The Thai military has taken control of the government in a coup, the country’s military chief announced in a national address Thursday. It’s the latest development in a chain of failed attempts to defuse tensions that have simmered since November. The discord has its roots in politics, and led to both pro- and anti-government factions to fight over the country’s leadership. Three days ago, the military imposed martial law in an attempt to end the instability, but said it was not a coup. Now, it has taken power outright. The move came after rival factions were unable to come up with a suitable agreement to govern, the military chief said. Thai military organizing political talks Life under martial law in Thailand Bangkok park at center of protests Thailand’s economy threatened by turmoil. Hours earlier, members of the military and opposition parties met for a second day to try to find a solution to the crisis in Thailand. Members of the political parties involved in the talks were seen being escorted by the military after the meeting.
In his address, the military chief told citizens that despite the coup, it should be business as usual for the public. All civil servants and officials should report to work, he said, and anyone who has weapons — such as police — should not make any attempt to move those weapons without orders.
The military also said it will provide security to foreigners, including vacationers and diplomats.
The people of Thailand are all too familiar with coups. Thursday’s coup was at least the 19th actual or attempted military takeover since Thailand became a constitutional monarchy in 1932.