16 Aug 2010

Thailand lifts state of emergency in northern provinces

9:09 pm on 16 August 2010

Thailand has lifted a controversial state of emergency in three northern provinces, four months after it was imposed during anti-government protests.

Officials says the state of emergency would remain in place in six other provinces and the capital Bangkok, where at least 90 people were killed when the army cleared protesters from their fortified camps in May, the BBC reports.

The government has been lifting special provisions in provinces where, in its view, the security situation has stabilised.

That now includes Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Ubon Ratchathani in the northeast where the anti-government protest has its roots.

Some western governments and human rights groups have expressed concern about the continued use of the law.

The government said only that Monday's decision was taken to help business and tourism.

The decree bans political gatherings of more than five people and gives the government powers to impose a curfew, censor media and detain suspects without charge.