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Military Imposes Martial Law in Turmoil-Hit Thailand

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Thai Army Took Action Unilaterally

In an effort to stop the political turmoil in Thailand's streets, the country's military took control of the government and imposed martial law on May 22nd.

Along with launching the coup, the Thai military suspended the constitution.

Media reports that the country's army chief promised to restore peace and order in the turmoil-engulfed country.

With the army controlling the government, TV broadcasting has been suspended and political meetings are banned. In addition, they imposed a nationwide daily curfew.

Reports circulated that the military took over the government with the aim of maintaining peace, order and public safety for all groups and all parties.

coup
Soldiers of the Royal Thai Army in the streets of Bangkok on the day after the coup. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Violence in many parts of the country which claimed innocent lives drew concern and led the military to assume power. However, the Thai military urged the Thai citizens not to panic and go on with their daily undertakings as usual.

Unrest Rages In Thailand

A Coup detat is not something new in Thailand. The army has staged dozens of coups since the end of the absolute monarchy in 1932.

The latest unrest erupted in Bangkok last year when former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra dissolved the parliament. Protests started to rage in Bangkok and lasted for months.

Earlier this month, a Thai court ordered that Ms Yingluk be removed from her position due to charges of violating the constitution.

In addition, political unrest tormented Thailand after the government planned to implement an amnesty bill that would allow the exiled brother of current Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to return to the Southeast Asian country without penalty.

Yingluck's billionaire brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, was the former Prime Minister who was ousted in a 2006 military coup. He later fled the country amid charges of corruption.

Since the coup, the ruling military junta of the National Peace and Order Maintenance Council has been making mass arrests of anyone opposed to them. Those arrested include peaceful demonstrators in many cities, citizens who responded to a public summons to report to the military, and citizens whose homes were raided unannounced.

Under the terms of Thai martial law, anyone can be detained for up to seven days without the authorities providing evidence or formally charging them.

US Concerned With The Coup

In a press statement in Washington DC, US Secretary of State John Kerry said the US is disappointed by the decision of the Thai military to suspend the constitution and take control of the government after a long period of political turmoil, and there is no justification for this military coup.

"I am concerned by reports that senior political leaders of Thailand's major parties have been detained and call for their release." - Secretary Kerry

The US is urging the immediate restoration of the Thai civilian government, a return to democracy, and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, such as press freedoms.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain english. Read more stories by Mina Fabulous. Contact Mina through NewsBlaze.

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