Musical 'coup' at Victory Monument

Security authorities returned to Victory Monument on Wednesday but this time they brought with them bands not batons.

The Royal Thai Army orchestra and the Royal Thai Police musical band, plus the Ponglang band from the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), performed in the same area which was sealed off twice last Thursday and Friday to block anti-coup demonstrations.

They performed featured hits by artists Ying Lee and Thongchai ''Bird'' McIntyre.

The event, under the ''Return Happiness to the Public'' campaign, was jointly organised by the National Council for Peace and Order, the BMA and the Metropolitan Police Bureau.

A large crowd converged on Koh Phaya Thai Plaza near Phong Lee Restaurant hours before the scheduled performance, prompting the organisers to move the concert forward from the original time of 4pm-7pm.

"It's my job to interact with the public," said Sgt Chamnan Rungruang from the Thai Psychological Operation team, who has been trained to perform on stage and keep audiences entertained and relaxed.

Horses from the 2nd Cavalry, makeshift bunkers in the style of the Wild West and "pretties" in military fatigues were among the popular photo stops for attendants.

Free medical check-ups were provided by Phramongkutklao Hospital. Free food and drinks were also available.

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