Martial law to remain in Thailand for foreseeable future, justice minister says.

Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha dismissed calls to lift martial law, saying it would continue until sweeping national reforms are in place, despite calls by tourism bodies to scrap a measure that has deterred many visitors.

Martial law was declared on May 20, 2014 two days before the army seized power in a bloodless coup following months of sometimes violent street protests aimed at ousting then Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

Last month, the military government said it was considering lifting the law in provinces that attract visitors, so as to boost tourism, which accounts for a tenth of the economy, and was battered by the protests, martial law and the coup.

Tourist arrivals dropped 7.0 percent in September from a year earlier, following a drop of 11.9 percent in August.

Prayuth, who led the coup as commander-in-chief of the Royal Thai Army, said the military seized control of government to help avert further bloodshed after months of unrest left nearly 30 dead.



Reuters has contributed to the article / Nov. 21, 2014


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