The Telegraph is reporting “the leader of a group of anti-government protesters in Thailand says the week-long siege of Bangkok’s airports will end on Wednesday morning.”
The blockade of Bangkok airport will end on Wednesday (December 3) after a court in Thailand dissolved the ruling party and banned the prime minister Somchai Wongsawat from office for five years, but the first flights out of the country will not leave until Friday (December 5).
There was some confusion initially about the re-opening date, since Thai officials had earlier said, the airport would not reopen for commercial flights before Dec. 15.
Airport authority chairman Vudhibhandhu Vichairatana said he inspected the airport and found no damage, and brought forward the date. The Associated Press reports also confirm the December 3rd and 5th dates.
The report goes on to state “A government official said the first flights out of Suvarnabhumi international airport will leave for Rome and Sydney on Dec 5, bringing to an end seven days of misery for tourists who have been unable to leave the country.
Image courtesy AP
People’s Alliance for Democracy leader Sondhi Limthongkul said on Tuesday that thousands of protesters who have been camped at Suvarnabhumi international airport and the domestic Don Muang airport will leave by Wednesday morning.
“The People’s Alliance for Democracy has agreed to cease protesting after a long-running 192-day campaign. We have won a victory and achieved our aims,” said Mr Limthongkul, reading a statement to reporters.
“All protests will stop as of December 3 at 10am (0300 GMT).”
The announcements came hours after Thailand’s top Constitutional Court court ruling brought down Thailand’s government. A court dissolved Thailand’s top three ruling parties for electoral fraud and banned the prime minister from politics for five years, bringing down a government that has faced months of strident protests seeking its ouster.
The nation’s Constitutional Court ruling set the stage for thousands of protesters to end their week-long siege of the country’s two main airports, but also raised fears of retaliatory violence by supporters of the government, which could sink the country deeper into crisis.
Government spokesman Nattawut Sai-kau said Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat and his six-party coalition would step down. Mr Somchai, who has been working from the northern city of Chiang Mai since Wednesday, accepted the ruling.
It remains to be seen how airlines will transition from their relief flights to Utaphao airport back to Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport. For the thousands of stranded passengers, the pain will last just a little longer.