Pin Is Pulled—Thai Army Coup, Arrests, Press Blackout
May 23, 2014 • 10:45AM

In a televised announcement, Thai Army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha declared that the National Peace Keeping Committee was formed to seize power. He claimed the power seizure was necessary to protect the life of the people.

"In order for the country to return to normal quickly the National Peace Keeping Committee comprised of the army, the Thai armed forces, the Royal Air Force and the police need to seize power as of May 22 at 4.30 pm." Prayuth and the police chief and other armed forces' chiefs went on TV to announce the coup after the failure of a seven-party meeting of government, anti-government, and far-from-neutral civil servants, supposedly to find a solution to the ongoing six-month political deadlock, at the Army Club. The only real purpose for the meeting was to force the government to capitulate to resignation and submission to an appointed dictatorship under an absolute monarchy. When the government insisted that any solution must be under the Constitution, the Army dismissed the meeting and took over.

With the closing of the meeting, General Prayuth ordered that the participants be taken away to the First Infantry Regiment, located next to the Army Club, the reports said.

The English-language, anti-government newspaper The Nation reported that only representatives of the Senate and the Election Commission were not taken away in the military truck. Both those institutions are appointed by and loyal to the monarchy.

The army is to send troops and vehicles to escort both government supporters and anti-government protesters away from their rally sites, a senior army official told the Reuters.

Later, Thailand's military ordered all television and radio stations to suspend their usual programs and show only the army's broadcasts in the wake of a coup, AFP reported. The step was taken to ensure the release of "accurate news to the people," an army spokesman said in a televised announcement. All television channels in the Southeast Asian kingdom including foreign broadcasters such as CNN, BBC, and CNBC ran a constant military feed featuring a succession of brief announcements related to the government takeover. Between the bulletins, a static screen was shown depicting the emblems of the various branches of Thailand's armed forces, as patriotic Thai songs played.

The Army also told acting Prime Minister Niwatthamrong Boonsongphaisan and his ministers to report to a military compound in the north of Bangkok on May 22, Deputy Army Spokesman Winthai Suvaree issued the order in a televised statement hours after the army staged the coup.

The military junta announced that it has suspended the constitution. A military statement broadcast on national television today confirmed that the nation's caretaker government is no longer in power, but said the (mostly appointed) Senate will remain in place.

As far as known, the status of detained persons has not been clarified by the military. A report that ex-Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra had fled to neighboring Cambodia was denied by her spokesperson.

The immediate and open advocacy of the royal position by the military tells the Red Shirt supporters of the government and of democratic institutions that there is no possibility of even nominal "fairness" under the new, already ugly, regime. Civil war is imminent, as intended by the British Queen and her assets in Thailand.

No U.S. Support For Thai Coup; Military Reviews Ties

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry immediately denounced the Thai coup. "I am disappointed by the decision of the Thai military to suspend the constitution and take control of the government after a long period of political turmoil, and there is no justification for this military coup," Kerry said in a statement, Voice of America reported. "I am concerned by reports that senior political leaders of Thailand's major parties have been detained and call for their release. I am also concerned that media outlets have been shut down," he said in the statement. "I urge the restoration of civilian government immediately, a return to democracy, and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, such as press freedoms. The path forward for Thailand must include early elections that reflect the will of the people," the statement read.

"While we value our long friendship with the Thai people, this act will have negative implications for the U.S.-Thai relationship, especially for our relationship with the Thai military," Kerry said. "We are reviewing our military and other assistance and engagements, consistent with U.S. law."

Pentagon spokesman Col. Steven Warren confirmed "We've been reviewing our military-to-military assistance, including the CARAT exercise" naval drills in the Pacific that Thailand and several other countries are participating in."

China had counted on Thailand as the hub of its extension of the New Silk Road into Southeast Asia under the sponsorship of the now deposed government. Thailand's Asian neighbors and the further powers of India and Russia have the same long-term stake in the success of the development corridor-based Eurasian Land-Bridge.

The only beneficiary of a Thai coup besides the Thai royal thugs are that other set of Royals in London.