Thailand’s military declared martial law

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Tuesday, General Prayuth Chan-Ocha defended the move as necessary to resolve the country’s political crisis. Life continues as normal in much of Bangkok. The military urged rival political groups to come together and talk. They want to prevent violence between pro- and anti-government supporters. Members of the government say they were not consulted before the decision to implement the martial law was made. Justice Minister Chaikasem Nitisiri told to media that the army’s move only relates to security. The US State Department is monitoring the situation hoping that this is a “temporary action to prevent violence, and not to undermine democratic institutions.” according its spokeswoman Jen Psaki. The six months of anti-government protests pressed the government of former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to step down. Since 1932, Thailand has faced 18 coups or coup attempts. New York-based Human Rights Watch appreciated the declaration of martial law Tuesday marks a step back in Thailand’s political process. General Prayuth Chan-Ocha, Thailand’s army head, certainly doesn’t want to be remembered in history as a coup master-in-chief, some commentators appreciated. He is due for retirement later this year.

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