It was reported that today on the 22nd of May 2014, that the Thai military took control of the country. CNN has stated that CNN TV has been taken off the air in Thailand and that the “people of Thailand deserve to know what is happening in their own country, and CNN is committed to telling them”. According to a report by BBC News Asia, army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha said that the constitution had been suspended but vowed to restore order and enact political reforms.
A nationwide curfew has been put in place between the hours of 22:00 and 05:00 where no one is allowed to leave their homes, all television broadcasting has been suspended and political gatherings have been banned.
Thailand has experienced 32 coups since 1932 and over the past months political turmoil has reached boiling point. Unrest began last year in 2013 when then-Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra attempted to dissolve the lower house of parliament which many saw as a gross abuse of power. This view was justified earlier in May with the court-ordered removal of Yingluck for abusing her position as Prime Minister. Al Jazeera has reported that demonstrating protesters had been cleared away from various sites around Thailand. Tensions between “Red Shirts” and “Yellow Shirts”, so named for the colour of their attire, led to the military imposing martial law on Tuesday. The “Red Shirts” support the government that has been in power which tend to be supported by the majority of the population of Thailand, mostly situated in rural areas. The “Yellow Shirts” are in anti-government and are mostly supported by the urban population of Thailand. The “Yellow Shirts” are of the view that the previous Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who is the brother of Yingluck Shinawatra, still has too much influence on politics and that the “Shinawatra legacy” is one rife with corruption.
It is unclear what will happen to these opposing factions now that the military has taken control. Many suspect that they will support the “Yellow Shirts”. This could lead to another “Red Shirt” rebellion similar to the one that took place in 2010 in which 90 people were killed in Bangkok’s central business district.
The story continues.