Anti-government protesters in Bangkok have ramped up their campaign against the the party of prime minister Somchai Wongsawat. Early yesterday, supporters of the PAD (People’s Alliance for Democracy) stormed past police lines and entered Suvarnabhumi International Airport. When they reached the departure areas, airport officials decided to shut the airport down. Several thousand tourists and travelers were stranded in the airport while more than a dozen flights had to be diverted to Bangkok’s old international terminal at Don Muang Airport.
Over 14 million tourists came to Thailand last year. Violence between the pro and anti-government groups had done little to dissuade tourists from visiting because foreigners have not been targeted. However, the situation seems to finally have spilled over into the country’s tourism industry.
Top Thai army generals have called for the government to step down. Despite promises to the contrary, it seems that another coup is possible (even likely). Meanwhile, things don’t look good for those stranded at Suvarnabhumi. PAD supporters have vowed to “close Suvarnabhumi Airport to send a final word… to Somchai and his cabinet: resign immediately and without conditions.” But the government is not budging. So looks like those trying to get into or out of The Land of Smiles are in for some frustration.