Bangkok: A state of emergency imposed during
Thailand`s anti-government protests will likely be lifted or
eased in many parts of the country this week, the prime
minister said on Sunday.
Abhisit Vejjajiva expressed hope the move would allow the
nation to gradually return to normalcy.
Many human rights groups have demanded the lifting of the
decree, which remains in place in Bangkok and 23 provinces
more than six weeks after the protests, in which 89 people
died and more than 1,400 were injured.
The government argued that the state of emergency, which
suspends some civil liberties and gives the military broad
powers to keep order, helped keep troublemakers from moving
freely in the countryside.
It said parts of Bangkok also remained at risk of
The Cabinet is to meet Tuesday to decide whether to
extend the decree, which expires Wednesday.
Speaking on his weekly television show, Abhisit said he
was confident that the measures would be lifted or relaxed in
areas where authorities "possess tools that will ensure
The "Red Shirt" protesters consist of members of the
urban and rural poor, democracy activists and politicians
loyal to former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was
ousted in a 2006 military coup on corruption allegations.