Pinoys in Thailand told to be careful amid ongoing protests

Posted at 04/03/14 9:10 PM

MANILA - Filipinos in Bangkok and other parts of Thailand should be careful amid ongoing protests in the country, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Thursday.

In an advisory, the DFA said although the Thai government has lifted an emergency decree in Bangkok, Nonthaburi, and Lad Lum Kaew and Bang Phli districts in the provinces of Pathum Thani and Samut Prakan, respectively, political demonstrations have continued.

"In view thereof, the Philippine Embassy advises Filipinos with essential travel plans to, and those residing in Bangkok and other parts of Thailand, to exercise extra vigilance," it said.

The DFA said Filipinos in Thailand should observe the following safety precautions:

1. Avoid large crowds and demonstrations;
2. Refrain from participating and/or showing support in any form to any of the parties.
3. Be vigilant and closely monitor developments; and

In case of any emergency, it urged Filipinos to contact the Philippine Embassy in Bangkok at 760 Sukhumvit Road corner Soi Philippines (Soi 30/1), or through telephone numbers (+662) 259-0139/40, (+662) 258-5401, (+668) 99265954; email [email protected], [email protected]; and online at http://bangkokpe.comFB and http://facebook.com/bkkpe .

Gunmen opened fire on a group of Thai anti-government protesters driving away from a Bangkok rally on Tuesday, killing one, wounding four and raising tension in a political crisis that has gripped the country for months.

It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the violence which brought the death toll to 24, with scores wounded, since protesters took to the streets in November in a bid to force Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra from office and erase the influence of her brother, ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra.

Yingluck has resisted mounting pressure to step down and her "red shirt" supporters have called for a mass rally in Bangkok on Sunday, raising the risk of further confrontation..

Thailand has really been in crisis since Thaksin was ousted in a 2006 coup. The conflict broadly pits Bangkok's middle class and conservative establishment against Yingluck and Thaksin's supporters in the north and northeast.

Protesters disrupted a February 2 general election, halting voting in parts of Bangkok and the south. The Constitutional Court nullified the election last month, throwing Thailand into deeper turmoil and leaving Yingluck in charge of a caretaker government with severely restricted powers. - with a report from Reuters