Fluid Situation in Bangkok as Protest Leader Gives 48-hour Deadline

The anti-government protests in Bangkok, Thailand turned violent over the weekend resulting in 3 deaths and 127 injured as they demand the resignation of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and dissolution of her ruling party.

Anti-government protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban told PM Yingluck Sunday night that she has 48 hours to resign and that his followers are resolved to see out their goals which is a complete overthrow of the current government.

Instability in Bangkok is impacting tourism with airlines such as Cathay Pacific monitoring the situation in Bangkok closely and a Hong Kong tour company rescheduling itineraries for its clients wanting to travel to Bangkok.

The protests between pro-government and anti-government factions became violent over the weekend when clashes at the Ramkhamhaeng University resulted in 3 deaths and 127 wounded. Many students were trapped and needed assistance to be evacuated from the university campus.

Protests continued into Monday with the anti-government faction attacking the Metropolitan Police Station in Bangkok. They were dispersed with tear gas. However, police have not ruled out the use of rubber bullets to drive back protestors.

The anti-government protestors have occupied several government buildings to include the Government Complex located on Chang Wattana Road. The Immigration Division that occupies its main office there notified expatriates that they have temporarily moved to another office.

In an attempt to bring peace, PM Yingluck offered to meet with protest leader Suthep. The two met on Sunday night under the supervision of the military

Suthep plans to install a ‘People’s Council” to oversee the government and choose a new PM once PM Yingluck resigns.

The protests stem from accusations that PM Yingluck is trying to get legislation passed to grant her brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, a pardon for corruption charges.

Thaksin was the PM in 2006 when he was ousted by a military coup. He lives today in exile in Dubai. If he re-enters Thailand, he faces a prison sentence for corruption.

Presently 23 countries have issued travel warnings for those wanting to visit Thailand during the peak tourist season which recently started. However, in spite of the clashes, tourists are in no danger and are not targets. They are still advised to avoid all demonstrations.

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