Thailand (Country threat level – 3):

On 14 April 2009 anti-government protesters in Bangkok ended their siege at the Government House complex. Protest leaders stated that the demonstrators were encouraged to disperse amid fears that the situation would again become violent as troops surrounded the complex. According to reports, approximately 2,000 protesters were gathered at the Government House before the protests ended. The protesters used trees and natural gas tanker trucks to blockade the entrances to the complex so that troops would not interfere. Protest leaders eventually called off the demonstration, and the protesters were allowed to peacefully vacate the premises. A state-owned transport company is providing free buses to transport the protesters to their various home provinces. Protesters were instructed to gather at the Equestrian Statue in the Royal Plaza to be picked up. Numerous banks, shopping malls and markets have begun to reopen as of 14 April, and the Songkran New Year Holiday for civil servants has been extended until 17 April in order to repair and clean up areas in the capital that were affected by the violent protests that have occurred in the capital for three weeks. Authorities advised state enterprises, financial institutions and private firms to make their own decisions regarding a possible holiday extension beyond the evening of 15 April. Transportation services and routes have returned to normal (aside from some bus routes being detoured due to debris in the streets) and the airports continue to operate without disruption. Although the state of emergency remains in effect for now while authorities evaluate the security situation, it will likely be lifted within the next 24-48 hours.

ASI Comment: As the crisis has abated for the present time, non-essential travel to Bangkok can resume as planned after the state of emergency is lifted. Despite this, travel to the country should be undertaken with caution, as the situation in the capital remains fluid.

About Tim McDowell

Colorado ACFEI Member's Homeland Security Weblog
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