Written by Kumudu Jayawardana
21 Jan, 2014 | 11:18 pm
The Thai government has imposed a 60-day state of emergency in the capital, Bangkok, and the surrounding provinces, from Wednesday, to cope with unrest.
The decree gives the government wide-ranging powers to deal with disorder.
Anti-government protesters have been blocking parts of the capital to try to force PM Yingluck Shinawatra to resign.
They accuse the government of being run by exiled former leader Thaksin Shinawatra, the brother of the current prime minister.
Ms Yingluck has refused to resign and has called an election on 2 February to pacify the protesters.
The state of emergency was announced after a cabinet meeting on Tuesday and comes after a spate of attacks with explosives and firearms on the anti-government protesters blockading central Bangkok for which the government and the protesters blame each other.
On Sunday, 28 people were injured when grenades were thrown at one of several protest sites set up at major road sections in the city.
“The cabinet decided to invoke the emergency decree to take care of the situation and to enforce the law,” Deputy Prime Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul said.
The emergency decree gives the government power to censor the media, ban public gatherings and detain suspects without charge.
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