An "interim constitution was enacted on 22 July 2014, paving the way for the establishment of a national legislature, a provisional government, and a reform council. The draft interim constitution originally required that a draft new constitution be approved by the citizens in a nationwide referendum before it is forwarded to the king for his signature. The requirement was disapproved by the NCPO and was deleted. "Wissanu Krea-ngam, a Chulalongkorn University law lecturer who drafted the interim constitution, explained that the requirement was deleted to avoid "lengthy process".
Pro- and anti-government protesters
Many PDRC protesters lauded the announcement of the coup at their rally sites. Phra Buddha Issara, a Buddhist monk and PDRC co-leader, went on stage to proclaim the victory of the anti-Shinawatra government protesters before requesting that his followers disperse and go home. Soldiers took over the pro-government protest sites and fired shots in the air to disperse protesters.
The last group of protesters left Bangkok on the evening of 23 May 2014. The NCPO provided 70 military vehicles to carry the protesters from both sides home.
In spite of a ban on political gatherings of more than five persons, demonstrators, including "Thammasat University students, marched to the "Democracy Monument on 23 May 2014 to express their anger at the coup. However the military stopped them from reaching the monument, citing fear of violence and clashes.
On the same day, separate protests took place outside the "Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, led by freelance media, artists, and social activists. Soldiers sent by the NCPO detained the protesters. A live round was fired and the whereabouts of those apprehended was not known.
On 24 May 2014, a group held an anti-coup protest in front of Major Ratchayothin Cinema in Bangkok, where a company of troops with riot shields was stationed. On that evening, another group of at least 1,000 protesters marched to the "Victory Monument. The military tried to stop their procession, using a police truck. Some of the protesters were apprehended but were released after negotiation.
At midday on 25 May 2014, a group of anti-coup protesters gathered in front of a "McDonald's restaurant at "Ratchaprasong, in the heart of Bangkok. Soldiers arrived and seized the area. Another group of people tried to march from the Victory Monument to the "Pathum Wan intersection protesting the coup. The military managed to block them.
Anti-coup protests also took place outside Bangkok. In "Chiang Mai Province, a group of people clad in black held anti-coup activities for days, including marching to the city's ancient walls where they performed a candle-lit ceremony opposing the military's action. Some of them were apprehended by military on 24 May. Anti-coup rallies also occurred in several other provinces. In "Khon Kaen Province, students held a ceremony to bid farewell to democracy in front of Central Plaza Khon Kaen shopping mall where soldiers were stationed. In "Maha Sarakham Province, students held an anti-coup protest in the middle of the city but soldiers came and seized protest materials such as banners. A group of Thais living in "Australia held anti-coup activities at "Kings Park, "Perth, on 26 May.
A number of anti-coup activists outside Bangkok were later summoned by regional military courts and were detained without charges.
On 10 June 2014, Chalard Vorachat, a retired "pilot officer and renowned "hunger striker, sued the NCPO before the "Criminal Court. Chalard alleged that the NCPO, by staging the coup, committed insurrection. The court dismissed the case, ruling that Chalard was not the victim and was therefore not entitled to institute the case, although Chalard claimed that he was the victim because his rights and liberties had been affected by the coup.
Anti-coup sentiment was also echoed on Thai social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and LINE, even though the military had previously warned that it would block social media if material critical of the coup was published.
A reporter, Pornthip Mongyai, was dismissed by her news agency, Mono Group, after a photo of Pornthip, wearing a press armband, stood next to a line of soldiers with an "X" taped over her lips, went viral on the internet.
In response to anti-coup activities on social media, the NCPO ordered the "Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) to block Facebook in Thailand "from time to time", effective from 28 May 2014. On that evening, Facebook was blocked for about an hour throughout the country. The MICT stated on 24 May that more than 100 URLs have been blocked under martial law.
People calling for protests on social media were warned that they will face prosecution for sedition. The military also said that "liking an anti-coup page on Facebook constituted a criminal offence.
Thai coup protesters used the three-finger salute from "The Hunger Games film series, symbolising their opposition to the coup. Three extended fingers represent equality, liberty, and brotherhood. The military announced that it would arrest anyone who displayed the salute.
Protesters then adopted the "sandwich as their new anti-coup symbol. They handed out sandwiches, shouting "sandwiches for democracy!". On 22 June 2014, a student eating sandwiches in front of "Siam Paragon and a group of students who were to organise a sandwich activity at the same venue were apprehended and were later placed in detention.
Apart from using the three-finger salute and eating sandwiches in public, two other acts of expressing anti-coup stance have been criminalised: reading "George Orwell's "Nineteen Eighty-Four in public, and wearing shirts with certain slogans such as "Peace Please" and "Respect My Vote".
Private citizens performing other symbolic acts were also apprehended and detained. These included: an aged woman wearing a mask with the word "People", a man shouting "I'm a common citizen who feels shame because there's another coup in my country", a fried squid vendor wearing a red shirt, a group of people covering their eyes, ears, and mouths, a group of movie commentators and artistic activists intending to organise the displaying of the film "Nineteen Eighty-Four, a group of people holding activities in front of Wat Phra Si Mahathat, a temple in Bangkok, to commemorate the transition of absolute monarchy to constitutional monarchy in the "Siamese revolution of 1932, a student playing ""La Marseillaise" in public, a group of people holding papers asking "Where are the people?", and a man holding a paper saying "Holding papers is not a crime". All were to be tried in military courts for sedition.
On 25 May 2014, a pro-coup group held a counter-rally at the Democracy Monument calling on the NCPO to conduct reforms before a general election. The following day, a group of officials from the "Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a similar rally.
Democrat Party leader "Abhisit Vejjajiva said on 25 May 2014 that he was sorry that he could not protect democracy. The following day, he urged the NCPO to take tough measures against anti-coup groups.
PDRC leader Suthep Thaugsuban alleged that he had talked to General Prayut about how to exclude Thaksin and his family from power as early as 2010. He also claimed that before declaring martial law, General Prayut told him that "Khun Suthep and your masses of PDRC supporters are too exhausted. It's now the duty of the army to take over the task".
Academic and religious sectors
The coup met with strong reactions from Thai academics, with the majority expressing serious concern over its negative impact on Thailand's democracy and human rights. But some Thai academics argued that there was no other solution to Thailand's problems.
A group of university lecturers, who call themselves the Assembly for the Defence of Democracy (AFDD), issued a statement on 23 May 2014, emphasizing the right of the people to offer resistance to an illegitimate ruler and requesting the military to promptly release the detained protesters. In its statement, the AFDD said,
A good ruler shall not rule by force. He must be accepted by the public, must gain public consent, must keep his words, and must acquire faith and trust from everyone. If the NCPO treats the people as its enemy and keeps on suppressing them by force, it will face endless resistance and will have to suppress countless people. Eventually, there will be no one left to be ruled.
On that day, AFDD members gathered in front of the "Dome Building of Thammasat University to express their anti-coup stance. The scholars from the "Midnight University also issued a statement denouncing the coup and demanding the resignation of the National Human Rights Commission.
The academic sector also called on NCPO members to "disclose their financial interests to the public. However, the "National Anti-Corruption Commission said that it is not required by any law.
On 26 May 2014, "Phra Paisal Visalo, a monk renowned for his roles in human rights protection, denounced the coup, saying "Even though this coup brought an end to some urgent problems..., it is the beginning of new various problems which are surely more serious".
In response to heavy opposition from the academic sector, military officers were stationed at some higher education institutions to prevent academics from expressing political opinions or holding political activities. These included Thammasat University's "Tha Pra Chan Campus in Bangkok.
The NCPO summoned leading pro-democracy scholars. Despite the NCPO threatening that those failing to show up would face criminal penalties, the summoned said they would not submit to the military. A number of scholars who failed to appear were later apprehended, such as Thammasat University law lecturer Sawatree Suksri who was apprehended at "Suvarnabhumi Airport on 7 June 2014 after travelling back from the United States on a US embassy study trip about human rights.
The military also ordered Thai diplomats to take measures to force the return of exiled academicians. One of the targets was Pavin Chachavalpongpun, a Thai associate professor at "Kyoto University who challenged the summons by asking if he could send his pet "chihuahua to meet with General Prayut in his stead. The Thai ambassador in Tokyo and consul general in Osaka have both been told by the military that if they fail to force Pavin to return, they will either be transferred or forced out of the foreign service. On 13 June 2014, the NCPO issued an arrest warrant against Pavin.
- The "Council of the European Union concluded on 23 June 2014 that the EU and its member states will not sign the partnership and cooperation agreement with Thailand, until a democratically elected government is in place, and that other agreements will also be affected as appropriate.
- The "European External Action Service called for the military to accept and respect the constitutional authority of the civilian power and stressed "the importance of holding credible and inclusive elections as soon as feasible".
- "Ban Ki-moon, "Secretary-General of the United Nations, issued a statement through his spokesman, expressing concern over the coup, calling for "a prompt return to constitutional, civilian, democratic rule" and movement towards cooperation between the parties.
- "Navi Pillay, "United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, condemned the coup. She said her office has monitored the situations for the past five months and she is "deeply concerned about the forcible replacement of an elected government, the imposition of martial law, the suspension of the constitution and the emergency measures that are restricting the enjoyment of human rights". She also urged prompt restoration of rule of law in the country.
- "Australia – Australian Foreign Minister "Julie Bishop expressed that she was "gravely concerned" over the military coup and described the situation as "volatile". She also urged Australian travellers to exercise caution and pay close attention to their security, there are an estimated 5000+ Australians currently in Thailand.
- "Cambodia – Cambodian "government officials expressed concerns that tensions could rise at the Cambodia–Thailand border, where a "dispute has been ongoing since 2008. "Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan said "We wish to see this [coup] not jeopardizing democratic transition, maintaining peace and stability, and still respecting [and safeguarding] the will and interest of the Thai people" while adding that nothing is expected to change at the Cambodia–Thailand border. Siphan also said that the government would always respect the mutual interests of the two countries.
- "Canada – Foreign Affairs Minister "John Baird condemned the coup and said "This decision violates Thailand's democratic principles and stands in stark contrast to the Army's earlier assurances that its role would be limited to securing public order. We hope and expect the Thai military will return Thailand to civilian rule as soon as possible, respect democratic processes and the rule of law, ensure freedom of expression and assembly, and guarantee due process for those who have been detained."
- "Chile – The Foreign Affairs Ministry issued a statement condemning the coup and saying that they "trust that the political crisis affecting the partner and friendly nation and its people, can be quickly and peacefully resolved through means that will allow the recovery of democratic coexistence".
- "China – Foreign Ministry issued a brief statement expressing its concern over the situation and hoped for the order to be restored in Thailand.
- "Colombia – The Foreign Affairs Ministry, through a press release, reiterated its concern about the current situation in the "allied nation" of Thailand and condemned the "break of the institutional order that was caused by the coup". Colombia called for dialogue, between the "public armed forces and the Kingdom of Thailand, in order to reestablish a participative Democracy while also "advocating for the constitutional rights of all Thai citizens."
- "France – President "François Hollande condemned the coup and called for "an immediate return to the constitutional order and for a vote to be organised".
- "Germany – "German Minister for Foreign Affairs "Frank-Walter Steinmeier issued a statement condemning the coup, calling for the rapid holding of elections and restoration of constitutional protections.
- "Indonesia – In a statement issued by Foreign Minister "Marty Natalegawa, Indonesia "calls upon the Armed Forces of Thailand and various relevant civilian elements to work together in a reconciliatory atmosphere to quickly restore the political situation in Thailand". He also states that Indonesia will communicate with Myanmar, which is ASEAN chairperson for 2014 to "mobilize ASEAN’s contribution in establishing a condition conducive for the restoration of political condition in Thailand".
- "Japan – "Fumio Kishida, the "Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs, issued a statement calling for the rapid restoration of democracy in Thailand.
- "Malaysia – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs advised Malaysian citizens to avoid travelling to Thailand for the time being and postpone any non-essential visits to the country. Malaysian citizens present in Thailand are also advised to abide by the curfew for personal safety and security reasons. Meanwhile, former Prime Minister "Mahathir Mohammad had commented that the coup in Thailand will not affect Malaysia politically or economically, saying that since independence in 1957 Malaysians have been law-abiding citizens.
- "Philippines – "Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose said "the Philippines supports a peaceful resolution of the present situation" and "hopes for an early return to normalcy consistent with democratic principles, the rule of law and the will and interest of the Thai people."
- "Russia – The "Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs called for a prompt return of the political process and constitutional protections.
- "South Africa – The "South African government, through its spokesman Clayson Monyela, condemned the coup and called on "all relevant parties to work speedily and through an inclusive process towards the restoration of constitutional order".
- "Singapore – A spokesperson for the "Singaporean Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed "grave concern" over the coup.
- "Turkey – The "Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey stated that, "We regret the decision of the "Thai armed forces to suspend the "constitution and take control of the government. Turkey, as a matter of principle, is opposed to the dismissal of governments that have come to power by popular vote, by non-democratic methods.
- "United Kingdom – "Foreign Secretary "William Hague issued a statement urging "the restoration of a civilian government that has been democratically elected, serves the interests of its people and fulfils its human rights obligations". The "Foreign Office announced that it would review military ties with Thailand and cancelled a number of military visits.
- "United States – Secretary of State "John Kerry issued a statement condemning the coup, saying that he is "disappointed" by the army's decision and "this act will have negative implications for the "U.S.–Thai relationship, especially for our relationship with the Thai military." The "Cobra Gold joint military drill proceeded, but military aid was suspended.
- "Vietnam – Vietnamese government representatives traveled to Thailand to meet with representatives of the Thai government as a show of support for the change of government.
- A group of "Thai studies scholars from twenty universities in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States jointly published an open letter in which they said, "You [General Prayut] requested that citizens 'carry out their lives and occupation as usual', but nothing could be normal about the political and social conditions put in place by the coup. The coup cannot be a measure for peace because the coup itself is the use of violence." They called on the NCPO to return immediately to constitutional rule by a civilian government and to provide a concrete timeline for such return.
- "Amnesty International (AI) issued a statement saying that arresting peaceful anti-coup activists is a "dangerous precedent" and "maintaining public order cannot be an excuse for violating human rights." It also urged the NCPO to clarify the whereabouts of those arrested and detained. AI later denounced the military action against leading anti-coup activist Sombat Boonngamanong, describing it as part of "a systematic and widening crackdown on key human rights". Its Asian director Richard Bennett said "This is the latest in a disturbing wave of arrests of people purely voicing disquiet about the military regime. The army's course of action is looking increasingly like a purge."
- The "Asian Human Rights Commission condemned the NCPO for threatening academics and activists, called for the immediate release of the detainees, and expressed grave concern over the rapid decline of human rights protections in the country.
- "Human Rights Watch described the NCPO's actions as the exercise of "draconian martial law powers" and called for the immediate end thereof. Its Asian director "Brad Adams said, "The Thai army needs to recognize that the government should be determined by the ballot, not the bullet."
- "Noam Chomsky said he was "deeply disturbed to learn about the threats against Professor Pavin Chachavalpongpun" and hoped that those threats will quickly be withdrawn and that Pavin can "resume his life without government repression".
- Stars of the Hunger Games showed their support for anti-coup protesters who have been using the films' three-fingered salute as a way of showing opposition. One of the cast members, "Natalie Dormer, described the use of the salute as "incredible" and said "Anything that galvanises people in a positive way to fight against oppression cannot be criticised in any shape or form."
The United States suspended US$3.5m in military aid to Thailand from its overall aid package of US$10.5 million and cancelled military engagements, including military visits and training. It also urged tourists to cancel trips and halted non-essential visits by its governmental officers.
Some border checkpoints between Thailand and neighbouring states were closed following the coup.
The "Ministry of Tourism and Sports said on 27 May that the arrival of "foreign tourists dropped by 20%".
The coup also resulted in the cancellation of "Taylor Swift's "concert, formerly scheduled on 9 June 2014, in Bangkok, and the postponement of several events, including USA Fair 2014 scheduled for 30 May–2 June 2014.
"Asia Sentinel reported on 9 June 2014 that Thai rights groups estimated that some 200 people remained in detention since the coup happened.
After the NCPO vowed on 11 June 2014 to deal with illegal foreign workers in Thailand, saying "we see illegal workers as a threat", a very large number of foreign migrants, more than half of whom were women and children, immediately left the country on that day. The "International Organization for Migration described the event as a "sudden influx" and expressed its concern. The "BBC reported on 16 June 2014 that more than 180,000 Cambodians fled Thailand after the NCPO announced the crackdown. A group of Cambodians died in a car accident on their way to the border and this enraged the Cambodian government which said the Thai military must be held responsible for all the problems that have occurred. Burmese migrants in northern Thailand were arrested and were released only after a "protection fee" was paid. Rights groups said employers in southern Thailand had also advised their foreign workers to go into hiding in the woods or rubber plantations to avoid arrest.
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Reference to Thai legislation in any jurisdiction shall be to the Thai version only. This translation has been made so as to establish correct understanding about this Act to the foreigners.
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- ควบคุมตัวประชาชนแสดงออกต้านรัฐประหารที่พารากอนรวม 7 ราย [Seven people expressing anti-coup stance arrested in front of Paragon]. Prachatai (in Thai). 2014-06-09. Retrieved 2014-07-02.
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การปกครองที่ดีนั้นไม่ใช่การปกครองด้วยการใช้กำลังบังคับข่มเหงเพียงอย่างเดียว แต่จะต้องทำให้ประชาชนยอมรับ ทำให้ประชาชนให้ความยินยอม เป็นผู้มีวาจาสัตย์ และเป็นที่ไว้เนื้อเชื่อใจของประชาชนทุกฝ่าย หากคณะรักษาความสงบแห่งชาติเห็นประชาชนเป็นศัตรูและมุ่งใช้กำลังข่มเหงเพียงอย่างเดียวเช่นนี้แล้ว ท่านก็จะต้องเผชิญกับการต่อต้านอย่างไม่รู้จบ และท่านก็จะปราบปรามประชาชนไปนับไม่ถ้วน จนกระทั่งท่านก็จะไม่เหลือประชาชนให้ปกครองอีกเลย
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รัฐประหารครั้งนี้ แม้จะยุติปัญหาเฉพาะหน้าต่าง ๆ ได้ ... แต่มันเป็นจุดเริ่มต้นของปัญหาใหม่ ๆ ที่จะตามมาอีกมากมายซึ่งอาจรุนแรงกว่าปัญหาเดิม
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|""||Wikimedia Commons has media related to 2014 coup d'état in Thailand.|
- A collection of English news about the coup – Prachatai English
- Statistics of individuals summoned and arrested by the NCPO - iLaw
- Matichon (23 May 2014). Soldiers seize Bangkok Art and Culture Centre and apprehend anti-coup activists (video).
- Udomittipong, Pipob (23 May 2014). Anti-coup demonstration in Chiang Mai (video).
- Prachatai (23 May 2014). Anti-coup gathering in Bangkok (Bangkok Art and Culture Centre) (video).
- Prachatai (24 May 2014). Anti-coup rally in Bangkok amid martial law (Victory Monument) (video).
- Prachatai (27 May 2014). Ex-minister Chaturon Chaisang arrested in front of crowd of journalists (video).
- Ruam Thai Siam (27 May 2014). Anti-coup protester assaulted by Royal Thai Army officers at Siam Paragon, despite public clamour against their action (video).
- Prachatai (29 May 2014). Foreigner arrested for holding T-shirt stating "Peace Please" (Victory Monument) (video).