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Philippines tells nationals to shun red, yellow in Thailand

11 january 2014, 11:31
Filipinos travelling to Thailand have been told to shun red or yellow items to avoid being caught up in the political unrest there, AFP reports citing the Philippine embassy in Bangkok.

"Participating and/or showing support in any form to any of the parties is strongly discouraged," the mission said in a travel advisory on its website.

"For (your) information, the red and yellow colours are closely identified with some of the parties involved," it said in a note directed at Filipino travellers as well as residents there and other parts of Thailand.

The protests are aimed at overthrowing Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, sister of ousted former leader Thaksin Shinawatra, and her government.

Thaksin's overthrow in 2006 by generals loyal to the king ushered in years of political turmoil and rival street protests by the royalist "Yellow Shirts" and Thaksin's supporters, known as the "Red Shirts".

Yellow and red are also popular colours in the Philippines, associated with religious festivals in the Catholic country.

And just like in Thailand, the hues are rich in historical and political symbolism.

Yellow is the signature colour of supporters of Philippine President Benigno Aquino and his late mother Corazon Aquino.

Red is the campaign colour of his family's arch-political foe, the heirs of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos.

Marcos' 20-year rule was ended by a bloodless popular revolt by yellow-clad street protesters that propelled the younger Aquino's mother to the presidency in 1986.

The embassy also reiterated an earlier warning by the Philippine foreign department for Filipinos to avoid non-essential travel to Bangkok and to steer clear of street protests.

Anti-government demonstrators have announced plans to stage protests in Bangkok from Monday to block February elections called by the government.

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