In a major change from his predecessor, Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul wants to return ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra's ordinary Thai passport, possibly even his old diplomatic passport.
Govt reconsiders Thaksin's passport
Surapong says ex-PM is entitled to Thai identity
Thanida Tansubhapol & Nattaya Chetchotiros
Thaksin in 2005, when he had a Thai passport
NEW YORK : Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul wants to return ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra's ordinary Thai passport, revoked two years ago after he made inciting remarks during the red shirt rallies.
Mr Surapong said the former premier deserved to carry an ordinary Thai passport. The return of his diplomatic passport was also being considered.
"A passport is like an identity card. Even prisoners in Thailand still hold their ID card. I would like Thai society to think on this basis," Mr Surapong said in New York where he is leading the Thai delegation to the United Nations General Assembly.
"I would like Thaksin to get his ordinary passport back before thinking of the red diplomatic passport."
On his first day at the Foreign Ministry on Aug 17, Mr Surapong dismissed criticism that one of his missions was to return Thaksin's passport.
His priority was to bolster relations with other countries, he said.
The ministry revoked Thaksin's ordinary passport on April 12, 2009 after the government accused him of inflammatory remarks from abroad which it said incited red shirt demonstrators to rise up against the government led by then prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.
The decision came one day after red shirts stormed the venue of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in Pattaya, forcing Thai officials to abruptly cancel the meeting.
Mr Surapong backed his push to return Thaksin's passport, saying it was revoked for political reasons. Many countries he had contacted felt the same.
Thaksin, who is on a visit to Cambodia, usually travels on a passport issued by Montenegro. He also carries passports from other countries including Nicaragua and Uganda.
Normally, present and past government leaders are entitled to have a diplomatic passport. The Surayud Chulanont government formed after the military coup in 2006 to oust Thaksin withdrew his red passport on Jan 10, 2007. The subsequent government led by the People Power Party reversed the decision, but the Democrat-led administration, which came to power in December 2008, decided to revoke it again.
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reconsider – to think again about a decision in order to decide whether you should change it พิจารณาอีกครั้ง
entitled – having the right to have or do something มีสิทธิโดยชอบ
identity – who someone is เอกลักษณ์
ousted – forced out of a position of power ขับออกจากอำนาจ
ordinary – not unusual or different in any way ธรรมดา, ปกติ
revoke – to officially say that something is no longer legal เพิกถอน
incite – to encourage people to be violent or commit crimes by making them angry or excited ยั่วยุ ยุยงให้เกิดความรุนแรง
rally – a large public gathering of people to support someone or to protest against something การชุมนุม
deserve – of something that you earn or are given because of your behavior or qualities สมควรได้รับ
diplomatic – relating to relations between countries เกี่ยวกับการทูต
delegation – a group of people chosen or elected by a group to represent them คณะผู้แทน, คณะบุคคลที่เป็นตัวแทนของคนกลุ่มใหญ่
dismiss – to refuse to accept that something might be true or important ไม่สนใจ,แย้งกลับ
criticism – comments that show that you think something is wrong or bad การวิจารณ์
mission – an important piece of work that a person or a group of people has been given to do ภาระกิจ หน้าที่
priority – something important that must be done first or which needs more attention than something else การมาก่อน
bolster – to make something stronger or more effective ทำให้เข้มแข็ง
inflammatory – intended to cause very strong feelings of anger ซึ่งกระตุ้นอารมณ์อย่างแรง
abroad – in or to a foreign country ในต่างประเทศ
demonstrators – people who march with other people in public to show that they support or oppose something ผู้ชุมนุมประท้วง
storm – to use force to enter a place and take control of it บุกกระหน่ำ
venue – the place where an activity or event happens สถานที่ที่จัดงาน
Association of Southeast Asian Nations – ASEAN สมาคมประชาชติเอเชียตะวันออกเฉียงใต้ หรืออาเซียน
summit – a meeting or a series of meetings between leaders of two or more countries การประชุมสุดยอด
abruptly – suddenly and unexpectedly, and often unpleasant อย่างกะทันหัน
back – to support สนับสนุน
issue – to officially give out ออก
coup (d’etat) – the seizure of power in a country by a group of people, usually members of the armed forces รัฐประหาร
withdraw – to take away ถอน
subsequent – happening or coming after something else ซึ่งตามมา
reverse – (of a decision) to change เปลี่ยนแปลง
administration – government รัฐบาล