By The Nation
His announcement came after pro-democracy protesters besieged Parliament on Tuesday only to be met by police water cannon and tear gas. The protesters are calling for General Prayut’s removal and reform of the monarchy.
Prayut said the government and all parties had jointly sought peaceful and legal solutions to the political crisis, but tensions still showed no sign of easing.
Security agencies had followed standard procedure to maintain peace and order. However, the situation had not improved but instead escalated towards violence. If the crisis continued to deepen, it could undermine the national interest and revered institutions as well as the safety of people and property, he said.
The government and security agencies would therefore step up enforcement of all relevant laws to handle demonstrators who act illegally and fail to respect other people's rights and liberty, said Prayut. Authorities would prosecute all cases according to judicial norms and international standards, he added.
Thousands of protesters returned to the streets on Wednesday, surrounding Royal Thai Police headquarters in Bangkok and daubing its walls with paint in protest at the crackdown on Tuesday.