Thailand lifts 12-day emergency in capital

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{image-thai emergency12_14092008.jpg}Bangkok, Sep 14: Thailand's caretaker government on Sunday, Sep 14 announced an end to the 12-day emergency in Bangkok that was enforced following violent clashes between the anti-government People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) and a pro-government group.

Interim Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat, along with the national army and police chiefs, announced the lifting of the controversial measure imposed by his predecessor Samak Sundaravej who was stripped off his post by the Constitution Court last week. Announcing the decision at a press conference at the Thai Army Headquarters, Mr Somchai said the emergency was hurting the country's image and economy and the political situation which had triggered the imposition was under control.

The powerful army chief had issued a statement late last week calling for the lifting of the emergency. Mr Somchai urged PAD protesters to lift their siege of the Prime Minister's Office. The Prime Minister however, said he could not rule out re-imposition of a state of emergency again if necessary.

The emergency was announced by then prime minister Mr Samak following violent clashes near the Prime Minister's office between PAD members and members of a pro-government group that claimed one life and injured dozens.


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