Foreign Office advises against non-essential travel to Thailand

by Alister POOLE on April 28, 2010

In the wake of growing violence within Thailand, the Foreign Office has issued a travel warning for all Britons. In a statement, the Foreign Office cautioned against any unessential travel to Thailand at this time, and stated the ‘increasing tension’ within the country as reason for the warning.

The advice issue comes after a blast in Bangkok last week and a series of incidents escalating into violence. Britons already in Thailand have been encouraged to avoid Bangkok wherever possible. The Foreign Office has advised Brits to take alternative travel routes, particularly to avoid downtown Bangkok.

However, the advice warning states that violent skirmishes are an issue throughout the country, and no longer seem to be isolated to Bangkok. Britons already inside the country have been advised to remain indoors and keep up to speed on news reports.

The country’s political tensions have been mounting as the ‘red shirts’, anti-government protestors, continue to engage in clashes with security forces, many which have ended in violence. The tension has escalated since Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva ended negotiations with ‘red shirt’ leaders.

According to the Foreign Office, the situation is deemed as volatile, and it is recommended that all Brits planning to visit Thailand check the embassy website continually for detailed updates. All non-essential travel has been strongly advised against.

Despite, the prime minister’s statements that he hoped to absolve the issue without violence, hundreds of armed soldiers have been sent out to guard stations and major streets in Bangkok to maintain the peace. In recent weeks, according to officials, the violence has been escalating and to date 27 lives have been lost.

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