Ousted Thai PM says martial law mustn`t compromise on democracy

In wake of martial law imposed by Royal Thai Army, Thailand`s former PM Thaksin Shinawatra on Tuesday expressed his concerns over the situation, hoping that the move doesn`t compromise on people`s rights and democracy.

By Supriya Jha | Last Updated: May 20, 2014, 16:10 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau/Supriya Jha

Bangkok: In wake of martial law imposed by Royal Thai Army, Thailand`s former PM Thaksin Shinawatra on Tuesday expressed his concerns over the situation, hoping that the move doesn`t compromise on people`s rights and democracy.

In a tweet posted on his timeline, Thaksin wrote that the martial law was not something unexpected, given the chaotic political situation. But at the same time, he sounded a warning saying that the martial law musn`t deprive Thais of human rights and democracy shouldn`t be dented.

Despite Thai Army`s statement that it was not planning any coup, a close aide of the caretaker PM sounded dubious, telling CNN that the government wasn`t consulted and hence the situation could be likened to "half a coup d`etat". 

However, Thai Army insists that the step has been taken with a sole purpose of preserving the security situation in the country and that it`s no way a “coup”. 

It can be noted that Thailand Army has so far staged 11 coups since 1932 – the last being the 2006 ouster of Thaksin Shinawatra, who was accused of corruption.

Thaksin Shinawatra, living in self-exile since 2008, is one of the factors affecting Thai politics as the latest bout of political unrest was triggered in November last year when anti-government protesters accused his sister Yingluck Sinawatra of running a puppet regime in Thailand, controlled indirectly by him.

The crisis was sparked by Yingluck government`s attempt to pass an Amnesty law that would have paved the way for her brother Thakisn Shinawatra`s return.  

With anti-government protesters not relenting, Yingluck had to dismiss the Parliament and declare snap polls in Feb. But the polls were annulled in face of growing protests and the crisis culminated in Yingluck being dismissed as PM on May, after being convicted of power abuse.

Thailand is in the grip of a political crisis since last few months with pro-Thaksin supporters - mostly rural and working-class people from north and northeast, pitted against the elite Bangkok-based establishment and royalist allies from the south.