from Press TV: Bangkok says the martial law imposed all over Thailand in May will remain in place “indefinitely” amid growing protests against the military rule in the Southeast Asian country.
“We are not saying that martial law will stay in place for 50 years, no this is not it. We just ask that it remain in place for now, indefinitely,” Thai Justice Minister General Paiboon Koomchaya said on Friday.
Paiboon further described the law as “necessary”, adding that Bangkok cannot “lift it because the government and junta need it as the army’s tool.”
The comments come despite an earlier pledge by the Thai government to lift the law in some provinces to help boost the country’s tourism industry, which has struggled since the military overthrew the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra in May.
The army imposed nationwide martial law later that month days before it seized power in a coup amid anti-government protests and violence across the country.
The martial law has banned all political demonstrations. However, some university students defied the law and staged protest rallies against the junta this week.
Thailand’s tourism industry, which accounts for nearly 10 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), has been badly affected by the coup.