Canada Expresses Serious Concern over Deteriorating Situation in Thailand

(No. 169 – May 19, 2010 – 1:15 p.m. ET) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement expressing concern over the continuing violence in Bangkok:

“Canada is deeply concerned by the recent deterioration of the situation in Bangkok, which has been marked by renewed violence and further casualties and injuries.

“I offer my deepest condolences for the loss of life. We are aware that a Canadian citizen was wounded today in Bangkok. We are providing consular assistance.

“Canada urges calm at this time, and calls on all sides to refrain from engaging in violence and destruction. Canada also calls on the Thai government and protest groups to work together constructively to bring about peace and stability and reinvest in Thailand’s democratic institutions and processes.

“The Government of Canada’s Travel Report for Thailand has been updated and we now advise against all travel to Bangkok and against non-essential travel to Thailand, due to the recent escalation of violence triggered by large-scale political demonstrations. A state of emergency remains in effect. The security situation is very volatile, with significant potential for further civil unrest, violent clashes and attacks. Canadians currently in Bangkok should avoid all non-essential movement, exercise extreme caution, follow the advice of local authorities, closely monitor local media and, if violence erupts, remain indoors.

“Due to security concerns, the Canadian embassy in Bangkok is temporarily closed to the public. However, the embassy is providing emergency consular services to Canadians in Thailand from a temporary location. Canadian citizens in Thailand requiring emergency consular assistance should call 001-800-156-220-0142, 02-636-0540 or 613-996-8885 (collect calls accepted). An email can also be sent to sos@international.gc.ca. The embassy will resume normal operations as soon as the situation permits.

“Friends and relatives in Canada seeking information on Canadian citizens believed to be in Thailand should contact DFAIT’s Emergency Operations Centre in Ottawa by calling 1 800 387-3124, or by sending an email to sos@international.gc.ca.

“Canadians travelling to or residing in Thailand are encouraged to consult the Travel Report for Thailand regularly for updated information, and to register with the Registration of Canadians Abroad service to receive the latest advice from the Canadian embassy. We also urge Canadians to subscribe to the department’s RSS feeds.”

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Catherine Loubier
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
613-995-1851

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874