Following more than a week of regular anti-government demonstrations in the nation's capital and other cities, Thailand's Prime Minister has withdrawn emergency measures levied on Bangkok.
A Royal Gazette announcement on Thursday said "as the serious situation that had led to the enactment of an emergency decree appeared, it has been resolved and stopped." The new order, which came into effect in Bangkok at noon, said the situation had returned to a state where the situation could be addressed by normal law enforcement.
This follows a pre-recorded television address on Wednesday by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, who said he was taking the first steps to "de-escalate" political tensions that have seen tens of thousands of demonstrators take to the streets in recent months, calling for a new constitution, reform of the monarchy and the resignation of Prayut.
"The protestors have made their voices and views heard," Prayut said. "As the leader of the nation who is responsible for the welfare of all Thais -- whether they be protestors or the silent majority with whatever political convictions -- I will make the first move to de-escalate this situation."
Prayut said he would lift the state of severe emergency in the capital on the condition that "there are no violent incidents" and asked protesters to work through representatives in parliament.
"I ask the protesters to reciprocate with sincerity, to turn down the volume on hateful and divisive talk, and to let us, together, disperse this terrible dark cloud before it moves over our country," the Prime Minster added.
Meanwhile, an extraordinary parliamentary session was given royal assent and will be convened from Monday, according to an announcement from Thailand's Royal Gazette. Thailand's parliament is in recess but will be recalled to debate the crisis. The order said King Maha Vajiralongkorn approved the session "With necessity for the national interest."