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Bangkok Protests Expected This Week May Become Violent

Thailand News, Pattaya Times Newspaper US Embassy Bangkok 21.01.2011 23:04

For the first time, both Yellow Shirts and Red Shirts will be protesting in Bangkok about the same time starting this Sunday, January 22. Following the military coup that ousted elected Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra in 2006, the Yellow Shirts took over the Thailand airports crippling tourism three years ago and now they plan a march near the Red Shirts protest site on Tuesday January 25. The Red Shirts fortified encampments last year in central Bangkok leading to horrific violence and the burning of many major shopping malls and stores and deaths. The Thailand government is resigning to allow new elections possibly next month so these pushes for power may be ongoing. However, if there is civil unrest, it is unlikely the current government led by productive Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva will resign.



 Warden Message: Demonstrations 
This message alerts U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Thailand that the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (aka UDD, or the red-shirts) plans to hold a demonstration in Bangkok on Sunday, January 23. Scheduled from approximately 1:00 pm to midnight, the demonstration is to begin at the Rajaprasong area (around Central World) and move to the Democracy Monument. 

Streets surrounding the Rajaprasong intersection are expected to be filled with approximately 5,000-10,000 people in all directions. Many participants are expected to park their vehicles on the sides of Rajadamri and Ploenchit roads, impeding traffic throughout the area. Central World and Siam Paragon may also be affected and close early. As many as 20,000 people may participate in the activities around the Democracy Monument. We strongly suggest that you avoid these areas throughout the afternoon and evening of January 23, 2011. 

Additionally, on Tuesday, January 25, the People's Alliance for Democracy (aka PAD, or the yellow-shirts) plans to hold a demonstration in Bangkok. About 2,000 to 3,000 people are expected to pass from around Makkawan Rangsan Bridge onto Rajdamnern Road near the Government House, and finally gather at the Royal Plaza (King Rama V Monument). We strongly suggest that you avoid this area throughout the day and evening since the timing of demonstration is still undetermined. 

We are not aware of any general, specific, or implied threat to U.S. citizens or U.S. interests throughout this period. However, even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence with little or no warning. As a precaution, you should avoid areas that may be targeted for demonstrations. Monitor local media to keep updated with the latest information about demonstrations and areas to avoid. Stay alert, and be cognizant of any unattended packages/bags in public/crowded places. Report any suspicious behavior to law enforcement personnel.

Bangkok Protests Expected This Week May Become Violent - Abhisit Vejjajiva - Bangkok - thailand - violence - Red Shirts - Yellow Shirts  U.S. CITIZEN SERVICES 
For the latest security information, Americans living and traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet web site at travel.state.gov, where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Alerts, Travel Warnings, and health-information resources can be found. Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S. and Canada or, for callers in other areas by calling a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). 

The Department strongly encourages U.S. citizens in Thailand to register with the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok or through the State Department's travel registration website. For information on general crime and security issues, U.S. citizens may also consult the Department of State's Country Specific Information for Thailand and the Worldwide Caution, located at the Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs website. U.S. citizens may also obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 from the United States and Canada, or 202-501-4444 from overseas. 

The American Citizen Services section of the U.S. Embassy Bangkok is located at 95 Wireless Road, Bangkok 10330, Thailand. The American Citizen Services Unit of the U.S. Embassy can be reached by calling 66-2-205-4049 and by e-mail at acsbkk@state.gov. The emergency after-hours telephone number is 66-2-205-4000. 

The U.S. Consulate General in Chiang Mai is located at 387 Wichayanond Road in Chiang Mai. The American Citizen Services Unit of the Consulate General can be reached by calling 66-53-107-777 and by e-mail at acschn@state.gov. The after-hours emergency telephone number is 66-81-881-1878.


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