TV stations silenced, schools shut, Thailand ‘volatile’ after military coup

May 23, 2014 | By | Reply More

May 23, – Schools were shut, international television stations were off air and channels broadcast military logos and patriotic music, a day after Thailand’s military seized control following a six-month political stalemate that has sapped economic growth.

hromedia TV stations silenced, schools shut, Thailand 'volatile' after military coup intl. news2Amid a foreign media blackout, martial law and strict curfews, the army has called forward 114 “Red Shirt” leaders, former police and military officers and politicians from the opposing parties.

Traffic was light in Bangkok as people made their way to work, after the army ordered schools and universities closed until May 25. Army Chief Prayuth Chan-Ocha, who announced the coup on national television yesterday, imposed a nationwide curfew from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m. and banned political protests.

The coup, the nation’s 12th in eight decades, could provide short-term certainty to markets after months of street protests and upheaval that led to the removal on May 7 of caretaker Premier Yingluck Shinawatra by the Constitutional Court. The military’s intervention though may not resolve the deep polarization that has taken hold in Thailand over the past decade between the largely rural-based supporters of Yingluck’s brother Thaksin Shinawatra, ousted in a 2006 coup, and his royalist opponents.

Thailand’s ruling junta has summoned members of the formerly ruling Shinawatra family to Bangkok, as the nation locks down after a military coup.

“We call for these people to report themselves,” at 10am local time, an army spokesman said in televised statement.

For seven months, anti-government protesters have been calling for the removal of the Shinawatra family and its alleged corrupting influence from Thai politics. Former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who was sacked by the Constitutional Court earlier this month for nepotism, has not been seen in public for several days. Her brother Thaksin, ousted in a coup in 2006, now lives in self-imposed exile.

Thailand’s army chief yesterday seized power and ordered demonstrators on both sides of the kingdom’s bitter political divide off the streets after seven months of rallies in the capital.

It was not immediately clear if Ms Yingluck and more than 20 other relatives and allies, including acting Prime Minister Niwattumrong Boonsongpaisan, would report to the military as ordered.

In response to rumors that Mr Niwattumrong was being protected at the US Embassy compound, the American Ambassador Kristie Kenney tweeted: “Absolutely false. Do not believe rumours.”

The junta, led by army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha, has banned gatherings of more than five people, ordered the ousted cabinet to report to the army and suspended the constitution — except for the section related to the monarchy.

Press journalist for HRO media – Ignacio Damigo contributed to this report.

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Category: International

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