Monday, April 13, 2009

Unrest in Thailand - locals look to Bangkok Pundit blog for facts and updates

Canayjun has a friend living in Bangkok, working as a software developer for a U.N. affiliated NGO. We're concerened about the sudden unrest and protests and the military response in Thailand as it relates to the safety of our friends there. He's keeping us updated via his Facebook profile and his latest update posted 26 minutes ago [12:30PM EST] was -
"Abhisit on live TV: denouncing Thaksin's appearance in int'l media (CNN, etc.)"
Situation --- Current Thai PM Abhisit, speaking in a nationally televised address just before midnight, called on the public not to panic and to co-operate to end the crisis -- Political tensions have simmered since the former PM, Thaksin, was ousted by a military coup in 2006. He has appeared in the media calling for a "revolution" and thousands of "red-shirt" Thaksin supporters have taken to the streets where there have been clashes with the military. [source cbc.ca]

My friend has told us to check out the Bangkok Pundit blog at bangkokpundit.blogspot.com - which he is checking the feed every few minutes (as well as refreshing Google newsreader) - as a good source of factual updates on the Thai situation. The Bangkok Pundit is a source that many news agencies worldwide have quoted and relied upon as a good source of news and unbiased reporting on the political situation in Thailand as compared to the government controlled media. Links to the Bangkok Pundit blog are also available from my Canayjun profile here on Blogger.
Concerned about the safety of our friends, as are many with family and friends in Thailand, I'm encouraged to be able to receive assurance via Twitter, Facebook and blogs like the Bangkok Pundit. His updates this morning tell us " Thanks, we're ok. We've stocked up on food and keeping updated on TV and via web." And the Facebook messages from other friends in the city wondering whether it's safe to venture on the streets to go to work today were told -
"Safe" is relative - in some areas: not safe, but generally it's ok.
:: photo CBC/Reuters

Canada and the United States have issued travel warnings, urging travellers to Thailand to exercise caution and monitor local media reports. "Canadians are strongly advised to avoid locations and areas where demonstrations have been and are currently ongoing. Canadians are encouraged to verify travel schedules and services with local authorities or travel service providers prior to departure, and should exercise patience and plan accordingly."

I'll put more updates here as the situation develops, as I'm also blogging and keeping an eye on the Red River flood in Winnipeg area.

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