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Thai junta leader says king endorses coup

Bangkok - Thailand's coup leader said Monday that the country's king had officially endorsed him to run the nation after the armed forces seized power last week. The announcement came one day after the junta warned protesters it was ready to crackdown on civilian opposition to its takeover.

Dressed in a white military uniform, Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha spoke at the start of his first press conference since Thursday's coup.

He justified the putsch, saying that he had to act after a half-year of increasingly violent confrontations between the now-ousted government and its supporters, and demonstrators backed by powerful businessmen who had struggled to overthrow it.

"The most important thing right now is to keep peace and order in the country," Prayuth said. "When the conflict intensified, and there was the threat of violence, we had to act."

Suthep Thaugsuban, who had led seven months of protests and had been detained by the junta since the coup was announced last Thursday, left a military detention center Monday and later appeared at the attorney general's office escorted by police and soldiers. He faces insurrection charges for seizing government ministries and other infractions during his protest bid.

The military has sought to limit the protests by detaining figures who might play leadership roles. The junta has defended the detentions of former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, most of the deposed government's Cabinet, and dozens of politicians and activists.

It also has ordered dozens of outspoken activists, academics and journalists to report to military authorities. More than 200 -- the majority considered opponents of the new regime -- have been officially summoned so far in lists broadcast on radio and TV.

The fate of Yingluck, who surrendered herself Friday, and many others remains unclear. Some detainees have been released, and the military has said it expects to free most after about a week.

1 Comment
May 26, 2014    Mordrake@
Don't you just love a military coup.

How reassuring that a Generalissimo has become benevolent caretaker, with all the people's best interests at heart - what a truly selfless act of patriotism. Erm... one hopes.

Thank goodness he has a monopoly on wisdom. Democracy can be such a messy business sometimes. Its always good to see the flower of democracy being uprooted, thrown onto the pile of weeds, and replanted with a good old thistle. Anyhow, its a Greek idea, and they don't seem to have much use for it in their history...
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 Thai junta gives ultimatum to anti-coup activists 
Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha speaks at the start of his first press conference since Thursday's coup Monday, May 26. Thailand's coup leader said Monday that the country's king had officially endorsed him to run the nation after the armed forces seized power last week.

(AP)

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