This doesn’t bode well for my upcoming trip to Thailand, but the Thai government has declared a state of emergency in the capital Bangkok and surrounding areas until they can get those pesky anti-Yingluck protests under control.
The 60-day state of emergency decree follows weeks of mass rallies in Bangkok that have sparked several scenes of violence, including a grenade attack that injured 28 people. Anti-government protesters have been blocking parts of the capital by erecting roadblocks and rally stages at several key intersections, in an attempt to try to force Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to resign. Yingluck, who many believe is just a puppet of her brother, exiled former leader Thaksin Shinawatra, refuses to step down and has called for an election on Febrary 2 in an attempt to appease the protesters.
But the protesters aren’t so easily appeased, and Yingluck ran out of luck trying to keep them under control. Enter the 60-day state of emergency.
“The cabinet decided to invoke the emergency decree to take care of the situation and to enforce the law,” Deputy Prime Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul said.
“We need it because the protesters have closed government buildings, banks and escalated the situation, which has caused injuries and deaths. The government sees the need to announce the emergency decree to keep the situation under control,” another Thai minister said.
The decree, which comes into effect Wednesday, gives the government wide-ranging powers to deal with the disorder. The decree will allow police to impose curfews, detain suspects without charge, censor media, ban political gatherings of more than five people and declare areas of Bangkok off-limits.
This is going to be the worst vacation ever!