China-Vietnam: Update. Almost 2,000 Chinese citizens were evacuated from Vietnam aboard two Chinese ships on Monday, with another two ships en route. The passenger ships Wuzhishan and Tongguling left the central Vietnamese port of Vung Ang, each carrying more than 900 evacuees, according to Xinhua.
Thailand: The Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Army, General Prayuth Chan-ocha, declared martial law throughout Thailand on the morning of 20 May. The text of his announcement follows.
"Following a series of protests by different political groups throughout Bangkok, its suburb, and other locations in the country, groups of ill-intending individuals have stirred up violence and widely used heavy weapons against people as well as caused damage to important places. This situation has continually resulted in the death and injury of innocent people, loss of property, and points to a tendency that chaos and severe disorder will erupt in various places - a scenario that will affect national and public security. In order to facilitate an effective peace keeping mission and quickly restore peace and order to people of all sides, referring to Article 2 and Article 4 of Martial Law 2004, martial law is now enacted in all areas of the country effective 20 May 2014 at 0300 (2000 GMT 19 May). This announcement is being made on 20 May 2014."
"The army is determined to restore peace and order in our beloved country as quickly as possible. I request that people from all sides stop their movements so that all can quickly enter the process that will bring about a sustainable solution to the problems the nation is currently facing. Announcements will be made later on to provide details for the rules and regulations under martial law. I urge the public to stay calm and continue their daily activities and work normally. The army is determined to quickly ease the situation. Good bye."
Thai newspapers subsequently published the details of rules and regulations, which include a long list of road closures to prevent public marches and demonstrations.
One order set up a peacekeeping command to replace the Centre for the Administration of Peace and Order. Army chief General Prayuth is the chief of the peacekeeping command, which will have the authority to summon individuals for interrogation and deliver documents and evidence to the judicial authorities.
The peacekeeping command also has the authority to demand that the Internal Security Operations Command, the Royal Thai Police, the army, the navy, the air force, the Interior Ministry and other government agencies support its operations.
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