I back Army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha in his strong opposition to enforcing the Emergency Decree.
First, under that decree, “any” act by the authorities is declared to be legal if done under order, absolving soldiers and cops from accountability. This greatly increases the chances of violence, which is why UN Special Rapporteur for Extra-judicial Killing Philip Ashton said it could be used “to justify murder”.
Second, the vast majority of protesters have taken pains to be non-violent, carrying only whistles; there is no need to use violence against unarmed people. Third, except for vocational students who used violence to disrupt candidate registration, the main users of violence have been police, eg, national police chief Adul Saengsingkaew confirmed – after days of vehement denials – that uniformed cops who trashed a car carrying unarmed medical volunteers, and cops on the Labor Ministry rooftop shooting down, were doing so under orders. If the military was called out to restore order, it appears that the main people they would have to restrain would be the police.
Thus, there is no need for the Emergency Decree – though the cops must stop acting like hooligans.