Bangkok curfew imposed as violence and fires rage in Thailand

Riot arson

Fires have broken out and a curfew has been imposed in Bangkok in the wake of protests. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

As violence and unrest continue in Bangkok, the government has imposed a curfew.  This may be a prelude to martial law being declared in the capital of Thailand, if the situation doesn’t begin to subside. The anti-government Red Shirt protesters are not giving up, and violence is beginning to escalate.  Several foreign governments are urging their citizens to avoid Thailand altogether or to leave as soon as possible.

Bangkok protester encampment raided

The damage that has been done will take more than a little money now to undo and restore order and confidence in leadership among the citizens. According to the Christian Science Monitor, troops from the Thai military entered an encampment of anti-government protesters.  After the raid, a curfew was imposed in Bangkok as well as in other areas of Thailand.  As soon as government troops had taken over the camp, leaders of the Red Shirt protesters announced they would surrender to avoid further violence and bloodshed.  Following this announcement, further violence broke out in Bangkok streets, and several buildings were set on fire in apparent arson attacks.

British Government advises Britons to leave Thailand

Following the violent Bangkok protests, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office has advised British nationals to avoid traveling to Thailand, according to the BBC.  The British Embassy had closed on May 14 due to violence in the capital. They are advising Britons in Bangkok and other areas of Thailand to stay home if at all possible, and if they must travel, to do so after curfew hours with all appropriate paperwork to ensure their safety.  Thai officials said travel after curfew hours will be fine if all passports and appropriate paperwork are on hand and people are cooperative with police and military checkpoints.

Further unrest

After the raid on the encampments of Red Shirts, numerous buildings were set on fire, and emergency services had difficulty extinguishing the blazes. The Red Shirt protesters are deeply unsatisfied with the current government, and are calling for the government to hold immediate elections.  It may be some time before order is restored.

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