Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


No advanced planning for coup - Thai general

26 June 2014, 21:19

Bangkok - A senior Thai general has rejected reports the army planned to rid the kingdom of the influence of controversial former premier Thaksin Shinawatra years before it seized power in May.

"So far as I know there was no advanced planning, because if it were planned that would be illegitimate," Lieutenant General Chatchalerm Chalermsukh told the BBC in an interview published on Thursday.

"If you're wondering why this [the coup] happened so smoothly, that was because forces were already deployed in the city [Bangkok]," he claimed.

His comments came after local media reported that Suthep Thaugsuban, the leader of mass protests which crippled the former administration, said he had been advising the army chief who led the coup on how to tackle Thaksin for four years.

The Thai military seized power on 22 May after several months of protests which saw 28 people killed and hundreds of others wounded, paralysing the government of former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra - Thaksin's younger sister.

It was the latest chapter of a seemingly-intractable political crisis that broadly pits billionaire Thaksin - a fugitive former premier who was toppled by a coup in 2006 - and his supporters against a royalist establishment backed by parts of the military and judiciary.

The junta says the army takeover was necessary to restore order to the country, ruling out elections for at least a year to pass political reforms, including crafting a new constitution.

'Military belongs to all'

In the BBC interview, army deputy chief of staff Chatchalerm said Thaksin, who lives in self-imposed exile in Dubai to avoid prison for a corruption conviction, and his family could still return to Thai politics.

"Everyone who is Thai and is qualified can take part in that election - even the family of Thaksin Shinawatra," he said.

"We are not hunting Thaksin, as we did before... We would like to see him come back and fight the legal charges against him. If he is confident he can win, then he will be able to return to politics."

Thailand's new military rulers have suspended democracy since seizing power, imposing martial law, banning public rallies and censoring the media to stifle any dissent.

The junta has summoned and detained several hundred people, the majority linked with the deposed Puea Thai government and the Shinawatra family's "Red Shirt" supporters.

But Chatchalerm insisted "the military belongs to all Thai people, not just one group".

"None of the summoned people have been charged with serious offences. We only charge them with disobeying our orders. When these cases reach court they will be processed in a normal legal way," he said.

On Wednesday, the junta said it would set up five panels to monitor national and international news organisations as well as social media in its latest attempt to control the press.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...