Govt imposes Emergency Decree to control protests


BANGKOK, 21 January 2014  The government has declared the state of emergency in Bangkok and nearby provinces for 60 days in a bid to control the ongoing political protest situation. 

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Surapong Tovichakchaikul revealed that CAPO has assessed the political situation involving the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) led by Mr. Suthep Thaugsuban. He said that the PDRC has broken the law by closing government facilities and banks, in addition to continually intimidating and harassing civil servants. He added that the political demonstrations have been subjected to constant instigation of violence.

The Cabinet has therefore decided to utilize the Emergency Decree to control the situation, enforce the law against demonstrators, and enable the nation to move forward democratically. The government views that Mr. Suthep’s PDRC group has exceeded acceptable boundaries, presented distorted information, and contributed to violence, resulting in casualties and risk to national security.

The government affirms that protesters will be handled in a nonviolent manner, in accordance with international standards.

The Emergency Decree, which will be effective for 60 days from tomorrow, will cover areas where the Internal Security Act was previously imposed, including Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Lat Lum Kaeo district of Pathum Thani and Bang Phli district of Samut Prakan.