Cabinet to consider lifting emergency decree next week


BANGKOK, March 14 – National Security Council (NSC) chief Lt Gen Paradorn Pattanathabut said today that the Center for Maintaining Peace and Order (CMPO) will ask the cabinet next week to lift a two-month state of emergency imposed in the Thai capital and its adjacent provinces to handle the anti-government protesters.

NSC secretary-general Gen Paradorn, said the meeting of security agencies agreed to raise the idea with the cabinet next Tuesday as the emergency decree is due to expire March 22.

He said the Internal Security Act (ISA) will replace the emergency decree in the same areas and officials are discussing whether it should be enforced until end of April or early May.

Gen Paradorn as CMPO secretary-general, said security agencies estimate that the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) will be active again during that period, while the elections will also be held.

Gen Paradorn noted that if the situation turns violent, the security agencies can ask the cabinet to reinstate a state of emergency.

The NSC chief added that only the law enforcement is changed but the CMPO will continue its duty under the same name and its headquarters will still be at the Police Club.

Following the ruling of the Supreme Administrative Court that the transfer of former NSC chief Thawil Pliensri by caretaker premier Yingluck Shinawatra was unlawful, ordering that she must reinstate him within 45 days, Gen Paradorn said he is ready to follow the instructions of his superiors.

Gen Paradorn said the PM’s Secretary-General Suranand Vejjajiva has informed him that his position will be returned Mr Thawil as stated by the court and that he will be appointed as the premier’s advisor. The issue is expected to be discussed in the March 18 cabinet meeting.

After the cabinet decides on the NSC chief position, they will forward the resolution to the Election Commission for consideration, as they are only a caretaker government. The names will be later sent to His Majesty the King for his endorsement. The whole process, Gen Paradorn believes, will not take more than 45 days.