On the afternoon of Thursday, May 22, 2014, Thai army Chief-of-Staff Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha declared a coup d’etat and the military took power. Starting with the most recent events, the following is a timeline of the events during the first two days of the coup. A timeline of the events of the following days can be found here.
+++FRIDAY, MAY 23, 2014+++
10.10pm: Thailand has now entered its second night under curfew. Former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has been detained by the army, and is unlikely to be released before Monday. Meanwhile, the military junta has released details of a new administrative structure under Acting PM/Chief-of-Staff Prayuth Chan-ocha. Thailand’s future looks more uncertain than ever. We’ll keep you updated.
8.55pm: Meanwhile in the Northeastern city of Khon Kaen, via our friends at The Isaan Record:
8.25pm: Naew Na reports that Yingluck is being moved to a military base in Saraburi and intended to be held for three days.
7.50pm: Meanwhile, the whereabouts of former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her inner circle are still unknown. Bangkok Post’s military correspondent Wassana Nanuam tweets that she and other family member are being detained by the military but unsure where:
????????? ????????? ????????? ?????????? ???????????????? ??????????????????????????? ????.??????????????????????????? ???????????????? — Deep Blue Sea (@WassanaNanuam) May 23, 2014
While the BBC’s Johnathan Head tweets:
Looks like Yingluck and her circle hv now been separated and taken to different military camps around the country. — Jonathan Head (@pakhead) May 23, 2014
Prayuth playing hardball with the Shinawatras. Homes in Chiang Mai searched. Yingluck et al locked up. Maybe to pressure Thaksin to give in. — Jonathan Head (@pakhead) May 23, 2014
7.30pm: Military are now urging protesters to go home before the curfew begins again at 10pm:
7.26pm: Military are forcefully dispersing anti-coup protesters, scuffles being reported:
7.25pm: It appears that the military is moving in and are arresting the first anti-coup protesters:
7.15pm: While the TV reception and availability seems to be different for many viewers, the army intervened into the program again with another announcement, detailing a new administrative structure all directly reporting to the General Prayuth. More details can be read here.
6.47pm: A small group of anti-coup protesters is continuing to defy the military in Bangkok:
6.31: Asian Correspondent blogger Casey Hynes has this update on the travel situation in Thailand: Thailand coup: What does it mean for tourists?
6.10pm: After airing the same army-controlled program for a day, all free-TV channels (including ThaiPBS) are going back to their regularly scheduled programs:
5.37pm: The small, but emotional-laden anti-coup protest is still underway:
Demonstration continuing. This is on a small scale a glimpse of what the next few months could look like here in Thailand. — Jonah Fisher (@JonahFisher) May 23, 2014
5.20pm: It is now just over 24 hours since the military declared a coup d’etat in Thailand. 5.15pm:
Just witnessed angry arguments between small anti coup demonstrators and army. Army wanted demo to stop. Demonstrators chased them back. — Jonah Fisher (@JonahFisher) May 23, 2014
4.22pm: The curfew will be in force again tonight, from 10pm-5am.
15.07?. ?????????. ?????????????? ???? 22.00-05.00?. ??????.??????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????????#??100 — js100 (@js100radio) May 23, 2014
4.09pm: Thailand’s free-to-air terrestrial channels are still blocked, despite earlier reports that they would resume broadcasting at 4pm.
3.38pm: The Philippines National Union of Journalists has posted this message of support for media personnel in Thailand:
2.50pm: The Thai army has summoned foreign diplomats for a briefing at the Army Club at 4pm. It remains to be seen who the various embassies will send. It looks unlikely that ambassadors and other senior diplomats will attend as doing so would lend legitimacy. Lower level diplomats expected to attend instead. German Ambassador Rolf Peter Schulze has tweeted that he will not attend.
— Rolf Peter Schulze (@SchulzeRolf) May 23, 2014
1. Understand some western embassies definitely wont be sending Ambassadors; will send Defence Attaches (likely in civilian clothing) (con) — bangkokpundit (@bangkokpundit) May 23, 2014
2. And/or low-level diplomats. Obvious purpose is to not give legitimacy.
— bangkokpundit (@bangkokpundit) May 23, 2014
2.06pm: This excellent infographic from AFP summarizes the main points:
— Agence France-Presse (@AFP) May 23, 2014
1.26pm: A number of Thai terrestrial channels are due to resume broadcasting later today. These include channels 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11. However, Thai PBS, which continued broadcasting online yesterday long after other channels were shut down, is not expected to broadcast. There is no word on whether the block on foreign news channels such as BBC and CNN will be lifted.
It seems ThaiPBS is being punished for showing spine. Kudos to them — bangkokpundit (@bangkokpundit) May 23, 2014
1.19pm: Associated Press’s Malcolm Foster has tweeted that Yingluck Shinawatra has left the Army Club and is en route to another military facility:
Former Thai PM Yingluck Shinawatra has left army compound after 30 minutes, aide tells AP, now headed for another army facility. #ThaiCoup
— Malcolm Foster (@mjfosterap) May 23, 2014
Something to watch for today is,who the embassies will sent to represent them at meeting with junta. Ambassador, DCM, or Defence Attache?
— bangkokpundit (@bangkokpundit) May 23, 2014
1.01pm: Khaosod reports that border crossings with Laos have been closed “to prevent Redshirt activists from leaving the country”. One traveler has tweeted that foreigners can pass freely:
— Sarah Ball (@_satelliteeyes) May 23, 2014
12.20pm: The Thai authorities have banned 155 people, including politicians and activists, from leaving the country:
12:10PM NPOMC announcement: 155 people on the to-report list are not allowed to exit the country. Person not report, will be arrested.
— Tulip Naksompop (@Tulip_Oum) May 23, 2014
12.05pm: Former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has arrived at the Army Club following summons:
“??????????” ???????????????????? ???.???? pic.twitter.com/nSAorelqzA
— FM100.5 News Network (@news1005fm) May 23, 2014
11.52am: Associated Press reports that Thailand’s stock market has dropped sharply since yesterday’s coup:
Thailand’s stock market fell more than 2 percent a day after the country’s military seized power in a bloodless coup. Other Asian markets were mostly higher Friday, helped by weakness in the yen.
11.43am: Thailand’s coup leaders have called a meeting with foreign diplomats and international organizations at the Army Club at 4pm.
10.34am: This tweet from Bangkok Pundit suggest there was no royal backing for yesterday’s coup:
Translation: “Since coup the coup group have not had royal audience; expected that dont want to implicate the institution” @WassanaNanuam
— bangkokpundit (@bangkokpundit) May 23, 2014
At BKK army facility where military summoned political leaders, steady flow of vehicles. Ex-PM Niwatthanrong inside. no sign of yingluck yet
— AndrewBuncombe (@AndrewBuncombe) May 23, 2014
9.33am: Little army presence on Bangkok streets as Thai junta summons influential Shinawatra family.
9.10am: Army orders political players to report, including former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and other Shinawatra family members.
#BREAKING: Thai army summons over 100 prominent figures from rival political camps
— Agence France-Presse (@AFP) May 23, 2014
— Nirmal Ghosh (@karmanomad) May 23, 2014
8.54pm: Army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha has declared himself Thailand’s new prime minister, the Bangkok Post reports:
Military junta chief Prayuth Chan-ocha has declared himself acting prime minister until the new coup regime announced Thursday can find someone to serve in the post full time, authorities announced Thursday.
8.33am: The Thai army has not moved to block the Internet, but has issued warnings about the use of social media:
Operators of social media have been ordered to block the spreading of false info and messages that incite unrest #ThailandCoup
— Samantha Hawley (@samanthahawley) May 23, 2014
5.00am: The curfew has been lifted, the first morning after the coup of 2014. No incidents being reported overnight.
4.45am: The German-language political blog Passau Watching Thailand has noticed that during army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha’s announcements of the martial law on Tuesday and Thursday’s coup (see below), instead of e.g. a portrait of the King there’s a framed speech by King Chualongkorn (Rama V) titled “The Honor of a Soldier”. It goes:
๑. ทหาร คือ ผู้ที่ได้รับเกียรติอย่างสูงจากประชาชนทั้งชาติ ให้เป็นสุภาพบุรุษ ถืออาวุธป้องกันประเทศ
๒. ทหาร เป็นผู้เสียสละประโยชน์สุขส่วนตัว เพื่อความผาสุกของประชาชนและความอยู่รอดของชาติ
๓. ทหาร คือ ผู้ที่รักและบูชาเกียรติยศมากกว่าเงิน”
“The Honor of a Soldier
1. Soldiers are persons who have received the highest honor of nation’s people, who are gentlemen-like take to arms to defend the country
2. Soldiers are persons who are putting the well-being of the people above their own
3. Soldiers are persons who love and pay homage to honor more than money.”
Seems all the free-to-air channels are going to show for now is Prayuth’s announcement on loop. Showing again now. pic.twitter.com/4Xv2yh9957
— Thin (@thinink) May 22, 2014
+++THURSDAY, MAY 22, 2014+++
2.40am: Two other announcements have been aired in the middle of the night: the first one summons 23 people of the ousted Shinawatra family, Pheu Thai Party executives and their associates.
23 ???????????????? ???????????????????? ?????? 23 ?.?. ???? 10.00 ?. pic.twitter.com/eK77Vv1QNk
— I’Nam Matichon (@INamKaa) May 22, 2014
The other one is targeting online and social media users:
— ???????????????????? (@thainetizen) May 22, 2014
12.40am: The United States Secretary of State John Kerry has expressed “disappointment,” sees “no justification” for the military coup and states that the US will be reviewing their aid and other programs to Thailand. Here’s the full statement:
I am disappointed by the decision of the Thai military to suspend the constitution and take control of the government after a long period of political turmoil, and there is no justification for this military coup. I am concerned by reports that senior political leaders of Thailand’s major parties have been detained and call for their release. I am also concerned that media outlets have been shut down. I urge the restoration of civilian government immediately, a return to democracy, and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, such as press freedoms. The path forward for Thailand must include early elections that reflect the will of the people.
While we value our long friendship with the Thai people, 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.
12.30am: Another announcement by the army has put the executive powers with the military and practically made army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha the current de factor prime minister.
Latest army announcement makes General Prayuth PM with all powers that come with the job. #ThailandCoup
— Amy Sawitta Lefevre (@MimiSawitta) May 22, 2014
adminiatrative power (executive branch) now rest with the army chief
— Panu Wongcha-um (@panuw) May 22, 2014
11.39pm: Tomorrow’s front page of the English-language The Nation:
ARMY CHIEF PRAYUTH SEIZES POWER — The NATION Front Page, May 23, 2014 (1st and 2nd editions) pic.twitter.com/4aC80aYYIs
— The Nation Thailand (@nationnews) May 22, 2014
11.04pm: The Tourism Authority of Thailand has issued a statement with guidance and advice for tourists, includes useful phone numbers:
All airports in Thailand remain open, and air passengers with arrival and departure flights scheduled during the curfew can travel to and from the airports at any time as usual. However, Tourists with arrival and departure flights during the curfew are advised to prepare all travel documents when travelling to and from the airports.
10.40pm: Here are some scenes from Thailand under curfew tonight. The streets are quiet, but not quite deserted:
— Chrissy Chrzan (@chrissychrzan) May 22, 2014
And up north in Chiang Mai…
— Robert Baird (@rj_baird) May 22, 2014
10.30pm: A short summary and commentary on today’s military coup by Siam Voices head writer Saksith Saiyasombut:
Thailand’s military has successfully launched the country’s 12th coup d’état and did everything that we have seen before: detaining caretaker cabinet members and their supporters, outlawing public gatherings and dissent, suspending the constitution (they have drafted themselves, by the way!), fully controlling the airwaves and imposing a curfew.
Unlike past military coups in Thailand, in a single heartbeat the Thai military has worsened the state of politics. We’re likely witnessing the death of Thai democracy as we know it and whatever the generals their allies are coming up with instead will not get the majority’s approval.
10.15pm: Germany’s Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has condemned today’s coup and urged the army to restart political dialogue:
— GermanForeignOffice (@GermanyDiplo) May 22, 2014
— GermanForeignOffice (@GermanyDiplo) May 22, 2014
10.06pm: Tonight’s curfew in Thailand is now officially in place and will be lifted at 5am tomorrow. The authorities have announced special conditions for tourists traveling to and from airports.
9.49pm: Ravina Shamdasani, a spokeswoman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said: ”We urge the authorities to take all necessary measures to ensure the fundamental human rights are respected.”
9.37pm: All public and private schools in Thailand will be closed tomorrow. Some international schools may be open.
9.30pm: ThaiPBS news channel, which was broadcasting late into the evening on YouTube, has been taken offline:
21.15hr Deputy Director of Thai PBS Wanchai Tantiwittayapitak was taken into miliary custody from the station. via @petitpor //Why?
— ???????? Kaewmala (@Thai_Talk) May 22, 2014
9.22pm: French President Francois Hollande has condemned “takeover of power by the Army”.
9.05pm: The Internet has not been cut in Thailand. It seems 9pm Internet cut-off was a rumor.
8.58pm: A number of Democrat Party members, including leader Abhisit Vejjajiva, are still being detained by the military:
Democrats that are still detained: – Abhisit Vejjajiva – Juti Krairiksh – Sirichok Sopha – Nipit Intarasombat – Chamni Sakdisek — teamkorn (@teamkorn) May 22, 2014
8.52pm: One of the deputy PMs under the Yingluck Shinawatra government Chalerm Yuumbumrung is reportedly in detention:
8.44pm: There are conflicting rumors on whether Internet will be cut off at 9pm this evening. However, there are unconfirmed reports that the ICT has said it will not be cut:
8.40pm: Embassies from nations around the world are advising their citizens to travel with extreme caution in Thailand.
8.23pm: The location of ex-interim Prime Minister Niwatthamrong is still unknown. US Ambassador Kristie Kenney has strongly denied rumors that he is at the US Embassy.
Just spoke to Niwattamrong’s team – his team has no idea where Mr. Niwattamrong is at the moment — Panu Wongcha-um (@panuw) May 22, 2014
7.46pm: The military has begun taking international news channels off air. BBC and CNN are now unavailable. There has bee no notable Internet censorship reported so far.
7.39pm: No public gatherings of more than five people are permitted in Thailand, the army has said.
7.33pm: The army has ordered ex-interim Prime Minister Niwatthamrong Bunsongphaisarn to hand himself in.
7.18pm: NEWSFLASH! Thailand’s Constitution has been temporarily suspended, except the articles “pertaining to monarchy”. The Cabinet and the Senate have been dissolved. Army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha has announced himself as head of council that will run a temporary government.
7.15pm: Bangkok is in gridlock this evening ahead of the curfew at 10pm. Others reporting unusually busy crowds in 7-11s and other shops as people stock up.
7.11pm: Tonight’s curfew, starting at 10pm, will not apply to tourists traveling to and from airports:
Red Shirt leader Dr Weng was arrested on stage at Aksa Road via@Vorapa_TRnews — Chris Coles (@KrisKoles) May 22, 2014
6.37pm: Meanwhile, at the PDRC rally site:
6.35pm: Military says all domestic TV and radio will be off air until further notice. The military-run Channel 5 will continue to broadcast.
UPDATE: Thai military announces TV and radio stations to cease normal program and air army’s programs & announcements. — Saksith Saiyasombut (@Saksith) May 22, 2014
6.27pm: Thai soldiers at The Nation newspaper offices this evening:
6.20pm: NEWSFLASH! The Thai army has ordered a nationwide curfew from 10pm to 5am.
6.07pm: Ex-interim Prime Minister Niwatthamrong Bunsongphaisarn has not been detained by the military.
Caretaker PM Niwattumrong left to unknown location & is not under Army arrest so far — Florian Witulski (@vaitor) May 22, 2014
6pm: Post-coup censorship in Thailand this evening seems to be limited to domestic television and radio. Foreign television stations can still be accessed and the Internet is still online:
5.39pm: Soldiers are dispersing protesters at the rally sites in Bangkok.
5.22pm: Red shirt leader Jatuporn and PDRC leader Suthep, the chief figures of the two rival factions, have both been detained by the military.
All political leaders of the group have been moved to the army base next to the Army club — Florian Witulski (@vaitor) May 22, 2014
5.16pm: All television stations are still off air in Thailand. Internet unaffected so far.
5.12pm: Video today’s announcement by army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha:
5.08pm: This is the 12th coup d’etat since Thailand became a constitutional monarchy in 1932. Seven others have been attempted since then.
5.04pm: Army troops have been seen taking PDRC leader Suthep Thaugsuban away.
5.12pm: Army Chief-of-Staff Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha announces the military takeover:
5.02pm: It’s official. A coup has taken place in Thailand this afternoon. Army chief Prayuth is addressing the nation live on television now. To summarise, he said the army has taken over and asked people not to panic. He also said the military would ensure the safety of all foreigners:
Prayuth: In the interest of rule and order, we are taking over powers (…) please do not panic and carry on with your daily activities. — Saksith Saiyasombut (@Saksith) May 22, 2014
4.59pm: It looks like the leaders of the political factions have been detained at the Army Club. Army chief Prayuth is expected to give a statement soon.
4.56pm: We’re getting reports that hundreds of soldiers are at the Army Club in Bangkok where discussions involving the army and key political players have been ongoing.
4.51pm: Some reporters are tweeting that a coup is now imminent in Thailand. Television stations have suspended programming:
Coup d’état underway now inThailand. Leaders of factions detained at army club
— Jonathan Head (@pakhead) May 22, 2014
Everything at the moment points to a coup underway. #Thailand
— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) May 22, 2014
You can find full details of the events of the previous three days here: TIMELINE: Thailand under martial law – 20-22 May, 2014