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 13 Apr 2009

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Warnings issued against travel to Thailand

Britain and Singapore are the latest countries to issue travel advisories for Thailand where Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has declared a state of emergency to quell political unrest which forced the cancellation of an Asia summit, reported Reuters.

Troops fired into the air when anti-government protesters stormed Thailand's interior ministry after Abhisit declared the emergency, and supporters of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra stormed the summit venue in the popular resort of Pattaya.

In Britain, the Foreign Office issued new advice for Thailand on Sunday, urging its citizens to review plans to travel to the country which is visited by an estimated one million British holidaymakers each year.

Around 40,000 British nationals are believed to live in Thailand. "In view of the deteriorating security situation anyone considering going to Bangkok should urgently review their plans," the Foreign Office said.

"British residents in, and visitors to, Bangkok are advised to avoid any areas where demonstrations are taking place and to stay indoors as far as possible."

Meanwhile, Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a travel advisory on Saturday urging Singaporeans to postpone travel to the beach resort of Pattaya unless they have a pressing need to be there.

In Australia, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said on its website it advises Australians to reconsider travelling to Bangkok and the surrounding provinces, and warned citizens already in the area to avoid unnecessary travel.

The Canadian government has also issued a travel warning for Thailand, and said on its website it "strongly advised" its citizens to avoid places where demonstrations have been held or are ongoing.




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