A week and a half ago, it looked like the Thai political crisis (which has been like an extremely low-level civil war fought almost entirely in Bangkok—sometimes by rural people from each side of the divide being trucked into the city to fortify the ranks—with big protests, Occupy-style campouts in the streets, and surprisingly few deaths given how many guns we've been seeing in protest photos) was coming to an end. A court ordered Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and several of her ministers to step down, which seemed like endgame and that the protesters had won. (Which would probably come as a relief to most business interests, since the unrest has caused greater damage to the Thai economy than was previously estimated.)
Now, in a four-sentence bulletin, the Associated Press reports that martial law has been declared and it's unclear whether there's a coup underway.
Which reminds me of this Tweet from a few months ago, an example of the covert gunmen running around the barricades.
ชัดๆ อีกภาพ #ชายชุดดำ ถือปืนยาว ไล่ยิงคนบนถนน pic.twitter.com/3FrsKC5DBD
— ThaiFreeNews (@thomasFATCAT) February 1, 2014
"Don't worry about me/foreigners," writes Our Man in Thailand, emphasizing that both sides of this fight have been careful to keep the violence Thai-on-Thai. "But this is causing more concern than anything I've seen for months. I'll send a report when I hear anything. So far, no one knows anything—even why this happened. But it does not bode well."