No plans to move ANOC General Assembly from Bangkok despite military coup
There are no current plans to move the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) General Assembly from Bangkok later this year, despite the coup d’état in Thailand, it was revealed here today.
The Thai capital is due to stage the Assembly, which will coincide with the first ever ANOC Gala Awards, on November 5 to 11.
But, following months of instability since the People’s Democratic Reform Committee, led by Suthep Thaugsuban, began staging anti-Government rallies in Bangkok as part of a call for wider reform, the political situation in the south-east Asian country has deteriorated.
Earlier this month, a court found Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra guilty of abuse of power and ordered her to step down, before martial law was imposed on Tuesday (May 20).
On Thursday (May 22), the military announced they were taking control of the Government and suspending the constitution, with the Cabinet ordered to report to the military, television broadcasting suspended and political gatherings banned.
A nationwide curfew between 10pm until 5am each night has also been imposed.
There is growing opposition to the coup and the situation is described as “tense”.
Several major events have already been cancelled in Thailand as a result of the unstable political situation.
But Gunilla Lindberg, secretary general of the ANOC, told the 35th European Olympic Committees (EOC) Seminar here today that she was “100 per cent” certain there event would not be moved.
She is due to leave here tonight to travel to Bangkok for an inspection visit.
“I think you are all aware of what is happening in Thailand at the moment,” Lindberg told the 49 European National Olympic Committees.
“But I am going there tonight and we will have a meeting with the authorities and try to get some answers.
“But so far they say there will be no problem with the Congress.”
Lindberg revealed “there is a plan-B” but added: “I think 100 per cent it will be in Bangkok.”
The army has so ordered more than 100 politicians, including Shinawatra, to come to the military council.
The United States has suspended $3.5 million (£2.1 million/€2.5 million) in military aid to Thailand from its overall aid package of $10.5 million (£6.2 million/€7.7 million) and told the army to restore civilian rule.
Washington also urged tourists to cancel trips and halted non-essential visits by US Government officials.
Washington is due to follow Bangkok as host of the next ANOC General Assembly in October 2015.
This article first appeared in Inside the Games and is reproduced with permission. The original article can be viewed by clicking here.