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Rescind the state of emergency now

Yingluck should rescind the emergency decree immediately, because:

1. It's like using a machete where a scalpel is needed. Except for a small splinter group, the protesters have been overwhelmingly and commendably non-violent, not even damaging property. On the contrary, the violence has been directed towards the demonstrators, and CCTV shows that the perpetrator was a single man.

2. The decree creates immense moral hazard, thus promoting violence - for it pardons in advance any act taken by the authorities.

3. The decree cannot be implemented, for you cannot have a credible election if you can campaign or vote only in groups of five people or fewer. Also, Yingluck doesn't have the jail space or staff to process and detain the demonstrators, who are now in their hundreds of thousands.

4. The decree forces the military, which has commendably remained above the fray, to take sides, and soldiers should know whether it's moral to use violence against unarmed demonstrators.

5. Invoking the decree, which is an instrument of last resort, leads would-be tourists and investors to believe Bangkok is a battlefield like Egypt or Syria - which is far from true.

Burin Kantabutra

Bangkok


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