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UK Foreign Office Issues Travel Advisory for Thailand Ahead of Referendum

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BANGKOK – The United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO has updated its travel advice for citizens ahead of the national referendum, advising its people to avoid political gathering and protest.

In its online advisory, the embassy in Bangkok suggests that Britons monitor the advice of local authorities and local media.
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It also provides background on the political situation, explaining that that the military seized control of the government in 2014 and martial law was in place throughout the country until April 2015 when it was lifted in all areas except the deep southern provinces.

However, Article 44 of the interim charter grants the prime minister, who is also head of the National Council for Peace and Order, wide powers to continue in taking action to enforce law and order and restrictions remain on freedom of assembly and expression.

“Before the military coup there were large-scale demonstrations and protests in Bangkok and other cities. Some of these were violent. You should avoid any protests, political gatherings, demonstrations or marches,” the advisory reads.

The online advice also mentioned the media situation in Thailand, saying a number of media outlets have been taken off air and some internet sites remain blocked.

“It’s illegal to criticise the coup and you should be wary of making political statements in public. You should monitor local news and social media for developments.”

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