Thai army: Ex-PM, protest leaders held ‘to think’

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A Thai soldier, right, tries to disperse the protesters against the coup outside a shopping complex in Bangkok, Thailand Saturday, May 24, 2014. Thailand’s coup leaders said Saturday they will keep former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, Cabinet members and anti-government protest leaders detained for up to a week to give them “time to think” and to keep the country calm. They also summoned outspoken academics to report to the junta. (AP Photo/Wason Wanichakorn)

A Thai soldier, right, tries to disperse the protesters against the coup outside a shopping complex in Bangkok, Thailand Saturday, May 24, 2014. Thailand’s coup leaders said Saturday they will keep former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, Cabinet members and anti-government protest leaders detained for up to a week to give them “time to think” and to keep the country calm. They also summoned outspoken academics to report to the junta. (AP Photo/Wason Wanichakorn)

A Thai demonstrator shows a banner that reads “No coup” in front of line of soldiers during a protest against the coup outside a shopping complex in Bangkok, Thailand Saturday, May 24, 2014. Thailand’s coup leaders said Saturday they will keep former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, Cabinet members and anti-government protest leaders detained for up to a week to give them “time to think” and to keep the country calm. They also summoned outspoken academics to report to the junta. (AP Photo/Wason Wanichakorn)

A Thai woman joins a protest against the coup outside a shopping complex in Bangkok, Thailand Saturday, May 24, 2014. Thailand’s coup leaders said Saturday they will keep former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, Cabinet members and anti-government protest leaders detained for up to a week to give them “time to think” and to keep the country calm. They also summoned outspoken academics to report to the junta. (AP Photo/Wason Wanichakorn)

Anti-coup protesters push Thai soldiers who move in to disperse them outside a shopping complex in Bangkok, Thailand Saturday, May 24, 2014. Thailand’s coup leaders said Saturday they will keep former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, Cabinet members and anti-government protest leaders detained for up to a week to give them “time to think” and to keep the country calm. They also summoned outspoken academics to report to the junta. (AP Photo/Wason Wanichakorn)

Thai soldiers link arms as they monitor the protest against the coup outside a shopping complex in Bangkok, Thailand Saturday, May 24, 2014. Thailand’s coup leaders said Saturday they will keep former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, Cabinet members and anti-government protest leaders detained for up to a week to give them “time to think” and to keep the country calm. They also summoned outspoken academics to report to the junta. (AP Photo/Wason Wanichakorn)

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BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand’s coup leaders said Saturday that they would keep former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, Cabinet members and anti-government protest leaders detained for up to a week to give them “time to think” and to keep the country calm. They also summoned outspoken academics to report to the junta.

The moves appear aimed at preventing any political leaders or other high-profile figures from rallying opposition to the military, which seized power Thursday after months of sometimes violent street protests and deadlock between the elected government and protesters supported by Thailand’s elite establishment.

For a second day, hundreds of anti-coup protesters defied the military’s ban on large gatherings and shouted slogans and waved signs outside a Bangkok cinema.

The demonstrators vowed to march to a nearby army base, but soldiers with riot shields prevented them.

A few hours later, the protesters began walking to Victory Monument, a major city landmark about 9 kilometers (5.6 miles) away. Rows of soldiers and police were lined up on a road near Victory Monument to stop the marchers.

Most of Bangkok, however, remained calm on Saturday, and there was little military presence on the streets.

Deputy army spokesman Col. Weerachon Sukondhapatipak said that all the detainees were being well-treated and that the aim of the military was to achieve a political compromise.

“This is in a bid for everybody who is involved in the conflict to calm down and have time to think,” Weerachon said. “We don’t intend to limit their freedom, but it is to relieve the pressure.”

The country’s military leaders also summoned an additional 35 people, including more politicians, political activists and, for the first time, outspoken academics, to “maintain peace and order.” It was not immediately clear whether they would be detained.

One of those on the list, Kyoto University professor of Southeast Asian studies Pavin Chachavalpongpun, said by telephone from Japan that he would not turn himself in. He said the summons meant the junta felt insecure.

“The military claiming to be a mediator in the Thai conflict, that is all just nonsense,” he said. “This is not about paving the way for reform and democratization. We are really going back to the crudest form of authoritarianism.”

The United States, Thailand’s key ally, suspended $3.5 million in military aid on Friday, and State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said Washington was reviewing a further $7 million in direct U.S. assistance. The U.S. also recommended Americans reconsider any non-essential travel to Thailand.

The army says it launched the coup to prevent more turmoil after two days of peace talks in which neither political faction would agree to back down from its stance in the ongoing political crisis. It was the 12th time in eight decades that Thailand’s powerful military has seized power.

For months, anti-government protesters linked to Thailand’s royalist establishment had blocked streets in Bangkok, demanding that the government step down over allegations of corruption and ties to Yingluck’s brother, exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was himself deposed in a 2006 military coup.

Populist parties affiliated with the Shinawatras have won every election since 2001 in Thailand. Thaksin still wields enormous influence over the country’s political affairs and remains at the heart of the ongoing crisis.

The protesters have been demanding that

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