Saturday, April 11, 2009

More serious political trouble in Thailand today

Further to my previous posts about all things Thailand, including the on-off-on and (now) seemingly endless political troubles over here (see here, here, here and here for example), I am very sad to have to say that there is, as of today, even more serious trouble, this time in the major tourist city of Pattaya.

See this article in Yahoo! for more info on what has been going on, and this article in the Wall Street Journal for full details of what happened and, more importantly perhaps, why.

Basically, this afternoon anti-government protesters stormed the ASEAN summit of Asian leaders (including the leaders of China, South Korea and Japan) being held in Pattaya, despite increased security at the event, and despite actions by the government yesterday to try and ease the recent surge in protests.

This has led to the summit being cancelled amid security fears just as it was getting under way, with some national leaders having to be evacuated from Pattaya by helicopter, all of which is hugely embarrassing to Thailand. Indeed, given that this summit was postponed from late last year due to the political protests taking place back then, it is difficult to imagine anything that could be more embarrassing to the nation.

Given the very serious nature of this latest development, and the potentially dangerous longer-term consequences, clearly it is once again not a good idea to come here on holiday at the moment, despite what I said about it being fine recently - things have changed very quickly here with no real warning, and this unpredictability is making the situation even worse. Oh dear.

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