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Author Topic: Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Travel Alert:  (Read 1670 times)

Rex (Admin)

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Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Travel Alert:
« on: May 17, 2014, 05:08:29 PM »
US Embassy Bangkok, Thailand

Security Message

Friday, May 16, 2014


Travel Alert for Thailand - May 16, 2014



The U.S. Department of State alerts U.S. citizens of the potential risks of travel to Thailand, particularly Bangkok, due to ongoing political and social unrest. On May 7, the Constitutional Court ruled to dismiss the caretaker Prime Minister and nine cabinet members, and an acting caretaker Prime Minister assumed the role. In March, the same court annulled the results of the February 2 national elections. Demonstrations, primarily in the greater Bangkok area and occasionally elsewhere in Thailand, are continuing, and there have been regular incidents of violence. U.S. citizens are advised to avoid all protests, demonstrations, and large gatherings. Protests may occur in Bangkok or in nearby areas with little or no prior notice. This Travel Alert supersedes the Travel Alert issued on February 14, 2014, and will expire on August 19, 2014.

Political demonstrations in Thailand have taken place regularly since early November 2013. Most protest activity has occurred in the Bangkok area, often around government, shopping, and tourist sites, but on occasion there have been smaller demonstrations in other areas of Thailand, including Chiang Mai. Although many protest activities have been peaceful, violent incidents involving guns and explosive devices have occurred at or near protest sites. Some have resulted in injury or death. In Bangkok, anti-government protests have been mobile throughout the city, with large numbers of demonstrators at times swelling quickly and closing major roads and intersections. The majority of the demonstrations have occurred in the vicinity of Thai government facilities and at major intersections. These have included Ratchadamnoen near Government House and Victory Monument, Lumpini Park, Pathumwan, Ratchaprasong, Sala Daeng, and the Government Center at Chaengwattana. Pro-government demonstrators are also maintaining a rally site on Aksa Road in western Bangkok. There is often reduced or no police presence at protest sites, where protest “guards” frequently control access.

On March 19, the Royal Thai Government invoked the Internal Security Act (ISA) in the province of Nontahburi, the district of Lad Lumkaew (province of Pathumthai), and the district of Bang Phli (province of Samut Prakan). The ISA is currently effective through June 30 and grants security forces additional authorities to set up checkpoints and restrict movement.

U.S. citizens are cautioned that even demonstrations that are meant to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence. You should avoid protest sites, demonstrations, and large gatherings. Be alert and aware of your surroundings and pay attention to local news media reports. You should allow extra time when travelling throughout the city or to/from airports. Consider using public transportation.

U.S. citizens who travel to or reside in Thailand are strongly advised to enroll in the State Department's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) https://step.state.gov/step/. U.S. citizens without Internet access may enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. By enrolling, you make it easier for the U.S. embassy or consulate to contact you in case of an emergency.

Unless otherwise indicated in a public announcement, the U.S. Embassy is open for all routine American Citizens Services by appointment. U.S. citizens needing emergency assistance do not need an appointment. The American Citizen Services Unit of the U.S. Embassy (http://bangkok.usembassy.gov/service.html) is located at 95 Wireless Road in Bangkok, and can be reached by calling 66-2-205-4049, or by e-mailing acsbkk@state.gov. The Embassy's after-hours emergency telephone number is 66-2-205-4000.

The U.S. Consulate General in Chiang Mai (http://chiangmai.usconsulate.gov/service.html), located at 387 Wichayanond Road in Chiang Mai, is also open unless otherwise indicated. The American Citizen Services Unit of the Consulate General can be reached by calling 66-53-107-777 and by e-mail at acschn@state.gov. The after-hours emergency telephone number is 66-81-881-1878. You can also follow the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok's American Citizen Services Unit on Twitter for further updates.

Current information on safety and security can also be obtained on travel.state.gov http://travel.state.gov/content/travel/english.html or by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States or a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444 for callers from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

U.S. citizens should also consult the Department of State's Country Specific Information for Thailand http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/country/thailand.html. Stay up to date by bookmarking our Bureau of Consular Affairs website http://travel.state.gov/content/travel/english.html, which contains the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/alertswarnings.html as well as the Worldwide Caution http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/alertswarnings/worldwide-caution.html. Follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/travelgov and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/travelgov as well.Sat 17 May 2014, 5:02 pm
« Last Edit: May 17, 2014, 05:10:04 PM by admin »