BANGKOK— Thailand’s military junta announced late Friday yesterday that the nighttime curfew will be lifted from immediate effect after being in effect in most parts of the country for the past few weeks.
This move is set to bolster the country’s vital tourism industry, and the military junta has promised to install an interim government in August.
In a televised announcement on Friday night, the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) , the governing body that the military junta set up when it staged a coup on May 22, said the curfew would be lifted with immediate effect.
“The overall situation across the country has eased, and there are no sign of violence,” the junta said.
“To ease the impact to people’s daily lives and boost tourism by Thais and foreigners the curfew is being lifted in the remaining areas nationwide with immediate effect.”The announcement also cited an intention to ease the impact [of the military control] on the public and to promote tourism for both locals and visitors as another reason to revoke the curfew.
Friday’s announcement was made after NCPO chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha finished his weekly television program “Returning Happiness to the People,” which he initiated after the coup to address the country.
Within a week into the nationwide curfew of 10pm to 5am imposed on 22nd May, the NPCO relaxed the timing of the curfew to between midnight and 4 am (local time) in 47 provinces, including Bangkok to reduce disturbance to the tourism economy which relied heavily on night entertainment.
And earlier this month, the curfew was lifted in dozens of cities, including popular tourist destinations such as resort towns of Pattaya, Koh Samui, Phuket and Koh Phangan.
General Prayuth says power will be handed to a government in August as part of a three-phase plan of reconciliation, formation of a government and elections.
“A government will be set up by August, or at the very latest September,” General Prayuth told a meeting devoted to the 2015 national budget.