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Bad Politics

Bad politics always ruin tourism

Nelson Alcantara  Dec 03, 2008

What is the difference between Zimbabwe’s current tourism woes to that of Thai’s ongoing crisis? It has become clearer that the reason behind both is because of politics gone wrong.

In Zimbabwe’s case, there is no doubt that politics has become the deterrent for tourists visiting. Politics gone awry may sadly transcend continental boundaries and become a problem for Thailand tourism. New information are emerging and what has appeared to be a simple case of protesting to overthrow what was supposed to have been a “democratically” elected administration has turned more intricate than it originally appeared.

According to our sources in Thailand, the Thailand Constitutional Court has just announced that the three coalition political parties currently in government were guilty of election fraud and the parties are to be dissolved and their members are to be banned from politics for five years. This includes Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawathas and the entire cabinet.

The condition by the anti-government protesters to reopen Bangkok's airports is that the now former Thai Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawathas will relinquish power, as mandated by the court.

Meanwhile, 250,000 people are still stranded in Thailand by the airport closures. If the protesters leave the airports they could re-open in seven days. However, no one is sure how the verdict will be received by pro-government supporters.

“The war is not between Thai people. The war is between good and evil,” said 27-year-old television actress Karnchanit Summakul, dressed in combat fatigues and hacking down a tarpaulin sheet with a box-cutter.

Why the conviction to overthrow the new administration? To put it simply, Thai people adore their king. So much so that they will not even fold their currency notes that show the picture of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who has reigned through 17 military coups and 26 prime ministers. And they do so out of respect.

This is the underlying reason why hordes of Thai people took to the streets of Bangkok and blocked airports because they believe that Thailand’s three political parties are guilty of election fraud and have concocted to turn the monarchy into a republic.

“I am fighting for the king, protecting the king and protecting Thailand,” the Thai actress added. And she, as television screens around the world showed, was certainly not alone in her fervor.

For now, Thailand tourism, under a huge cloud of uncertainty, can look forward to the future. Because of the court ruling, Bangkok's international airport can resume "partial service" by midnight Thursday after anti-government protesters end their blockade on Wednesday morning, the airport manager told reporters.

Serirat Prasutanond, acting head of Airports of Thailand, told Reuters it could take "a few more days" to clean up the terminal, reboot computer systems and make other checks. But it was too early to say when full service would resume, he said.

(with wire inputs)

Bad politics always ruin tourism
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