Thailand’s ruling military summoned the entire ousted government and members of the politically-influential family at the heart of the country’s long-running conflict a day after it seized control in a non-violent coup.
There was virtually no military presence on Bangkok’s streets today, which were less crowded than usual but still filled with vendors and people heading to work after a 10pm - 5am curfew the night before. There were no reports of any violence.
Countries including the United States, Japan and Australia expressed concern and disappointment over the coup, with the US saying there was “no justification” for the takeover, Thailand’s second in eight years.
It was unclear why more than 100 people — including the ousted prime minister and several members of the influential Shinawatra family — were ordered to report to the army, which said it was summoning the high-profile figures “to keep peace and order and solve the country’s problems”.
Former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, sacked earlier this month for nepotism by the Constitutional Court, and her temporary replacement Niwattumrong Boonsongpaisan, arrived at an army compound in Bangkok, Yingluck’s aide confirmed. After about 30 minutes, Yingluck left the facility and was taken to another location by soldiers, the aide said.
The coup was launched yesterday while the military hosted a meeting of political rivals for what was billed as a second round of talks on how to resolve the country’s political deadlock.
After two hours of inconclusive talks, armed soldiers detained the participants, including four Cabinet ministers, and army chief Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha appeared on national television to announce the takeover.
The military suspended the constitution and the Cabinet and banned gatherings of more than five people — a risky bid to end half a year of political upheaval that many fear will only deepen the nation’s crisis.