Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for Thailand

Newsline: Iranian self-immolates outside embassy in Bangkok

Thai police said an Iranian man set himself on fire Friday in front of the Iranian Embassy in Bangkok to protest his country’s presidential election. The unidentified man doused himself with gasoline before lighting himself on fire outside the gate of the embassy around noon, police said. The man suffered burns all over his body and was taken to a hospital. Pol Lt Col Noppadol Samart said the man was protesting Friday’s presidential vote in Iran, though he did not know exactly what about the election the man was opposed to.


Newsline: Russian embassy in Bangkok says turbulence injured 27 on Aeroflot flight to Bangkok

Passengers on an Aeroflot flight from Moscow to Thailand were slammed into the ceiling after their aircraft hit a patch of severe turbulence injuring 27 people, some of them suffering fractured bones, witnesses and officials said Monday. Denis Antonyuk, an official at Russia’s embassy in Bangkok said 24 Russian nationals and three Thais were injured. “Fifteen Russians and two Thais are still in hospital,” he told AFP, adding the rest had been discharged. The terrifying ordeal occurred when the plane flew through a pocket of “clean air” turbulence — so-called because there is no cloud warning of its presence — shortly before landing in Bangkok after midnight, the airline said. The head of the Russian embassy’s consular department Vladimir Sosnov told RIA Novosti news agency that some of the injured were undergoing operations but he could not give exact numbers. He added that none of the injuries were life-threatening. “All the injured were taken to a local hospital with injuries of varying degrees of severity — mainly fractures and contusions. Some need an operation,” the Russian embassy in Bangkok said in a statement.


Newsline: US Embassy treats Thai visa applicants like crime suspects

US people in Thailand are treated much better by the Thai government than Thai people are treated by the US Embassy. I have never had a problem with getting a visa to visit or work in Thailand, but my Thai friends tell me the same isn’t true of them getting visas for the US. The guidance given on the Internet to apply for a US visa is not only unhelpful, but is outright misleading as it gives the impression that, to receive a visa, all a person needs is a current passport, a government form, some photos and money. If you read the instructions carefully, you see that unlike the US legal system, there is NO appeal if you are refused a visa and they keep your money. There seems to be a culture within the US Embassy, especially those who deal with visa interviews, that Thai people are dishonest and only trying to get tourist or business visas so they can stay in the US illegally and not return to Thailand. I’ve been told the interviewers are arrogant and unfriendly, and often refuse to give any reason if a visa isn’t given.


Newsline: Security stepped up at Russian embassy in Bangkok after blast

Police have stepped up security at the Russian embassy in Bangkok following an explosion at the Saint Petersburg metro Monday that killed 11 people. Bang Rak police chief Pol Col Nakhon Thongphanit said he has deployed more police officers to guard the embassy around the clock. He said they normally deploy officers to guard the embassy and patrol the area, but that will be increased following the incident in Russia. He said they were working with the Black Tiger unit of the Special Branch Police Bureau and officers from the Patrol and Special Operation Division to step up security at the embassy on Sap Road, Surawong, Bangrak.


Newsline: Australian embassy site in Thailand up for sale

The site of the Australian embassy in Sathorn area, almost eight rai of land, is being offered for sale by expression of interest, according to the appointed sole agent JLL. The compound covers 12,728 square metres of freehold land on South Sathorn Road, one of Bangkok’s prime commercial and residential addresses. The closing date for offers is early June.


Newsline: Thai embassy in Japan issues overstay warning

The Thai embassy in Japan has warned Thai citizens of being blacklisted by authorities if they overstay their visas or work illegally in Japan. Meanwhile, some Thai nationals who once worked illegally in Japan have shared their experiences after the embassy posted details of their stays online. Since the Japan government adopted a visa waiver policy for 15-day stays for Thai nationals in July 2013, the number of Thais overstaying their visas and working illegally in Japan has been increasing, which concerns the authorities there. “Working without permission is illegal in Japan and anyone who does so will be blacklisted from entering Japan again,” the Royal Thai Embassy in Japan wrote on its Facebook page, reminding Thai nationals about the consequences of overstaying their visas and working in Japan without a work permit.


Newsline: Myanmar to boost its Thailand embassy staffing

More labour officers are being assigned in order to handle the high volume of cases stemming from the large number of Myanmar migrants working there, U Thein Swe, Union Minister for Labour, Immigration and Population said at an International Migrants Day event in Nay Pyi Taw. “The number of Myanmar migrants in Thailand is high, as is also true for the number of cases and problems … There are millions of labourers and the current staffing level at the embassy is no longer sufficient. We will assign three more labour diplomats including one Thai language expert and one legal expert,” U Thein Swe told The Myanmar Times after the ceremony. He added that the recruiting and employment will be conducted jointly with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Currently, there are two labour attachés each in Thailand and Malaysia, as well as one in Korea. Myanmar and Thailand have signed a Memorandum of Understanding regarding migrant workers supplied to the Thai labour markets but the majority of the Myanmar workers are undocumented and face problems with brokers, traffickers and police. Myanmar has estimated as many as 4 million of its citizens may be working in Thailand, with slightly less than half of that group legally registered for employment.