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Deposed Thai premier, ex-cabinet ministers, protest leaders detained after questioning by military

English.news.cn   2014-05-23 21:59:04

BANGKOK, May 23 (Xinhua) -- Deposed Thai premier Yingluck Shinawatra, a few former Thai cabinet ministers, several anti- government protest leaders and pro-government Red Shirt leaders were detained by the military at unknown spots on Friday, sources said.

Following Thursday's coup orchestrated by army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha to overthrow the caretaker government, Yingluck and the other prominent politicians had been questioned at the army auditorium and an army barracks and then detained at unknown "safehouses", sources said.

The whereabouts of the "safehouses" were a mystery as members of the press had been stopped by army troops from following any vehicles leaving those premises.

The detainees included former premier Somchai Wongsawat and his spouse, Yaowapa Wongsawat, who is Yingluck's elder sister, former deputy premier Nivatthamrong Boonsongpaisal and former labor minister Chalerm Yubamrung.

Yingluck had been summoned for questioning by the military at the army auditorium and then brought to the First Infantry Division base from across the street before she was brought out to an unknown destination, they said.

Also detained at an unknown place were the Pheu Thai (for Thais) Party's secretary general Pumtham Vejjachai and the party's spokesman Prompong Nopparit. Both had attended Thursday's dialogue at the army club in bid to end a prolonged political conflict.

The detained anti-government protest leaders included Suthep Thaugsuban, Sombat Thamrongtanyawong and Sathit Wongnongtoey while the detained Red Shirt leaders included Chatuporn Prompand, Nattavut Saikua and Verakarn Musikapong, all of whom had also attended the fruitless talk chaired by Gen Prayuth.

The coup junta, officially named the National Peacekeeping Council, announced that 155 persons including those detainees are currently prohibited from leaving the country and that they all were summoned for questioning and briefing by the council at the army auditorium and the First Infantry barracks.

If fail to comply to the military orders, those people will be subject to penalties by a martial court, according to the council.

Released from detention after having been questioned at the army barracks were former premier/Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva and several of his party's executive members as well as several former cabinet ministers attached to the Pheu Thai Party.

High-ranking government personnel including ministerial undersecretaries and department heads were summoned to report to the council at the army club while a briefing on the latest post- coup situation was given to diplomats and representatives of international agencies attached to Bangkok.

Meanwhile, the National Peacekeeping Council headed by Gen Prayuth divided government duties among the military junta including supreme commander Gen Thanasak Patimapakorn who takes charge of national security, navy chief Adm Narong Pipatanasai in charge of socio-psychological affairs, air force chief ACM Prajin Juntong in charge of economic affairs, assistant army chief Gen Paibul Kumchaya in charge of laws and judicial process and police chief Pol Gen Adul Saengsingkaew in charge of special affairs.

All government agencies which were usually subject to varied cabinet ministers are now under command of those military leaders, following the coup which ousted the elected government.

Editor: Luan
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