Thai PM: State of emergency to remain in Bangkok, but may be lifted in 23 provinces

16:13, July 01, 2010      

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The state of emergency should be retained in Thailand's capital Bangkok and may be lifted in the other 23 provinces if the situation has returned to normal, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said on Thursday, the Bangkok Post's website reported.

Abhisit said he agreed with Deputy Prime Minister in charge of security affairs Suthep Thaugsuban, who is director of the Centre for the Resolution of Emergency Situation (CRES), who said earlier Bangkok was still risky of violent attacks by anti-government elements.

Suthep had raised this matter for discussion at previous CRES meetings, Col. Sansern Kaewkamnerd, the CRES spokesman, said.

It was agreed at the meetings that the state of emergency should be lifted in as many areas as possible with a condition that after the emergency decree was no longer imposed the efficiency of authorities responsible for security must remain unchanged, the CRES spokesman, said.

National Security Council chief Thawil Pliensri, as secretary- general of the CRES, would on Friday, June 2, look into the possibility of revoking the emergency decree in certain provinces by taking all factors concerned into consideration, Col. Sansern said.

On July 2, the NSC chief was expected to decide on where the decree should be lifted and reach a conclusion on July 5 before submitting a proposal to the cabinet for a final decision on July 6, he said.

The assessment on the situation will be made before the state of emergency will complete its 3-month term of the enforcement on July 7.

Though the anti-government protests ended on May 19, the government has still maintained its enforcement of the state of emergency in order to ensure security for the public.

The state of emergency has been imposed from April 7, 2010, in 24 provinces of Thailand's 76 provinces, empowering the police and army to control the then anti-government protests.

The death toll from a series of violent clashes between the " red-shirt" protestors and troops during March 12 to May 19 stood at 88 as some 1,885 others were wounded.

Source: Xinhua


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