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Thailand announces “serious” state of emergency in Bangkok

Thai business community warned about a further economic blow if the latest political conflict escalates and adds to the pandemic downturn.

Boris Sullivan

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The Thai government has annouced today at 4 am the state of emergency in Bangkok to end protests.

The government banned gatherings of five or more people and the publication of news and online messages that could harm national security early on Thursday under an emergency decree to end Bangkok street protests.

It was accompanied by a document setting out measures that took effect from 4am to ban big gatherings and allowing authorities to ban people from entering any area they designation.

It also prohibits “publication of news, other media, and electronic information that contains messages that could create fear or intentionally distort information, creating misunderstanding that will affect national security or peace and order.”

About 10,000 protesters marched in Bangkok on Wednesday. The protest movement aims to remove General Prayut, who took power in a 2014 coup that was meant to end a decade of violence between supporters and opponents of the country’s establishment. Those marching on the streets also want a new constitution and have called for reform of the monarchy.

Business concerns over conflict ‘escalating’

The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) said yesterday that it was worried about a further economic blow if the latest political conflict escalates.

The FTI also warned that Thailand would not absorb more risk during the pandemic downturn.

“Thailand has faced political instability several times, but managed to get through it partly because of no external factors. Today we are being afflicted by the pandemic, which has spread worldwide,”

Kriangkrai Tiannukul, FTI’s vice-chairman

On Wednesday the FTI also proposed to introduce various measures to help address small and medium-sized enterprise (SMEs) liquidity and debts.

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