CityNews – Thailand’s government has declared a state of emergency in Bangkok in the light of increasing violence and disruption caused by the ongoing protests. The decree is put in place from 22nd January 2014 and will expire in 60 days time.
The state of emergency gives security forces greater power and allows them to issue orders to search, arrest and detain citizens. The decree covers areas that have already seen increased violence and therefore a higher level of security under Thailand’s Internal Security Act.
It is not clear exactly which powers the government plans to use to curb the unrest, as emergency rule is supposed to be administered by the country’s police force and army. The police have so far avoided conflict with the protesters, while the military have made it clear they do not want to take sides with any one faction in the political situation.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said that the police and not the military would be the ones to enforce the decree, using “peaceful negotiations with the protesters in line with international standards”.
Protesters have vowed to continue marching through the streets and enforcing the shutdown which began on 13th January.