Strikes follow emergency rule in Bangkok

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Strikes follow emergency rule in Bangkok

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Calm has returned to the streets of Bangkok after a state of emergency was declared following clashes that left at least one person dead and dozens more injured.

Tensions remain high as public sector workers take strike action in support of anti-government protestors.

Thitinan Pongsidhirak, a political scientist at Chulalongkorn University said it was only a matter of time before before the Prime minister Samak Sundaravej will be forced to stand down.

“Samak’s position appears untenable now. I think his time is up. We are talking about hours and days, perhaps weeks but not months,” he said.

Union leaders are backing the People’s Alliance for Democracy which believes the Government is a front for former premier Thaksin Shinawatra who was forced from power in 2006.

Protestors are laying siege to Government House and say they will not leave until the prime minister resigns. The army says it will not use force to disperse the protestors.

The tourism industry is awaiting the outcome of the crisis with growing trepidation. Travel agents and tour operators fear loss of bookings and mass holiday cancellations if the public sector strike begins to bite.

Unions are threatening strike action to restrict power and water supplies to Government offices and to disrupt road, rail and air transport.