BANGKOK, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- Emergency rule currently enforced in the face of prolonged anti-government protests in the Thai capital and outlying areas is not going to see atrocities of 2010 repeated, said acting premier Yingluck Shinawatra on Thursday.
In a press conference at the air force headquarters in Bangkok' s northern outskirts, Yingluck assured that emergency rule, which will last 60 days from Wednesday, will certainly not result in such army crackdowns on the protesters as in the last four years, in which nearly 100 people, mostly being Red Shirt demonstrators, were killed and about 2,000 others injured in the city's major streets.
Despite emergency rule, the police and military will definitely not use force against any protesters who have pressed for her to step down and intended to disrupt a nationwide election scheduled for February 2, the woman leader said.
"We do not want to see 2010's events repeated. For that reason, the authorities have been instructed to exercise patience and caution and never do anything that may be considered unnecessary. They will ultimately avoid violent means and abide by the law as well as offer to talk (with the protesters)," she said.
Emergency rule is primarily enforced to facilitate operations of the peace-keeping authorities and by no means designed to use force or violence against the protesters, according to the acting premier.
Yingluck reiterated that she cannot resign as pressed by the protesters headed by former deputy Premier Suthep Thaugsuban and several of his colleagues in the Democrat Party, because the constitution and laws do not allow her to.
She said her lame duck government are legally obliged to see to it that the polls will be held in a fair and peaceful fashion and cannot step down until a post-election cabinet of ministers has been set up.
She added that she has asked the military to help the police maintain peace and order under emergency rule and help the Election Commission with the nationwide polls.
However, the Constitutional Court is scheduled to rule on Friday if the election could be postponed until the next few months as requested by the polling agency.
News Analysis: Emergency decree in Thailand likely to no avail
BANGKOK, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- The Thai caretaker government has invoked an emergency decree in the capital and adjacent provinces to cope with increasing violence in street protests, but observers believe this decision will most likely fail to turn things around.
A most stringent decree in Thailand, 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. Full story
Thai caretaker PM urges military personnel to check voting rights
BANGKOK, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- Thai caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Thursday during a meeting of Defense Council asked the top military brass to instruct military personnel to check their voting rights ahead of the upcoming Feb. 2 election.
The meeting was moved from defense ministry to Royal Thai Air Force headquarters to avoid protesters, reported the Nation newspaper. Full story