Sunday, April 11, 2010

Thailand political unrest, April 2010 - another update

(This follows on from my recent posts on this subject which you can read here and here.)

I am very sad to have to report that last night there was some extremely serious trouble in Bangkok. Unfortunately 19 people died and over 800 were injured when fighting broke out between the "Red Shirt" anti-government protestors and the Thai military who were trying to disperse them from one of the areas of central Bangkok where they had gathered in great numbers.

There still seems to be no end in sight to this increasingly violent political unrest as neither side appears to be willing to back down. The "Red Shirts" are demanding that the current government (which they believe is an undemocratic and corrupt military-backed puppet of the Thai rich elite) be disolved and that new fair democratic elections be held immediately.

But there is no sign of that happening - the current Prime Minister, Abhisit Vejjajiva, is refusing to give in to their demands. So, despite the tragic events of last night, there are still many thousands of protestors on the streets of Bangkok, which of course means there could be more serious fighting again at any time.

It is a very sad time now for my country, and clearly despite what all of us thought before, it is no longer safe for any foreign tourists to be in Bangkok. However, the rest of Thailand is still very safe, although I don't suppose many tourists will be coming here now. Oh dear me.

If you are a foreigner currently staying in Thailand, I recommend that you check the internet for the latest news before you decide what to do and where to go next. That way you can be sure you have the most up-to-date information. There are internet cafes in almost every town and city in Thailand, and if you have a Thai SIM card for your mobile phone, you should be able to use the GPRS/EDGE or WAP mobile phone internet easily enough, normally for around 1 Baht per minute. (And if you don't have a Thai SIM, again almost every town and city has mobile phone shops that sell them quite cheaply.)

Update on April 14, 2010 at 1:50 PM: Sadly, the official death toll from Saturday night's violence has now risen to 23, because 4 people seriously injured in the clashes have since died in hospital.


Unknown said...

We are Canadians who really want to travel to Thailand in August..what are your thoughts?

Sureephon said...

Well Kent, I'd say you will be fine as long as you aren't planning to stay in Bangkok itself - places like Pattaya and the islands of Samui and Phuket are just fine.