Thai PM may lift state of emergency if there is no protest related violence

Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has called on all parties, involved in the current political conflict, to take a step back from the brink, as he announced that he is prepared to lift the severe state of emergency, recently imposed in Bangkok, very soon, unless violence breaks out.


In his televised address to the nation this evening (Wednesday), the Prime Minister said that this is a time for every Thai citizen to do the right thing, to set aside their personal sentiments and to work for a better future for the country.

As Prime Minister of Thailand, he said that he responsible for looking after everyone in the country and for ensuring that Thai people live together in peace, despite their differences. “I believe everyone loves this land,” he said.

Another responsibility as the leader of this country, he said, is to maintain peace and order and to ensure the safety of everyone’s life and property. “I have to protect the country from any dark force, no matter from where it comes. I have to make sure that there is fairness in society and equality, so every Thai can co-exist under the same laws,” he added.

The Prime Minister went on to say that he does everything for the majority of the people, “the silent majority, who are working hard to feed themselves and their families.”

He stressed that he has to administer the country on the basis of legal principles, in accordance with the parliamentary system and that he cannot administer the country in accordance with the voices or wishes of protest groups, adding, however, that he has heard their voices.

The Prime Minister noted that every government, including his own, has encountered protests which, if they intensify, will lead the country into chaos.  He urged all parties in the conflict to help break this vicious cycle by taking a step back.

“Violence will lead to more violence,” he said, citing history, adding that the key element that makes Thai people who they are “ are society’s institutions, which have been the foundation of Thai culture, values and “Thainess” for centuries.  If we destroy this heritage, we will lose the important thing which makes Thailand unique.”

Citing the violence during the protest at Pathumwan intersection last week, by both the police and protesters, when one protester was seen hitting police with a large hand tool and the police sprayed substances from water cannons at the protesters, the Prime Minister stressed the need for a dialogue, to resolve the political conflict through the parliamentary process.

He announced that he would take the first step, to ease the political temperature, by lifting the severe state of emergency, currently in effect in Bangkok, in the near future.

In the meantime, he called on the protesters to respond in kind, by respecting the law and parliamentary democracy, and to air their grievances through their parliamentary representatives.



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