Wall Street Journal – by WARANGKANA CHOMCHUEN
BANGKOK—The Thai government declared a state of emergency for 60 days in Bangkok and nearby provinces to deal with the continuing anti-government protesters who have blockaded parts of Bangkok in a bid to force Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to step down.
The state of emergency will be imposed in all areas in Bangkok, Nonthaburi and some districts in other provinces nearby, effective Wednesday, deputy prime minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul said at a news conference.
Mr. Surapong said the government’s goal is to enforce laws regarding the protests and supporters of the movement, which has disrupted areas of central Bangkok for weeks, as well as to curb “the spread of distorted information that incites chaos and division, which affects the country’s security.”
Thai authorities said they would disclose details of the security measures on Wednesday. Generally, emergency decrees give security authorities powers to detain suspects without charge, censor media, impose curfews and ban political gatherings of more than five people.
Mr. Surapong cited a spate of violence by provocateurs that resulted in injuries and loss of lives that has prompted the government to impose the laws. Since the protests broke in early November, nine people have been killed and scores injured in clashes between rival protesters, security forces and attacks.
In a pair of explosives attacks against crowds since last week, one person was killed and about 60 were injured.
The recent escalation of violence has raised fears of more unrest as the Southeast Asian country is headed to elections Feb. 2. The protesters are determined to scuttle the elections, which Ms. Yingluck’s Pheu Thai Party is expected to win.
—Wilawan Watcharasakwet contributed to this article.
One thought on “Thailand Government Declares State of Emergency for Bangkok”
“The state of emergency will be imposed in all areas in Bangkok, Nonthaburi and some districts in other provinces nearby, effective Wednesday, deputy prime minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul said at a news conference.”
Could well be the start of a (global) trend.