NOTE: I actually wrote this on another blog on 19 February, but since it is relevant for some time to come, I am posting it again here.
23 Feb 1991:
The Thai military overthrew the elected government and imposed martial law. The coup was completely peaceful, and apart from a few tanks on the street, business continued as usual.
The generals and admirals blamed the corruption of the government for their actions, and said they would return the government to democracy within 18 months. In Bangkok, there was widespread support for the move.
His Majesty the King immediately signed a decree legalising the takeover, and several days later conducted a swearing-in ceremony for the military appointed government, consisting mostly of experienced politicians, bureaucrats and technocrats. His Majesty advised the ministers to work hard for the country, and be honest.
(Funny thing was, the generals were absolutely right, and they returned Thailand to democracy in 18 months. Of course blood flowed on the streets and the generals were forced to quit after killing an unknown number of Thais, but they proved absolutely right, and stuck to their 18-month deadline.)