Thailand army declares martial law, denies coup under way

Of course it’s not a coup. Why would anyone think that? I’m sure you can keep your dictator if you like your dictator.
Check it out:

Thailand’s powerful army declared martial law Tuesday and deployed troops into the heart of Bangkok in a dramatic move it said was aimed at stabilizing the Southeast Asian country after six months of turbulent political unrest. The military insisted a coup d’etat was not underway.

The surprise, pre-dawn operation, which places the army in charge of public security nationwide, came amid deepening uncertainty over the nation’s fate and one day after the caretaker prime minister refused to step down in the face of long-running anti-government protests.

Although soldiers entered multiple television stations to broadcast the army message, life in the vast skyscraper-strewn metropolis of 10 million people remained largely unaffected, with schools, businesses and tourist sites open and traffic flowing as usual.

In front of one of the country’s most luxurious shopping malls, bystanders gawked at soldiers in jeeps mounted with machine guns who briefly diverted traffic. The mood wasn’t tense; passers-by stopped to take cell phone pictures of the soldiers.



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