Thailand declares state of emergency due to prolonged mass protests

7 years ago by in South East Asia

Thailand on Tuesday declared a state of emergency for the next two months in Bangkok and the areas around the capital as the local politicians are trying to deal with the mass protests aimed at removing the government.

Any violent action of the army against the protesters was banned, as the government is trying to avoid the situation that occurred in 2010, when dozens of people were killed in a bloody military crackdown during a similar protest against the previous government.

The mass demonstrations that last for two months now have blocked major parts of the capital and included violent attacks, such as using grenades and shooting.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said there was no plan to give the army a leading role under the decree, which will come into force from Wednesday.

“That is why we are focusing on the police force, to avoid violence like in 2010,” she said, according to the international press. “The authorities will start with negotiations.”

The Prime Minister did not give any clear details regarding how the government would implement the emergency decree, which enables authorities to impose a curfew, ban public gatherings of more than five people, detain suspects for 30 days without charge and censor media.

“We will not use force. We have no policy to disperse them (the protesters) and we have not announced a curfew yet,” said Labour Minister Chalerm Yubamrung, who will oversee its implementation.

Yingluck has called an election for February 2 but the main opposition party is boycotting the vote.