Protest on the runways

Nothing can quite beat the excitement of arriving at the airport before a fantastic weekend away at Thailand’s most beautiful beach destination. Krabi is rumored to be the most naturally exquisite and private tropical paradise in a country of many tropical paradises. But it’s a little hard to get there when thousands of demonstrators storm the runway to demand the ouster of the prime minister.

Hundreds of travelers have been left stranded in Thailand after authorities closed three airports due to protests.

The resort island of Phuket was the first airport to shut its doors, followed by Krabi and Hat Yai in the country’s south as anti-government protests spread across the country.

More than 5,000 protesters invaded Phuket International Airport, storming its two runways and preventing passengers from going in or out, Agence France-Presse reported.

— The Age, Australia

Unfortunately, this disruption is just one example of larger demonstrations that started three days ago. The People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) has been occupying Prime Minister Samrak Sundaravej’s office compound to demand his resignation. They claim he is a a proxy for predecessor Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a coup in 2006.

Thai police used tear gas to disperse a crowd of several thousand anti-government protesters who were besieging city police headquarters. The prime minister said he might declare a state of emergency if the rioting worsens.

Associated Press journalists witnessed police throwing dozens of canisters of gas at the crowd of at least 2,000 people. Protest leaders claimed they had come to demand the surrender of officers who allegedly beat demonstrators earlier in the day.

— The Associated Press

I can assure everyone, that despite the media reports, life in Bangkok continues as usual. I haven’t seen any of the protesters as they’re located at the government compounds. But one concern on everyone’s mind is the possibility of another coup. Thankfully the 2006 coup was non-violent, so for now there is no worry that the demonstrations will compromise the safety of Bangkok.

What I’m more concerned with right now is getting my weekend in paradise off the ground. I’m keeping high hopes that the protesters want to sleep in tomorrow.

8 thoughts on “Protest on the runways

  1. Excellently written. It’s obvious that you are a journalist, and a good one. Love your blog. It’s bookmarked for me and I check it every day.

  2. I, too, hope there is no violence and that you get your vacation in paradise. And that you post pictures of paradise, because I would love to see them.

  3. Lindsay!

    Imagine what good things you could write about if there is a coup?!? Is it bad to wish for one?

    I hope things are continue to be cool though. Be safe.

    I never made it to Krabi, but my buddy Tim said it was pretty sweet.

    And I think you now need to get yourself a motorbike and take the camera to your helmet.

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