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TV blackout upsets nervous nation

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Many people feared the worst when their TV screens went blank yesterday afternoon. There was no coup, however. 

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TV blackout triggers coup fears

Satellite glitch to blame, say Thaicom, PM Abhisit

Post Reporters

The nationwide television blackout yesterday afternoon caused by a satellite technical glitch sparked rumours of a coup which spread like wildfire.

Media organisations were bombarded with calls from businessmen, heads of local government bodies and leaders of ethnic minority groups along the borders seeking to verify if a coup d'etat had taken place or not.

Red shirt supporters in Chiang Mai who spoke during a radio show yesterday said that the TV blackout might be related to persistent coup rumours.

The show was broadcast on a community radio station run by the Rak Chiang Mai 51 group.

The red shirts said they would be ready to come out in opposition to any military putsch.

Military exercises by soldiers yesterday morning and on Tuesday have also fuelled speculation of a coup.

The exercises were seen as a show of support for army commander-in-chief Prayuth Chan-ocha, who has shown strong opposition to any acts and remarks deemed offensive to the monarchy.

However, Thaicom Plc issued a statement at 6.10pm yesterday explaining that the Thaicom 5 satellite had suffered some technical problems at about 4.10pm. The company was fixing the problems to ensure the satellite would resume broadcasting shortly.

The company said the satellite had not left its orbit.

Arak Chonlatanon, chief executive of Thaicom, said the root cause of the cable network collapse yesterday was an electrostatic discharge failure on the Thaicom 5 satellite.

This resulted in a signal control system failure for the satellite transmission downlink of both the C and Ku bands.

It took the country's sole satellite service provider about three hours to bring its service back to normal

Mr Arak insisted that the satellite remained located at 78.5 degrees East and had not de-orbited.

The network collapse affected all cable broadcasting stations in the provinces where cable and free TV are popular.

The network disruption also affected broadcasting networks in neighbouring countries in Indochina, Burma and India.

A Thaicom source said the situation showed that Thailand needed a backup satellite system for national security.

Thaicom 5, constructed by a French company, was launched as a substitute for the Thaicom 3 satellite.

However, the Thaicom 3 was retired from service before schedule, resulting in the lack of a backup satellite for Thaicom 5, he said.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva yesterday insisted the TV blackout had been caused by technical problems.

Soldiers from 12 battalions of the 2nd Infantry Division, the "Tigers of the East", staged an exercise to show their preparedness for combat yesterday morning, spurring the coup rumours in the wake of the TV blackout.

Around 1,600 soldiers took part in the exercise at Phrom Yothi military camp in Muang district of Prachin Buri province.

An array of military weapons including tanks, artillery and machine guns were also paraded during the exercise.

Maj Gen Pisit Sithisarn, commander of the 2nd Infantry Division, said the exercise was part of the 1st Army's plan to ensure that troops could be assembled in 48 hours for combat and border defence operations.

Maj Gen Pisit said all soldiers were duty-bound to protect the monarchy.

You can read the full story here: http://bit.ly/g7mllF

trigger – to cause ก่อให้เกิด กระตุ้น
coup (d’etat) – the seizure of power in a country by a group of people, usually members of the armed forces รัฐประหาร
satellite – an electronic device that is sent into space and moves around the earth or another planet. It is used for communicating by radio, television, etc. and for providing information ดาวเทียม
glitch – a small problem or fault that prevents something from being successful or working as well as it should ความบกพร่อง
blame – to be responsible for something bad เหตุขัดข้อง
nationwide – throughout a whole country  ทั่วทั้งประเทศ
spark – to make something happen, especially something bad ก่อให้เกิด
rumour – a piece of information, or a story, that people talk about, but that may not be true ข่าวลือ
spread – to (cause to) cover, reach or have an effect on a wider or increasing area or number of people กระจายไปทั่ว
spread like wildfire – to spread very quickly  กระจายไปทั่วอย่างรวดเร็ว
media – newspapers, television, radio, etc. สื่อ
bombard – to ask someone so many questions, give them so much information etc that it is difficult for them to deal with it all ระดม (คำถาม ความคิด คำวิจารณ์) เข้าใส่
body – a group of people who work or act together, often for an official purpose, or who are connected in some other way กลุ่มคน, นิติบุคคล
ethnic minority – a group of people with the same culture or traditions who are living a a place where most people have a different culture and different traditions ชนกลุ่มน้อยที่มีเชื้อชาติหรือประเพณีและวัฒนธรรมที่ต่างไปจากคนกลุ่มใหญ่ของประเทศ
border – the official line separating two areas, regions or countries  เขตแดน อาณาเขต
verify – to prove that something is true, or to make certain that something is correct พิสูจน์ว่าเป็นความจริง
persistent – continuing อย่างต่อเนื่อง
broadcast – to send out a programme on television or radio กระจายเสียง,กระจายข่าว
opposition – strong disagreement with a plan or policy ความขัดแย้ง
putsch – a coup; an attempt to get rid of a government by using force, made by military leaders or politicians  รัฐประหาร
exercise – a set of activities for training soldiers การฝึกฝน
fuel – to make something increase or become worse ทำให้รุนแรงขึ้น
speculation – ideas or discussion about what might happen or has happened or why something has happened without having complete information การคาดการณ์
commander-in-chief – someone in charge of the whole of the armed forces or the army of a country ผู้บัญชาการทหารสูงสุด
deemed – considered เห็นว่า ถือว่า
offensive – causing someone to become upset or angry; rude ซึ่งทำให้ไม่พอใจ,น่ารังเกียจ
remark – something said คำพูด
the monarchy – the royal institution (higher institution); the throne; the crown ระบอบประชาธิปไตยอันมีพระมหากษัตริย์เป็นประมุข
issue – to officially announce or give out  ออก, ออกประกาศ
suffer – to experience something very unpleasant or painful ประสบ
ensure – to make certain that something happens or is done  ให้การยืนยัน, รับรอง, ให้ความมั่นใจ
resume – to begin again after stopping for a period of time  เริ่มอีกครั้ง, กลับมาอีกครั้ง
orbit – a curved path followed by a planet or an object as it moves around another planet, star, moon, etc วิถีโคจร, วงโคจร
network – a large system of connected parts, organisations, people, etc. เครือข่าย
collapse – a sudden failure การล้ม
electrostatic – involving electric charges that are not moving, rather than electric currents เกี่ยวกับไฟฟ้าสถิต
discharge – releasing force or power การปล่อยกระแสไฟฟ้า
transmission – the process of sending out electronic signals such as television or radio signals การส่งสัญญาณ แพร่ภาพ กระจายเสียง
downlink – a communications link by which information is received from space or from an aircraft การเชื่อมโยงลง
sole – only เดี่ยวๆ
normalcy – the state of being normal, ordinary or usual สภาวะปกติ
insist – to keep saying very firmly that something is true ยืนกราน ยืนยัน
popular – a situation in which someone or something is liked by many people เป็นที่นิยม, เป็นที่ชื่นชอบ
disruption – a situation in which something cannot continue because of a problem การขัดขวาง, การหยุดชะงัก
source – someone who gives information แหล่งข่าว
national security – the protection or the safety of a country’s secrets and its citizens การรักษาความมั่นคงแห่ง่ชาติ
launch – to send something out, such as a rocket into the air or into space ปล่อย
substitute – a person or thing that is used instead of another person or thing คนหรือสิ่งที่เข้าแทน  
retire – to remove machines or equipment from a place because they are old and no longer useful  ปลด ปลดออกจากประจำการ
lack of – when there is not enough of something  ขาด
backup – people or equipment that can be used when extra help is needed สำรอง
battalion – a large group of soldiers made up of several smaller groups known as companies กองทหาร, กองพันทหาร
infantry – soldiers who fight on foot, not on horses or in tanks or other vehicles ทหารราบ
preparedness – the state of being ready or willing to do something ความพร้อม, การเตรียมพร้อม
combat – fighting during a war การต่อสู้
spur – to cause something to happen ก่อให้เกิด
in the wake of – happening after an event or as a result of it  สืบเนื่องมาจาก
array – a group or collection of things or people, often one that is large or impressive การจัดเรียง,  ขบวน
artillery – large powerful guns that are used by an army and are moved on wheels or fixed in one place ปืนใหญ่
machine gun – a gun that automatically fires many bullets one after the other very quickly ปืนกล
troops – soldiers, especially in large numbers กองทหาร
assemble – to bring together and form a group การนำมาร่วมกัน
defence – the particular structures, weapons, and people that are used for protecting a place การป้องกัน,การต้านการรุกราน
operation – a planned activity involving a lot of people, especially soldiers or police officers การปฏิบัติการ
duty-bound – required by your job or assignment ขอบข่ายหน้าที่หรืองานที่ได้รับมอบหมาย
protect – to make sure that somebody/something is not harmed, injured, damaged, etc ป้องกัน,อารักขา,คุ้มกัน

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