Thailand is a country in the grip of political turmoil at the moment. After months of angry, violent protests over the handling of Government, the Thai Military moved in to Bangkok three days ago to secure key areas of the city. Now the military has scaled up its operations into a full-blown coup, seizing control of the country in an attempt to provide some semblance of stability.
The military moved quickly to gain rule over the nation in a bloodless coup and added to the impositions placed upon the nation’s people on top of the martial law that was declared when soldiers advanced on the capital. Thai’s army chief, General Prayuth Chanocha now heads up the council that effectively runs the country, and has requested several key figures to report to the military – among them deposed Prime Minister Niwattumrong Boonsongpaisan.
The military council immediately suspended the country’s constitution and imposed a strict curfew on the entire nation that lasts between 10pm and 5am daily, which has thrown the tourism and travel industries into chaos, as no travel can take place between those times. The curfew applies to all people in Thailand, including foreign residents and tourists. Though army spokesmen have called for calm, and insisted people should go about their lives as normal. The restrictions imposed by the military have also banned any gatherings of larger than 5 people.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has advised tourists in Thailand to pay close attention to their personal security, and to avoid any areas of protest. The department has advised that the curfew does not apply to anyone travelling to or from an airport, and that passengers should carry their passport and ticket with them when in transit.
The Red Shirt pro-government groups present in Thailand have issued warnings of violent retaliation to the move, with threats being posted on social media.
The Thai Military coup is expected to be condemned by many nations across the globe, including Australia.
Photo: Rufus Cox via Getty Images.