Thailand Power Grab: A coup attempt fizzles

A coup attempt fizzles

In Thailand, coups are almost routine. The country has survived 17 takeover bids since a constitutional government replaced its absolute monarchy in 1932. Last week Coup No. 18, apparently mounted by renegade military officers, took an unexpectedly violent turn. The rebellion was crushed within twelve hours, but it left five people dead and 60 injured. Worse, Thailand's image as an increasingly stable semidemocracy in Southeast Asia may have been tarnished. Said Prime Minister Prem Tinsulanonda, whose government withstood another military takeover attempt only four years ago: "I don't agree with this method of solving the country's problems."

The insurrection, avowedly mounted...

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