The Thailand armed forces, led by Primed, led by Prime Minister, Field Marshal Thanom Kittikachorn, seized full powers today (Wednesday 17 November) in what observers have termed as a move to return to direct military rule in Thailand.
GV Troops march onto plaza (3 shots)
SV Flag party
GV Soldiers on parade (3 shots)
GV Marshal Thanom Kittikachorn
CU & SV Soldier salutes as Prime Minister past
LV & SV Colours trooped (3 shots)
GV ZOOM IN.. University students
SV Students with banners and placards (6 shots)
SV & CU Fire-truck (2 shots)
Initials ES.0.26 ES.0.45
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Background: The Thailand armed forces, led by Primed, led by Prime Minister, Field Marshal Thanom Kittikachorn, seized full powers today (Wednesday 17 November) in what observers have termed as a move to return to direct military rule in Thailand.
In the name of the ruling Revolutionary Party, the forces announced over the state-owned Radio Thailand that they abolished parliament and disbanded the cabinet. The party declared in the radio broadcast that some factions in Thailand had been trying to change the nation's administration into something "undemocratic".
Prime Minister Thanom Kittikachorn, accompanied by leaders of the party, tonight called at the Royal Palace to explain the party's actions to the King.
Political observers in Southeast Asia are speculating that the take over could be a way of clearing the procedure for action involving a political accommodation with the People's Republic of China. Thailand is already in the process of re-evaluating world power alignments in the light of China's admission to the United Nations and the projected visit of President Nixon to Peking. It is also thought the Government is concerned over the loyalties of the country's estimated two million Chinese who largely control business interests.
There have been recent calls in Thailand for the establishment of relations with China, and several minor parties have been calling for the withdrawal of Thailand from the Southeast Asia Treaty Organisation (SEATO) and disengagement from the policies of the United States.
The build-up towards today's moves has been, to some degree, expected. During a parade of troops in Bangkok earlier this month, the Prime Minister warned soldiers against external aggression, and as early as June, Field Marshal Kittikachorn was the target for demonstrations in Malaysia when discussing relations with peking with his Malaysian counterpart Tun Abdul Razak. This Visnews library film shows Thailand's November parade in Bangkok, and students demonstrating against Field Marshal Kittikachorn in Kuala Lumpur.