Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Citing Instability, Thailand Extends Emergency Decree

Declaring that many parts of Thailand remain unstable, the government on Tuesday extended by three months a state of emergency that gives authorities broad powers to restrict political meetings and detain suspects without charge.

Critics, including the tourism industry, denounced the move. Some called it part of a crackdown on dissent at a time when Thailand appears to have returned to a largely peaceful pace following months of protests in Bangkok led by the so-called red-shirt antigovernment movement.

“There are still some groups of people trying to eliminate the government,” Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban said. A government committee charged with security had found that “terrorist situations were occurring in many areas nationwide all the time,” Mr. Suthep was quoted as saying in the Thai media.

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