Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Martial law declared in Thailand

The Thai army declared martial law May 19, Asian Correspondent and AP reported…According to a statement signed by army chief Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, the army took the action to "keep peace and order" because of "groups with bad intentions creating a violent situation with war weapons against the people"… The army reportedly seized control of several TV stations in Bangkok and internet and phone communications are down…A ticker on an army channel reportedly said "the invocation of martial law is not a coup"…Soldiers have deployed to strategic locations throughout Bangkok but there is still no word on whether the move is part of an attempted coup…Attacks by militant groups on army personnel – as have occurred in the last months - are expected as the situation escalates…The martial law order comes two weeks after former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra was removed from her office and after months of violent clashes between royalists and the rural population…Back-channel negotiations have been taking place between political and military figures during this time, but the talks have clearly hit an obstacle…The ability for the ruling party to administer the country is now in doubt...There have been 19 coups in Thailand since 1932 and the military has already warned it would stage a coup if unrest became uncontrollable…However, the military is conflicted over taking control of Thailand forcibly and inciting an already angry population to more violence if it does so. 

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