US calls for end of Thailand airport standoff

November 29th, 2008 - 4:22 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, Nov 29 (Xinhua) The US government Friday called for an end to the standoff at Thailand’s airports in protest against the country’s government. “While we respect the right to freedom of expression, seizing an airport is not an appropriate means of protest,” the State Department’s acting deputy spokesman Gordon Duguid said in a statement.

He urged supporters of the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) “to walk away from the airports peacefully” so “this situation can be resolved without violence and in accordance with the law”.

Air traffic has been paralysed completely since protestors besieged the Don Mueang and Suvarnabhumi international airports in Bangkok earlier this week out of the PAD’s hatred of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

Despite Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat’s announcement of an emergency decree in the areas of both airports, the crisis continued after anti-government leaders rejected last-ditch attempts to negotiate with the government.

Although airlines have resumed their operations at a naval base, tens of thousands of passengers are still believed to be stranded during the four-day unrest.

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