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April 20, 2006

Thailand extends emergency rule

Filed under: thailand — admin @ 5:55 am


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Bangkok – Thailand’s government said on Tuesday it will extend a state of emergency in violence-plagued southern Thailand as part of measures to combat a Muslim insurgency that has left over 1 000 people dead.

“The terrorist movement still has the capacity to cause danger to lives and property, so the state of emergency is needed to cope with the situation,” acting prime minister Chitchai Wannasathit told reporters.

The state of emergency covers Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat provinces.

Shortly before the announcement was made, a 24-year-old man was shot and killed by suspected insurgents on his way to work at a factory in the Yaha district of Yala province. The man, identified as Suebsak Chansupha, was shot by a man riding on the back seat of a motorcycle, said local police spokesperson Suwat Chanchao.

The insurgency has left at least 1 300 dead since it flared in 2004.

Emergency rule lets the government impose curfews, prohibit public gatherings, censor and ban publications, detain suspects without charge, confiscate property and tap telephones.

It also makes officials immune from “civil, criminal and disciplinary penalties” while carrying out acts – including killing civilians – under its provisions.

Rights activist say the emergency rule has failed to contain the growing violence, and has worsened the situation by allowing violations of constitutional rights.

Chitchai said the state of emergency, first imposed last July and extended at three-month intervals, was due to expire on Thursday.

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