Thai Military Summons Ousted Leaders, Imposes Travel Ban

Thailand's military junta is strengthening its grasp on the unstable nation by summoning ousted leaders and imposing travel bans on prominent figures.
Posted at 2:34 PM, May 23, 2014

Thailand's military coup is now consolidating its power over the unstable nation, summoning members of the ousted government and imposing travel bans on scores of other high-profile figures. 

After announcing it had seized control of the country Thursday, the Thai military called for travel bans on more than 150 prominent political figures, threatening to arrest those who refuse to comply. (Via Arirang)

Others were ordered to report directly to the army, including ousted Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her family. She was reportedly kept for several hours before being driven to an undisclosed location. (Via The Washington Post)

Thailand's bloodless coup d'etat comes after months of unrest that paralyzed the government and led to deadly clashes in the streets of Bangkok. (Via BBC)

Now, six of Thailand's most senior military officers have been appointed to run the country. Martial law had already been imposed earlier this week, but the Thai army chief announced additional conditions Thursday. (Via The New York Times)

Those include a curfew between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., the closing of schools, a declaration that nearly all the constitution is now void, a ban on gatherings of more than five people and a warning to the media not to criticize the military's operations. 

And it didn't take long for the military to flex its muscle and make good on those new conditions.

CNN posted this tweet Friday, which explains it had been taken off the air in Thailand. 

CNN reports other networks were also pulled off the air, with the military physically taking over some Thai stations and replacing their programming with military messages and patriotic songs. 

While Western nations condemn the military's move, a BBC correspondent explains it's unclear how long the junta intends to maintain power, or if it will relinquish it. 

"When the army mounted a coup eight years ago, it did so almost apologetically and promised a speedy return to democratic rule. This coup wears a grimmer face, and there have been no such promises. ... No one knows yet what [the] real intentions are."

So far, it's unclear if the politicians who've reported to the military have been detained, although many are being held incommunicado. The coup marks the 19th time the military has attempted or successfully staged a takeover in Thailand since the end of the country's absolute monarchy in 1932.