The Thailand military, led by General Prayuth Chan-ocha, has declared martial law on Tuesday in what it claims is “not a coup” but an attempt to bring “peace and order” back to the southeast Asian country amid deep political divisions.

Troops have taken to the streets of Bangkok, shut down key television and radio stations, and asked demonstators on both sides of the political divide to refrain from demonstrating so that talks between the two sides can resume.

“The royal Thai army intends to bring back peace and order to the beloved country of every Thai as soon as possible,” said Prayuth in a statement to reporters in the capital. “We intend to see the situation resolved quickly.”

“We ask all sides to come and talk to find a way out for the country,” Prayuth added.

According to the The Bangkok Post, the general said the nation’s political crisis had reached a point where the military was compelled, citing its authority under the nation’s Martial Law Act, to “suppress armed elements and war weapons.”

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