Thailand lifts emergency rule in three more provinces

17:26, August 16, 2010      

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Thailand's Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on Monday has signed an order, canceling the emergency decree in three more provinces, Channel 3 Television reported.

The three provinces include the northern Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai province and the northeastern Ubon Ratchathani, the report said.

On Aug. 13, the Bangkok Post's website quoted 3rd Army Region commander Lt General Thanongsak Apirakyothin as saying that concerned agencies are capable of keeping the situation in Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai under control -- recommending the emergency decree could be lifted in these two provinces.

"Personally, I think the emergency law should be lifted to help boost the economy and tourism in these northern cities," Lt General Thanongsak said.

Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai province are famous among Thais and foreign tourists across the globe.

Meanwhile, the premier's order has left seven other provinces for remaining under the emergency rule, including capital Bangkok, the central Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi, and Samut Prakan province, and the northeastern Udon Thani, Nakhon Ratchasima, and Khon Kaen province.

The emergency decree had been first imposed in Bangkok and some nearby areas since April 7, 2010, empowering police and army to control the then mass anti-government protests.

Shortly after that the decree was expanded to cover other parts of the country and eventually the emergency rule had been imposed in totally 24 provinces of Thailand's 76 provinces, including capital Bangkok.

Later the Thai government gradually lifted the emergency rule in these provinces depending on the situation in each province.

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

Source: Xinhua


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