News

Thai military arrest ex-PM Yingluck, take her to army base outside Bangkok

Thailand’s military rulers detained former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Friday, a senior officer said.

“We have detained Yingluck, her sister and brother-in-law,” a senior military officer told Reuters. The two relatives have held top political posts. 

“We will do so for not more than week, that would be too long. We just need to organise matters in the country first,” said the officer who declined to be identified.

He also declined to say where Ms Yingluck was being held, but media reports said she was at an army base in Saraburi province, north of Bangkok.

In what appeared to be a coordinated operation to neutralise possible opposition to the coup, the military summoned the ousted Ms Yingluck to a meeting and then banned her and 154 others, including politicians and activists, from leaving Thailand.

A former aide to Ms Yingluck said she been out of telephone contact for hours.

Calm

Bangkok was mostly calm and life appeared normal but there was some opposition to the takeover.

Several hundred people, including students, gathered in a central shopping district despite a ban on protests by five or more people to voice their opposition to military rule.

Some held signs saying “No coup” and “Get Out Dictators”.

 Anti-coup activists hold signs as they gather in a protest in downtown Bangkok on Friday

About 200 soldiers lined up across a road to contain the protesters and eventually dispersed them. There was no serious trouble but at least one person was detained, a witness told Reuters.