03/18/2014, 00.00
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Bangkok, government lifts state of emergency

The government of Yingluck Shinawatra approves lifting of emergency rule but announces the entry into force of the Internal Security Act for tomorrow, which allows police greater freedom of maneuver against the demonstrations. The decision was made after the situation "significantly improved”.

Bangkok ( AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Thai government has announced that tomorrow the state of emergency imposed on January 22 to stop protests against the government will be lifted. The decision, which was approved this morning by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, was taken as the situation "has significantly improved". In any case, it an Act for the internal security will be in force that still allows the police to make summary arrests and searches without a warrant.

The anti -government protests - a mix of members of the middle class, royalists and the inhabitants of the south - are the biggest since 2010, when the kingdom was shaken by a series of riots that ended in bloodshed and death 90 civilians. According to sources in the Medical Department of Bangkok, the death toll since the crisis is at least 23 dead and over 700 injured. February 2, elections were held - boycotted by the opposition Democratic Party - which sanctioned the victory of Shinawatra's Pheu Thai Party. The protesters accuse the prime minister of being "a puppet of her brother Thaksin", who for years was the country's leader, beloved in the rural areas but disliked by the middle class and the national bureaucracy.

Paradorn Pattanathabutr , head of Homeland Security , confirmed the government's decision: " We have agreed to lift the state of emergency and use the Internal Security Act (ISA) starting from tomorrow until 30 April as the number of protesters has dwindled... and after pleas from the business community". The police will still be able to impose a curfew, manage control points and restrict the freedom of movement of the demonstrators.



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