Most Thai are Buddhist, but the Southern provinces have a large number of Muslims. General Sonthi Boonyaratglin was appointed last October by the King, in an apparent move to show that Muslims would be treated fairly (hundreds have died in the uprisings).
This General's name is now being mentioned in association with the coup--too early to know in what capacity or on which side; but if a Muslim is taking over the country, things could get ugly. Boonyaratglin fought with the US in the Vietnam War.
Just a heads-up for fellow news watchers