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Page last updated at 14:30 GMT, Sunday, 12 April 2009 15:30 UK

Thai emergency: Your emails

Soldiers and tanks have appeared in Bangkok after Thai authorities declared a state of emergency, a day after protests cancelled a major Asia summit.

Here, BBC News website readers in Thailand share their own experiences of the latest events.


I was on a footbridge looking down when the two tanks were overrun by Redshirt protesters outside Paragon Mall. When the tanks first appeared the crowd cheered (as they were clearly mostly against the Red Shirts), but the cheering died out when it was clear the tanks were going to be taken over. Also, I saw a group of protesters making Molotov cocktails and packing them in the boot of a few taxis (they then drove off).
JG, Bangkok, Thailand

I was in the middle of watching an English movie at the Paragon Mall in Siam Square when the language suddenly changed to Thai and the lights came on. I initially thought there was a problem with the film roll, but then someone translated that there were red-shirted protestors outside and we had to evacuate the mall as soon as possible. There was a mad rush to leave the mall, and we could see tanks on the road outside from the windows upstairs, and everyone seemed to be panicking to leave. So in the central Siam area, everyone's rushing around, not knowing what's going on or what to do. However, once you leave that area, life is continuing as normal and local people are still spraying each other with water as part of their Thai New Year celebrations. The only reason I knew what had happened was because my friend had seen it on the news and called me to make sure I was okay.
Jomana, Bangkok, Thailand

After the state of emergency was called we closed down the art studio that I work for and all went home early. My Thai co-worker was travelling home in a taxi. The driver told her that if they come upon a blockade of Red Shirts he was going to kick her out of the car because she was carrying a bag from our art school. Our school's trademark colours are yellow and black, and the red-shirted protesters would be offended by the yellow colour of her bag. It is certainly a dangerous situation when people stop thinking and just blindly follow a mob.
Cori Churdar-Wilejto, Bangkok, Thailand

I'm a Japanese living in Bangkok. It just seems as if the government is so incompetent that it cannot even protect the car the mob thought was carrying the PM.
Hidemizu Kanamoto, Bangkok, Thailand

A very small element of the Thai people seem to have gone totally insane, and lemming-like are hell bent on destroying their country which, God knows, has financial troubles enough without these maniacs. How anyone could claim the sabotaging of an ASEAN meeting designed to help its members through the recession as a "victory", just beggars belief. The farce rumbles on and were it not so tragic, it might actually be slightly amusing.
Thai Eye, Bangkok and Chiang Mai, Thailand

I visited a friend in Bangkok this morning and no problems travelling . I left Bangkok and later received phone calls warning of trouble on the streets in Bangkok. I tuned into Channel Nine Thai TV channel to see pictures of scores of red-shirted protestors flying flags riding on top of the tanks obviously scared - NOT. I hope there is no bloodshed and being Songkran festival, perhaps water cannons would be more appropriate than bullets.
John Naff, Pathum Thanee, Thailand

This has just deteriorated into a nasty mess. The whole capital is a series of riots and I'm afraid the army and police have done nothing to gain control - there may just as well have been a bunch of teddy bears for their effectiveness. The pictures on Thai TV showing cars being smashed up by concrete slabs and iron poles while the forces spectate have been a clear summary of the situation. The yellows were bad enough but stopped well short of this destruction - in comparison they were like a hippy movement. Very, very sad.
Paulo, Bangkok, Thailand

This country is in crisis and not democratic as it seems, because of military interference and elite groups (privy councillors) of people always interfering in politics, you can see that there two standards for everything. We know this is a power struggle between political camps but we still want real justice in Thailand. We want to have a say in future direction of Thailand through election and we all hope that all parties will accept the result according to democratic principles, one man one vote!
Sukhthep, Bangkok, Thailand

I live in Thailand and I really do not like the current events in Thailand now. I do want to see Thai people love each other - no riots, no turmoil in any places in Thailand. Please give peace and calm back to Thailand.
Linda, Bangkok, Thailand

Having now seen the riots on local TV, I am amazed that the Thai police did so little to control the crowd. At this level of disorder, the UK police would simply have used tear gas to disperse the crowd and hauled the remaining offenders off for prosecution later. It is not surprising that the rioters feel they can act with impunity if so little is done against them when they do so. This was a major international summit and sadly is a great embarrassment for Thailand.
G Hampshire, currently Pattaya, Chonburi , Thailand

I am in Bangkok at the moment and have just seen the protests in Siam shopping area. In spite of a strong contingency of Red Shirts, only three army patrol cars arrived with no more than 10 soldiers in total. The armed soldiers were patting and hugging the Red Shirts on the back. They made no effort to stop them pushing through their feeble barricade of two cars and 10 soldiers! It looks very much like the army is on their side and or completely apathetic.
Ronan, Ireland

Just been to the World Trade Centre, Bangkok. The road is blocked but mainly business as usual considering it's Songkran weekend. There are no threat to tourists that are passing. It seemed peaceful, but there are young hooded Red Shirts that may be waiting for yellow or blue-shirted supporters to show.
Bernie Walker, Bangkok, Thailand

All is pretty quiet on the outskirts of Bangkok but the New Year celebrations seem to have been disrupted for people in the centre. I had planned to go to Khao San but have decided otherwise.
Chris, Bangkok, Thailand

I'm in Bangkok right now on holiday and there is absolutely no sign of trouble anywhere. Tomorrow is Songkran (Thai New Year) and everyone is out on the streets celebrating by spraying water at each other (a New Year tradition here). The protesters are relatively small in number, and Thailand is a country with a long history of non-violent protests and indeed non-violent government coups. On the streets of Bangkok it feels like it is just another day. Reading reports like these make it seem like Bangkok is currently under military rule, and that is quite inaccurate. It's the same crazy Asian city it always is.
Barry, London, UK (holidaying in Thailand)



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