News / Asia

Thai Military Rulers Say Most Detainees Freed

People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) leader Suthep Thaugsuban (C) waves to media as he leaves the criminal court in Bangkok, May 26, 2014.
People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) leader Suthep Thaugsuban (C) waves to media as he leaves the criminal court in Bangkok, May 26, 2014.
VOA News
Thailand's ruling military on Wednesday tried to ease concerns over those it placed in custody after declaring a coup last week, saying most of the detainees already have been freed.
 
Spokesman Werachon Sukondhapatipak said 253 people - including politicians, activists, journalists and scholars - were summoned by the army. He said 124 were released, 76 are still in custody, and 53 failed to report.
 
The army also aired video of many of the detainees, who said they had not been abused. The footage included Jatuporn Prompan, a "Red Shirt" protest leader who supported the government of ousted Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
 
"Right now, it's good. I've been treated well. I've never asked where this location is. Nobody knows where it is," said Jatuporn on the video.
 
Protest leaders who opposed Yingluck's government also appeared before police Wednesday for questioning. Luang Pu Buddha Issara, a Buddhist monk protest leader, said he is confident his name will be cleared.
 
"I believe we have done the right thing. We did not threaten to assault or kill anyone. We did not destroy the governmental buildings, did not lock down the government buildings, they were closed before we arrived. The NPOC (National Peace and Order Maintaining Committee) sent a letter to us citing security threats, but we have clear evidence," said the monk.
 
Protesters on both sides have continued to hold demonstrations in recent days, defying the army's orders and threat of arrest.
 
Despite the tensions, life has continued as normal in the capital. The military has loosened its curfew, which was in place from 10:00 pm to 5:00 am, to midnight to 4:00 am.
 
The army spokesman, Colonel Werachon Sukondhapatipak, told VOA on Tuesday that the military believes the country's "problem" can be traced to the influence of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
 
The colonel did not elaborate, but he said resolution of the country's difficulties "depends on [the cooperation of] all the conflict parties."
 
Populist Thaksin Shinawatra was prime minister from 2001 to 2006, when he was deposed in a coup on suspicion of corruption. The billionaire telecom tycoon lives in self-imposed exile in Dubai. His sister, Yingluck, who eventually replaced him as head of government, was removed from office earlier this month on suspicion of nepotism.
 
In other developments Tuesday, the Bangkok Post, under the headline "Coup Chief 'Requests' Easier Questions," reported General Prayuth Chan-ocha asked two of the country's best known military reporters to stop asking aggressive questions about the new government.
 
The paper quoted its military affairs reporter, Wassana Nanuam, and a second journalist as saying they were told the general was unhappy with public questions about the makeup of the military government and a time frame for new elections.
 
A spokesman for the general was quoted as saying "such a forceful style of asking is not appropriate" and could affect public confidence in the military government.
 
The paper said reporter Wassana also was asked to curb comments posted on her Facebook page that the military said could foster "conflict and divisions."

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More