Thailand in State of Emergency

A lot of friends and colleagues around the world has told me that I really had to update my blog more frequently. And I always wanted to, but sometimes I feel like I have so many other things to do that for long periods of time, my focus is elsewhere.

Today however, is a special day. I am planning partner certification training in Hong Kong and Thailand in a couple of weeks, and obviously have been worried that the new Visa on Entry restriction being introduced by the Thai government might stop me from doing business there in the future.

Tanks in the city But more important things are going on in Thailand these days.

Apparently while Caretaker Thaksin was away visting NY today, there is abundance of rumors discussing a military coup in the country.

Nothing is official at this point in time, but it is certainly not good news.

I called a friend in Bangkok as soons as I heard the news on the radio only to learn that they were sleeping (silly me, forgetting about the time difference again) and that they had heard absolutely nothing. The reason they went to bed early tonight was that all the TV channels stopped movies and regular programs in favour of pictures of the king of Thailand with music in the background.

The news reported on the Danish radio talked about tanks being seen several places in Bangkok already and that although he was not sure any of this was true, something was definately going on…

I found this website with a pretty good update on the story. Apparently they keep the 2Bangkok.com up to date by the minute. It is almost unreal watching this very special story develop this evening.

For example this screenshot launched on Thai Television 21:19 local time:

Thai TV screen with written notice

Roughly translated this means:

At present the government reforms the democratic regime with the King as chief .
The army commander and the national police commander are already controlling the situation in Bangkok and boundary areas. There is no opposition.
To maintain the peace of the nation we ask for the people’s cooperation and hope the inconvenience will be forgiven.

I really feel sorry for the many friends I have there and sincerly hope this will not develop into a sustained and painful battle. If you are curious to learn what is going on, you may want to follow the story here – at least until the internet connection with the rest of the world is shut down…