Connect with us

Phuket

Foreign leaders express concern, Thaksin cancels UN address

Published

 on 

Foreign leaders express concern, Thaksin cancels UN address | Thaiger

BANGKOK (Agencies, Nation): Foreign leaders reacted with concern over the military coup against caretaker Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan saying “this is not a practice to be encouraged”.

Speaking to CNN television on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting, Annan said: “We as an organization [UN] have always supported governmental changes through democratic means, through the ballot box. As the African Union, for example, has indicated they do not support those who come to power through the barrel of a gun.”

Annan urged Thai people to “remain calm”. He told CNN: “Over the past decade or so they have established a solid democracy and institutions under the leadership of the king. And I’m sure they will be able to restore that institution and go back to a democratic system as soon as possible.”

Thaksin is in New York for the General Assembly but canceled his plans to give a speech to the meeting after the military staged a coup.

Thaksin, who was due to speak today, initially switched places with Montenegro on the speaker’s list to allow him to speak yesterday evening due to the coup.

But, just three hours before he was expected to address the 192-nation world body, UN deputy spokeswoman Marie Okabe announced that “Thailand is no longer on the General Assembly speaker’s list this evening.” She gave no explanation for the cancellation.

Meanwhile, the United States said it was monitoring the situation with concern and was uneasy about the military takeover in Thailand.

The US State Department said in a statement issued yesterday said it hoped the political differences in Thailand could be resolved through democratic principles. There had been no indications of violence, but “we are monitoring the situation with concern”.

The department described the situation as “still unfolding”.

“We continue to hope the Thai people will resolve their political differences in accord with democratic principles and the rule of law,” the statement said.

The State Department responded initially with caution but injected an expression of concern several hours later in its second statement of the day.

In New York, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice returned to her hotel from UN headquarters to speak with her staff about the coup. US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton said it was still too early to comment but appealed for the maintenance of the rule of law.

“We have press reports and I think for now the important thing is to look for the sustaining of constitutional processes in Thailand,” Bolton said.

Meanwhile Finnish Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen – whose country currently holds the rotating EU presidency – said Thailand needed to “revert to democratic order without delay.

“It is highly regrettable that democratic institutions seem to have been taken over by military force,” he said in a statement.

France’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement: “We are following the situation closely.” It urged some 6,000 French citizens resident in Bangkok to “stay indoors”.

Britain is “never happy” to see a military coup in a country, Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett said yesterday in a reaction to the over-throw of caretaker Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

“We are never happy about military attempts to overthrow a government, if that is what is happening,” Beckett told reporters on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.

“But we very much hope there will be peace and the situation will be resolved and that some peaceful way out of the problem will be determined,” she added.

Beckett said, “Details and information are still coming in, as you know, and I’m cautious of commenting on what is clearly an unfolding situation.”

Australia said it was gravely concerned at the “unacceptable” overthrow of the Thai government in a military coup, Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said yesterday.

The tough comments from Downer, who is in New York attending the UN General Assembly meeting, came as Canberra issued a travel advisory warning its citizens to reconsider travel to Thailand following the overnight coup.

“We want to see a return to democratic rule [in Thailand],” Downer said in an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation from New York. “It’s of grave concern for us that the government has been overthrown in this way.

“There was an expectation in Thailand that there would be an election towards the end of this year and it is of concern to us that the military appear to have simply seized power,” Downer said.

The Netherlands’ main airline, KLM, said it had made no changes to its flights to Bangkok for the moment, as the situation in the Thai capital appeared to be calm.

The British Foreign Office cautioned Britons traveling to Bangkok or already there to monitor all available information and avoid large crowds and protests.

 

Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand8 mins ago

Woman allegedly steals winning lottery ticket from friend

Thailand10 mins ago

Driving licence point deductions starting next year in Thailand | GMT

Board of Investment15 mins ago

Thailand’s Board of Investment unveils transformation plans

Sponsored11 mins ago

Where you can get cannabis in Bangkok

Hot News55 mins ago

Pattaya Walking Street shooter surrenders claiming it was a “friendly fire”

Cultural Activities1 hour ago

Part two: the most haunted places in Bangkok

China1 hour ago

China’s great firewall breached as zero-Covid policy protesters access Twitter, Telegram

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Hot News3 hours ago

Driving licence point deductions starting next year in Thailand

Hot News3 hours ago

US singer Kanye West sparks outrage after saying he loves Nazis and admires Hitler

Video16 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Actress Forex 3D scammer released on bail after 3 months behind bars

Crime16 hours ago

Big Joke seizes Tuhao’s private jet in Hua Hin

Phuket16 hours ago

Phuket officials once again report finding no human trafficking on fishing boats

Thailand16 hours ago

South Korea increases quota of Thai workers next year

Tourism16 hours ago

Indian pervs arrested after harassing tourist in Mumbai

Vietnam17 hours ago

Province in Vietnam boosting tourism with its rich culture

Thailand17 hours ago

Teen girl’s ID card request denied as she doesn’t look like her mother

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending