Thailand’s Civil Court decided on 19 February 2014 that the caretaker government has the authority to enforce the emergency decree to maintain peace and order, but the government has to refrain from use of violence on anti-government demonstrators or to break up a peaceful demonstration. The court ruled that people has the right to a peaceful and constitutional assembly.
The Court issued a set of nine orders, prohibiting the caretaker government from dispersing a peaceful demonstration, using force or weapon to break up a peaceful gathering, ordering a ban on a political gathering of more than five people, ordering a blockage of traffic lanes, removing barriers put up by the protesters to protect themselves. It also ruled that the caretaker government cannot confiscate chemical substances used by the demonstrators for personal purposes, or stop the protesters from using traffic routes or from entering state premises.
The Court’s ruling came after a member of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) – the core anti-government demonstrator group – filed a lawsuit against the authority of the caretaker government, which has imposed a state of emergency in Bangkok and parts of Nonthaburi and Samut Prakan for 60 days, effective on 22 January 2014.
The emergency decree currently covers Bangkok and some parts of nearby provinces (Nonthaburi and Samut Prakan) only and not any other destinations in Thailand. There is currently no curfew in place in Bangkok or any other parts of Thailand. Local residents and international visitors can continue to travel within Bangkok and other destinations in the country as usual.
Meanwhile, the ongoing anti-government demonstration’s main rally sites remain at Pathumwan intersection, Ratchaprasong intersection, Lumpini Park, Asoke intersection and the Government Complex (Chaeng Wattana Road), as well as two other sites on Ratchadamnoen Avenue and Phitsanulok Road. Roads in the areas may be closed to traffic.
The atmosphere at the rally sites continues to be normal to peaceful. The demonstrators are campaigning for a political reform before an election. During the day, the anti-government demonstrators are carrying out demonstration marches to different locations within Bangkok.
While the demonstrations are taking place in the central Bangkok areas, life in the most parts of the Thai capital and throughout Thailand continues as usual. However, business travellers are advised to be vigilant and avoid the demonstration areas for their own safety and security.
Bangkok is a large city and so it is possible for local residents and business travellers to avoid the demonstration areas. Traffic in the most parts of Bangkok is also moving normally since all other roads and expressways are not affected by the demonstrations.
All major MICE venues and tourist attractions in the Thai capital are open normally. Business travellers can visit all venues and attractions using the usual means of transport, including buses, vans and car transfers by tour companies, taxis, the Skytrain, the subway or the boat and ferry service.
Businesses, including banks, petrol and gas stations, hotels, spas, restaurants, entertainment venues, cinemas, convention centres, shopping malls, superstores, convenient stores, pharmacies, hospitals and the like are open and operating as per normal. However, shopping venues in the rally areas may change their opening hours while some businesses, including bank branches and petrol stations – may be closed. Telephone – landline and mobile – and Internet services continue to be available 24/7 as per normal.
Apart from Bangkok, others MICE cities in Thailand (Chiangmai, Phuket,Pattaya,Kon Kaen) can offer unbeatable diversity of choice for business events of any type and scale. All business events venues and tourist attractions and activities in MICE cities are not affected, and continue as usual.
All airports in Bangkok and throughout Thailand are open and operating as per normal. Air passengers with flights depart out of Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang International Airports are advised to allocate at least four hours prior to their scheduled flight departure time and to check flight status prior to travelling.
To provide the best service possible during the current political situation, Suvarnabhumi Airport has prepared Airport Operation Center (AOPC), opened 24 hours daily, situated behind check-in counter row R, Departure Hall, 4th floor of the Passenger Terminal. Also Passenger Assistance Center (PAC), opened 24-hours daily, situated between Entrances 7 and 8, Arrival Hall, 2nd floor of the Passenger Terminal. Furthermore, passengers can contact Airport Information Counters available throughout the Passenger Terminal. Suvarnabhumi Airport also has foreign language interpreter/translator available in Chinese, Japanese, Russian and Korean to help passengers.
TCEB will keep you updated with the situation. Should you require any further information and assistance, please call TCEB office: +66 (0) 2694 6000, TCEB call center at 1105 (within Thailand only), visit www.tceb.or.th or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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