Army Enacts Martial Law in Thailand

Citizens take selfies with soldiers in bloodless takeover.
14:49 | 05/20/14

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Transcript for Army Enacts Martial Law in Thailand
Don't call it -- a military takeover in Thailand without stealing any blood. The army -- it once and six months of protests and hold new elections. Right -- international hot spot Bangkok Thailand hello. The New York Thailand under the control of the military. But the army -- it's not a clue what's more surprising is the reaction of the people in Bangkok. Folks in Thailand reacting to the military takeover by taking -- -- But calm nature of the non -- has led to hundreds of people lining up -- barricades with. -- fees taken with the soldiers the army says it declared martial law because of the street protests that have lasted more than six months. And without a proper functioning government the military says it wants to restore order to the country. The BBC's Jenna Fischer has this report from Bangkok. Office seven months of demonstrations on the streets of the Thai capital. The army decided it's it's seen enough. In the early hours of this morning troops who've been. Blocking Bangkok's streets surrounding protest sites and occupying television stations. Good I got -- -- what the will liberalize. Army commander -- -- channel chip declared that Marshall -- had been introduced. To prevent bloodshed and to restore stability he said. He stopped short of announcing it to. But the military is now firmly in charge and the status of the elected government they week. It's not clear what fools the army's hands but as -- protests have drank don't. They become and the more violent and unpredictable. This week the leader of the anti government movement -- -- -- to oaks -- called for a final battle. In what has become an increasingly desperate attempt to seize power. Many of his supporters -- wealthy Bangkok residents and they see politics as having been hopelessly corrupted. By the former prime minister tanks and -- -- law. Two weeks ago a court force tanks -- -- being left to step down. But the protests have continued. And much will now depend on how the government supports his finale camps outside Banco. Respond to the army's news. But now there is an almost eerie calm here. Many of the soldiers but tens of barracks and on the set this at least this is that very discreet. Form of -- lol. But having decided to step in. The onus is now very much on the Thai -- -- to -- -- -- some sort of way out of Thailand's political crisis. Jenna -- BBC news bank. And we are joined now by Financial Times Bangkok regional correspondent Michael -- via sky high school. Com at the moment in Bangkok's but will it stay that way. Well this is the big question to you troops -- -- this morning that Marshall -- and it did today was actually pretty normal people. Four industries like being as usual. Which I think people would have expected because of course the army ordered. Christmas assault to TV station -- from both sides. And it will apply the Aaron and general say this is all about Tbilisi and ending this -- -- This country. But -- -- To be -- make ends today. -- -- Going to be -- -- box -- that seem to be biased in favor one side and of course traditionally this scene is very much leaning towards the opposition -- anti government protests as. That we could see troubles come out of -- Some people are unhappy that sweeping house Chang who -- you can itself. Under the -- -- yet with all of that going on you mentioned many things seem normal including people going out and taking -- fees with the military. Yeah. Oh yeah well this is very much Gina. -- crisis. B. All treat to keep the opposition. -- hotline call. And it is also on institute gravity sometimes. Separate as they try to plug -- ground and you know -- gets the top of the rankings. Oh -- that's been something. That. I don't know it threw a -- islands. These -- I think that's. It's just a strange crisis because. Jobs. Well well oh on the one cent on the wanhatten. People talk about Podemus proceeding and prosecution. Were -- -- to bed actually you can events here. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Serious grenade and gun attacks. Sounds no one's about breast and held accountable for this and united artists -- -- feeling net. The -- nor is this is is released its slightly away. And all of that of course taking place right now but six months ago those intense rallies in crackdowns began why -- the military waited so long to react. Well the Miller. Tree. Historically it's been great how awful -- There are fewer than eighteen times its next that he -- it and attempted to -- -- actually more often -- -- it's it's been successful. She's changed acquittals in 2006. Which is last you're here it would military outs it talks should know what -- You once you. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- And so -- He was familiar by the military and I think they felt burned by because today. Got a lot of criticism about -- -- -- outside Thailand. I don't also. -- 088. Streaks spots so -- rich yet you -- Royals to this tax is -- broadly. One must become real -- type politics and I think that they feel it into being directly again it will be blames. -- it's wrong to its previously. He doesn't -- that crisis it's just -- Let Syria the installation. A very unstable opposition governments and battle ended -- 2010. Tax supports itself to cut us all men treat -- -- and Batman. -- schools people so I think that scene commanders once -- you. Employees and -- citizens are passing consideration. As seen in other countries -- It said something alien military Putin has branded as such then that can create problems for example. Getting eight from united states military aid because the appropriations there are about what happens. Things. Putin country. -- states -- this military says it simpler reasons that the general's opinion that. -- -- -- -- You -- Michael Red Shirts and we see in the protests in the rallies this feud between the Red Shirts and the yellow shirts what did they represent. Well. The Ellen show -- brutally immediately opposition statement. Is back exploit the country's traditional establishments and its allies. It's not quite -- simple -- -- they. Packing stuff. Some -- All wealthy Thais. Spots and it's cool you very much present fuel royalist minute interests. Eaton and emerge from that. In Europe. Futile -- monarchy. Is -- time. TCU. This is a very powerful. It's. All -- yeah. Maintains control. That countries. Main institutions not so -- this crisis that is just actually military actions that cool speech sacks. Three prime minister is six years. It's one of them taking money for comparing what concrete TV shows and -- pretty pretty extraordinary democracy corps is waiting ends up take out that. -- on the other side due out this quote rich astute. Who were loose its prominence. Since the arrival. At the scene toxic Shinawatra actors ops -- -- -- telecoms -- Basically. Realized. It's easy to get power in Thailand feelings. I asked -- or rules base the pretty much ignored government -- as an increase the tax successful so the policies such as subsidized health care. -- subsidies micro credit so. Two contests you one an election victory in 2000 -- Passions. His parties parties yet have what it reelection this -- sentence. -- Traditional bullies days stretching Saturday here at so this thinking well how whom we and our. Action it's appropriate to use so what has happened -- -- is that. You've seen the army the -- commuting game. It's taking out protects government and military to acts of judicial issues. It was hot and happens is if they stools. -- ships. Each facts. Politicians. Is it loses an election the tax cut back it's time scientists up. Cycle country as. Pretty DNC Christ's church it's this is about the kind of society. Items. What's the -- sports siege and about how how its streets didn't -- axis. Country so of course you know the military calling that martial law -- was very much a part of Thailand's history what do you think will happen in the coming weeks. Wells. A couple of directions. Go and the benign. View of what's happened. Is that. -- military says at face value currency. That will now clueless -- period temperatures -- Some kind of political mediation. That. These. Crisis gets back on the track. Actual negotiation about -- than violence on the streets. But he's pretty hot -- happening -- two sites you very entrenched. Positions. And it's it's really tough to see it so compromiser stops being married citizens -- here. Less benign interpretation is -- The military has done is actually. Generals tonight -- is actually -- Orchestrates it. Tends. Thailand's. -- -- slow motion in state. Squeezed life and how this government which is we've already culpable Rick six months protests. Speak crippled but courts and government try to halt reflection are read the opposition. -- -- -- and then calls -- annul the election saying well because the election. Elements -- but its opposition seven. -- elections scratch which some -- it is -- it was effective beginning green lights and protect Estes Steve. It's to sabotage elections and expects we have very today that democracy. Thailand's Senate. -- another scenario it is possible couldn't play house. Here and -- states use its east its hearts CE. Which way. But at the same time he clearly. -- worries about. Understandably the military has -- power -- sleeping. It's which is promised huge responsibly. But of course we peers in other places that -- the reality is that it's -- something different. Michael real quickly the limited and a real quickly give me -- -- -- -- how old. Big of a role do you think social media is -- in this with the world watching. He -- important and it's you tie users as hungry as anyone else but social media. Two. In a sense that it does this site you Richards feels that -- happens to -- because the the army has concentrated on -- TV stations. So far. Which should you know it's not 1990 senator. So club social media ceased working fine and if you are debating this since you heard all -- violence and I think you know one of the worries people as well we've seen this in other countries split in uprisings crisis government. The military is just sites and block. Based twists or whatever when did entire Internet service. -- -- Willis happening yet dozens signed it yet. It was still. That's it's ready for dozens. This new world -- or. Michael feel from the Financial Times thank you for joining us. And you can keep up with this story in real time by downloading the ABC news that -- -- this story for exclusive updates on the go. You've been watching international hot spot on Michelle Franzen in New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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