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State of emergency announced

The caretaker Cabinet announced the state of emergency for Bangkok and some parts of nearby provinces, which will last 60 days.

The state of emergency was announced on TV by caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung. It will take effect on Wednesday.

Chalerm said the government had to invoke the emergency decree to announce the state of emergency because the protests by the People's Democratic Reform Committee had turned violent.

He said the demonstrations were not peaceful as PDRC leaders said.

National Security Council Secretary-General Paradorn Pattanatabut said the Centre for the Administration of Peace and Order would be changed to the Peacekeeping Centre.

The new Peacekeeping Centre would be chaired by the police commissioner-general, Paradorn said.

Deputy Prime Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul told the press conference that he had been assigned by the Cabinet to supervise the Royal Thai Police.

Issara Somchai, a PDRC leader, said the PDRC would continue its simultaneous rallies in Bangkok despite the state of emergency.

"The emergency decree cannot overrule the people's constitutional rights," Issara said.

He said the protests had so far caused no damage that warranted the state of emergency.










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