May 20, 2014
Thailand’s army has declared martial law, deploying troops in the
heart of Bangkok before dawn in an attempt to end months of political
turmoil and violence that has claimed 28 lives to date.
The army’s commander, General Prayuth Chan-ocha said the military had
stepped in to restore order, and invited both sides of the kingdom’s
bitter political divide to talks.
“We ask all sides to come and talk to find a way out for the
country,” Prayuth told reporters after meeting directors of government
agencies and other high-ranking officials.
Prayuth warned pro- and anti-government protesters to avoid violence,
and said martial law would be revoked after peace and order had been
restored. Earlier, the military insisted the intervention was not a coup
d’etat and said in a statement: “The public do not need to panic and
can continue on with normal life.”
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