U.S. concerned over possible Thai coup

U.S. concerned over possible Thai coup

BANGKOK, April 8 (Xinhua) — The U.S. government expressed on Tuesday its concerns over Thailand’s prolonged political crisis which might possibly lead to a military coup.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel met with acting Thai Premier Yingluck Shinawatra at the headquarters of the Defense Ministry in the Thai capital and handed out a letter from the State Department pertaining to the Thai political conflict which has arisen and remained unresolved since the past months, said acting Thai Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul.

Also present at the meeting were U.S. Ambassador to Thailand Kristie Kenney, and Thai Undersecretary of Defense Gen Nipat Thonglek.

“The U.S. government has clearly expressed concerns over possibilities of the Thai political conflict intensifying to the extent that it prompts a coup to overthrow the elected government.

“The U.S. government has shown solid support for democratic rule and objection to any undemocratic rule or coup in this country,” said the acting Thai foreign minister.

A fresh military coup might possibly take place to deny democratic rule and depose the elected government only if street unrest and bloodshed occurred to people either on the pro- government or anti-government side.

The last coup occurred in 2006 to oust former Thai leader Thaksin Shinawatra, brother of Yingluck.

Premier Yingluck was quoted by Surapong as reassuring to Russel that her caretaker government will consistently stand by the rules of law and maintain peace and order among opposing sides of society.

The U.S. assistant secretary of state was quoted as saying Washington will continue to support all efforts to open dialogue between the conflicting sides while democratic rule will be upheld and maintained.

“The U.S. government has strongly suggested that the conflict be solved by way of peaceful talk and that all possible violence and public unrest be avoided by all means,” Surapong said.

Meanwhile, the Yingluck government will shortly send a translated version of a recent speech by anti-government protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban to all foreign embassies in the Thai capital.

The former deputy premier had apparently spoken in breach of the constitution and laws governing the self-proclaimed sovereignty of state which he had vowed to set up and to put an end to the Yingluck government, according to the acting foreign minister.

Suthep who has already been faced with state rebellion charges after his followers laid siege to and occupied several government premises during the marathon anti-government protests a few months earlier might see such charges repeated against himself due to his “sovereignty” speech.

He has proclaimed to set up a “sovereign” body consisting of himself spearheading the move and members of the so-called “people ‘s council” to make a non-elected prime minister and cabinet of ministers to replace Yingluck and her caretaker government if she was eventually judged guilty by the Constitutional Court of power- abusing charges.

The acting premier had transferred a senior government official, namely Thawil Pliensri, from the post of secretary general of the National Security Council to an inactive post of Adviser to the prime minister a few years ago.

Nevertheless, the Administrative Court had finally ruled that such transfer was “illegitimate,” prompting Yingluck to return the NSC post to Thawil, whose case had been forwarded to the Constitutional Court.

The court is expected to deliver a ruling on the case later this month which might possibly deprive Yingluck of her current status as acting premier.


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