Yingluck and Niwattumrong among politicians summoned; some TV broadcast allowed
Former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra and ousted acting PM Niwattumrong Boonsongpaisan, who had been summoned, yesterday reported to the National Peace and Order Maintaining Council (NPOMC) which seized power from the caretaker government on Thursday.
They were among 155 people ordered by the junta to report at the Army Auditorium in the Thewes area yesterday. They included ousted Cabinet members, key figures close to former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who has been in exile overseas, as well as protest leaders who had campaigned for “uprooting the Thaksin regime”.
Reporters and cameramen were not allowed inside the auditorium. They could only gather outside the compound, which was guarded by several soldiers and policemen.
Yingluck, who was removed by the Constitutional Court for abuse of authority, arrived in a black van, which went straight to the auditorium. She did not leave her car to meet reporters and photographers waiting outside the compound. The former PM’s vehicle was bullet-proof, some sources said.
Shortly after her arrival, a small group of Yingluck’s supporters were involved in a brief altercation when one of the groups began booing when they saw her van arriving.
Niwattumrong, who had replaced Yingluck as prime minister for a brief period before the coup, yesterday also arrived in a black van.
Among other people who also reported to the junta were former prime minister Somchai Wongsawat and his wife Yaowapa, who is Yingluck’s sister, former deputy commerce minister Yanyong Phuangrach, former energy minister Pongsak Ruktapongpisal, and former PM’s secretary-general Suranand Vejjajiva.
Among the leaders of the group opposed to the so-called Thaksin regime reporting to the NPOMC were Chumpol Julasai, Buddhipong Punnakan, Thaworn Senneam, and Anchalee Paireerak.
Meanwhile, Thida Thawornseth, the wife of red-shirt leader Weng Tojirakarn, and their son yesterday went to the Army Club on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road and sought a meeting with him. Weng has been in military custody following failed talks between the conflicting sides brokered by the military earlier this week.
Weng’s son Salaktham said he had visited the Army Club for more clarity on where Weng was being detained and when he would be released. Some of the politicians, who were detained on Thursday, following failed talks, were released yesterday.
Meanwhile, after many hours of blank TV screens and a series of orders and announcements by the NPOMC, the junta yesterday allowed broadcast of brief news programmes produced by the news team of the Army-run Channel 5. The reports included ones about key figures reporting to the NPOMC and opposing camps travelling home.
Later, at 6pm, free analogue TV was allowed to start broadcasting.
According to a report, many people yesterday voiced their support for the power seizure, saying they expected peace to return to the country.
Separately, Internet providers have been told by the NPOMC to block public access to Internet addresses of web pages or content deemed to be in violation of the coup orders, according to an ISP source.
Speaking to The Nation after meeting NPOMC officials at the National Broadcasting and Telecommunica-tions Commission, the source said the ISPs were also told to block access to IPTV or live TV broadcasts relayed via Internet. A working panel of the NPOMC will inform the ISPs to block access to certain Internet addresses on a case by case basis, the source said.