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Tourism Authority of Thailand provides update on political situation

Written by editor

The following Fact Sheet was issued from the Tourism Authority of Thailand on their current situation. This information is as of April 9, 2009, 17:00 hours, Bangkok Time.

The following Fact Sheet was issued from the Tourism Authority of Thailand on their current situation. This information is as of April 9, 2009, 17:00 hours, Bangkok Time.

• Bangkok has witnessed the United Front of Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) since March 26, 2009 that led to the occupation or obstructing of a handful of government compounds, including the Government House area, which houses a number of cabinet offices, and the outside of the Si Sao Thewes home, which is the residence of Gen. Prem Tinsulanonda, President of the Privy Council.

• Today, some of the protesters went to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, head office of the democratic party and the Constitutional Court. Some certain areas in Bangkok such as, Victory Monument and the surrounding vicinity, remain closed by the protesters. Police and security officials have exercised utmost restraint at all times in handling these disturbances and will continue to do so.

• The mood of the overwhelming majority of protestors has been peaceful and no serious violence has been reported.

• All relevant authorities have clearly stated that Thailand will remain under civilian rule. Such events are not unusual from time to time in any democratic system that permits the right to protest under its constitution. There has been no significant disruption to life and business in the capital beyond added traffic congestion in a few areas.

• Almost all of our key tourist sites in Bangkok and nationwide are completely unaffected. The demonstrations remain confined to only around the Government House compound, Si Sao Thewes home, and its immediate vicinity.

• The political situation in general and the demonstrations in particular do not pose any risk to the safety of foreigners living in or visiting Thailand. Life in the capital and the rest of the Kingdom continues as usual. Foreign nationals are unaffected.

• Hotels and other travel-related infrastructure and services, including all airports, train services throughout the country, and roadways are operating as normal.

• Tourists and expats in Bangkok should avoid the following areas: Chamai Maruchet Bridge, Government house, and outside the Si Sao Thewes area.

• Public utilities and communication services operate uninterrupted, contrary to reports of possible disruptions.

• The kingdom’s various tourist attractions and shopping districts are unaffected and open for business as usual. Tourists can continue to enjoy the amazing variety of sites, food, and experiences at even more amazing prices that make Thailand such a special travel destination.

• To ease any concern that foreign visitors may have in traveling to Thailand, the Thai authorities concerned have stepped up measures to ensure their safety and to facilitate their travel, both to and within the country.

• The 14th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits during April 10-12, 2009, in Pattaya will be held as scheduled. HE Mr. Suthep Thaugsuban, the Deputy Prime Minister, and HE Mr. Kasit Piromya, Minister of Foreign Affairs, have assured the safety and security measures which meet the international standards in the Summit Meeting.

• For further information on traffic in Bangkok, please contact Jor Sor Roi at +66 2350 5000.