BANGKOK, Thailand (Sept. 19, 2006) — Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has declared a state of emergency after the Thai military circled government buildings with tanks and seized control of television stations, declaring 78-year-old constitutional monarch King Bhumibol Adulyadej as head of state.
Mr. Thaksin was in New York attending the United Nations General Assembly when Sondhi Boonyaratkalin, commander-in-chief of the Thai army, made his move, according to the Associated Press. Reports said the military has revoked the country's constitution.
The stock market fell on news of the coup, as did the value of the Thai baht on world markets. All forward offers for natural rubber (NR) contracts also were withdrawn, but representatives of the rubber trade said they did not expect civil war to break out in Thailand.
“This probably will work itself out in a day or two,” said one source who asked to remain anonymous.
Fewer speculators in the rubber market, plus a massive default from some Chinese NR buyers, has caused rubber prices to fall in the past few weeks, though they started rising again the week of Sept. 11.