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VANCOUVER HOCKEY RIOT 2011 END OF GAME START OF RIOT
BANGKOK — When Thailand’s top general speaks of coups, his words are read like tea leaves. Just as US economists decrypt the Federal Reserve chair’s verbiage, the Thai punditry analyzes their army chief’s phrasing down to the last syllable.
Thailand, paranoid over coups even in its best years, has shifted into round-the-clock coup watch. The nation’s dour military head honcho, Prayuth Chan-ocha, is the man who decides whether the tanks will roll. The general is now so beset by questions over potential plots that he recently snapped at the press.
“Why do you keep asking me so often?” he shot back.
But even that quip was dissected in hopes of glimpsing the general’s inner thoughts.
Since it left behind the direct rule of kings in the 1930s, the Southeast Asian nation has racked up 12 effective coups and 11 failed attempts. The nation has carried this bad habit into the 21st century. The last army takeover was just eight years ago. And now the Thai public is rightfully fretting some sort of coup will go down in 2014.
There are plenty of reasons to worry.
Photo by AFP/Getty Images