The Foreign Ministry on Sunday revoked ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra’s passport to restrict his movements abroad, which are deemed a potential threat to the country, spokesman Tharit Charungvat said . The ordinary passport was Thaksin’s final travel |document. It was issued after his diplomatic passport was revoked in the middle of December, shortly before Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva took office.
However Thaksin living abroad as a fugitive after he was sentenced to two years in jail for abuse of power and corruption while premier – has said he also holds other countries’ passports.
The ministry stripped Thaksin of his final Thai travel document the day after his red-shirt supporters disrupted the Asean Summit and related meetings in Pattaya, causing a big embarrassment for the government.
PM’s Deputy Secretary-General Panitan Wattana-yagorn said the Pattaya incident was the deciding factor in taking away Thaksin’s regular passport.
Thaksin’s opponents have repeatedly called on authorities to nullify his passports of whatever class to bar him from travelling around to destabilise the government and instigate anti-government activities.
However, the government was reluctant to take action in recent months and asked the Council of State, its legal advisory body, to study the legal avenue for such a move.
The Council of State previously declined to back the move, arguing that termination of a passport held by a former prime minister should be a “political” decision.
The Foreign Ministry has full legal authority to issue |and recall passports. Nationals who commit a |crime and are prohibited from going abroad must return their passports to the ministry.
Tharit said the ministry took the drastic action after it became clear the passport holder, if allowed to stay outside the country, could further damage the country’s interests.
The decision was made in accordance with Article 23 of the ministry’s 2005 regulations on passports, but it did not affect Thaksin’s Thai citizenship, he said.
While Thaksin can no longer travel on his Thai passport, he can still ask for a temporary travel document from any Thai embassy or consulate if he wants to return to Thailand, Tharit said.
The Foreign Ministry has already informed foreign governments of its decision, a ministry official said, adding that Thaksin could still take international trips if he had other passports issued by foreign countries as claimed.
By SUPALAK GANJANAKHUNDEE,
Thaksin given Nicaraguan passport
Fugitive Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is a “special ambassador” for Nicaragua and holds a diplomatic passport issued by the Central American country, the Nicaragua government said on Wednesday
Foreign media reported that Thaksin, who is convicted in absentia on corruption charges in Thai courts, received the passport after a February meeting with Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega.
The Thai government stripped Thaksin of his passport this week after finding him behind violent protets that resulted in the cancellation of an Asian summit in Pattaya.
The news reported that Ortega appointed him to help attract investment to the impoverished nation.
Pro-Thaksin protesters staged violent protests in Bangkok this week, forcing the Thai government to impose emergency laws. Their leaders halted the protest on Tuesday, claiming that they did not want the soldiers to crackdown on the protesters rallyin at the Government House.
Source: The Nation / April 16, 2009
Nicaragua denies issuing Thaksin a passport
Nicaragua has denied that it granted passport for convicted ex-Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, Matichon newspaper online reported Thursday
The denial confused earlier news report which said Nicaraguan government issued its passport for Thaksin.
The passport issue was widely interested as Thai government decided to revoke Thaksin’s ordinary passport on April 12 out of belief that he was behind the violence caused by his supporters early this week.
Thai-language online reported Thursday said Thai Embassy in Mexico had asked Nicaragua Embassy in Mexico to verify news report that the country has granted special passport for Thaksin.
The online quoted a letter from Nicaragua embassy in Mexico to Thai embassy issued on April 15 as saying that the report was unfounded.
A book, entitled “Thaksin, are you OK?,” written by Sunisa Lertpakawat, showed photos of Thaksin’s Nicaragua passport and the photo of Thaksin receiving the passport from a man the writer identified only as “Daniel.” Nicaraguan president is Daniel Ortega.
Thai Foreign Ministry confirms Thaksin holds Nicaraguan passport
Mr. Tharit said he has given Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva a report on this matter.
To the question of bringing Mr. Thaksin back for prosecution in Thailand, Mr. Tharit said the foreign minister has communicated with governments around the world to explain the charges the ex-premier is facing in Thailand including the most recent one.
The Thai ambassador to Mexico met with the Nicaraguan ambassador to that nation on Friday (April 17), to convey the message that Thai government does not wish to see Mr. Thaksin using any country as an off-shore base to destabilise the Kingdom.
The Thai ambassador also requested Nicaragua to extradite Mr Thaksin, although Thailand and Nicaragua have no extradition treaty. Mr. Tharit said Thailand is prepared to do one with Nicaragua immediately if need be. (TNA)