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Timeline of Thailand's coup

india Updated: Sep 20, 2006 15:18 IST

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Thailand's military coup is a sharp turnaround for a country that had been hailed as one of Southeast Asia's most promising democracies.

The army chief, General Sondhi Boonyaratglin signed a statement saying he had seized power from embattled Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was facing increasing pressure to resign over corruption allegations.

Following are the approximate local times since Tuesday evening of key developments in the coup:

6:00 pm: Rumours of a coup grip Bangkok after military leaders skip a key cabinet meeting and unusual troop movements are seen around the capital.

10:20 pm: Thaksin, speaking from New York where he was attending the UN General Assembly, announces on national television that he has sacked the army chief and declared emergency rule in Bangkok.

His statement is taken off the air minutes later, and all Thai television and radio stations begin broadcasting patriotic music and images of the king.

11:00 pm: Sondhi's troops seize Thaksin's office at Government House without firing a shot. They meet no resistance, and tanks surround the building.

11:10 pm: The military and police announce they have taken control of the country and created a "Council for Political Reform" to run the government.

12:00 am: Military and police leaders meet with revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

12:10 am: Thaksin is "calm" and believes he is still prime minister, a senior Thai official says in New York.

12:30 am: The military imposes martial law.

12:45 am: The military suspends the constitution, the parliament, the cabinet and one of the nation's highest courts.

2:50 am: The coup leaders declare Wednesday a holiday, closing banks and markets, and say they will announce their "new policy" at 9:00 am.

3:10 am: Thaksin cancels his planned speech to the UN General Assembly.

5:00 am: Thaksin decides to leave New York early, a Thai official says, without revealing where the premier would go.

9:00 am: Sondhi speaks on national television for the first time, saying the coup was needed to unite the country after months of political turmoil.

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