Thai government considering emergency rule following protests

November 27th, 2008 - 7:38 pm ICT by ANI  

Bangkok, Nov.27 (ANI): Thailand’’s government said on Thursday that it is considering imposing emergency rule to restore order after opposition demonstrations became more violent and protesters shut down a second Bangkok airport. Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat has called an emergency meeting of the Cabinet to discuss whether or not to impose the state of emergency.
Such a decree would give the prime minister authority to use the military to restore order and to suspend certain civil liberties.
The prime minister had earlier rejected military demands for fresh elections.
Tens of thousands of foreign tourists were left stranded as demonstrators occupied Suvarnabhumi Airport as part of a campaign demanding his resignation.
Up to 3,000 travellers, many of them British, spent the night in the terminal and were later evacuated under escort to Bangkok hotels.
Supporters of the People’’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) started massing at the main entrance to the Don Mueang airport on Wednesday evening, and services there were cancelled at about midnight.
The Don Mueang operates a handful of domestic flights, and was the only airport left serving the capital after protesters swarmed the main Suvarnabhumi Airport late on Tuesday, forcing the airport director to suspend flights.
The chances of renewed confrontation rose after a court ordered the eviction of the demonstrators from the terminal. Tensions were already heightened by the fatal shooting of a protester by a government supporter in the northern city of Chiang Mai. Late last night the opposition overran Chiang Mai airport, casting doubt on the government’’s control of the police.
Protesters from the People’’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) have been calling on the government to step down since May and in August forced the government to set up a temporary headquarters after the military refused to disperse a mass sit-in at Government House. But, according to The Telegraph, the campaign, which centres on Thaksin Shinawatra’’s alleged corruption and calls for a new government backed by King Bhumibol Adulyadej, intensified this week after the leadership set a deadline to remove the government. (ANI)

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