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Thai cabinet approves lifting martial law in Bangkok, 40 other provinces

[JURIST] The Thai cabinet Tuesday approved a measure to lift martial law in 41 of the country's 76 provinces, including Bangkok, despite a recommendation by coup leader and Army Commander-in-Chief General Sonthi Boonyaratglin [BBC profile] Monday to retain martial law in the capital city. Thailand [JURIST news archive] has been under a state of martial law since the Thai military seized power from civilian prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra [JURIST news archive] in a bloodless coup [JURIST report] in September. The country's military leaders Monday proposed [JURIST report] the initial list of territories which would be released from martial law, indicating that border provinces would not be included.

Sonthi opposes lifting martial law in Bangkok and said Monday that he will hold Thai Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont [official website; BBC profile] responsible for any problems that occur there. King Bhumibol Adulyadej [Wikipedia profile] must still approve the cabinet's decision and the king's assent is expected to come in the next several days. AFP has more.

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