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Dhaka Tribune

Thai army chief summons ousted PM to base

Update : 23 May 2014, 02:37 AM

Thailand's army chief, General Prayuth Chan-ocha, summoned ousted Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and 22 associates including powerful relatives and ministers in her government, to a meeting at an army facility on Friday.

The meeting with Yingluck could set the tone for Prayuth's rule as he tries to steer the country out of crisis and fend off international criticism of the latest lurch into military rule, reported Reuters.

Amid 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.

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

The army chief will also begin to govern a polarized country on Friday, a day after he seized power in a bloodless coup in a bid to end six months of turmoil.

Prayuth launched his coup after factions refused to give ground in a struggle for power between the royalist establishment and a populist politician that has raised fears of serious violence and damage to Thailand's economy, southeast Asia's second biggest.

Soldiers detained some politicians from both sides when Prayuth announced the coup after talks he was presiding over broke down. The military censored the media, dispersed protesters and imposed a 10pm to 5am curfew.

Yingluck is the sister of Thaksin Shinawatra, a billionaire telecommunications tycoon turned prime minister who won huge support among the poor but the loathing of the royalist establishment, largely over accusations of corruption and nepotism.

Yingluck was forced to step down as prime minister by a court two weeks ago, but her caretaker government, buffeted by six months of protests, remained nominally in power, even after the army declared martial law on Tuesday.

 

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