The Thai cabinet announced on Tuesday July 6 that the Emergency Rule which drags on since April will be extended for three more months in Bangkok and 18 other provinces. Citing instability in the area, the government explained that the red-shirts have not stopped their anti-government moves, and without the emergency law in place, they could resume such activities as spreading rumors, stirring hatred, and instigating unrest. Chief of the Centre for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation Suthep Thaugsuban initially proposed an extension on all 24 provinces currently under the decree, but Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva opposed the plan, saying that the situation in some provinces are stable enough for the decree to be lifted.
The senators and various civic groups, however, raised concerns about the decision. Senator Nikom Wiratpanich said that the emergency law will not stop the anti-government activities, since they can be done anywhere, anytime. Moreover, the law would undermine the national reconciliation plan, as the government continues to oppress its opponents. President of the Law Society Sak Khosangruang also said that the decree suggests a more severe situation than reality. Tourism industry and investment will be greatly damaged if foreigners think Thailand is still in a harsh situation.
Cabinet extends emergency by another 3 months [The Nation, 7 July 2010]
Thailand extends Bangkok emergency [Aljazeera, 6 July 2010]