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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Thursday, October 18, 2018

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Thai military government lifts martial law

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha made the announcement

Share on Facebook April 2, 2015, Reporter : ANI, Reader : 613

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London, April 2 (ANI): Thailand government has reportedly announced its decision to end the martial law, which was imposed 10 months ago.

It was introduced in May 2014, shortly before the army staged a coup, reported the BBC.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha made the announcement in a televised address on Wednesday, saying that the king had given his formal approval to lift it.

However, the law is to be replaced by bringing into force Article 44 of a new constitution, which has been heavily criticised by human rights groups. It allows the prime minister to issue executive orders to "disrupt or suppress" threats to national security or the monarchy. General Prayuth said that under the new security order, soldiers would have the power to "apprehend people, if an incident occurs, without an arrest warrant."

The move has elicited widespread criticism as many believe that it could give the military more power than before.

The Thai military government, officially known as the National Council for Peace and Order, has promised to reinstate democracy and hold elections in late 2015, but has repeatedly cracked down on dissent, jailing critics and censoring the media.

Thailand's tourism industry, which is vital to the nation's economy, has also lashed out at martial law, saying it was stifling the sector.

A U.S. State Department representative expressed concern that the new measures would not ease curbs on basic rights.

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