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Thai Military Junta to Keep Martial Law In Place

Thai Military Junta to Keep Martial Law In PlaceThailand’s military government will continue to enforce martial law to maintain order, though the nationwide curfew was fully lifted as the situation had started to return to normal, the junta said today.

Authorities agreed to lift the curfew nationwide last night as there were no major protests or movements against the NCPO, spokeswoman of of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) Patamaporn Ratanadilok said.

Even though martial law remained in effect to ensure order, she said, authorities would first enforce normal laws for most crimes.

The NCPO could enforce curfew again in any area where there was a movement that would jeopardise security, Patamaporn said.

Political protests and criticism of the coup, however, remain banned by the junta.

The curfew had earlier been slashed to four hours from seven hours, and lifted in several tourist resort areas after complaints from the tourism industry.

“The overall situation in other areas of the country has been resolved and there is no tendency toward possible violence. Therefore, in order to relieve and mitigate the impact on people’s daily lives, and to boost tourism by Thais and foreigners, the curfew order is being cancelled in the rest of the country,” the junta said in a statement last night.

Army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha told civil servants yesterday that a temporary constitution would be drafted and an interim government installed by September.

“A government will likely be set up in August or early September,” Prayuth said.

“When we have a government, we will move forward. Then the reform council can begin”.

Until the May 22 coup, Bangkok had witnessed street protests and blockades by demonstrators opposed to then premier Yingluck Shinawatra and her government since November last year in a political turmoil that left at least 28 people dead and the government paralysed.