12/2/08

Jiggs McDonald Has Left Thailand

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/02/2008 10:04:00 AM
Barrie Examiner: Reports Jiggs McDonald and his wife have left Thailand with comments from his daughter.

Stranded Orillia couple coming home
Caught in the middle of unrest in Thailand

After being stranded in Bangkok for six days, Ken (Jiggs) and Marilyn McDonald are on their way home, to Orillia.

The Canadian Embassy located a plane leaving U-Tapao Royal Thai Navy Airfield, approximately 140 kilo-metres southeast of Bangkok, for Hong Kong, said the McDonalds' daughter, Susan DeSimone. The couple boarded the airplane for Hong Kong yesterday evening.

"I am very relieved," DeSimone said. "My worst-case scenario is things would flare up and they would be stuck, that they wouldn't be able to even get out of their hotel safely. For me, it was important they got out of Thailand before that happened."

A group of 78 tourists traveling with Expo Cruises and Tours were offered 68 seats on the Thai Airways plane for more than $630 a ticket. The McDonalds were among 37 Canadian citizens who accepted the offer.

DeSimone said she believes others are still hoping the Canadian government or tour company will step in with a "no cost solution." The group left Bangkok by bus yesterday evening headed for U-Tapao, where they were to take a flight to Hong Kong, then Toronto.

"I hope this is just the beginning," DeSimone said. "All anyone has been hoping for all along is that Canada would help to organize some effort, to give them an option to get out of there. I don't know if they have other flights lined up, or if they are making similar options for others."

This group of Canadians is among thousands of tourists grounded in Thailand after a throng of yellowshirted antigovernment protesters took the airport by storm, shutting down all flights last Tuesday.
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Orillia Today.com: Mike Dodd had another article in the McDonald's home town paper.
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CityNews.ca: Reported in a release about Jiggs McDonald A court ruling agreed that electoral fraud put the current prime minister in power. Somchai Wongsawat stepped down after the Constitutional Court in Bangkok dissolved Thailand's top three ruling parties.

The People's Alliance for Democracy blocked both an international and a domestic airport in Bangkok as part of this political protest but that will end with the first flights leaving for Rome and Sydney on December 5.

Toronto Star: Reported two Canadians lost their lives and four other tourists were injured when a van transporting people to the airport crashed as they made the 900 kilometre drive from Bangkok to the southern resort town of Phuket because they could not fly out of Bangkok's besieged Suvarnabhumi airport.






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