– Thailand news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community
PHUKET: HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej has signed a royal decree to lift martial law. The news was announced on a nationwide television broadcast last night.
While international right groups slammed the plan to enforce Article 44 of the interim charter that gives the junta leader unlimited power in place of martial law, government officials jumped to its defence, claiming the versatile legal instrument that replaces martial law will be utilised to cope with several problems in the country.
Prime Minister Gen Prayut Cha-o-cha, who heads the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), promised yesterday to enforce the law constructively to solve deep-rooted societal problems such as income inequality, abuse of forestry resources, human trafficking, aviation standards and even overpriced lottery tickets.
He pointed to the failure of past civil administrations in addressing these problems, which had held back the country’s development. He said that since staging the coup on May 22 last year, he had wanted to solve these problems and he was aspiring for no personal gains.
The government’s legal experts said Article 44 allowed the junta to take some key components from three draconian laws to tackle security and political troubles.
The article comprises authority granted under the martial law, the emergency decree and the Internal Security Act to ensure maximum efficiency in enforcing the military government’s authority in dealing with the issue of lottery-ticket prices and civil-aviation regulations, apart from combating human trafficking in the fishery industry.
Although Article 44 does not yet have variable measures of its own, pending details to be worked out by the government’s legal adviser, it will yield outcomes similar to those imposed by the martial law, but will carry different penalties, said Panitan Wattanayagorn, an adviser to Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan.
Organic regulations will be issued after Article 44 becomes effective, once martial law has been revoked officially under a royal command, which will be published in the Royal Gazette.
“The security agencies have insisted that there is still need for a tool to deal with public gatherings to suppress violence after martial law is revoked, but Article 44 will be more open to allowing peaceful political activities and expression,” said Mr Panitan, who is also an academic at Chulalongkorn University. “Article 44 is expected to ease political tension both domestically and internationally.”
A high-ranking security source said the guidelines under martial law would be implemented to cope with political violence or disturbance, but their intensity would decrease and the measures partially enforced, not wholly as when martial law was imposed previously.
The organic regulations under Article 44 would contain details on certain actions by police and soldiers – what they would be allowed or not allowed to do, including clear-cut definitions of authority for them to conduct raids or make arrests. Certain regulations under the article will carry criminal penalties for wrongdoers, he added.
A military source said that as the chief of the NCPO, PM Prayut already had the power to override authority exercised by the judiciary, executive and legislative branches. Article 44 only legally endorses such power.
“He never exercised this power against groups of people whose activities had affected national security, but only used it carefully to amend necessary laws and execute his power as the prime minister,” the source said.
Meanwhile, Interior Minister Gen Anupong Paochinda urged the public to embrace the imposition of Article 44 in exchange for peace and order within the society.
“One of the most devastating setbacks to the country that happened in the recent past has been domestic conflict. I do not want the country to return to that situation. Therefore, some laws are needed for peace and order,” Gen Anupong said.
The interior minister, who is also a member of the NCPO, said: “I want the public to accept that peace and order may come with the cost of stricter law and law enforcement.”
Reacting to reports that the use of Article 44 may draw some international criticism and sanctions, Anupong said the international community was concerned about martial law, so that has been removed.
This will benefit the country, he said, but insisted that “normal” laws are sufficient to ensure the country’s security.
— Phuket Gazette Editors
Get more from The Thaiger
Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.
Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.
Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.
Kanye West’s “White Lives Matter” shirt at Paris Fashion Week
Tangmo defendant repays vow with 5-metre Ultraman figure
Bangkok asks companies to let employees work from home until October 7
Thailand News Today | Prime minister’s achievements since coming back to the office
Revealed: the best rooftop bars in the world
Father & 2 year old son shot in Chiang Mai
Officials predict over 100,000 people at Pattaya International Fireworks Festival
Six-legged golden frog brings good fortune in northern Thailand
British Embassy Bangkok to hold a conference on tourism safety and security
Mother seeks justice after a monk slapped her son
Bangkok ranked one of top 5 expat cities
Woman abandons home after police ignore four burglaries
VIDEO: Brave citizens save delivery driver swept away by floods in northeast Thailand
Chiang Mai wakes up to a flooded city district
Japanese warned to take cover over North Korea missile test
5 suit tailors in Bangkok that’ll make you look dapper
Things to do in Bangkok that cost next to nothing (2022)
VIDEO: 500 year old Buddhist stupa collapses in Chiang Mai revealing hidden treasures
Thailand’s strange laws – 10 strange laws in Thailand
Is the dream over? China walks back Belt & Road ambitions
OnlyFans star sentenced to six years in prison in Myanmar
Woman’s body in luggage found floating in Mekong River
Thailand’s weak baht could have a silver lining in the tourism industry, THA says
Thai baht plunges to 38 against US dollar for first time in 16 years
Snitching on parking space hoggers could earn you 5,000 baht in Thailand
Canadian gangster in Phuket killing faces death penalty in Thailand
20 baht notes printed with errors, says Bank of Thailand
Thai lotto winners reward ghosts with pricey Japanese feast
Maya Bay reopens once again to the public
Thailand to extend Smart Visa scheme to draw talent
Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14
Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4
Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO
Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2
Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO
Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23
In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO
Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21
Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19
Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18
Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15
Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14
Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13
Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12
Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11
Environment1 day ago
Maya Bay reopens once again to the public
Thailand1 day ago
Thailand’s cold season expected to hit in late October
Bangkok3 days ago
Anti-Prayut rallies expected across Bangkok
Bangkok3 days ago
Garbage in canals worsens flooding in Bangkok
Thailand1 day ago
Bank repossesses the wrong house in central Thailand
Chiang Mai1 day ago
River in Chiang Mai overflows, floods spread
North East1 day ago
30 trail runners stuck in Isaan forest due to flash flood
Philippines1 day ago
Philippines offers attractive alternative to Thailand’s 10 year LTR visa