THAILAND DESPERATELY NEEDS A NEW BRITISH AMBASSADOR – A few of my readers have asked me why I write many articles on Thailand when it’s obvious I’m a British Citizen.
When I setup Meebal.com I did so with the vision of allowing anyone, from anywhere, to provide meebal.com with news. To date we have two sources in the U.S, there’s me in the UK and now three in Thailand. So you see I get a fair amount of articles or requests for me to write articles from Thailand.
Whilst the Thai Government would like to purport that Thailand is a democracy this is in fact far from the truth and journalism within the country is often restricted. There have been numerous cases of journalists being murdered or directly threatened with violence from the so-called ‘elite’ and therefore all our internal sources remain highly confidential.
As someone who writes about the news I get so see an awful lot of injustice and it irks me tremendously as to why Governments, who clearly have the power, do not take action to stamp it out.
This article is a culmination of many aspects on Thailand and my views on how things could change with proactive and effective diplomatic measures.
The title is deliberate; in that from the inside information I have received there are a huge amount of British expats living in Thailand. This article is also highly relevant to the Germans, Chinese, French or any other nation where it has a sizable number of expat residing in Thailand.
Finally, before I get into the nitty gritty, this article is not simply about the expats but also tourists and predominantly their safety whilst visiting Thailand.
Now that you have the background, let’s examine why Thailand desperately needs a new British Ambassador.
Let’s start by looking closely at what the British Government has to say about the role of the British Ambassador in Thailand – the following is the exact excerpt taken from the British Ambassadors website.
We help sustain and develop the important relationship between the UK and Thailand.
We deal with a wide range of political, commercial, security and economic questions of interest to the UK and Thailand. We also deal with visa applications for those who wish to enter the UK to visit, study, live or work. The British Embassy in Bangkok, and our consular network throughout the country, provides assistance to British nationals visiting or living in Thailand. We work closely with our partners, the British Council and the British Chamber of Commerce Thailand
From a British expat standpoint this opening statement is nothing but complete and utter drivel. Any British citizen requiring help from the British Embassy is likely to be told politely to bugger off and seek alternative assistance.
Of all the British expats I’ve spoken to not one had anything nice to say about the ‘wet’ who is appointed as the Ambassador or the overpaid staff within the Embassy.
According to the British Government’s website the Ambassador’s role can be defined as:
The Ambassador represents Her Majesty The Queen and the UK government in the country to which they are appointed. They are responsible for the direction and work of the Embassy and its Consulates, including political work, trade and investment, press and cultural relations, and visa and consular services.
Note carefully that no mention is made to the representation of British citizens; it is clear from the excerpt above that the British Government couldn’t care less about its citizens living and working in Thailand.
Let’s just examine how a British citizen lives and even works in Thailand. As you would expect a foreign national visiting or living in another country would require a visa but the visa system the Thais employ is not only abusive, breaks basic international human rights but is also designed to be highly humiliating and degrading. Why?… read on.
Let’s take an example of a British citizen who is married to a Thai national with say two children. The British citizen is required to obtain a non-immigrant ‘O’ visa. To obtain this he must provide documented evidence of monthly earnings of 40,000 Thai Baht or have a minimum of 400,000 Thai Baht in the bank.
You might think this is not unreasonable and yet it is highly discriminatory. The minimum wage, which most Thai citizens are on, currently stands at 9,000 Thai Baht per month, or 108,000 Thai Baht per year. So why would the Thai Government require a foreigner, just because he’s foreign, to have nearly 4 times the earnings from that of a Thai citizen?
Let’s look at this a little deeper; using the same example. The foreign husband is required to obtain a visa on an annual basis and report to the local Thai Immigration Police every 90 days in order to report his whereabouts – it’s akin to being a convicted criminal on parole.
In this example if the foreigner fails to produce the required earnings per annum or he fails to report every 90 days he is subjected to the threat of deportation. In these cases, and apparently there have been many, the father is then forced to leave his wife and children behind; effectively making them fatherless and therefore breaching international human rights; not just of the father but also the wife and children.
There are other types of residency visas available and all come with conditions attached that are humiliating, degrading and of course clearly break international human rights laws.
When it comes to foreigners either living or visiting Thailand there is an inherent risk of racial abuse. It is no secret that the Thais do not like foreigners; either living or visiting their country.
Thais see foreigners as little more than walking wallets who are there to be fleeced and the attitude is always the same; ‘This is Thailand, you not like, leave.’ This broken English statement is frequently heard from mainstream Thais and officials alike.
The attitude of the Thais borders on contempt for any human that is not Thai. It is in this trait that we can fully understand why Thailand would be labeled as the number one abuser of human rights if it were not for the likes of foreigner Governments colluding with Thai officials.
The U.S recently announced that it would no longer ‘pardon’ Thailand from its human rights abuse atrocities and that unless the Thai Government could demonstrate a marked improvement this year it will no longer protect Thailand from entering the No.1 slot which will force the U.S and other nations to impose sanctions.
So back to the title… Thailand Desperately Needs a New British Ambassador. Yes is the clear answer, but an Ambassador who is backed 100% by the British Government in order to effect real change and change that is equitable; in other words fair or like for like.
If I were the British Ambassador the first thing I would do is initiate a program whereby British citizens were able to seek helpful assistance; something that is sorely lacking.
The second phase would be to cut out the ‘diplomatic’ backside kissing and get to the grass roots of the issue. In other words insist that the Thai Government changed its policies and eradicated the human rights abuses.
One area that seriously needs attention is that of immigration and visas. There are thousands of Thais living and working freely in the United Kingdom, none of whom are restricted to working in one place of employment and none who are required to report to the authorities every 90 days.
Thais, living and working in the UK, are also entitled to Government assistance in the form of social welfare when times are difficult and of course there are no restrictions on business or property ownership; unlike the restrictions imposed on foreigners in Thailand.
It is amazing that Thais feel that no foreigner should own land or property in Thailand and also should not be able to legally own and direct their own companies and yet none of these restriction are imposed upon Thai citizens living in the UK.
It is almost offensive to think that the former Prime Minister, and convicted criminal, Thaskin Shinawatra, owns a plush home in Belgravia, London and yet his and the existing Government’s position still remains firm that British citizens, or indeed any foreigner, should not be allowed the same privilege in Thailand.
It appears to me, from all the insider information I have received, that the Thais want to have their cake and eat it and what’s really astounding is that the British and other foreigner Governments allow this to continue; for the sake of bi-lateral harmony.
I am sorry but I don’t have time for BS; if I wanted this amount of BS I would have become a dairy farmer. What’s wrong with telling the Thai Government to either change its structure to mirror what we offer their citizens or face the consequence of mass deportation and cutting off their lucrative exports?
Diplomacy is the art of conducting negotiations between a group of people or states, however unfortunately the British Government has turned this into the conducting of dropping one’s trousers and getting royally shafted; which is probably why most Ambassadors walk around looking physically pained most of the time.
It is time to make changes but in order to effect change you need someone with a firm hand and of course, a spine.
After asking a few of my sources why they bother living in Thailand the answers are wide and varied. A number of them simply don’t want to live in the UK due to rising costs or their new families, the wife and kids, don’t want to leave and therefore they are forced to stay put and in return accept and put up with the abuse they receive.
It’s not all bad, the weather is generally great, it’s certainly cheaper and on the whole they are happy but they would like to see change that at least gives them back their dignity and where they are not viewed as second class citizens who simply have money to burn.
I’ve never been one to beat around the bush and if it was left to me I’d tell the Thais in no uncertain terms that things must change or the UK will start treating their citizens living in the UK in the same fashion.
It’s an interesting thought but I wonder how many Thais would be living in the UK if we made them show 4 times the salary of a minimum wage earner and denied them the right to own property or a business. It would of course be interesting to see just how a Thai would feel if we treated them like second class citizens and criminals by making them report their whereabouts to the police every 90 days.
Of course these things will never happen in British society because Britain is a so-called multicultural cohesive society where human rights are upheld whereas Thailand is an open abuser of human rights and has a population consisting of paranoid, xenophobic and narcissistic people.
Do you think Britain should force an agreement for a ‘like-for-like’ basis on foreign countries where British expats reside? Leave your comments below.