State of emergency will end in Bangkok

by Emily DUNBAR on December 21, 2010

The state of emergency in Thailand, which has been in place since antigovernment protests turned violent last spring, is set to be lifted tomorrow.

Despite continuing campaigns from the ‘red shirts’, 22 December will see the heightened state diminished in Bangkok and nearby provinces. The move comes seven months after the crisis, which claimed over 90 lives and left nearly 2,000 wounded between March and May. The controversial measure gave security forces increased authority and had been in decree since 7 April.

Before being lifted in stages, the measure had spread to most of the country. However, at present it is only in place in Bangkok, Pathum Thani, Samut Prakan and Nonthaburi.

The protests have highlighted the growing chasm between Bangkok’s elite and the urban poor and rural masses of the country. Excluded from power, the ongoing struggle is a classic clash of rich and poor. The end of the state of emergency does not mark reconciliation, but does reflect the increasing calm in the country’s capital.

Yet, ‘red shirts’ continue to defy the ban on more than five people gathering in one place. Thousands of them turned up to demand Prime Minister Abhisit’s resignation and request an immediate election.

Meanwhile, in the south of Thailand, an entirely different state of emergency remains in place as a response to the growing violence of the separatist movement there. That situation has claimed almost 4,500 lives since 2004.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post: Weather could ruin Christmas for many

Next post: SIA partners with China Eastern in cargo industry