Bangkok: Fifteen countries today issued warnings to their citizens asking them to avoid travelling to areas near the anti-government rallies in Bangkok after the opposition called for a three-day nationwide strike.
England, France, Sweden, Japan, Canada, Australia, Israel, Brazil, Singapore, Belgium, Spain, Netherlands, Norway, Germany and Hungary have issued travel advisories, Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Surapol Sawetseranee said following anti-government protests enveloping parts of Bangkok during the last few days.
Around 50,000 Thais clustered in the political heart of Bangkok last night, with some 2,500 anti-government protesters remaining on the streets today against a proposed amnesty bill, which was rejected by senators in a unanimous vote yesterday.
The bill, if adopted, could have paved the way or the return of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra who is Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s brother and could have also possibly absolved him of corruption charges.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra today appealed to anti-government groups to end ongoing street protests.
“As many of their demands have been met, I plead for those protesting to stop,” she told reporters, appealing to the public to give her government time to run the country.
Thaksin is on self-imposed exile in Dubai after he was edged out of power in a coup in 2006.
Suthep Thaugsuban, a key leader of the ongoing protest against the controversial amnesty bill, last night called a three-day national strike starting from tomorrow, as part of a civil disobedience action against the government.
He called on employees and workers all over the country to stop working until Friday and take part in the protest at Democracy Monument. Suthep said those who could not actually stop working should work slowly in an act of disobedience.
However, shops and offices remained open today.
Suthep, a veteran politician of the opposition Democrat Party, suggested that another measure of disobedience was for bill opponents to blow whistles at the Prime Minister, other Cabinet members and MPs who voted for the amnesty legislation whenever they meet them at a public place.
Nine Democrat Party MPs today resigned to fight alongside the people against what they called “the evil government”, Nation daily said.
Yesterday, despite the mounting pressure against his sister’s embattled government, former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra instructed the ruling party to cling on to power hoping that the opposition-led rally against the amnesty bill would die down soon, local papers quoted a ruling party source as saying.