The Thai army took control of Bangkok on Tuesday and announced it would set up a commission to reform the constitution despite Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra declaring a state of emergency from New York.
A written statement relayed on all TV channels said the armed forces and police had set up a commission to decide on political reforms, ousting Thaksin in the midst of protracted political crisis in which he was accused of undermining democracy
After tanks surrounded Government House in the country's first coup in 15 years, all television channels read the message saying the armed forces and police were in control of Bangkok and surrounding provinces, and appealed for calm.
The Thai baht slid the most in four years. The baht fell 1.3 percent to 37.79 per dollar at 1:03 p.m. in New York, from 37.29 late yesterday, the biggest decline since July 2002. Maratheftis recommended buying the yen, the most-traded Asian currency, against the baht.
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Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has declared a state of emergency in Bangkok amid reports of a coup attempt.
Mr Thaksin, who is at the UN in New York, said he had removed the chief of the army. The general,Lieutenant General Sonthi Boonyaratglin, was sacked by the prime minister earlier in the day.
Soldiers have entered Government House and tanks have moved into position around the building.
Witnesses said several hundred troops were posted at key points around Bangkok, including at government installations and major intersections.
National television announced that forces had taken control of Bangkok "to maintain law and order", and that they were declaring loyalty to the king.
An army-owned TV station is showing images of the royal family and songs linked in the past with military coups. The declaration of loyalty does not necessarily imply that he backs the takeover attempt.
The announcement said the troops belonged to the "Council of Political Reform".
Thai media say that two army factions appear to be heading for a clash, with one side backing the prime minister and the other side backing military commander Lieutenant General Sonthi Boonyaratglin.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006