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At least 10 die and 500 injured in Thai riot

At least 10 die and 500 injured in Thai riot - Headline

At least 10 die and 500 injured in Thai riot

Trouble in Bangkok… it is not the first time I have written those lines…

As predicted another wave of protests have been taking place in Bangkok and sadly they have once again turned violent.

There is little point in going over the reasons again, as I have covered this in previous blog articles and the fundamentals of the arguments have not  changed significantly; this time it is the ‘Red Shirts’ doing the protesting.

It has to be said that the end does not seem to be in sight for Thai protests and if the ‘Red Shirts’ get their way, it will probably just lead to the ‘Yellow Shirts’ taking to the streets as they have done in the past.

What this means for the traveller is two-fold.

Firstly it should go without saying that those areas where the protests are taking place should be out of bounds to travellers. I say it should ‘go without saying’ but watching television reports earlier today it was clear that some of the people milling round the scene of the previous nights violence were tourists with cameras flashing…  These places are not tourist attractions; they are dangerous parts of the city where violence can flare up at any time and where live bullets were used against protesters. More-over these are places where the previous night people died.

Take heed of the FCO advice which recommends against travel to certain parts of Thailand and do not forget that when the FCO recommends against travel it usually means your travel insurance becomes invalid in those locations.

The second point to note is that the chance of these protests spreading is significant. Previous protests have spread to other parts of the country and more significantly for travellers, the tactics used previously have included shutting down the International Airports by protestors ‘occupying’ them. This led to major disruption last time round, with many hotels filling up and this hub of air travel for South East Asia and beyond closing down completely.

Thailand is still open for business and there is at this time no need to cancel trips if you avoid those areas which need to be avoided. However if you plan to travel to or through Thailand make sure you are aware of the latest situation and once in-country stay in touch with developments so you can change your plans if it becomes necessary.

The FCO also suggest you register with the British embassy in Thailand on arrival.

To view the original article Click Here

Source – Independent

Date – 11th April 2010