THAILAND: A Nightmare of Lynching and Burning

Suddenly the nightmare that Bangkok had dreaded was happening: a wild outbreak of kicking, clubbing, shooting, lynching. Youths hurled themselves into the river to keep from being shot. Then the blazing finale as a heap of gasoline-soaked bodies were set afire. Finally, over the radio came last week's terse announcement: "The government cannot govern," said a voice. "To keep Thailand from falling prey to the Communists and to uphold the monarchy, this [military] council has seized power. The country is under martial law."

The voice was that of stately, thickset Admiral Sangad Chaloryu, 61, who just two weeks earlier had retired...

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