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State of emergency scrapped

The Cabinet yesterday lifted the emergency decree in Bangkok and nearby areas and replaced it with the Internal Security Act, effective today.

Caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said later that the move was aimed at boosting confidence in the business sector and reducing adverse impact on tourism.

Meanwhile, caretaker Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul said the Centre for Maintaining Peace and Order would stay in place and put in charge of the ISA, but would not have the National Security Council in the structure after NSC secretary-general Thawil Pliansri is reinstated next month. A court ordered the government to reinstate Thawil at NSC recently.

Surapong said the government picked Department of Special Investigation (DSI) chief Tarit Pengdith to replace former NSC chief Lt-General Paradorn Pattanatabut as secretary to the CMPO. Yingluck said the Cabinet had instructed the CMPO to bring about swift prosecution of wrongdoers and ensure that truth prevails.

Deputy spokesperson Sunisa Lertpakawat said the Internal Security Act would be imposed in Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Lat Lum Kaeo in Pathum Thani, Bang Phli in Samut Prakan from today until April 30.

Separately, a dud MK2 grenade was found outside Tonson Tower on Ploenchit Road some 100 metres from a military checkpoint early yesterday, police said. Ploenchit Road is part of the Bangkok business district.

Police said the tower is a fair way away from the People's Democratic Reform Committee's rally site at Lumpini Park and that the grenade had been lobbed from the nearby Ploenchit area but failed to explode.

Officials will check CCTV footage captured in roadside cameras and those at Tonson Tower.


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