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Yingluck Shinawatra released by military junta, says report

LiveMint logoLiveMint 25-05-2014 PTI

Bangkok: Former Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has been quietly released by the military junta which has asked her to help maintain peace and not to get involved with protesters or any political movement, a media report said on Sunday.

Yingluck is no longer in military custody, CNN reported, quoting a highly placed person familiar with the development in the Thai military that seized power in a bloodless coup last week, as saying.

A person close to the 46-year-old Yingluck also confirmed that she was released from a military camp, the report said.

The armed forces seized power in a coup on Thursday after months of turmoil that paralysed much of the government and caused deadly clashes in Bangkok.

Yingluck was freed after she reported to the Thai military, the person said, adding that she was asked to “help us maintain peace and order and not to get involved with protesters or any political movement”.

The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation, insisted that Yingluck has freedom of movement and communications.

A close aide to the former prime minister could not confirm when Yingluck was released, and contradicted the military’s assertion that she was free to move around.

“I don’t think she has freedom of mobility and communication,” the source said.

Yingluck, whose government was in power when the unrest began in November, was removed from office earlier this month by the country’s constitutional court over the appointments of top security officials. Yingluck is the sister of Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted as Premier in a military coup in 2006. Thailand has faced a power struggle since Thaksin was ousted by the military as PM in 2006. The latest unrest began last year, when anti-government protesters embarked on a campaign to oust Yingluck’s government. They accuse Yingluck of acting as a proxy for her fugitive brother.

Altogether, around 150 people will be required to appear before the National Council for Peace and Order, a military spokesman said on Saturday.

Those summoned include academics and one of Yingluck’s chief opponents, ‘Yellow Shirt’ movement leader Sondhi Limthongkul. The politician suffered a gunshot wound to the head during unrest in 2009 but later recovered.

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