Life in Bangkok hardly missed a bet when a Revolutionary council led by armed forces leaders seized absolute power in thailand last week.
TV Bangkok and traffic
Riverboat passes Buddhist temple
Flour loaded on to river barge
GV Chinatown area of Bangkok
Chinese people, signs and shops
GV Goldsmith and jewellery shop
GV Hawker stalls
Cadets march across plaza
Praphas in Jeep reviews parade
Praphas past camera
Parade past Praphas
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Life in Bangkok hardly missed a bet when a Revolutionary council led by armed forces leaders seized absolute power in thailand last week.
The few tanks and troops which were called out were hardly necessary to allow the Prime Minister, Field Marshal Thanom Kittikachorn, and his fellow-revolutionaries to consolidate their grip on the country.
It almost seemed as if no one had taken any notice. One of the many reasons given by the Revolutionary council for their action was anxiety over the emergence of the People's Republic of China.
Thailand - particularly her in Bangkok - has a large Chinese community which dominates commercial life. The fiercely anti-Communist coup leaders expressed fears that Peking's spreading influence might alienate the Chinese population in thailand, just as many Chinese in Indonesia sided with the Communists during the last days o the Sukarno era.
However, on the surface, Bangkok's Chinese community appears more intent on making profit than propaganda from their stores, jewellery shops and hawker stalls.
Another official reason given for the coup was recent anti-government dissent by university students - protests that were very tame compared with the riotous behaviour of students in other asian cities.
Although a few students openly denounced the coup, most of them rallied to the support of the Revolutionary Council - at the some time saying they would pray for the restoration of democratic rights.
On Monday, 14,000 student cadets paraded through Bangkok's royal Plaza to swear their loyalty to the King and the Revolutionary council. They were reviewed by the Council's Deputy Leader, General Praphas Charusathiara.
General Praphas, who is also leader of the armed forces, reminded the students that martial law was in force and they would be severely punished if they misbehaved - such as opposing the new regime.