Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Bangkok Airport chaos

The latest acts of rioting from the PAD (People's Alliance for Democracy) has caused chaos in Bangkok forcing the closure of the city's main airport, Suvarnabhumi, and cancellation of all outgoing flights and severe limitations on incoming planes.

The chaos all began when a group of PAD protestors baracaded the motorway turn off the Suvarnabumi airport. Quickly the scene became congested with PAD suppoters and rioters arriving in masses, TV cameras showed scenes of vandalism and violence as PAD supporters ran amok smashing property, burning cars, hijacking a public bus and threatening media and passers by.

In light of the global recession, the timing of the airport closure could not have been worse as Thailand's tourist communtiy is already suffering from inflated air travel prices. Its reputation as a holiday destination has been dented by the continuing political instabilities, including a recent baracade, and temporary closure, of the British Embassy in Bangkok. Tourists will now undoubtedly question whether a trip to Thailand is worth the increasingly costly investment with this latest bout of instability.

It's belived that the PAD has staged this latest exhibition of protest in an attempt to force a coup before the country's King's birthday on 5 December. Political coups are not new to this land, September 2006 saw the Army storm Government House and the state-run Channel 11, in a move that saw former Prime Minster Thaksin Shinawatra flee to the UK.

Further reading at Bangkok Post.

Update: I'll further explain the PAD and it's position in Thailand's political horizon soon

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