[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific
Thailand extends state of emergency
Measures to curb dissent will remain in force in the capital and three other provinces until end of the year.
Last Modified: 05 Oct 2010 05:44 GMT
Critics of the emergency law say that the inability of red shirts to protest could lead to further conflict [AFP]

The Thai government has extended the state of emergency imposed on Bangkok and three surrounding provinces for three more months.

"The cabinet agreed to extend the state of emergency in four provinces, including Bangkok, for another three months starting today," Suphachai Jaismut, a government spokesman, said on Tuesday.

The measures came into force in April when at least 90 people were killed and almost 2,000 injured in clashes between the military and the anti-government red shirts.

In Depth

  Q&A: Thaksin and the Red Shirts
  Videos
  'Red shirts' cry double standards
  Thailand's 'red shirts' regroup
  Programmes
  Thailand: Warring colours
  101 East: Thailand's red shirts

The laws were lifted in some parts of the country last Friday after the government came under pressure from the US and human rights activists to roll back the emergency powers.  

Among other things, the powers include the right given to security forces to detain suspects for 30 days without charge.

In recent weeks Bangkok has been hit by a string of grenade blasts, including an attack on the attorney general's office and a bombing in a residential area that wounded three.

The red Shirts deny any involvement in the blasts and have accused the government of a conspiracy to justify greater powers for authorities. The government argues that widespread restrictions on dissent remain essential for keeping the peace.

Critics assert that the government crackdown, which ranges from arrests to the censoring of thousands of websites, could provoke more unrest by deepening grievances.

Jacob Ramsay, a senior Southeast Asia analyst at Control Risks, a strategic consulting firm based in Britain, said: "Thailand is in uncharted territory and the government's response to dissent could lead to a bolder display of resistance ... It's a vicious cycle."

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Indonesia's digerati could be crucial to success in the country's upcoming presidential election.
How Brazil's football legend turned every Corinthians' match into a political meeting for democracy.
As the Pakistani army battles Taliban forces, civilians in North Waziristan face an arduous escape for relative safety.
Nepalese trade in a libido-boosting fungus is booming but experts warn over-exploitation could destroy ecosystem.
Featured
Israel's strategy in Gaza remains uncertain, as internal politics are at play for PM Netanyahu.
Greece is holding as many as 6,000 migrants in detention centres, in conditions that have been called appalling.
Long derided for trivialising women, Bollywood is shrugging off its trademark social apathy by upping anti-rape crusade.
Survey of more than 300 colleges shows 40 percent do; highlights lack of training for administrators, law enforcement.
Three years after independence, South Sudan still struggles to escape poverty and conflict.
join our mailing list