Junta threatens new curfews to keep the peace
CURFEWS may be re-imposed in any area found to have security threats, a spokesman for Thailand's military junta said on Saturday, just a day after the lifting of the nationwide curfew.
Any area with the risk of disturbances that threaten national security may see the curfew invoked again, Pathamakorn Ratanadilok Na-Phuket, a spokesman for the National Council for Peace and Order, said.
She said the country would remain under martial law, although the authorities would focus on enforcing ordinary laws to deal with law-breakers.
The spokesman said the curfew had contributed to a reduction of crime - including violent crime - traffic violations and gambling.
The junta said in its announcement on Friday night that the curfew was being lifted as the overall situation had improved.
That was good news for entertainment spots, which immediately saw more customers.
The curfew, which was imposed on May 22 following the military takeover, had earlier been lifted in 25 provinces, many of them tourist destinations such as Pattaya, Phuket, Krabi and Koh Samui.
Meanwhile, thousands of Thais thronged cinemas yesterday to grab free tickets to an epic film featuring a mediaeval king, given away by the military keen to kindle patriotic feeling after seizing power to end months of unrest.
The army's campaign to "return Thailand to happiness" has included free concerts and an order to the broadcasting authorities to show all World Cup soccer games on free-to-air channels.
About 40 Bangkok cinemas offered a free morning showing of The Legend Of King Naresuan Part V and movie-goers jammed a plush city-centre shopping mall - about five times more than the 500 seats available.
THE NATION/ASIA NEWS NETWORK, REUTERS