Martial rule to prevent bloodsheds: Thai army chief

Updated: 2014-05-21 09:26


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Martial rule to prevent bloodsheds: Thai army chief

Thai Army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha arrives before a meeting with high ranking officials at the Army Club, after the army declared martial law nationwide to restore order in Bangkok, May 20, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]

BANGKOK - The martial rule currently imposed in Thailand was primarily designed to prevent street chaos and bloodsheds, said army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha on Tuesday.

Martial rule to prevent bloodsheds: Thai army chief
Thailand's army declares martial law

The martial law, declared by the army chief at 3 am Tuesday and effective throughout the country, was basically meant to keep opposing sides of society from clashing with each other or triggering civil war, according to Gen Prayuth.

"We ask all sides to come and talk to find a way out for the country," Prayuth told reporters after meeting directors of government agencies and other high-ranking officials.

However, no curfew will be declared under the Martial Act of 1914 in any part of the capital or anywhere else for the time being, according to the army chief.

The army chief, who replaced the caretaker government's Center for the Administration of Peace and Order with an army-led peacekeeping command which he himself heads, called on Thai media to practice "self-censorship" to avoid possibilities of instigating social panic and turbulences.

Military officials said they were not interfering with the caretaker government, but ministers were not informed of the army's plan before an announcement on television.

A dozen TV stations, especially those known to be practically aligned with either the anti-government or pro-government side, were stopped under martial rule from airing political news reporting and commentary programs on temporary basis.

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