Public life in Thailand has returned to some sort of normality since the political coup of October, when the military took control of the government.
Public life in Thailand has returned to some sort of normality since the political coup of October, when the military took control of the government. On Sunday (5 December) King Bhumibol Adulyadej celebrated his 49th birthday with official and religious ceremonies at the Grand Palace in the capital.
SYNOPSIS: Two days earlier, both the King and Queen had attended the ceremony of Trooping the Colour in the Royal Plaza in Bangkok. The troops were dressed in their most striking uniforms and the military bands ere at their most tuneful. The colourful scene belied the political tensions that still remain below the surface.
Earlier in the week, Bangkok's Thammasat University was re-opened for the first time since the military take-over in October. Then the University had been the focal point of the political violence which erupted between police and students and in which 46 people died. On Wednesday (1 December) the students once again entered the University to take their long-delayed examinations. All political activities there are now banned.
Although the military do not form the Government. they nevertheless control it through such bodies as the Prime Minister's Advisory Council and the National Administration Reform Assembly. At the end of last month the Government revealed that it had begun talks with neighbouring Communist Cambodia on border problems to prevent further clashes between their armed forces. The talks are being held at the border town of Poipet.