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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Postpone trips to Thailand unless they are urgent

There have been no reports of Malaysians affected by the clashes between pro- and anti-government protesters here yesterday, but the Malaysian embassy has advised Malaysians to postpone trips to Thailand unless they are urgent.

Malaysians in Bangkok have been advised to avoid rally grounds in the Thai capital as the situation may change instantly and without warning.

Despite the state of emergency declared by Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej, there was no curfew or restriction on the movement of people. The clashes were confined to specific areas near the Government House and Rajamdamnoen Road, while most parts of the capital remained calm and business went on as usual, except for schools which have been closed for 3 days.

Furthermore, there is a possibility to face inconvenience in terms of transportation or a strike by some state agencies, citing the ongoing disruption of railway services as well as the closing of airports a few days ago in Phuket, Krabi and Hatyai.

In clashes early morning September 2, a man was killed and at least 40 people injured, some by gunshots, when pro- and anti-government supporters clashed near the seized Government House, forcing hundreds of Thai soldiers to move in to restore order.

On Aug 26, thousands of anti-government supporters stormed Government House, the seat of the prime minister's office, while hundreds of rival pro-government groups tried to evacuate them on September 2.

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