Flintshire teacher’s fears as Thai crisis continues to spread

Reporter:

Matt Jones

A FLINTSHIRE man caught up in the deepening crisis in Bangkok says he fears the situation could spiral out of control.

With a night-time curfew set to last into the weekend, English teacher Dylan Jones, 27, of Gwernymynydd near Mold, spoke to the Leader from the bullet-ridden city and said unrest was ‘spreading like wild fire’.

The fall-out from the surrender of some of the Red Shirt protesters, who are demanding a fresh election, has sparked fierce fighting as the Army cracked-down on the remaining dissidents.

Dylan said: “The situation took a massive turn on Wednesday. Mid-morning things looked promising and the army seemed to have control of the situation.

“Then, when the leaders of the Red Shirts gave themselves up, that is when some of the more hardcore or extreme supporters took it upon themselves to destroy as much of the city as they could, there are bullet holes all over the place, shops destroyed, phone boxes and bus stops full of bullet holes. It really is spreading like wild fire.”

A former pupil of Ysgol Maes, in Mold, Garmon pupil has been in Thailand for three years and said he had always felt safe in Bangkok, but he will be staying clear of the protest area during the troubles.

He said: “The situation had been fairly stable so long as you stayed clear of the two main areas, which was quite easy to do.

“Because of these turn of events I really have no idea when the situation will be resolved, there really seems to be no logical answer of how or when it may end.

“Colleagues and friends are reporting that they can hear live ammunition being fired from their apartment building and these buildings are about five km from the initial protest zones, an area I previously lived in.

“I hope it doesn't get worse, there are 20 huge buildings currently on fire.

“I’m talking about shopping centres as big as the Trafford Centre.

“Generally the locals will already have their loyalties to whatever party, the foreigners on the other hand really are just wondering how a situation like this can be resolved because they’ve never been subjected to it before.”

The Foreign Office has told British nationals not to travel to Bangkok.

Dylan said: “I’ve no desire to leave this place at the moment, but it it persists then it would certainly be difficult to lead a normal life over here.”

See full story in the Leader

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