Thai Situation Escalates, Forces Abhisit to Cancel ASEAN Appearance

Updated On: Apr 09, 2010

After a resolute group of Red Shirts forced entry into Parliament, Thailand has mobilised about 33,000 extra law enforcers in and around Bangkok, beefing up security in the face of mass anti-government protests. The protesters have also started a march to ten different locations, starting with the Thaicom Pcl satellite earth station just north of Bangkok.

The government declared a state of emergency on Wednesday, bestowing upon them the power to suspend certain civil liberties and to censor the news media. In an attempt to quell a month of disruptive rallies in Bangkok, the government have blocked the Reds' main source of propaganda - a round-the-clock TV station devoted to their anti-government campaign. It also pulled the plug on dozens of websites that it accused of spreading information that could jeopardise national security. The immediate effects are plain to see, with the number of demonstrators in the commercial district diminishing.

The escalating crisis forced Prime Minister Abhisit to cancel a trip to Hanoi to attend the ASEAN annual summit, one day after announcing the cancellation of a trip to Washington next week.

These extreme measures taken are in a view of a planned major protest rally for today, announced by a Red Shirt leader Natthawut Saikua.

Thai Capital Braced for More Protests [ChannelNewsAsia, 8 Apr 2010]
Thailand Mobilises 33.000 Extra Police, Troops in Bangkok [ChannelNewsAsia,9 Apr 2010]
Thai Leader Cancels Trip to Summit Meeting [The New York Times, 8 Apr 2010]

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