Thailand's Department of Special Investigation (DSI) has lifted a freeze on the bank accounts of 38 core members of the anti-government People's Democratic Reform Committee, as well as three other related accounts.

However, DSI chief Tarit Pengdith, who is also a member of the Centre for Maintaining Peace and Order (CMPO) said the centre will continue to monitor these accounts as there are arrest warrants for the 38 people.

The DSI started to freeze the bank accounts of protest leaders in December last year.

The lifting was made following the Civil Court's earlier ruling that banned the CMPO from taking harsh action against protesters, Tarit said.

He said the CMPO will appeal against the verdict to seek more power in dealing with protesters.

Earlier, Thai army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha warned of a civil war if the parties do not respect the law. He also affirmed that the army will maintain its neutral role and will not stand for any side, but only act for the nation.

Anti-government protests have lingered since November last year, killing 16 and injuring 695 others so far. The continued demonstrations also reduced the country’s January imports, resulting in the sharpest drop in four years at 15.5 percent against the previous month.

Meanwhile the Thai Hotels’ Association reported that in the first two months of this year, the reservation rate in Bangkok was around 50 percent, much lower than the normal figure of 80 percent seen in the same period of previous years.

Thai Airways is also likely to suffer losses due to a decrease in tourists.-VNA