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Thai Protestors Lift Siege of Bangkok Airports

Anti-government protestors on Tuesday agreed to lift their week-long occupation of Bangkok's airports after a Thai court effectively removed the ruling government.

Protestors at Bangkok airport, dressed in yellow, celebrate

Protestors celebrated the premier's removal on Tuesday

The People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) said in a statement that they would evacuate both Suvarnabhumi International and Don Mueang Airports on Wednesday. But they added that they would return to the airports unless two conditions were meet.

"The next government must sincerely agree to introduce new politics and must not be a puppet regime for Thaksin Shinawatra," said the PAD statement.

The PAD, a loose coalition of groups united in their opposition to the return to power of Thaksin, raided Suvarnabhumi on Nov. 25 and Don Mueang on Nov. 28, effectively cutting the Thai capital off from all air traffic.

Last battle

The moves on the airports were described as the movement's "last battle" to bring down the government of Thai Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat, who is Thaksin's brother-in-law.

Thailand's Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat

Thailand's Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat

The PAD decided to leave the airport shortly after Thailand's Constitutional Court dissolved the ruling People Power Party and two of its coalition partners on charges of vote-buying during the Dec. 23, 2007 polls.

The verdict was deemed a victory for the PAD, which has been seeking the overthrow of the government for the past six months.

Expensive closure

The closure of the two airports has done incalculable damage to Thailand's tourism and export industries. Air cargo alone has suffered $86 million (67.7 million euros) in losses daily.

Experts said it would take some time before the airports would start operating agains.

The online edition of thre Bangkok newspaper The Nation quoted airport officials as saying passenger flights would resume Dec. 15 at the earliest, but this could not be confirmed officially.

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