WASHINGTON, May 24 (Xinhua) -- The United States announced Saturday it would curtail military ties with Thailand, including canceling ongoing military exercises, as part of its efforts to heighten pressure on the Thai military to restore the civilian rule immediately.
In response to the military coup in the Southeast Asian county, Washington has canceled the ongoing Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training 2014 and rescinded an invitation to Royal Thai Armed Forces Commander General Thanasak Patimaprakorn to visit U.S. Pacific Command in June, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said in a statement.
The visit to Thailand by U.S. Pacific Fleet commander Harry Harris, which was set for next month, has also been canceled, Kirby said.
Kirby said the U.S. urged Thai military leaders to end the coup and restore both the principles and the process of democratic rule, including a clear path forward to elections.
"While we have enjoyed a long and productive military-to- military relationship with Thailand, our own democratic principles and U.S. law require us to reconsider U.S. military assistance and engagements," he said.
"We will continue to review additional engagements as necessary until such time that events in Thailand no longer demand it," Kirby said. "We urge the Royal Thai Armed Forces to act in the best interests of their fellow citizens by ending this coup and restoring the rule of law and the freedoms assured those citizens through democratic principles."
In a separate statement, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said that Washington has also canceled a U.S. government-sponsored study trip to the United States, scheduled for June, for several senior Royal Thai Police officers.
"We urge the immediate restoration of civilian rule and release of detained political leaders, a return to democracy through early elections, and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms," Harf said.
The Thai military on Thursday seized control of the country following months of unrest and widespread protests in the capital of Bangkok and other parts of the nation. Thai military junta chief Prayuth Chan-ocha later declared himself acting prime minister until someone can be found to serve the post full time.
Despite its treaty alliance with Thailand, the U.S. government reacted swiftly to sanction the Thai military in order to pressure it to return the rule to a civilian government.
The U.S. State Department announced Friday that it had suspended about 3.5 million U.S. dollars in military assistance to Thailand, and would continue to review the rest of its annual aid to Thailand, which totaled 10.5 million dollars in fiscal 2013.
BANGKOK, May 24 (Xinhua) -- Deposed Thai premier Yingluck Shinawatra, former cabinet ministers and protest leaders are currently being detained at army-controlled "safehouses" for about a week, announced the army on Saturday.
Deputy army spokesman Col Vinthai Suvari said Yingluck and the other detainees have been safe and will remain under army custody for about a week after they had been questioned and briefed by the National Peacekeeping Council following Thursday's military coup which ousted the elected caretaker government. Full story
WASHINGTON, May 23 (Xinhua) -- The United States has suspended about 3.5 million U.S. dollars in military assistance to Thailand following a coup, the State Department said on Friday.
The United States is reviewing the rest of the annual direct assistance to Thailand -- which totaled 10.5 million in fiscal year 2013 -- as well as other aid through global and regional programs, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told a regular briefing.Full story
BANGKOK, May 23 (Xinhua) -- Leaders of Thailand's United Front of Democracy against Dictatorship, or "red shirts," and anti- government People's Democratic Reform Committee, who were captured Thursday by the military, have been taken to be detained at a safe house in capital Bangkok.Full story