Thai PM Samak has declared a state of emergency in Bangkok after a clash between pro and anti government supporters in the early morning of 2 September in Bangkok left one person dead and some 40 others injured.
The Emergency Declaration comes after weeks of the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) has escalated its protests and even blockaded airports and Government House in efforts to get Samak to resign.
The clash between pro and anti government protesters reached a flash point with thousands at Government House around 3am on 2 September. Despite hundreds of police and also military deployed, the rival groups could not be dispersed. There were reports of gun fire and even some “Molotov” cocktails being thrown.
PM Samak’s government, seen by some as proxies for ex premier Thaksin, has assumed absolute control. But the PAD has said they will go on protesting, with more people joining protests at Government House.
The prime minister's order also appointed the army chief to be in charge of enforcing the emergency decree in Bangkok.
Under the Emergency rules, people will still be allowed to leave their houses but mass protests and indeed any gathering of more than five people are prohibited. The state of emergency also allows the authorities to detain suspects for seven days and would prohibit people from making illegal entries into government offices.
Pro-government protesters who had recently taken to the street dispersed soon after learning about the emergency situation announcement.But PAD said the protest would continue at Government House.
Military Supreme Commander Gen Boonsrang Niampradit said the people should stay calm and the government would take only necessary actions.It was announced on TVs that 24 schools in three districts of Bangkok would be closed indefinitely.
Source: The Nation, 2 September, State of emergency announced in Bangkok