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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Emergency decree lifted

Caretaker government Tuesday officially lifted a state of emergency imposed at Bangkok's airports nearly two weeks ago amid a blockade by People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) supporters.

The anti-government protesters seized control of Suvarnabhumi and Don Muaeng airports in late November, but left last week after the Constitution Court dissolved the ruling People Power party and ordered Somchai Wongsawat to step down from premiership post.

Government spokesman Nattawut Saikua said the cabinet had agreed to lift the state of emergency because "the situation which caused the declaration has eased and returned to normal."

PAD supporters occupied Suvarnabhumi airport on November 25 and blockaded Don Muaeng domestic airport the next day.

The emergency decree was imposed after the anti-government protesters refused to leave the airports and the army refused to back police to use force to disperse the protesters.

The airports reopened last week after the court dissolved three parties, including People Power party.

Thai cabinet lifts state of emergency at two Bangkok airports

BANGKOK, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- Thailand's caretaker Cabinet Tuesday resolved to lift the state emergency over the Suvarnabhumi International Airport and Don Mueang domestic airport in Bangkok.

The Suvarnabhumi airport already resumed full operation on Monday as all international flights have reopened their routes to and from the airport, which is one of the busiest air hubs in Asia, according to the airport supervising body Airports of Thailand (AOT).

All service at the Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports were suspended from the night of Nov. 25 as demonstrators organized by the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) sieged and occupied it for eight days in a showdown against the coalition government led by premier Somchai Wongsawat and his People Power Party (PPP).

The Somchai government then declared a state of emergency at the two airports on Nov. 27, but police took no action to forcedly disperse the demonstrators, who vowed to stay rallying there until Somchai stepped down.

The PAD later handed the airports over to the AOT after the Constitution Court ruled on Dec. 2 to disband the three ruling parties in the coalition government, including PPP, causing the step-down of Somchai, whom the PAD depicted as a proxy of ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra, the PAD's declared enemy since 2005.

Safety Not an Issue at Upcoming Bangkok Fair

The organizers of the 43rd Bangkok Gems and Jewelry Fair said they are working to protect the safety of visitors and provide information on the ongoing issues facing Thailand.

The organizers said they “guarantee that Challenger Hall, Impact, will still be very secured for exhibitors and visitors alike.” The fair is scheduled for The issue concerning the closure of Suvarnabhumi and Don Muang airports in Bangkok has been solved, trade fair organizers said. Airports of Thailand confirm that commercial flights will resume at the Suvarnabhumi International Airport. The authority said all the systems will be checked before the airport resumes full operations. While the three related agencies, Airports of Thailand, the Civil Aviation Department, and the Thai Customs Department, were told to be ready to start operations.

“We understand that the situation is now resolved long before the opening of the 43rd BGJF, and we will continue to monitor the situation very closely,” Somchai Phornchindarak CEO of BGJF.

He said the situation is stable and exhibitors can do their normal business visit as usual.

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