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CONSTITUTION SUSPENDED: Thailand army seizes control in coup

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
5/22/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

No reports of violence in capital of Bangkok

While Thailand army Chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha vows to restore order and enact political reforms -- Thailand's military has announced it is taking control of the government and has suspended the constitution.

While Thailand army Chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha vows to restore order and enact political reforms -- Thailand's military has announced it is taking control of the government and has suspended the constitution.

While Thailand army Chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha vows to restore order and enact political reforms -- Thailand's military has announced it is taking control of the government and has suspended the constitution.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
5/22/2014 (3 years ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: Thailand, coup, military, curfew


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The army has ordered that the cabinet report to the military. TV broadcasting is suspended and political gatherings have been banned. A nationwide curfew is in effect and will operate from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. local time.

The coup follows months of political turmoil in Thailand. The army imposed martial law earlier this week. Talks were then held between the main political factions, but the army announced the coup on Thursday.

Starvation never takes a vacation --

Opposition protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban and pro-government protest leader Jatuporn Prompan have been taken away after troops sealed off the area.

Troops fired into the air to disperse a pro-government protest camp on the outskirts of Bangkok, but there are no reports of major violence.

"What we're hearing is that soldiers have moved rapidly to consolidate their position, moving in on the 'red shirt' camp, the broad protest movement linked to the government, on the outskirts of Bangkok. They are also moving towards the anti-government demonstrators' camp in the center of town," The BBC's Jonah Fisher said reporting from Bangkok.

"A curfew has just been declared, so the military is obviously making efforts to make sure there is no immediate response to its announcement. Those people who voted for what is still the elected government here will feel extremely annoyed and frustrated by what has happened."

Gen Prayuth says that he took the reins because "of the violence in Bangkok and many parts of the country that resulted in loss of innocent lives and property, [which] was likely to escalate.

"We ask the public not to panic and to carry on their lives normally," he said.

In a later a statement read on television the military said that "in order to run the country smoothly, [it has] suspended the constitution of 2007, except for the chapter on the monarchy".

General Prayuth says that he will head a ruling military body - the National Peace and Order Maintaining Council - but that the upper house of parliament and courts would continue to function.

In the meantime, the army has ordered acting PM Niwatthamrong Boonsongphaisan and his ministers to report to the military on Thursday "in order to keep peace and order".

The TV statement also carried a ban on "political gatherings" of more than five people, adding: "Anyone who violates the ban will be subject to a one-year jail term, 10,000 baht ($307) fine, or both."

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