Date
12 December 2017
Thai soldiers on patrol in Bangkok on Wednesday. The military has consolidated its grip on the country after last week’s coup. Photo: Reuters
Thai soldiers on patrol in Bangkok on Wednesday. The military has consolidated its grip on the country after last week’s coup. Photo: Reuters

Thai military tightens grip after coup

Thailand’s military has tightened its control over the nation by appointing hawkish generals to key advisory roles, a week after seizing power in a bloodless coup, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The military has summoned some 250 people since it seized control May 22, including ex-prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her successor, Niwattumrong Boonsongpaisan.

At a news conference Wednesday, the army showed a video of detainees in army custody, appearing in good spirits in a bid to counter criticism of the coup and subsequent detentions.

Yingluck and about 130 detainees—mostly politicians, scholars, and activists—have been released. But the whereabouts of some others weren’t disclosed.

Meanwhile, there was a 90-minute outage of Facebook to most Thai users on Wednesday, sparking fears of a clampdown on the Internet by the junta to stifle dissent, the Journal said.

Military officials, however, blamed a “technical problem” for the outage.

They were quoted as saying that they would only target individuals’ social-media accounts if they provoke chaos or instability, but wouldn’t shut entire social media sites.

– Contact us at English at hkej.com

RA/RC

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