AIT rector's work permit lapses amid police probe
Though his working visa has not been renewed, former Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) rector, Said Irandoust, can still live in Thailand, the Foreign Ministry's deputy permanent secretary Nopadol Gunavibool said yesterday.Nopadol is also chairman of AIT's Board of Trustees.
He said non-renewal of the work permit was linked to problems Irandoust had with AIT staff, who have accused him of non-transparent methods of administration.
However, he said, the final decision on whether to issue or renew work permits for expatriates rested solely on the police immigration division.
"As to whether Irandoust's visa will be extended or not depends on an ongoing investigation [into his alleged mismanagement at AIT]," Nopadol said.
But Bhawat Traipattanakul, a member of AIT's alumni group, said he personally believed that non-renewal of Irandoust's work permit had something to do with the Board of Trustees' |decision to temporarily suspend his role and it happened that his work permit expired on February 1.
He also dismissed Irandoust's claim that he had voluntarily decided to temporarily step down, and questioned why the former rector had decided to appoint three assistant rectors to work on his behalf.
Bhawat also expressed worry about the employment status of other foreign lecturers and staffers at AIT, and wondered if they would be affected by the non-renewal of Irandoust's work permit.