|General Main Aung Hlaing with Thai coup leaders.|
The Thai military staged a coup on May 22, claiming to restore peace and order after months of protests against the elected government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. In reality, it was a military scheme to take control of politics ahead of an uncertain royal succession. In the process, it destroyed democratic institutions and violated the people’s human rights.
Immediately after the coup, an army of Western countries voiced their concern about the disappearance of democratic space. Subsequently, they imposed “soft sanctions,” with the United States suspending its financial support for the Thai military and the European Union freezing all cooperation with the kingdom.