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Thai Military Seizes Power

Posted by feww on May 22, 2014

Thai military declares curfew after coup d’etat

With blessings of the US-born, multi-billionaire king, Thailand’s military junta seized power earlier today, declaring a curfew across the country.

The army  imposed martial law suspending the constitution on Tuesday, amid continued political turmoil.

“In order for the situation to return to normal quickly and for society to love and be at peace again, and to reform the political, economic and social structure, the military needs to take control of power,” said army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha in a televised address.

The army has ordered TV and radio stations to broadcast military-approved  material.

“All radio and television stations, satellite and cable, must stop normal programming and broadcast army content until told otherwise,” said an army spokesman  in a televised statement.

Chronology of Events in Thailand

  • Sept 2006. Army overthrows the PM Thaksin Shinawatra and rewrites the Thai constitution, under direct instruction from King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
  • Dec 2007. Pro-Thaksin People Power Party wins majority vote in the election.
  • Aug 2008. Thaksin Shinawatra flees Thailand before end of a “corruption trial.”
  • Dec 2008. Constitutional Court bans the majority People Power Party, as mass protests paralyze the capital Bangkok; the monarchists assign Abishit Vejjajiva to power.
  • Mar-May 2010. Up to a million pro-Thaksin protesters occupy key locations in Bangkok in a 10-week sit-in; army clears the streets, killing at least 100 protesters.
  • Jul 2011. Yingluck Shinawatra leads Pheu Thai party to general election win.
  • Nov 2013. Anti-government protesters begin street protest.
  • May 7, 2014. A Thai court finds Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra guilty of abuse of power, removing her from office along with nine members of her Cabinet. A new acting premier is appointed.

Thailand’s military juntas since 1932

A total of about 20 successful or attempted coups have occurred in Thailand since the country became a constitutional monarchy in 1932.

  • [1932–1973 ] The dictator Luang Phibunsongkhram allied the country with Japan during the Second World War. A succession of military dictatorships followed.
  • [1976–1980] – Military Dictatorship followed the Thammasat University Massacre, on 6 October 1976.
  • [1991–1992] – “The National Peace Keeping Council,” a Thai military junta, overthrew the civilian elected government in 1991.
  • [2006–2008 ] – “The Council for National Security” was yet another military junta that governed Thailand for two years after staging a coup d’état against Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
  • [2014-present] – Military junta led by Thailand’s army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha seized power in a coup d’etat on Thursday, May 22, 2014.

Poverty and Wealth

  • Up to 20 percent of population in Thailand have no sustainable access to clean water. [Thailand’s population is about 70 million according to  FIRE-EARTH Population Models.]
  • At least a quarter of the children under the age of five are malnourished.
  • A third of the people live in abject poverty (below $2 per day income).
  •  King Bhumibol, 86, monarch for 68 years, is the world’s richest royal. His fortune was estimated at 35 billion dollars in 2007, Forbes reported.

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