Sunday, January 15, 2012

An upset FM wants to confront ambassadors over terror warnings

Foreign Minister Surapong Tovijakchaikul is miffed at the US, Australian and Canadian embassies in Bangkok for having issued their warnings to their respective citizens about "possible terrorist threat" in Bangkok without consulting the Thai foreign ministry.

Why the line of communications between the foreign ministry and the embassies failed is not clear. But the minister wants to summon ambassadors from the three embassies for a meeting to express his "disappointment" over the incident.

But then, it was later revealed that a total of about 12 embassies in Bangkok had issued such warnings without the ministry's advance knowledge either.

Now, will the minister call all the 12 ambassadors for a mass dressing-down session? Or perhaps the minister wants to check into what had actually happened between the ministry and the intelligence people?

Some of the envoys, if invited to the ministry, may have questions for the minister, such as: Deputy PM Chalerm Yoobamrung had told the press that the Thai government had in fact obtained intelligence earlier (even before the US embassy's alert) that some terrorists might have sneaked into Bangkok.

If that's true, why hadn't the ministry informed the embassies? If that's not true, why did the deputy premier say so to the public?

Perhaps, Minister Surapong may want to change his strategy. Instead of summong the ambassadors to the ministry for a not-so-pleasant confrontation, he might want to host a dinner to discuss just what had happened to their normal channels of communications.

Otherwise, the alleged plotters of terror might be laughing all their way to Khao Sarn Rd or Sukhumvit Soi 22 for some beer!

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