Ban urges respect of democratic principles as army imposes martial law

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. © UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras (file photo)

20 May 2014 – Urging constructive dialogue to end the prolonged political statement in Thailand, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today reiterated his call on all parties to exercise “utmost restraint” in the wake of the army’s declaration of martial law in the country.

“The Secretary-General is closely following the latest developments in Thailand, where the army declared martial law [today],” said a statement issued by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson in New York.

According to news reports, months of unrest have again erupted into protests in Thailand. Protests began in late 2013, with demonstrators calling for the ouster of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s administration and implementation of anti-corruption reforms. On May 7, Ms. Shinawatra reportedly was removed from Government after a ruling by the Thai Constitutional Court.

Today’s statement says that Mr. Ban has consistently called on all sides to work together to seek a solution to the prolonged political stalemate through constructive dialogue.

“The way to secure Thailand's peace and prosperity is through full respect for democratic principles and engagement in democratic processes,” the statement continues, and adds: “The Secretary-General urges all sides to exercise utmost restraint, refrain from any violence and fully respect human rights.”