Coup leader Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha demanded, "Who put a gun to her head?" after ousted prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra said the bloodless military putsch in May seemed like "gun at my head" forcing her to submit.

Gen. Prayuth said he could harshly punish Ms. Yingluck and anyone else by banning them from leaving Thailand or using money, if they voice dissatisfied or misleading statements about his May 22 coup and current martial law regime.

"Whenever anyone causes unrest, there are rules ranging from soft to tough," Gen. Prayuth told reporters on Tuesday (November 25) when asked about Ms. Yingluck's interview.

"Some people may not be permitted to travel abroad," warned Gen. Prayuth, who is prime minister and head of the dominant National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) junta.

"The next level may be that they are banned from financial transactions," he said.

"Who put a gun to her head?" Gen. Prayuth asked, according to Wednesday's (November 26) Bangkok Post, which is Thailand's biggest English language newspaper.

"Gen. Prayuth was highly critical of an analogy Ms. Yingluck used in her interview with the Bangkok Post on Monday (November 24)," said the newspaper, reporting under the junta's strict censorship which is enforced against all print, broadcast and online media.

In that interview, her first description of how democracy suddenly disappeared, Ms. Yingluck said winning nationwide elections in July 2011 was like receiving keys to run this Southeast Asian country, but she immediately feared her government would be sabotaged.

"It's the same as if the people had handed me the car keys, and said I must drive and lead the country. Then suddenly, someone points a gun at my head, and tells me to get out of the car while I'm at the wheel driving the people forward," Ms. Yingluck said.

"I knew from the first day I was prime minister, that if it [her elected government] wasn't cut short by the independent agencies or the judiciary, it would be a coup," she said.

"Since the coup, someone else has chosen the path I walk for me. I have no idea what other path they might draw up for me. I'm not at all in a position to choose," Ms Yingluck said.

"I try to keep a low profile, in keeping with the request by the NCPO."

Ms. Yingluck faces possible prosecution for alleged mismanagement of costly rice crop subsidies which she established during her administration.

"I may not be 100 percent democracy, but I want to ask you, what can the country possibly gain from 100 percent democracy?" Gen. Prayuth said in a news conference on Nov. 21.

"Don't ask me for democracy. Don't ask me for an election. I cannot give you that," he said.

"I am not an enemy of anyone, but I'd like to ask all of you not to obstruct my work."

Gen. Prayuth projects himself as an altruistic savior who reluctantly enforces "controls" to establish peace, so new undefined political and social systems can be created which will end corruption and, according
to his official slogan: "Return Happiness to the People."

Ms. Yingluck was evicted from her prime minister's post by a Constitutional Court on May 7, which ruled she illegally demoted and promoted officials.

She had shoved aside a quarrelsome national security head, and installed one of her pliant relatives as national police chief.

After the court ruling, Ms. Yingluck's popular government nominated its commerce minister as acting prime minister.

That government staggered for 20 days, trying to hold fresh elections for parliament's lower house which Ms. Yingluck dissolved in December 2013.

Four days after the May 22 coup, Ms. Yingluck was escorted by an armed guard into confinement at a military facility for four days, told to obey the junta, and released on May 26.

Gen. Prayuth was army chief when he led the coup, and quickly arranged to become prime minister after setting up an appointed parliament packed with active and retired military officers, plus other collaborators.

Gen. Prayuth cancelled the constitution, banned political parties and suspended elections.

The frustrated general had participated in a 2006 coup which ousted Ms. Yingluck's elder brother, prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who is currently a fugitive abroad to avoid a two-year prison sentence for corruption.