Security is of the utmost importance to ISM as well as to the other IASAS schools, especially during IASAS tournaments. It has now become a very serious issue for the upcoming IASAS and Cultural Convention in Bangkok. The BKK riots have forced the International School Bangkok (ISB) to renounce the hosting of the Touch and Rugby IASAS games to new host of Singapore American School (SAS), while Music CulCon awaits the verdict of the IASAS board members. But, what exactly are the riots and what has caused them?
These riots have greatly intensified over the past couple of months but the political problems have been fermenting for the past eight years. Bangkok’s middle class and the royal establishment have continually fought against the supporters of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and his brother, ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra. Now protesters from both sides clash on the streets of Bangkok, throwing rocks and blocking crucial roads. To appeal to the public’s unrest, the current Prime Minister has called for re-elections on 2 February, but has also had to declare a national state of the emergency until the riots can be suppressed.
Not only do the riots pose a risk to civilians, but they harm Thailand’s economic growth. The economic outlook for 2014 is dim; consumption and foreign investment are not predicted to grow due to the instability of the government. Tourism has greatly declined due the negative advisories, fearing that foreigners could be hurt in the crossfire between protesters and police. There is also a risk of a military coup as the army may use force to stabilize the situation.
Hopefully soon, this political unrest and violence will end with a solution reached for both parties, and perhaps ISB can once again host future IASAS events.
Written by: Isabel Wilson, 12