The British Embassy has revoked entry visas of ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his wife Pojaman
The cancellation, which was decided while the couple were outside England, has been notified to airlines yesterday.
The decision was made by the United Kingdom Border Agency, and the notification email was signed by Bangkok-based Immigration Liaison Manager Andy Gray.
The email read:
The United Kingdom Border Agency has revoked the UK visas held by the following Thai nations:
Thaksin Shinawatra. Thai Passport Number D215863
Potjaman Shinawatra. Thai Passport Number D206635
The UK visas contained in the passports of the individuals listed above are no longer valid for travel.
Airlines are advised not to carry these passengers to the UK”
*** end *****
The embassy would not comment on the report. Contacted embassy officials said they “cannot comment on policy matters.”
It was a big political blow for Thaksin, who was believed to be on his way from China to the Philippines yesterday. It was understood that the cancellation had to do with the recent court rulings that found Pojaman guilty of tax evasion and Thaksin guilty of breaking the conflict of interest law in the Ratchadapisek land purchase scandal.
Their children’s British visas are still valid.
A senior People Power Party politician who has been in China this week answered The Nation’s phone contact but replied to the inquiry about Thaksin’s visa situation with only “I don’t know. I don’t know.”
Thaksin has always described England as a “democratically mature” country as compared to Thailand. But he always denied having applied for asylum although he said England would be the country where he wanted to live in exile.
Last Saturday, in a controversial long-distance phone-in from Hong Kong, Thaksin accused his political opponents of breaking his family apart. In the same address, he also begged for royal pardon or a popular show of force to bring him back to Thailand.
“Nobody can bring me back to Thailand, except royal kindness of HM the King or the power of the people,” Thaksin said. He also claimed that many countries have offered him “honorary citizenship”, “which made me a bit sad because I could do many things for anybody else in the world, but nothing now for my country.”
The statement triggered a major controversy in Thailand, with Thaksin being accused of trying to drag HM the King into politics. The UK visa move, however, gave Thaksin’s statement a whole new perspective, making him sound more like someone desperate to find refuge rather than trying to provoke a political reaction.
It is not immediately known, however, whether Thaksin was aware of the impending visa cancellation before he left England the last time.
A source familiar with the UK legal and diplomatic thinking said the cancellation could have been based on “the different statuses” of Thaksin between the time he was issued the visa and now.
The Supreme Court only found Thaksin guilty in the Ratchadapisek land case late last month, weeks after he fled Thailand during the Beijing Olympics. He fled with his wife, who only days earlier had been found guilty of tax evasion.
England has been under the world community’s watchful eyes when Thaksin is concerned. Diplomatic observers have said a decision whether or not to give Thaksin asylum would generate strong ramifications on England’s relations with Thailand, as well as London’s reputations when democracy, foreign relations and legal principles are concerned.
By The Nation
Published on November 8, 2008
TOC News: ASTV: British Embassy Revoles Thaksin’s Visa
PAD leader Sondhi Limthongkul announces on PAD stage that the U.K. embassy has revoked the visas of both Thaksin and Khunying Pojaman Shinawatra.The PAD leader cited a Manager newspaper’s report that the embassy has revoked both fugitives’ visas. The order reportedly takes effect today
The British government has cancelled the tourist visas of the convicted former prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, and his wife Pojaman. The notification, issued to the Airport Operations Committee, also advised airlines not to allow the two to board aircraft headed for the UK.
Sources from the Airport Operations Committee told local media that the letter of notification has been sent out from the UK Border Agency’s official in Thailand, stating that Thaksin and Pojaman’s tourist visas, stamped in their Thai passports, are now invalid.
As a result, the two are effectively banned from entering the UK. The notification also advised airlines not to allow either individual to board for the UK.
At the moment, the British Embassy in Thailand has yet to provide any comments on the report. Critics said the revocation may result from the tax evasion conviction faced by Pojaman, and Thaksin’s Ratchada land deal conviction.
The visas of their 3 children remain valid. Both Thaksin and Pojaman are believed to be in China, and expected to travel to the Philippines.
SOURCES FOR FURTHER READING
BANGKOK POST –UK said to have banned Thaksin . Border Agency advises airlines not to fly them : The British government is reported to have revoked the visas for convicted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his wife, Khunying Potjaman, effectively banning them from entering Britain on their Thai passports, a reliable airline source said last night.
STRAITS TIMES– BRITISH authorities have revoked the visas of ousted Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his wife Pojaman, an airline official told AFP on Saturday.
THE EARTH TIMES– Britain has revoked tourist visas for fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his wife Pojaman, media reports said Saturday. Thai newspapers claimed a cancellation notification was sent to various airlines by the British UK Border Agency at a time when the former first couple were travelling outside London where they have been living in self-exile.
ASIAN TRIBUNE– The British Embassy has revoked entry visas of ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his wife Pojama, reports “The Nation,” the English Language daily published from, Bangkok, Thailand
UK NEWS– BANGKOK (AFP) – British authorities have revoked the visas of ousted Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his wife Pojaman, an airline official told AFP Saturday.
BBC NEWS– The British government has revoked the visas of the former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his wife.
DIARY EXPRESS– Britain has revoked the visa of Thailand’s ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who has been living in exile in England, Thai media has reported.
AL JAZEERA – The British government has revoked the tourist visas of Thaksin Shinawatra, the former prime minister of Thailand, and his wife, the Bangkok Post newapaper says, quoting airline employees.
MORNING STAR– BANGKOK (AFP)–U.K. authorities have revoked the visas of ousted Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his wife Pojaman, an airline official told AFP Saturday. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the British embassy had informed all airlines in an email on Friday not to allow the couple to board flights to the U.K.
TIMES ONLINE– The UK government has revoked the visas of the former Thai prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, and his wife, leaving them unable to return to London where they have been living in exile, according to Thailand’s Foreign Ministry.
WIKINEWS– An email circulated to airlines yesterday, revealed that the UK government has revoked the visas of Thai ex-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his wife. Both have been convicted and sentenced to jail terms in Thailand. The email instructs airlines not to facilitate travel for the couple to return to the UK. Reports indicate that the deposed and convicted ex-PM is currently in China with plans to travel to the Philippines this weekend. The whereabouts of his wife are not currently known
Thaivisa.com– Uk Cancel Thaksin’s Visa And Wife’s, Thaksin in limbo? Very big news it seems
Thai Talk– Thaksin’s visa revoked? This document is being circulated on the internet. Where is Thaksin going next?