Thailand Military Seized Power in Half-Coup
Thailand’s military instituted what is being called a “Half Coup,” after declaring martial law in a in Bangkok before dawn on Tuesday, May 19, 2014. This military takeover intensifies the troubled southeast Asian nation’s ongoing political crisis.
This military takeover of Thailand occurred after several months of anti-government demonstrations designed to oust the government. This military action came only one day after the Thailand’s country’s interim prime minister refused to step down.
The army said in a statement that the military had taken the action to “keep peace and order” and soldiers entered several private television stations in the capital.
A news crawler on Channel 5, an army station, also denied the military was taking over and asked the Thai public not to panic.
Thailand’s army has staged at 11 successful coups since the end of absolute monarchy in 1932.
The military statement was signed by army chief General Prayuth Chan-Ocha. The military document cited a 1914 law that gives it authority to intervene during times of crisis, and said it had taken the action because on-going mass rallies between political rivals “could impact the country’s security and safety of the lives and properties of the public.”
Video of Thailand General’s Military Coup Announcement