of the ARC that the ARC will adhere to treaties with the United Nations and other international organisations as well as will promote and maintain good relations with other countries.

10:46 am An ARC reads the tenth announcement of the ARC that the ARC seeks cooperation from the mass media to present accurate news and information to the public.

10:52 am An ARC spokesman reads an order of ARC leader Gen Sonthi for the Information and Communication Technology Ministry to check and censor any type of information dissemination that could affect the works of the ARC.

10:58 am The ARC issues its 11th announcement to appoint members of the council as following:

1 Supreme Commander Gen Ruangroj Mahasaranon becomes chief adviser of the ARC.

2 Army Commander-in-Chief Gen Sonthi Boonyaratglin becomes president of the ARC.

3 Navy Commander-in-Chief Adm Sathiraphan Keyanon becomes first vice president of ARC.

4 Air Force Commander-in-Chief ACM Chalit Pookpasuk becomes second vice president of ARC.

5 Police Commissioner-General Pol Lt Gen Kowit Wattana becomes third vice president of the ARC

6 National Security Council secretary-general Gen Winai Phatthiyakul becomes secretary-general of the ARC.

1:00 pm Chalard Worachat and several other people are arrested for gathering in a group of more than five people.

1:15 pm Former Thai Rak Thai MP Surapol Kiartchaiyakorn is seen taking away from the Chiang Mai Airport by soldiers on a military vehicle.

1:30 pm Deputy Police Commissioner-General Pol Col Priewphan Damapong, a brother-in-law of Thaksin Shinawatra, reports himself to the national police chief in line with the coup maker's order.

2:00 pm ARC leader Gen Sonthi told foreign diplomats an hour ago that a civilian government would be appointed to run the country within two weeks.

2:30 pm Thawee Kraikupti, former Thai Rak Thai MP, protest against the coup at the Democracy Monument. He is later taken away by soldiers.

3:00 pm A military source say 15 trucks of fully-armed soldiers from the Pawai Camp head to Bangkok.

Sonthi answers reporters' questions at a press conference. He tells reporters that an interim constitution will be drafted in two weeks. After which a Cabinet will be formed to spend another year to draft a new constitution.

Sonthi says the new Election Commission has been dissolved along with the abolition of the Constitution.

4:55 pm ARC issues an announcement that government agencies, state enterprises, schools, banks and the Stock Exchange of Thailand would be open on Thursday.

6:00 pm About 100  soldiers from the 26th Cavalry Battalion in Phechabun arrive at Pathum Thani in ten trucks and ten military trucks. They travel on Rangsit-Nakhon Nayok Road and reach a road check point in Pathum Thani manned by seven tanks. after briefly talking to offices at the checkpoints, the 10 tanks and 10 trucks move on to Bangkok.

7:00 pm A spokesman announces that His Majesty the King has issued a royal command to appoint Sonthi as the ARC president.

7: 04 pm The ARC issues its seventh order to divide itself into four divisions as part of responsibility sharing. The four divisions are the ARC, the secretariat, the advisory division and special affairs division.

7:10 pm The ARC issues an order to maintain the status of Khunying Jaruvan Maintaka as the auditor-general.

The order removes the State Audit Commission but maintains Jaruvan's status as well as maintaining the provision of the SAC Act.

7:29 pm A spokesman of the ARC announces that the ARC has not imposed curfew and the people can live their life as usal.

9:45 pm The ARC announces an order for former Natural Resource and Environment Minister Yongyuth Tiyapairat and former PM's Office Minister Newin Chidchop to report themselves at the army head office at noon on Thursday.

10 pm The ARC issues its 13th statement to maintain the status of the new Election Commission. The ARC statement says the EC ACT would continue to be effective so that the new EC could organize election of local administrations and councils.

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