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बेसिक इंग्लिश का दूसरा सत्र (कक्षा प्रारंभ : 22 अक्तूबर, शाम 3:30 से 5:30)
Army Declares Martial Law in Thailand
May 21, 2014

Thailand's army has declared martial law, and while its generals continued to insist they have not staged a coup, they showed they were in control of key levers of power. The army did not inform the caretaker government of its plan to declare martial law. It also ordered 10 TV channels to stop broadcasting.

Army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha said the military had stepped in to restore order and build investor confidence, and warned that troops would take action against anyone who threatened security. He said martial law would continue as long as necessary.

The army offered to mediate between pro and anti-government protesters after six months standoff between the two sides. The army asked all sides to come and talk to find a way out for the country.

Caretaker prime minister, Niwattumrong Boonsongpaisan, who had refused to protesters' demands to step down, called for a meeting of his cabinet at an undisclosed location. He also called for the army to be unbiased, but has little else. The education minister criticised the imposition of martial law, saying it would not solve Thailand's political crisis.

Anti-government protest leaders welcomed the army's intervention. The streets of Bangkok were reported to be relatively calm despite a heavy military presence around the city. The UK's foreign office warned tourists to allow extra time for travel in Thailand.

The pro-government Red Shirt movement called on the generals to hold elections as soon as possible. The United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) also called for the military to free up the shutdown TV stations.

Rights campaigners expressed alarm at the apparent coup. Human Rights Watch said the military should return power to a civilian government immediately. The International Federation of Journalists accused the military of crippling and trying to silence the media.

The US expressed concern for Thailand's democratic institutions and echoed international calls for restraint. The US embassy in Bangkok said: "We expect the Army to honour its commitment to make this a temporary action to prevent violence, and to not undermine democratic institutions.

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