Thailand Declares Week-Long Public Holiday as Protests Rage

Thailand Declares Week-Long Public Holiday as Protests Rage

BANGKOK

Thailand’s government announced on Tuesday three more public holidays for government agencies in Bangkok, in a move to keep civilians off the violence-wracked streets until the end of the week.

Government offices were already shuttered for Monday and Tuesday, and schools have been ordered to delay their return from holidays for a week until next Monday.

The capital’s two main train systems, the underground and the overhead monorail, have been closed for four days due to the clashes between troops and anti-government protesters that have left 38 dead and hundreds injured.

“The cabinet considers the holidays are crucial… for public safety,” a government spokesman Vachara Kanikar said, announcing that Wednesday through to Friday would be public holidays for civil servants.

“The protests are restricted but government officials have to travel to their workplace and that is difficult when some roads are blocked.”

Vachara said private companies should make their own decisions on whether to keep their staff at home.

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