Thai protesters prepare to leave airport
Jubilant Thai protesters packed their belongings at Bangkok's main airport and queued to get the autographs of their leaders on Wednesday ahead of the expected lifting of a crippling blockade.world Updated: Dec 03, 2008 07:56 IST
Jubilant Thai protesters packed their belongings at Bangkok's main airport and queued to get the autographs of their leaders on Wednesday ahead of the expected lifting of a crippling blockade.
Buses also arrived ahead of the 10:00 am (0300 GMT) time that the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) has set for ending its eight-day occupation of Suvarnabhumi international airport and ceasing all other protests.
It made the announcement on Tuesday after a court toppled the target of the royalist movement's protests, Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat, and disbanded the ruling party.
"I am looking forward to sleeping in my home, but everybody came here because they love the king," said Neepirom Kunniam, 58, wearing the movement's trademark yellow clothes, which symbolise devotion to the Thai monarchy.
A line of hundreds of protesters snaked through the departures area of the three-billion-dollar air hub, as they got PAD founder Sondhi Limthongkul and senior leader Chamlong Srimruang to sign pieces of paper.
Others listened to speeches and music from a huge stage set up in the airport's taxi drop-off area, while most were rolling up sleeping bags and collecting their possessions.
Thai airport authorities have not said when they will reopen Suvarnabhumi or the smaller Don Mueang domestic airport. The closures have left around 350,000 travellers stranded in Thailand.