January 22, 2014

The Situation
State of Emergency in Thailand

Authorities in Thailand imposed a state of emergency in an attempt to regain control of Bangkok after more than a week of mass street demonstrations by anti-government protesters aimed at toppling the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. The government assured, however, that it “will not use force” and has “no policy to disperse” the protesters.

A statement from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: "Political demonstrations continue in and around Bangkok and elsewhere in Thailand. The situation is unpredictable and further protests are expected. The Thai Government declared a 60-day State of Emergency in Bangkok and surrounding areas from January 22.

An escalation in protest action in central Bangkok since January 13 is causing significant disruption to roads in affected areas, with effects across the city. The main protest sites are at the major intersections of Sala Daeng, Asoke, Ratchaprasong, Pathumwan, Victory Monument, Lat Phrao and at the government complex at Chaeng Watthana. Some protest sites are located close to shopping malls.

There have been attacks involving weapons and explosives at protest sites and protest marches. Attacks have taken place during the daytime and at night.

Travelers are advised to avoid all protests, demonstrations and large gatherings. Some protest sites are located near tourist attractions and popular shopping malls, which at times have closed or shortened hours unexpectedly. Protests may occur in other areas with little or no prior notice. If traveling to the airport, allow extra time to take account of possible transport delays, and consider using the airport raillink. Monitor local news and social media for developments.

Thai authorities have set up information centers for tourists traveling in the area, with Tourist's Friend Centres located at the Sport Authority of Thailand in the Bangkapi district of Bangkok, Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports, four BTS Skytrain stations (Siam, Phya Thai, Ekkamai and Wong Wian Yai) and Hua Lampong MRT station.

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The content of this edition of AssistAlert is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace further investigation or personal observations. If you are planning travel, or are traveling in or proximate to the locations identified in this newsletter, you are encouraged to contact SecurAssist for additional information.

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