Thai army declares martial law, takes control of media

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Thai armyThailand’s army on Tuesday morning declared martial law across the crisis-shaken country “to restore order” following months of anti-government protests that have left 28 people dead and hundreds wounded.

An announcement on military-run television said martial law had been invoked “to restore peace and order for people from all sides”, stressing that the move “is not a coup”.

The new Peace Keeping Command Center (PKCC) of the army has shut down 10 satellite TV stations and unlicensed community radio stations of both sides of the political spectrum until further notice “to ensure propagated news is accurate and not distorted which may create misunderstanding and escalate conflicts”.

The declaration of martial law must be “temporary and not undermine democracy”, the US said in a first reaction, adding that it was concerned about the political crisis in Thailand and urges “all parties to respect democratic principles, including respect for freedom of speech,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement.

Martial law gives the army control over security, but leaves the government in command of other tasks, unlike a coup. Thailand has witnessed 18 coups in the past eight decades.

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Reading Time: 1 minute

Thailand’s army on Tuesday morning declared martial law across the crisis-shaken country “to restore order” following months of anti-government protests that have left 28 people dead and hundreds wounded.

Reading Time: 1 minute

Thai armyThailand’s army on Tuesday morning declared martial law across the crisis-shaken country “to restore order” following months of anti-government protests that have left 28 people dead and hundreds wounded.

An announcement on military-run television said martial law had been invoked “to restore peace and order for people from all sides”, stressing that the move “is not a coup”.

The new Peace Keeping Command Center (PKCC) of the army has shut down 10 satellite TV stations and unlicensed community radio stations of both sides of the political spectrum until further notice “to ensure propagated news is accurate and not distorted which may create misunderstanding and escalate conflicts”.

The declaration of martial law must be “temporary and not undermine democracy”, the US said in a first reaction, adding that it was concerned about the political crisis in Thailand and urges “all parties to respect democratic principles, including respect for freedom of speech,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement.

Martial law gives the army control over security, but leaves the government in command of other tasks, unlike a coup. Thailand has witnessed 18 coups in the past eight decades.

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