Thailand tourism disrupted

This item appears on page 17 of the January 2009 issue.

At press time, protesters had disrupted air traffic at Thailand’s two major airports since Nov. 25 in order to block the return of Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat from an international summit in Peru. An estimated 300,000 tourists were waiting to exit the country. Nearly a week later, a number of planes were allowed to fly off empty.

Protesters had occupied the Prime Minister’s office in Bangkok for three months, calling for his resignation. A constitutional court was to rule on a case involving voter fraud that could force the PM to step down.