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Thailand: Politics and Government

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 28 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the Government has made representations to the Thai government on the recent anti-government protestors’ blockade of Bangkok’s two main airports; and if he will make a statement. (240302)

I spoke to the Thai ambassador on 28 November 2008 to urge the Thai authorities to do everything in their power to restore public order and reopen Bangkok’s airports. I emphasised the urgent need to assist those British nationals affected by the blockade and underlined the damage the situation was doing to Thailand’s international reputation.

In addition, from the day protests at the airports began, our embassy in Bangkok has repeatedly passed similar messages to senior members of the Thai Government, military, major political parties and others with influence on the situation. On 4 December 2008, the British ambassador participated in a joint demarche with US, EU, Canada, New Zealand, Japan and Korea colleagues and spoke to caretaker Prime Minister Chavarat Charnivirakul, emphasising that Thailand’s leaders should work to ensure future political activity was legal and not aimed at Thailand’s visitors or wider economic interests.