BANGKOK, May 20. /ITAR-TASS/. The peacekeeping command that undertook security enforcement has announced introduction of censorship in the media.
“It is prohibited in any format and by means of any sources to spread news that distort the facts, make calls for uprising, lead to misunderstanding by the people and may negatively affect the peacekeeping measures being taken,” the official statement of the peacekeeping command says. Earlier, the servicemen have also obliged all local media to spread their own statements.
“The broadcasting of satellite channels shall be stopped in order to prevent misconception and distortion of information,” the official statement says. In Thailand, there are satellite channels supporting the government and channels supporting the opposition.
According to Thai media reports, the military have set checkpoints near the offices of all TV and radio outlets in Bangkok.
The peacekeeping command in Thailand has ordered protesters in Bangkok not to leave the areas occupied earlier. A relevant order of Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, who leads the peacekeeping command in the country, has been circulated by local media.
No orders or bans on mass rallies have been spread.
Protests in Thailand are continuing for more than 6 months. During this time, 28 people died and over 800 were wounded. The official forecast of Thailand’s GDP growth has been decreased by two times amid the unrest.
More about the political crisis in Thailand
The leaders of pro-government and anti-government movements have stated that they are set to stay at areas occupied earlier in Bangkok.
Anti-government protesters have cancelled protest marches on the capital’s streets and are expecting further decisions of their leaders. Eyewitnesses say police was replaced by enforced military patrols near the sites of protest.
General Prayuth Chan-ocha has declared about the introduction of martial law in Thailand early on Tuesday, May 20. In his televised address, the general stated that issues of security were were passing from the governmental Law Enforcement Center, which would be disbanded, to the peacekeeping command. Prayuth Chan-ocha personally headed this group.
The martial law gives the armed forces in Thailand the right to impose a curfew, censorship in media, to ban mass rallies, carry out arrests, apply weapons in case of unrest, as well as to mobilize civilians.
The army-controlled Fifth national channel stressed that “the introduction of martial law does not mean a state coup happened in Thailand”. The country’s government continues performing its duties, but security issues will be now fully controlled by the army.