Ban calls for return to civilian order in Thailand after military seizes government

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras (file photo)

22 May 2014 – Appealing for “a prompt return to civilian order” in Thailand, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed serious concern about the military takeover in the country today and urged all parties to respect human rights and refrain from violence.

“The Secretary-General is seriously concerned by the military takeover in Thailand,” said a statement issued by a UN spokesperson in New York – the second one pertaining to the country in the past 72 hours.

According to reports, the Thai military sized control of the country today following months of unrest and widespread protests in Bangkok and elsewhere. Popular demonstrations began in late 2013, with calls for the ouster of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s administration and implementation of anti-corruption reforms. The military declared martial law two days ago. On 7 May, Ms. Shinawatra reportedly was removed from Government after a ruling by the Thai Constitutional Court.

“He appeals 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 in Thailand,” said today’s statement, which added that the UN chief urged all parties to work together constructively, refrain from violence and respect human rights.

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