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FM asks people to delay applications

THE FOREIGN MINISTRY has asked people not travelling abroad in the next 20 days to delay applying for passports due to passport production difficulties because of the political unrest.

Consular Department director-general Thongchai Yasawat said yesterday the ministry will restart the central server of the online passport issuing service this morning. Officials were forced to close down central servers at its headquarters on Chaeng Wattana Road for a second time on Friday, following a confrontation between protesters and police near the department.

The servers were turned off initially on January 13 when the Bangkok Shutdown campaign started, because of security fears.

The servers restarted last Monday after negotiations with rally leaders.

Thongchai said the service would be fully operational tomorrow.

The office is slated to open at 10am today and the usual 8.30am tomorrow. The closing time will be extended to 4.30pm on both days.

As a result of the servers being turned off, many people have been unable to get passports and there are long queues of applicants.

That is why Thongchai asked people not travelling abroad in the next 20 days to delay their application.

An extra passport mobile unit at Queen Sirikit Convention Centre that opened on February 10 will stay open until Friday.


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