THAILAND: Coup de Repos

In little more than 25 years, Thailand has had 13 coups or attempted coups, often accompanied by assassination. But what happened last week in Bangkok was not a coup d'état, nor even a coup de main, coup de Jarnac, coup de grâce, coup de maitre, coup de pied or a coup d'oeil. Searching for the trenchant Gallic phrase to describe Strongman Field Marshal Sarit Thanarat's apparent coup against himself, the best that observers could manage was coup de repos, i.e., a move that leaves the main features of a situation unchanged but also puts opponents at a disadvantage.

Since seizing power...

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