Yingluck lifts ISA in Bangkok
- Published: 26/11/2012 at 04:48 PM
- Online news:
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Monday signed an order lifting the Internal Security Act (ISA) invoked in three district of Bangkok on Nov 22 ahead of the Pitak Siam group's anti-government rally, government spokesman Tossaporn Serirak said.
Riot police wearing gas masks prepare for the anti-government Pitak Siam protest at Makkawan bridge near Government House on Nov 24. (EPA photo)
Mr Tossaporn said the order was effective immediately. The provisions of the special security law were imposed in Dusit, Phra Nakhon and Pomprap Sattruphai districts of Bangkok.
The use of the special law was originally proclaimed for the period Nov 22 to 30.
The lifting of the ISA was proposed by the Centre for the Administration of Peace and Order, chaired by Pol Gen Adul Saengsingkaew, the national police chief.
Meanwhile, Gen Boonlert "Seh Ai" Kaewprasit has stepped down as leader of the anti-government Pitak Siam group, and said he would have no hand in organising future political protests.
Gen Boonlert also denied having accepted money from fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra to end the mass rally at the Royal Plaza on Saturday.
The retired general said he decided to call off the mass gathering because he did not want to put supporters in harm's way, pointing to the morning clashes in which riot police fired tear gas at the crowd. A reported 82 people were injured and taken to hospitals that day.
Gen Boonlert "Seh Ai" Kaewprasit (Photo by Wassana Nanuam)
"I regret seeing police hurting people while the armed forces stood by and did nothing.
"I was just keeping my promise to end the rally if there was a low turnout," Gen Boonlert said.
He also claimed that there are photographs showing suspicious men on the rooftops of the buildings surrounding the Royal Plaza protest site. He feared that they were planning to attack the demonstrators.
After the rally, Gen Boonlert resigned from the position of president of the Armed Forces Academies Preparatory School Alumni Foundation, saying that he did not want to cause anymore rifts within the military.
He admitted that he was in contact with the commander of the 1st Region Army, Lt Gen Paiboon Kumchaya, and the deputy army chief, Gen Dapong Rattanasuwan, during the rally, to assess the situation.
Despite having stepped aside from a leadership role, Gen Boonlert said he will continue to support Pitak Siam and participate in activities to safeguard the country’s main institutions.
He also promised assistance for those injured and arrested during the demonstration.
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- Writer: Online Reporters
Position: Online Reporters