THE Thai army, as most commentators in the region had predicted, has finally taken the first decisive step towards staging yet another coup to oust a democratically elected government. On May 20, an announcement on the Army run radio, said that the country was placed under martial law. The media has been put under strict censorship. The army spokesman specified that the civilian government would be allowed to function under the current caretaker ministry. The justice minister, Chalkasem Nitisri, has said that the army had taken the step without consulting the government.