I fully concur with the Supreme Court’s decision to reinstate Chaturon Chaisaeng’s passports on the grounds that the court has allowed him bail and has not prohibited him from travelling abroad. However, I fail to understand why he had three passports, including one diplomatic passport, in the first place.
Second passports are permitted by some countries for frequent overseas business travellers who may need to leave one passport in an embassy to apply for a visa while travelling somewhere else, or need to travel to countries that are at loggerheads with each other, for example Israel and certain other Middle Eastern states. To my knowledge Chaturon has always been a professional politician and has never had a job that required any overseas travel at all.
Developed countries only give diplomatic passports to their accredited diplomatic staff serving abroad and they are usually only permitted to use them for travel to and from their postings and for official trips, and must use their ordinary passports for personal travel. Chaturon has never been an accredited Thai diplomat and was no longer a government minister at the time his diplomatic passport was cancelled. If Thai diplomatic passports are just handed out to politicians for life, it is small wonder that they are not taken seriously by developed countries, which mostly require their holders to obtain visas and do not grant legal immunity to holders who are not accredited diplomats.
Published : May 03, 2018