State of emergency in Thai capital lifted
THAILAND: Thailand’s caretaker government lifted a state of emergency
in the capital Sunday, nearly two weeks after it was declared following
clashes between pro- and anti-government protesters.
“We have analysed that the situation is less serious and if we still
maintain the state of emergency, it might damage the country,” acting
prime minister Somchai Wongsawat told a press conference.
The emergency in Bangkok was declared on September 2 after
anti-government protesters besieging the then prime minister’s offices
clashed with his supporters in violence that left one person dead and
In a twist to the political turmoil, powerful army chief General
Anupong Paojinda refused to evict the anti-government protesters.
Instead the general and Thai industry leaders last week called for an
end to emergency rule.
Industry leaders said it was eroding confidence among foreign
investors and had caused problems in at least 21 industrial sectors
including in tourism, exports, logistics, clothing and printing.
The protesters have been demanding the resignation of prime minister
Samak Sundaravej, who had refused to bow to their demands.
Instead the Constitutional Court stripped him of his powers last
week, ruling he had illegally accepted payments for hosting TV cooking
The ruling People Power Party and its coalition partners plan to
nominate a new candidate for premier in parliament on Wednesday when a
vote will then be taken by lawmakers. But demonstrators who have
squatted on the grounds of Government House since August 26 have vowed
to stay as long as the ruling party remains in charge.
Bangkok, Sunday, AFP