Pray for Thailand

Thailand Coup

By a Converge worker in Bangkok

Early Monday morning (May 20), martial law was declared in Thailand. Eighteen times since 1932 a coup has been attempted―some succeed, some fail―in Thailand. The Thai military insists this is not a coup but simply an opportunity for all protesters and politicians on all sides to pull back and start again. The military will try to draw the leaders from the many different sides together to try to forge some kind of plan for how to end the crisis that has gripped the country since November.

What affect does marital law have on those of us serving in Thailand? As of now, none. Reports of violence? Since November when the protests first started, 28 protesters have been killed and more than 700 wounded, but reports that indicate that Thailand is strife-torn or that lead one to believe there are guns and tanks, grenades and bombs exploding everywhere are greatly exaggerating reality. The military has stepped in to try to bring some order to the past eight months of political chaos. Currently, the Thai government is crippled. The Prime Minister dissolved the House of Representatives late last year and called for elections to be held February 2, making her the interim leader of a government with limited powers.

Due to protests, many who wanted to run for office could not even get to the designated places to register their candidacy, and on election day many voters were denied the opportunity to vote. Citing those reasons, the courts nullified the results of the February election a few weeks ago. The Prime Minister (who was still leading the interim government) was removed by a judicial ruling earlier this month along with some of her cabinet members, meaning the interim government had to be led by a different interim "head" (not even called prime minister). With escalating protests and seemingly no way to move ahead, the military invoked martial law to try to find a way to bring some order back to the country and the government. Some time will need to be given to see if the military is successful in reaching their goal, perhaps as long as six months.

Pray for peace and a way out for the government, the protesters and for all Thai.

Update: The Thai military has declared a coup effective about 16 hours ago (Thursday, May 22). All educational institutions are closed Friday, May 23, as well as many other government enterprises (like banks). There is a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew. The coup follows two days of unsuccessfully trying to get the different factions who have been protesting or trying to govern for the last seven months to agree on a plan for a way out of the political stalemate.

    Point - September 2018

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