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Martial law to remain ‘indefinitely’ in Thailand

The Thai Justice Minister Paiboon Koomchaya said martial law will remain “indefinitely” as protests against the military’s rule increase.

General Paiboon told Reuters that martial law will remain "because the government and junta need it as the army's tool".

"We are not saying that martial law will stay in place for 50 years, no, this is not it. We just ask that it remain in place for now, indefinitely," he said, adding that the army "does not violate anyone's rights".

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, the leader of the military coup in May told local media on Thursday that Thailand needed martial law.

"Am I happy? No, I'm not. The longer [martial law] is in place, the more unhappy I become. Yet, it's necessary," he said.

"Today, priority must be given to the future of the country. Conflict and social disparity must be stopped."

The junta has been arresting activists for displays of dissent. Nacha Kong-udom, a prominent young activist was arrested after flashing a three-finger salute used in the Hollywood movies, The Hunger Games, a symbol adopted by those opposed to the coup.

Gen Prayuth told media on Friday he was "unconcerned" about the popularity of the salute. Asked if it was banned, he said: "I don't know whether it is illegal or not but it could jeopardise their futures."