Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Martial law in Thailand

Martial law is military law - it is when the military takes over a society. Usually the military claims that martial law is necessary to maintain order or to ensure (make sure of) safety.

The Prime Minister of Thailand, Yingluck Shinawatra, had been a controversial person (a controversial person is someone who is admired by some but hated by others - someone who causes strong debates or arguments).  Many poor farmers supported her and believed that she was trying to help them gain their rights and to live better. However, many city-dwellers felt this Prime Minister was corrupt (dishonest) and opposed her.  She was recently removed from office due to a court decision and this has lead to unrest in the country (unrest, basically, means trouble).

Indeed, Shinawatra was removed from power after her political enemies brought charges (complaints) against her.  Many of her supporters and others outside of Thailand believe she may have been innocent and that the process was anti-democratic (against democratic laws).

There are many good vocabulary words in this following article.

Here is an article about the situation:

Vocabulary to help you understand the article:

to impose - to put into effect, to start something

tense - if a situation is tense, it means that people are scared and nervous because something terrible might happen

violence has spilled into the streets - here is an example of how language can be used figuratively.  You literally spill water when you tip a glass of water over.  In this case they are saying (figuratively) that violence is spilling into the streets, like water or any other liquid.  This means the violence is uncontrollable and spreading.

underscoring - underlining, highlighting, making something more apparent or obvious

instability - the lack of security or stability or safety

unilaterally - by itself

coup d'etat - this is when the military takes over a government by force

a ticker - this is a text that runs along the bottom of the TV screen

to panic - to get overly excited and act without thinking

a constitutional monarchy - a country that has a king but also a constitution (a central system of laws)

imposition - placing, putting

restraint - not taking violent action, showing calm, not doing something harmful

utmost - the very most

refrain from - don't do something

turmoil - trouble

abusing power - not using power responsibly, using power for one's own good

alleging - claiming, stating

ascension - rise

disrupted - interrupted

invalid - not legitimate, not right

protesters - people who publicly and forcefully complain about something

to take to the streets - to go into the public areas to complain

botched - messed up; if something is botched, it didn't work

an amnesty bill - basically a law to forgive someone for something he/she did in the past

a tycoon - a very wealthy person

to be ousted - to be kicked out

self-imposed exile - choosing to live outside of one's own country

tension - conflict

vehemently - passionately, with deep emotion

calling the shots - making decisions

volatile - changeable, not stable, things can change from one minute to the next

precarious - dangerous, risky

evenhanded - fair

preempt - prevent

rallies - gatherings of people

a check and balance system - a system to make sure nobody gets too much power

surged - increased

to foresee - to look forward in time

ratchet up - make things more severe or worse; a ratchet is a tool, like a wrench

a bias - a prejudice

to haunt - to remain and cause trouble, like a ghost

stark - very plain and obvious and harsh

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