Speculation is growing in Thailand that the government is preparing to crackdown on protestors who have paralysed flights into and out of Bangkok.
Riot police moved into position at the new Suvarnibhumi airport, where thousands of demonstrators have disrupted operations since Monday. At the same time, the head of the national police force was sacked; local media said it was because he had defied government orders to remove the protestors.
The Prime Minister addressed the nation to call for calm:
“Do not be worried,” said Somchai Wongsawat.
“The security forces will only use peaceful means. We have no intention of hurting anyone, or of using violence. We are all Thais. There will be talks and whatever else is appropriate to solve the situation.”
The anti-government People’s Alliance for Democracy, wearing yellow in support of Thailand’s King, has said this will be the final battle to unseat the Prime Minister. Some have vowed to fight to the end. Thousands of tourists remain stranded in check-in limbo. They have been there for days, waiting for a flight home. The protests have damaged Thailand’s tourist image, and have cost the economy some five billion euros.