BANGKOK, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) -- The Thai caretaker government on Tuesday invoked the Emergency Decree in the capital and some nearby areas, effective from Wednesday and for 60 days.
According to caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung, the government had to invoke the decree to announce a state of emergency in Bangkok and some parts of three adjacent provinces because the anti-government protests began to see increasing violence.
The Emergency Decree forbids gathering of five or more people, and distribution of information and publications that may cause public alarm, threaten national security and order. Enforcement personnel are empowered to summon suspects and witnesses, confiscate property and monitor the Internet and phone calls.
The police-led Center for the Administration of Peace and Order would be changed to Peacekeeping Center, Secretary-General of the National Security Council Paradorn Pattanatabut was quoted by the Nation newspaper as saying.
In April 2010, the then Abhisit government invoked the Emergency Decree in Bangkok, which was later expanded to up to 24 provinces, to handle massive anti-government rallies by the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship, better known as "red shirts." The decree was later lifted in December of the same year.
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