Drop martial law, Thai govt told

Supant Mongkolsuthree, chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI), yesterday called on the government to lift martial law and replace it with Article 44, which grants the junta unchecked power.

He said he agreed with the proposal that Article 44 replace martial law, because any security measure that is not martial law is more acceptable to the international community. He said this is because few people outside Thailand have an understanding of the domestic situation and the junta's decision to keep martial law in place.

Article 44 of the interim charter authorises Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha, in his capacity as chief of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), to exercise the powers of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the government in order to suppress threats to national security.

Meanwhile, the Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking (JSCCIB) yesterday called on all sides to respect the rule of law, especially when it comes to violence.

"We do not want to see any violence from any side as we want the country to be stable to support economic recovery. We do not want to see a situation like this to turn into an obstacle for economic progress," Supant said as chairman of JSCCIB.