Great beaches, amazing culture, incredible food and a potential coup d’etat is what’s in store for anyone who is planning on travelling to Thailand in the near future.
What has long been regarded as Australia’s number one tourist destination is undergoing some pretty etch political turmoil right now. Anti-government protests have shut down parts of Bangkok ahead of elections and it looks as though they’re not going to let up any time soon. Authorities fear that the protests will inevitably lead to violence, as they have so in the past.
The turmoil largely comes from the conflict between the red shirts and yellow shirts, two separate political factions who are at odds about the Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her legitimacy in government. Her brother, former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra was deposed in a 2006 military coup and was exiled from the country.
Doing what any sister would do for her big brother, Yingluck pushed forward legislation that gave amnesty to her brother and his political buddies. Needless to say, the opposition wasn’t too happy about it, and called for the yellow shirts to protest against the corruption of the government.
A coordinator for the red shirts (who support the current prime minister) has revealed plans to mobilize 500,000 red shirt supporters in the result of a coup. Under the plan, Prime Minister Yingluck would evacuate from Bangkok and continue governing from the northern capitol of Chiang Mai. Half of the red shirt supporters would then march on Bangkok and confront the anti-government yellow shirts, which would no doubt end in bloodshed.
So anyone planning on travelling to Thailand in the near future should definitely keep an eye on DFAT, who currently have the country listed as ‘Exercise a high degree of caution’. While it is an otherwise safe country, there is always the chance of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Avoiding Bangkok and heading down to the calm southern regions of the country should enable you to still have a hangover of a good time.
Photo: Nicolas Asfouri via Getty
Via The Age