Thai Air Force Ready To Send Aircraft To Evacuate Its Citizens From Hong Kong Amid Unrest

Thai Air Force Ready to Send Aircraft to Evacuate Its Citizens From Hong Kong Amid Unrest

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 14th August, 2019) The Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) said on Wednesday it was ready to send two planes along with officials to Hong Kong to evacuate Thai citizens amid massive anti-government protests and the cancellation of flights at Hong Kong International Airport.

On Tuesday, the Hong Kong airport's administration had to cancel flights again after protesters occupied the departure hall for a second day. Clashes between the police and the protesters ensued into the night, with the former resorting to tear gas to disperse the crowds.

"It all comes down to landing [in Hong Kong]. It depends on the government. However, we are ready to act," RTAF spokesman Pongsak Semacha was quoted as saying by the Bangkok Post newspaper.

The air force is carefully monitoring the situation and preparing air routes, Pongsak added.

According to Hong Kong-based airline Cathay Pacific Airways, protesters' actions on Monday and Tuesday "seriously disrupted" the airline's operation and led to the cancellation of 272 flights, leaving thousands of passengers stranded.

Mass rallies erupted in Hong Kong in early June as the authorities were considering adopting a bill that would allow the autonomous Chinese city to extradite suspects to jurisdictions with which it did not have an extradition agreement, including mainland China. Pressured by the protests, the government indefinitely suspended the bill and Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam issued a public apology. However, the protesters still demand the complete withdrawal of the extradition amendments and also call for investigations into the police violence during previous protests.

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