WASHINGTON, (Reuters) – The military takeover in Thailand drew swift international condemnation yesterday, with the United States saying it was reviewing its military aid and other dealings with its closest ally in Southeast Asia.
Thailand’s army chief, General Prayuth Chan-ocha, seized control of the government two days after he declared martial law, saying the military had to restore order and push through reforms after six months of turmoil.
The military declared a curfew from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m., suspended the constitution and detained some politicians. Rival protest camps were ordered to disperse.
“There is no justification for this military coup,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in a blunt statement.
“This act will have negative implications for the U.S.-Thai relationship, especially for our relationship with the Thai military. We are reviewing our military and other assistance and engagements, consistent with U.S. law.”
European and Asian nations expressed concern over the coup, with Germany, France and Britain issuing statements of condemnation, Japan’s foreign minister calling it “regrettable” and Singapore urging all sides to avoid violence.
Kerry said he was concerned by reports that senior political leaders had been detained and called for their release. He urged the “immediate” restoration of civilian government and the lifting of curbs on the media.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he was “seriously concerned” and appealed “for a prompt return to constitutional, civilian, democratic rule and an all-inclusive dialogue that will pave the way for long-term peace and prosperity.”