URGENT AMIC ANNOUNCEMENT: CONFERENCE CANCELLATION
CANCELLATION OF AMIC 23RD INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE IN BANGKOK
Dear AMIC members and friends,
It is with sincere regret that we must bring to you the news that AMIC’s 23rd International Conference has been cancelled. This decision has been taken jointly by the AMIC Board of Directors, the AMIC Secretariat and the conference hosts.
As you will recall, AMIC planned its 2014 conference to be held in Bangkok, Thailand from the 9th-12th July. Our gracious host was to be the Faculty of Communication Arts at Chulalongkorn University. Arrangements were fully in hand, with the ‘call for papers’ completed, sponsorship promotion underway and even a hotel venue organised. The AMIC Secretariat had received close to 300 abstracts which had been put out for peer-review. In the end, over 270 papers had been accepted for the conference.
The political climate in Thailand deteriorated to the extent that martial law was eventually declared. Although the prevailing situation in Bangkok was difficult, in close consultation with the conference hosts and other authorities on security and safety issues, AMIC proceeded with its plans. However, when the Thai military declared a coup late last month and various restrictions, including a curfew, were imposed, the situation became increasingly untenable.
AMIC’s ‘duty of care’ to conference delegates and staff members is such that we are unwilling to expose colleagues from the region and beyond to potential injury or harm in a situation which is impossible to predict. Also, we took note that, once the coup was announced, all major travel insurance companies advised their clients that coverage for Thailand was negated. In addition, Governments worldwide issued travel advisories warning their citizens about travel to Thailand.
The AMIC Board and Secretariat held urgent discussions and the Chairman issued a conference postponement notice. In the meantime, extensive negotiations continued with potential hosts for a possible relocation to another venue within the region. In the end, these proved inconclusive and it was decided, with time against us and increasing concern from conference delegates about their travel and leave arrangements, to cancel the conference this year.
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