Thailand coup: Yingluck meets military leaders

Protests have broken out on the streets of Bangkok, as Jonah Fisher reports

Ousted Thai leader Yingluck Shinawatra has appeared at a military facility in Bangkok, a day after the army took power in a coup.

Ms Yingluck is one of more than 100 political figures summoned by the army.

The army has banned 155 prominent politicians and activists from leaving the country without permission.

On Thursday the military suspended the constitution, banned gatherings and detained politicians, saying order was needed after months of turmoil.

On Friday afternoon it appeared Ms Yingluck had left the facility where she had been summoned and was going to another military location, the BBC's Jonah Fisher reports from Bangkok.

It was not clear if she was still being detained, our correspondent says.

The leaders of both her Pheu Thai party and the opposition Democrats were released from military detention overnight, he adds.

However, protest leaders are thought to still be in detention and some pro-government MPs have now gone into hiding.

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The coup, which followed months of anti-government protests, has drawn widespread international criticism.

It came two days after the army declared martial law.

It is not clear how long the army intends to stay in power.

Military leader Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha is seen as a strong royalist and may be concerned over the royal succession after the ailing King Bhumibol.

Correspondents say it would not be a surprise to see the generals holding on to power until the next monarch is on the throne.

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Analysis from the BBC's Jonathan Head in Bangkok

After seven months the tents, stages and all the paraphernalia of protest are coming down in Bangkok's old quarter. With their goal of a military coup achieved, the weary anti-government movement can declare victory and go home. Armed soldiers now patrol their rally sites, next to the monument that commemorates the birth of Thai democracy 82 years ago.

That democracy is now in ruins. 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. Instead, land border crossings are being scrutinised to prevent potential resistance leaders escaping. Those the military fears most have been ordered to give themselves up or face arrest. Dozens are being held incommunicado.

No one knows yet what General Prayuth's real intentions are. He has good reason to worry about resistance. The pro-government Red-Shirt movement is far better organised than eight years ago, and could still be financed by former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's deep pockets.

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A Thai soldier carries belonging of a pro-government protester, The army has been overseeing the clearing of pro-government protest camps, so far without serious clashes
A Thai soldier, right, reacts to a student holding an anti-coup sign There have been small anti-coup protests - the army has banned political gatherings of more than five people

Thais spent Thursday night under a curfew which ran from 22:00 to 05:00. Bangkok was reported to be largely peaceful.

A small anti-coup protest on Friday afternoon prompted a brief standoff before protesters succeeded in driving the soldiers away.

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How Thai media has been affected - from BBC Monitoring

In the first 16 hours of junta rule, military authorities have issued two orders and 19 announcements. Each is read several times over radio and TV stations, which otherwise are blacked out, and playing only traditional music used for junta takeovers. Periodically, army spokesmen appear in short segments reading out official announcements.

No Thai television stations are broadcasting any regular programming. International news channels including CNN and the BBC are also blocked. Other communications, including print media, the internet, landline and mobile phones, have not been affected so far.

Press fearful after Thai coup

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'Work as normal'

Gen Prayuth - who has appointed himself the new prime minister - said troops were taking power "in order for the country to return to normal quickly".

"All Thais must remain calm and government officials must work as normal," he said in a televised address.

Thailand's armed forces, which have staged at least 12 coups since the end of the absolute monarchy in 1932, acted after months of political deadlock.

Thailand has faced a power struggle since Ms Yingluck's brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, was ousted by the military as PM in 2006.

Mr Thaksin and Ms Yingluck have strong support in rural areas but are opposed by many in the middle class and urban elite.

The latest unrest began last year, when anti-government protesters embarked on a campaign to oust Ms Yingluck's government.

A court ordered her removal for alleged abuse of power this month.

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Key coup conditions
  • Curfew nationwide from 22:00 to 05:00
  • Gen Prayuth to head ruling National Peace and Order Maintaining Council
  • Senate and courts to continue operating
  • 2007 constitution suspended except for chapter on monarchy
  • Political gatherings of more than five people banned, with penalties of up to a one-year jail term, 10,000 baht ($300; £180) fine, or both
  • Social media platforms could be blocked if they carry material with provocative content
  • Media warned not to carry criticism of army operations
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Thailand's coup explained - in 60 seconds

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