Digital Broadcasters Vendor News noticed that Voice of America (VOA) was very quick to add additional live and direct short wave broadcasts to its target radio audience in Thailand, in Thai and English, as part of VOA's coverage of the coup that removed Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra on September 19.
VOA immediately went from 15 minute short wave transmissions to a full sixty minutes as follows:
2300-2400 UTC Coup coverage in Thai 7215, 9685 khz 1130-1200 UTC Worldwide English Broadcast 1575 khz 1530-1600 UTC Special English Broadcast 1575, 6160, 9590, 9760, 12040, 15550 khz
I want to say: "Thank goodness for foreign broadcasts by satellite into Thailand "before" Thaksin was forced out of power".
Even so, promptly, as if on cue on news of the Coup, VOA Director David S. Jackson had to say: "At a time when the people of Thailand were most in need of reliable information, VOA's Thai Service went from broadcasting a 15-minute daily news feed to a daily 60-minute direct broadcast, transmitted via the Internet and on special shortwave frequencies."
Not surprisingly, the United States criticised the Thai Military takeover as a blow to democracy in Thailand.
To any one who knows the Thai situation, democracy was under threat from Thaksin anyway who used his position and wealth to buy out anything or anyone in his way.
It seems the Americans wanted democracy with a corrupt Thaksin government that went farther than any previously to the point of almost offending the Monarchy? That does not make sense to me.
Voice of America should have expanded its broadcast hours before the Military take over. Let me repeat, pro-Thaksin interests controlled the main national radio and TV networks, so the news was skewed anyway in Thaksin's favour.
Talk about double standards. According to the American government psyche, you can be as corrupt as you like as long as you are democratic!
I happened to be in Bangkok during the Coup. What an extraordinary non-event it was. The military hardware was paraded as if it was a carnival emblazoned with ribbons in the royal colour of yellow. That is the happy result. It could have been bloody if factions loyal to Thaksin had not been neutralised. Access roads with their military camps were quickly blocked by divisions loyal to the Coup leaders.
Digital Broadcasters Vendor News noted that BBC, CNN, ABC Australia and NHK were off air for really a few hours only on UBC Cable TV. But it is true to state that the Coup leaders censor live reports that elaborate too much on Thaksin and show a caption instead saying the transmission will return shortly.
Thailand will return to democracy very soon with a new constitution. That I am sure.
There are few visible signs of the coup on the streets. The people seem relieved.
It is a case of "Mai pen rai". If you know a Thai ask them what that means.