Thailand: Fast Fizzle for Coup No. 14

"The last thing we want is to have Thais start killing Thais"

At first it looked like just another coup in Thailand—the 14th since constitutional government was established in 1932. Rebel army units took key buildings in Bangkok last week, sacked the government and installed their own man, General San Chitpatima, 59, the army's deputy commander. Coup tradition dictated that the incumbent, Prime Minister Prem Tinsulanond, 61, step aside for the new soldier-statesman.

But the characters were barely in place when the familiar scenario began to unravel. Instead of retiring quietly, Prem, also...

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