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State of emergency declared in Bangkok

PM to have absolute control; PAD to go on protesting despite state of emergency; more people join protest at Government House, pro-government protesters regroup at Sanam Luang, 436 BMA schools closed



Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej Tuesday morning declared the state of emergency in Bangkok following a fatal clash between the pro- and anti-government supporters early in the morning which killed at least one man and injured dozens.

Reasoning that some groups of people caused disturbances in Bangkok that affect the peace and security, Samak announced the enforcement of the Emergency Decree on Public Administration in Emergency Situations in Bangkok.

The prime minister's order also appointed the army chief to be in charge of enforcing the emergency decree in Bangkok.

The announcement exempted the enforcement paragraph 1 of Article 9 which prohibits people from leaving their houses, meaning people can still go to work.

The state of emergency prohibits gathering of more than five people.

The state of emergency authorises the authorities to evict people from any place or prohibit them from entering a place.

The state of emergency also prohibits news publicity in a way that terrifies the public.

The Manager's website said the protesters occupying Government House were determined to stay on. Protest leaders also told the demonstrators that the government could soon shut down ASTV, the cable TV network belonging to the People Alliance for Democracy. The announcement sent some PAD members to the ASTV headquarters.

The state of emergency also allows the authorities to detain suspects for seven days and would prohibit people from making illegal entries into government offices.

After learning about the emergency situation announcement, the Democratic Alliance Against Dictatorship-led protesters dispersed from the area near the Rajdamnone Boxing Stadium but regrouped at Sanam Luang.

The leaders of the People's Alliance for Democracy also were unperturbed by the state of emergency, saying the protest would continue at Government House.

Thai PBS reporter reported from the scene that more people came out to join the rally Tuesday morning.

After making the announcement, Samak appeared in good mood when he accompanied his party member to apply for the Bangkok governor election Tuesday morning.

At 7:20 am, Samak accompaiend Praphat Jongsanguan to apply as a Bangkok governor election candidate at the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration head office.

Democrat Party MP Sathit Wongnongtoey said the state of emergency would allow the prime minister to have absolute control.

Sathit said it seemed that the government foresaw the violence and state of emergency.  He said the prime minster and People Power MPs indicated the violence would take place when they spoke during a debate on the political crisis Sunday night.

Supreme Commander Gen Boonsrang Niampradit said the people should stay calm and the government would take only necessary actions.

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration announced that its 436 schools will be closed for three days following the announcement of the state of emergency in the capital.

The Nation


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