Thai Military Declares Martial Law

    Thai soldiers man a checkpoint near pro-government "red shirt" supporters encampment in suburbs of Bangkok May 20, 2014. Thailand's army declared martial law nationwide on Tuesday to restore order after six months of street protests that have left the country without a proper functioning government, but denied that the surprise move amounted to a military coup. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj (THAILAND - Tags: SOCIETY CIVIL UNREST MILITARY POLITICS) - RTR3PXNT

    Damir Sagolj/Reuters

    On Tuesday, the Thai army imposed martial law, but denies that it is leading a coup against the government. Forces moved into the main government building in Bangkok, which has not been occupied for months due to political clashes, and blocked roads to the capital. The military also took over radio and television stations and instituted media censorship. The army ran a ticker on its TV channel proclaiming its intentions “to maintain peace, order and public safety for all groups and all parties,” but also stressed “declaring martial law is not a coup d’état.” However, there is evidence to the contrary. Reportedly,  embattled Prime Minister Niwattumrong Boonsongpaisan was not aware of the takeover. “They took this action unilaterally,” said one of his aides, who considers it a “half a coup d’état.”

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