The Thai government lifted the state of emergency in three northern provinces, though Bangkok is still under the special security decree, said the acting government spokesman on Friday.
Panitan Wattanayagorn said Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva Thursday signed an order to lift the emergency decree in three northeastern provinces, Khon Kaen, Udon Thani and Nakhon Ratchasima, local media reports.
The order is effective from Thursday, which means the ban on assembly of more than five people is no longer in place in those provinces.
The emergency decree now remains in place in four central provinces, Bangkok and three surrounding provinces, Samut Prakan, Nonthaburi, and Pathum Thani.
Local media reported that on Friday morning the prime minister invited the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Chairwoman Amara Pongsapich to meet him at the Government House to ask about possible effects of the emergency decree on human rights.
Amara said the prime minister told her that the cabinet would consider next week whether to lift the decree in the remaining four provinces, the Bangkok Post online reported.
The latest chronic protest by anti-government “red-shirt” protesters, causing 91 deaths and nearly 2,000 injuries, was held from March 14 to May 19. The “red-shirts” occupied the Ratchaprasong intersection, Bangkok’s central business zone, for more than one month and called for Abhisit Vejjajiva’s government to dissolve the parliament and hold a fresh election. The demonstration ended after a week-long confrontation with the troops.
Abhisit’s government declared a state of emergency across Bangkok and some other provinces on April 7 in the wake of the deterioration of security situation. The coverage of the special security decree later was extended to a total of 25 provinces, out of the 76 provinces across the country.
More than four months after the rally, many core “red-shirt” leaders are still in detention and a state of emergency remains in place in some provinces. Bangkok is widely believed to be the last province that sees the lifting of emergency decree as several bombing attacks occurred in the capital city in September. (PNA/Xinhua)