BANGKOK, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- Thai army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha said Wednesday that the army would closely monitor the situation after the caretaker government invoked a 60-day emergency decree in the capital and surrounding provinces.
The decree, effective on Wednesday, has been imposed in Nonthaburi province, Patumthani province, part of Samut Prakarn province and all districts of the capital.
It remains to be seen whether the invocation of the decree will help turn the situation around or make it even worse, Prayuth said, adding that the army might step in if things get out of control.
The emergency decree gives officials the power to impose curfews, detain suspects without charge, censor media, ban political gathering of more than five people and declare parts of the capital off-limits.
The army still supports the police, who will be mainly responsible for the enforcement of the decree, Prayuth said.
The army will not take sides but provide protection for officials, protesters and the public alike, he said.
Prayuth also reiterated his demand that all sides avoid using violence and talk through the crisis.
Thailand declares state of emergency in Bangkok, surrounding areas
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 the state of emergency because the anti-government protests have begun to see increasing violence. Full story
U.S. condemns violence in Thailand, urges restraint
WASHINGTON, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) -- The United States "strongly" condemns increasing violence in Bangkok and urges all sides to exercise restraint, the State Department said Tuesday.
"We urge all sides to refrain from violence, exercise restraint, and respect the rule of law," spokeswoman Marie Harf said in a statement. Full Story