News / Asia

Thais Appeal to Army to Lift Curfew in Bangkok

FILE - Thai soldiers stand as anti-government protesters board a bus to head home, at the Royal Plaza in Bangkok.
FILE - Thai soldiers stand as anti-government protesters board a bus to head home, at the Royal Plaza in Bangkok.
Reuters
Thais called on the army to lift the curfew in Bangkok on Wednesday (June 4), one day after Thailand's ruling military council lifted a curfew in some tourist areas in the country.
          
The military imposed a nationwide curfew, currently running from midnight to 4 a.m., after it seized power in a coup on May 22.
          
In a decision sure to please a battered tourist industry, the military on June 3 lifted a nationwide curfew in some tourist areas, including the beach resorts of Pattaya, Phuket and Samui. The curfew from midnight to 4 am remains elsewhere, including in Bangkok and the northern city of Chiang Mai.
          
The coup is another blow to the country's tourist industry, adding to the economic pain from six months of destabilizing street protests as airlines cut back on flights and concerns over insurance add to travelers' worries.
          
As soldiers fanned out onto the streets of Bangkok - hailed by Time magazine only last year as the world's most visited city -- most shops and businesses stayed open and transport ran normally, but the number of tourists has dropped sharply.
          
Only streams of tourists were seen taking the once-booming boat tour along the Chao Phraya River, which runs through the capital city.
          
Boonserm Kaewkald, a 46-year-old boat driver, said he used to run four or five tours a day, but now he only had one at best.
          
“Please lift the curfew, please lift it and end this faster. We need to return to democracy as soon as possible and they need to return democracy to the people. If there is democracy in the country, tourists won't run away,” he said. 
          
Souvenir store owner Nattapon Artnoi, 62, said he had lost half of his income since protests flared up in November last year.
          
“It is very quiet. Yesterday was quiet but today will be quieter because when tourists know that there is no curfew in other places, they will go there. Bangkok will be even worse. People will move from here to there,” said Nattapon.
          
Tourism makes up about 10 percent of Thailand's economy, and the ebbing number of visitors contributed to a fall in gross domestic product in the first three months of the year, adding to fears the country is sliding into recession.
          
The junta wants to move swiftly to revive an economy that shrank 2.1 percent in the first quarter of 2014.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid