Bangkok, Thailand – Since May 22, Thailand has been under martial law.
Just months before his retirement, Thai army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha declared a military coup as an attempt to end the unrest that has sent Thailand’s economy into freefall. It is Thailand’s 12th sucessful military coup since 1932.
A day after his decision, around 500 people defied the law to express their outrage over the military takeover. In the past two days, the soldiers dismantled the pro-government Red Shirt protest camp in the outskirts of Bangkok as well as the anti-government camp site in the heart of the capital.
Except for the affected areas, there was no visible military presence in the streets. Traffic was lighter than usual and schools across the country were closed, but life in Bangkok appeared relatively normal.
The army’s action has received international condemnation, and US Secretery of State John Kerry declared in a press statement: “While we value our long friendship with the Thai people, this act will have negative implications for the US-Thai relationship, especially our relationship with the Thai military.”