Channel NewsAsia

Military coup brings relief to some Thais

Thailand has again witnessed a coup d'etat. However, ordinary Thais continue to go about their daily lives as usual, while some even see the military takeover as a source of relief.

BANGKOK: Thailand has again witnessed a coup d'etat, after its army chief threw the embattled government out of office on Thursday.

However, the military takeover has not affected ordinary Thais, who continue to go about their daily lives as usual.

The military coup’s impact on the country has been massive.

Within hours, the constitution was scrapped, and television stations across the country were ordered to stop broadcasting.

Months-long street protests against Yingluck Shinawatra’s administration were swiftly dispersed.

A curfew was imposed and protesters at the rival pro-government rally on the western outskirts of Bangkok were also sent home.

Nevertheless, residents seem little affected by the army intervention.

Many resumed their daily routines as soon as the curfew came to an end at 5am. People went to work as usual and businesses continued to operate.

Despite the fewer number of tourists, some in the service sector remain optimistic that the coup d'etat will actually help the tourism industry in the long run.

One of those who remain optimistic about the coup is Somsak Lonlue, who has been driving a tuk-tuk for 10 years.

His main clients are tourists on Khaosarn Road, a famous destination in the capital.

Over the past six months, he rarely has clients.

The anti-government protests occupied several locations in Bangkok, deterring many travellers from coming to that popular street.

The protests had also shrunk the 28-year-old's income by more than half.

However, the coup has given him fresh hope his business may return to normal soon.

"I think the coup will improve the situation in Thailand as it has stopped the protests. I think it will restore the country's credibility among foreigners and attract more tourists,” he said.

Thailand's 12th successful coup since 1932 is somewhat unusual.

The presence of soldiers on the streets has restored a sense of calm.

Some residents do not see the coup as a cause for concern, but rather a source of relief, bringing with it the peace they have long wished for.

"It doesn't really affect me. I just continue my day-to-day life as usual. I don't really feel anything, I think it (the military coup) will bring something positive,” said Bangkok resident Sa-Ing Jongkraijak.

Elsewhere in the city, the coup has had a less positive effect.

Many political figures, including former premier Yingluck Shinawatra, have been banned from leaving the country without permission from the military junta. 

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