Monday, February 9, 2009
After London and Tokyo, will Washington ban him too?
Will the US also close its door to Thaksin Shinawatr? There are no official indications so far. But speculation is flying thick that Washington may follow London and Tokyo in refusing to issue a visa to him if he applies.
The official reason given by the Japanese consular officials are simple and clear: Under official guidelines, anyone sentenced to one than one year in jail by court and doesn't lodge an appeal within one month would be considered a convict not allowed into Japan. It doesn't matter whether you are an ex-premier or a criminal.
China may not have the same ground rules but Chinese officials have reportedly been keeping a close watch on Thaksin so that he won't land there to organize political activities that may sour relations with the current Thai government.
Chinese leaders are pragmatic people. They don't want any government to issue visas to people hostile to the Beijing government either.