Thai PM lifts state of emergency | News | Al Jazeera

Thai PM lifts state of emergency

Government says move aimed at "reconciliation" to end political crisis.

     Clashes in Bangkok left two people dead and more than 130 injured [AFP]

    Known as the Red Shirts, protesters had besieged Abhisit's offices for several weeks and derailed a meeting of regional leaders in nearby Pattaya in an attempt to force the prime minister to resign and call elections.

    The Red Shirts, mostly supporters of Thaksin Shinawatra, a former prime minister, called off their own protests last week following street battles with the military and Bangkok residents that left two people dead and more than 130 injured.

    'Like Myanmar'

    The lifting of the emergency law comes after Thai opposition politicians criticised Abhisit in the parliamentary debate, saying the government's crackdown on protesters bore similarities to tactics used by the ruling generals in neighbouring Myanmar.

    "In this region the use of automatic rifles by soldiers to control the crowd can be found in Myanmar, which is a dictatorship," Chavalit Wittayasuth, of the main opposition Puea Thai party, said.

    Few parliamentarians, however, proposed concrete solutions and the debate focused on who started the violence.

    Thaksin, who continues to be the rallying figure for many Thais, especially the rural poor, despite being mostly in exile since being ousted in a military coup in September 2006, had called on his supporters to overthrow the government.
     
    But he has since urged his supporters to remain peaceful and echoed calls by Abhisit for reconciliation, saying "if the government wants to reconcile, I will encourage the Red Shirts to participate".

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    America's Guns: Secret Pipeline to Syria

    America's Guns: Secret Pipeline to Syria

    How has the international arms trade exacerbated conflict in the Middle East? People and Power investigates.

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.