Thai Protesters Seize Second Airport

All flights grounded; government mulls emergency rule
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 27, 2008 7:24 AM CST
Anti-government protesters holds a placard during a rally at the Suvarnabhumi airport facility, Bangkok's main international airport, on Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008, in Bangkok, Thailand.   (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
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(Newser) – The government of Thailand is considering imposing emergency rule after protesters seized a second airport in Bangkok today, grounding all flights, reports the Telegraph. Some 3,000 members of the People's Alliance for Democracy massed at the smaller Don Mueang airport to prevent ministers from flying to Chiang Mai, where PM Somchai Wongsawat held a cabinet meeting. The airport has also served as a makeshift office complex while protesters continue their siege of government buildings.

Emergency rule would allow the government to suspend civil liberties and call in the military to restore order. Whether the army would obey governmental orders is unclear; only yesterday, the head of Thailand's army called on Somchai to step down and hold early elections. The PM, whose brother-in-law Thaksin Shinawatra was ousted in a 2006 coup, refused to resign and said: "My position is not important but democratic values are."