Thai military to face the media as opposition simmers
Saturday, May 24, 2014 - 01:53
May.24 - Thailand's military holds its first news conference since seizing power this week, amid signs opposition to the takeover could be gathering momentum. Sarah Toms reports.
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After seven months all the signs of protest have been cleared in the capital Bangkok....and the streets have been washed clean....but the Thai army's seizure of power cannot be so easily swept from view.
Armed soldiers now patrol the streets.
The army said the coup was necessary to bring things back to normal...but the military didn't say when that would be.
Thailand's ex-PM Yingluck Shinawatra and a number of family members and politicians have been detained, as leaders of Thursday's military coup tightened their grip on power.
At a news conference a military spokesman said that anyone being held would not be detained for more than seven days.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) DEPUTY ARMY SPOKESMAN, WERACHON SUKHONPATIPAK, SAYING:
"The way that we deal with this case, we look after them very well. We provide them with good facilities. Even better than the facility that I or everyone here have at the moment. Please do not worry."
As the army's news conference was underway, some angry protests were staged in Bangkok against the coup.
The military has banned gatherings of more than five people and imposed a curfew but that hasn't stopped these protesters from taking to the streets.
.(SOUNDBITE) (Thai) 46 YEAR-OLD UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTER SAYING:
We're here to express ourselves but the soldiers are trying to arrest us, we cannot express ourselves. They shut our mouth and not allow us to talk. I told them to go back to protect our border, but they refused. They are brainwashed."
Rallies have been held on Friday and Saturday but although a few people have been detained, there has been no serious resistance.
However, if demonstrations, like these continue, they could present a major test for the military and the use of force to put down protesters could squander any legitimacy the military leaders may have had.
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