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Beauty queen puts pretty face on Thai coup

Reuters

Posted: Sep 21, 2006 at 1555 hrs IST

In a country obsessed with style, it was perhaps no surprise that Thailand's military chiefs chose a former beauty queen to unveil their coup to the nation.

Along with the weathered visage of retired Lieutenant-General Prapart Sakuntanak--familiar as the face of previous military forays into politics--viewers of every television channel were treated to Miss Asia 1987 Thawinan Khongkran.

Drawing on a wealth of experience gleaned from her beauty pageant, modelling and singing days, the 42-year-old admitted to having to change her normally soft-spoken delivery to add more authority as she announced details of the military putsch.

"I was confident in my superiors and told myself that we were trying to bring peace to the country," said Thawinan, head of public relations at army-run Channel 5 Television, as quoted by the Nation newspaper.

But the Miss University of Asia 1986 is not just a pretty face. The newspaper said she also holds a masters degree--with a thesis entitled 'The role of the media in creating the image of Miss Thailand from 1964 to 1988'.

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