Thailand to lift emergency rule in Bangkok

The lifting of the decree in the last four provinces including Bangkok will be effective from Wednesday.

Thailand to lift emergency rule in Bangkok


Thailand on Tuesday said it would lift a state of emergency in Bangkok and three neighbouring areas, seven months after a bloody military crackdown on anti-government "Red Shirt" protests.

"The cabinet has agreed to lift the emergency rule in Bangkok and surrounding provinces effective Wednesday," Supachai Jaisamut, a government spokesman, told reporters.

The controversial laws were introduced in the capital in early April in response to mass rallies by the Red Shirts that ultimately left more than 90 people dead in clashes between demonstrators and the army.

Thailand's decision to end emergency rule comes as the Reds have promised to step up a new wave of street rallies, with meetings in the capital twice a month.

Despite provisions in the emergency law banning gatherings of more than five people, a demonstration on December 19 marking seven months since the crackdown on the protests attracted around 10,000 people.

The lifting of the decree in the last four provinces including Bangkok will be effective from Wednesday.

Rights groups and anti-government protesters complained the decree violated human rights and accused the authorities of abusing it to stifle political opposition and free speech.

The lifting of the decree came five days after the first meeting between Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and acting red shirt leader Thida Thavornseth to discuss bail for the movement's leaders and more than 100 others detained since May.

Thida has said the movement's immediate goal was to seek the release of the detainees. Abhisit said bail was up to the Criminal Court.


Agencies

Last Mod: 21 Aralık 2010, 15:34
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