The Thai government is lifting the state of emergency in Bangkok...

The Thai government has canceled the state of emergency it declared in Bangkok last week with a gesture by the embattled prime minister to cool student-led protests aimed at reforming democracy.

Important points:

The decree had banned public gatherings of more than four people and allowed censorship of the media, among other things.

It was challenged in court by an opposition party and a group of university students.

The revocation of the emergency decree, which came into force on Thursday afternoon (local time), stated that the situation had been defused and could now be regulated by existing laws.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha went on national television Wednesday evening to appeal to protesters to ease political tension and promised to lift the emergency measure.

“I am currently preparing to lift the serious state of emergency in Bangkok and will do so immediately if there are no violent incidents.”

The protesters called for the release of their colleagues who were arrested in connection with previous protests.(Reuters: Jorge Silva)

In the recorded speech, Mr. Prayuth asked his compatriots to resolve their political differences through parliament.

As he spoke, protesters marched near the government house to demand his resignation.

They also called for the release of their colleagues arrested in connection with previous protests.

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Duration: 1 minute 3 seconds1m 3s

Despite warnings from the police, protests have been going on across Thailand for several weeks.

They said that if their demands were not met, they would return in three days.

Although the demonstrators pushed their way through the police lines, neither side resorted to violence.

There were no major demonstrations on Thursday as some protesters said they were taking a day of rest. Wednesday was the eighth day in a row with rallies.

The demonstrators are pushing for a more democratic constitution and reforms of the monarchy.

The implicit criticism of the royal institution has sparked controversy as it has traditionally been treated as sacrosanct and a pillar of national identity.

Anti-government protesters move on motorbikes during a rally near the Democracy Monument.

Anti-government protesters move on motorbikes during a rally near the Democracy Monument.

Royalists might turn out on Chulalongkorn Day, a holiday honoring one of the country’s most revered kings.(AP: Gemunu Amarasinghe)

The lifting of the state of emergency came as the Bangkok Civil Court prepared to rule on motions to repeal the decree for illegally restricting freedom of assembly.

The opposition party Pheu Thai was one of the applicants and the head of their team at the court said he was not impressed that Mr. Prayuth had overturned the decree.

On Wednesday, royalists held rallies in several cities, in many cases led by officials, to defend the monarchy.

At a small rally in Bangkok there was fighting between anti-government protesters and palace supporters.

On Chulalongkorn Day, a holiday honoring one of the country’s most revered kings, royalists could emerge again.

In Geneva, the UN Human Rights Bureau issued a statement in which its experts called on the Thai government to respect the rights of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression.

“The Thai people should be able to express their opinions freely and share their political views online and offline without being prosecuted,” it said.

AP

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