Thailand Under Martial Law

World | May 20, 2014, Tuesday // 09:38| Views: 616 | Comments: 0
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Bulgaria: Thailand Under Martial Law Thai soldiers with their weapons guard from a military vehicle after declared martial law at the Ratchaprasong shopping intersections in Bangkok, Thailand, 20 May 2014. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Thailand's army has declared a state of martial law to "preserve law and order" amidst the ongoing political and social crisis in the country.

Earlier in May, Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra was relieved of her powers by the Constitutional Court, over abuse of powers. Since the decision was made, tension has been high as pro-government and opposition supporters have taken to the streets to hold demonstrations.

The country's caretaker Prime Minister Niwatthamrong Boonsongpaisan had not been consulted about the military's decision, the BBC reported.

Soldiers have now taken over television stations. In one announcement, they urged the public "not to panic and live their lives as normal". However, supporters of all political fractions will be banned from holding rallies.

Thailand's opposition is demanding that power is handed over to an interim government which would be tasked with rewriting the constitution. Meanwhile, the Shinawatra family enjoys the firm support of many rural areas.

In 2006, the military ousted Shinawatra's brother Thaksin, in a coup d'etat. This time around, the army says it is not conducting a coup, but simply protecting the public order.

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Tags: Thailand, martial law, Yingluck Shinawatra, Thaksin
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