Thai govt imposes 60-day state of emergency in Bangkok, surrounding provinces

Eurasia News

BANGKOK: The Thai government on Tuesday imposed a 60-day state of emergency in the capital Bangkok and surrounding provinces from January 22 in a bid to control the violent protests and deteriorating situation.

The emergency gave the security agencies power to impose curfews, detain suspects without charge, censor media, and ban political gatherings of more than give persons.

“We need it because the protesters have closed government buildings, banks and escalated the situation, which has caused injuries and deaths. The government sees the need to announce the emergency decree to keep the situation under control,” the country’s labour minister Chalerm Yoobamrung told a nationally televised news conference.

The minister said that the government had no plans to try to disperse protesters during the night.

The anti-government protesters led by Suthep Thaugsuban demand Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to resign as they accuse her government of being a proxy of former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, the elder brother of current PM Shinawatra.

The government came under more criticism when it tried to pass an amnesty bill in November last year which would pave the way for the Thaksin Shinawatra, ousted in 2006 by the military and in self-exile in Dubai, to return without facing any trial.