Thailand coup: Ousted education minister Chaturon arrested

Chaturon Chaisang, former education minister in the government ousted by the military last week is arrested by Thai soldiers at the FCCT (Foreign Corespondent Club in Thailand) in Bangkok on May 27, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Chaturon Chaisang, former education minister in the government ousted by the military last week is arrested by Thai soldiers at the FCCT (Foreign Corespondent Club in Thailand) in Bangkok on May 27, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

BANGKOK - Chaturon Chaisang, a minister in the Thai government that was ousted in a coup d'etat last week, was arrested on Tuesday afternoon at the Foreign Correspondents Club (FCCT) in Bangkok. 

The arrest at 3.30pm local time came after Mr Chaturon had just finished taking questions from a huge media pack at the FCCT. He was arrested by four soldiers who appeared to be unarmed. 

The ousted education minister, who had refused to ''report'' to the military junta and came out of hiding on Tuesday expecting to be arrested, went willingly with the soldiers, smiling and saying ''this was expected''.

Earlier he told a press conference: '' I will not report to the military. I am not a student reporting to a teacher.''

He said the military's imposition of martial law, followed by the coup d'etat, had been completely illegal and warned that if the junta ''doesn't allow participation of people, many will go underground''.

Mr Chaturon was one of two ministers who had gone underground. The other is Mr Jarupong Ruengsuwan, who according to sources, is in Cambodia.

nirmal@sph.com.sg