Wednesday, August 27, 2014

What about the coup?

We are visiting Thailand during expanded military control. Basically, the military lost patience with the dysfunctional federal ministers who couldn't get their act together and do their job. So the military said "enough" and kicked out the bickering bunch and took pragmatic control. By definition, a coup. But if you worry about visiting Thailand from news reports, in our opinion, you can dispel your misgivings.

As tourists, particularly in this area of Phuket a long way from the capital of Bangkok, we don't see the effects. It's been business as usual for the most part, but just recently, the military has taken the opportunity to tidy some things up around here. Over the years, there has been a lot of uncontrolled development and lax enforcement of proper laws and procedures and abuses as a result of corruption at the more local government levels.

One of the obvious military influences here has been the tidying up of the beach areas which were festooned with illegal buildings and vendors on public beaches. So the beaches here have been purged of ramshackle premises and illegal beach chair renters that dominated and monopolized the otherwise pleasant beach experience. Beach by beach, they came in with soldiers and equipment, and by day's end, it was cleared out with many carted off to jail.

Remnants of dismantled structures

The illegal taxi mafia were targeted as well as corrupt local officials and apparently the jails are full as the accused wait due process. Basically the military has taken overdue action and given notice to all levels of officials to "Do your job or there will be consequences."

Military worries? None for us as we enjoy our stay in Thailand.

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