POWDERKEG: Civil unrest continues in Bangkok after Thailand’s army overthrew the government.
POWDERKEG: Civil unrest continues in Bangkok after Thailand’s army overthrew the government. Sakchai Lalit

Aussie tells of more violence following military coup

A FORMER Sunshine Coast man yesterday likened the Bangkok coup to a powder keg.

Civil unrest ensued after Thailand's army overthrew the government on Thursday, before the army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha detained former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and appointed himself acting prime minister on Friday.

The former Coast man, who asked not to be named, is living and working reasonably close to the main protest areas in Bangkok.

He said he remained far enough away not to feel threatened.

The man had no plans to leave the Thai capital, but warned about staying away from "trouble spots".

"The major rally sites were quickly disbanded when the army took over on Thursday, although it could be said that it took over on Tuesday when martial law was enforced," he said.

He said the situation was similar to the initial stages of the last coup in 2006, which he also witnessed.

"The army deployed quickly and met no resistance," he said.

"There have been isolated protests but no violence yet but I expect that to change."

There was a large and robust anti-coup protest in downtown Bangkok on Saturday, the first one since Thursday.

"The protesters were the so-called Red Shirts, who are largely made up of people from the country's poor north and northeast and are supported by fugitive ex-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra," the man said.

"In a country where corruption is invasive, Thaksin was particularly egregious on this front. But when he was in office he did a lot of good things for the north and northeast, who previously felt ignored. This is essentially a battle between Thaksin and Bangkok's elite."

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