All you need to know about the crisis in Thailand
Thailand’s army on Tuesday declared martial law to quell unrest across the country.
What led to this drastic move? We break it down for you.
1. The political crisis has its roots in the 2006 military overthrow of tycoon-turned-premier Thaksin Shinawatra, who is now in self-imposed exile to avoid jail for a corruption conviction.
2. Demonstrations start after Thailand’s lower house passed a controversial amnesty bill, which critics said could allow Mr Thaksin to return without serving time in jail.
3. The bill is rejected by the Senate, but protests continue.
4. Then-prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra calls for early elections, but demonstrators disrupt the voting process. The elections is annulled by the court.
5. The court removes Yingluck and several cabinet ministers from office. A caretaker premier is appointed.
6. Nearly 30 people have been killed in attacks and clashes in the past six months.
7. The army declares martial law “to restore peace and order", deploying troops in central Bangkok and censoring the media.
Who are these protesters?
"Red Shirts" are pro-government supporters loyal to Thaksin. They are mainly rural workers from outside Bangkok, but also include include students, left-wing activists and some business people who see the recent events as a threat to democracy.
Mr Thaksin is very popular among the rural farmers and urban working class because he initiated policies that benefited them.
“Yellow Shirts” are anti-government supporters united by their dislike for Thaksin. They are a mix of royalists, southerners and the urban middle class.
Is this a coup?
The army said the move was "not a coup". But Thailand has seen 18 actual or attempted military takeovers since 1932.
Thailand’s army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha said rival political groups should talk to each other and that the martial law would last until peace and order has been restored.
Source: AFP, Reuters, BBC News