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Military coup in Thailand.

Sonthi Booyaratglin has taken control of Bangkok. And deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. And met king Bhumibol. His goal? To restore power to the people.

Or so he says. Or so they always say.

It's been raining cats and dogs in Bangkok all evening. Outside the government houses it looks like a military zone. But things are quiet. The military are disciplined and only standing guard. Traffic has been blocked and people are moving about calmly.

The police have closed the entertainment districts and the discos.

In a television communique Booyaratglin explained the coup is temporary and the Thai people will get back their government 'as soon as possible'. He said the coup was necessary because 'the democratically elected government had caused a rift in Thai society of a never before seen magnitude'.

Martial law reigns, the constitution is revoked, the parliament is disbanded, the government and one of the country's highest courts are disbanded.

Thaksin Shinawatra is currently in New York at the United Nations and appeared earlier today on Thai television, reporting he'd fired Sonthi Booyaratglin.

Thank goodness the planet has military despots prepared to step in when democracy proves inadequate.

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