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Open letter to Thai government “We want to come back to Thailand”

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There are many foreigners who are desperately trying to get back into Thailand to attend to urgent matters, or simply get back together with their Thai families. Many others have simply made Thailand their home for an extended time and have gone through all the legal hoops required by Thai Immigration only to find themselves locked out.

The Thaiger is sent emails every day from people seeking information or solutions to their debacle. Thailand, although successful in containing the local Covid-19 outbreak, has now become extremely risk-averse in the matter of re-opening its borders. Thailand is in somewhat of a quandary – visually eliminating local transmissions (now for over 30 days) but the rest of the world is still wading though its first wave of infections. So the Thai government is wary of re-opening its borders (given the number of returning Thais who are testing positive).

The Thai government has recently set out a plan to bring back some 50,000 foreigners over the next few months who have registered to return under specific criteria. There is also ongoing talk and negotiations about initiating ‘travel bubbles’ with countries or cities that share a similar low risk for Covid-19. But there have been no specific announcements about participating countries or when this might roll out.

In the meantime the frustration continues for thousands of foreigners with either direct family or business links to the Kingdom that remain locked out of the country, plus those with valid ‘retirement’ visas. Here is just one such open letter as sent to The Thaiger…


Hello

I’m writing to you today to bring attention to a group of foreigners, expats who call Thailand home, whom have been stranded abroad since the lockdown began and are being completely ignored by the Thai government.

Much has been said recently about plans to allow certain groups foreigners to enter the Kingdom once again, including businessman, skilled labourers, foreigners married to Thais, permanent residents of Thailand, medical and wellness visitors, and lastly those residing within a yet-to-be-specified “travel bubble”.

None of this includes the re-introduction of general tourism at this stage. That simply won’t be happening in the foreseeable future given the narrative coming out of the CCSA and directly from the Thai PM.

Completely absent from these lists are another group of foreigners – those with retirement visas who live in Thailand – some calling Thailand home for a decade or more – who had the unfortunate luck of being outside of Thailand when the airport was shut down in March.

I am one such foreigner. There are hundreds more, and tales of their hardships and frustrations can found in several social media groups like HERE.

Thus far, in all of the media briefings, government announcements and editorials concerning the topic of allowing foreigners back into Thailand, not once have the retired foreigners stranded abroad ever been mentioned, by anyone. It seems that we are being completely ignored and are considered to be nothing more than “tourists” to those in charge. That, despite the fact that all of us have chosen Thailand as our home. We are members of our local communities, we rent/own property, we employ locals, we contribute greatly to our local economies, we are decent and good people. Thailand is our home and after 4 months of living in hotel rooms abroad, we just want to come home.

I understand that caution is warranted regarding opening up the country to foreign arrivals again. I have no problem with that. It’s often better to be safe than sorry. However, the fact that ‘businessmen’, ‘medical tourists’ and even just normal tourists from nearby countries are being considered for entry into the Kingdom before those of us who call Thailand home, is truly disheartening.

Many of us are receiving no support from the Thai foreign embassies. I came to Nepal for a 4 week trekking holiday and got stranded here shortly afterwards when the airports were closed. I have made several attempts to contact the Thai Ambassador in Kathmandu, but my emails and phone calls go unanswered.

I am writing to you in hopes that you can offer some help to bring awareness to our situation – we, the forgotten foreigners. I am happy to make myself available for an interview, as no doubt many others in the same situation will be too.

Thank you for your time and I hope to hear from you soon.

Kind regards

Michael Deslippe


All The Thaiger can do, apart from publishing all the latest information about this issue, is to urge people in foreign countries, with an urgent need to return, is to contact your local Thai Embassy.

 

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Richard Barker

    Friday, June 26, 2020 at 9:27 am

    And yesterday the Australian government mentioned in news that it is probable that Aussies wont be leaving the country until mid to late 2021. Changed 3 times in 3 weeks. On that news Qantas sacked 6000 employees and put their international fleet in mothballs etc. So if your Aussie don’t hold your breath and if your Thai waiting for customers dito.

    • Avatar

      Peter Stiffinson

      Friday, June 26, 2020 at 11:24 am

      Sad that a country that has so much potential to flourish simply cant due to its Ancient customs and traditions.. Simply put it really seems Thailand doesnt want foreigners here , only their money…Its no wonder mass exodus is on the rise in Thailand. Seems like they want to be stuck in the past and not be bothered with anything in current times…

    • Avatar

      Chris

      Friday, June 26, 2020 at 11:53 am

      Well a big Sieg Heil for the Australian government.
      Anti-body studies have all pointed to a real infection mortality rate of 0.5%. You would think that a virus test and 14 day quarantine (even for a negative result) would be more than enough.

  2. Avatar

    Kevin Martyn

    Friday, June 26, 2020 at 11:22 am

    I have found the Thai Embassy overseas very helpful.

    Understand about mitigating the risk of spreading the virus.

  3. Avatar

    Henry Schlumpf

    Saturday, June 27, 2020 at 4:15 pm

    Wir sind ein Rentner Ehepaar und leben schon seit einiger Zeit in Thailand. Seit einem Kurzbesuch meiner Frau in der Schweiz ist sie auch ausgesperrt und kann nicht mehr einreisen. Wir fühlen uns von der Thai-Regierung betrogen. Sie nehmen gerne das Geld für Liegenschaften, Autos und fürs tägliche Leben von uns, aber die Farangs möchten sie eigentlich lieber nicht hier haben, nur ihr Geld. Sie haben ihren Lohn ja sowieso und die thailändische Bevölkerung darbt langsam dahin. Einfach unverständlich. Wir sind auch vorsichtige Leute, tragen wo es geht Masken zum Schutze aller. Aber diese Panik-Mentalität können wir nicht nachvollziehen. Sie wird noch das ganze Land in den Ruin stürzen.
    Und die thailändische Botschaft in der Schweiz weiss meistens auch nicht, wie’s weitergehen soll.

  4. Avatar

    Dudley5000

    Sunday, June 28, 2020 at 10:12 am

    As often happens during times of stress, the truth comes out. Thai government officials say in public that falang are generally dirty people who should not be in Thailand. Ok. I choose to go elsewhere for retirement. Some other economy will enjoy my $50,000 / year.

  5. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Monday, June 29, 2020 at 12:42 pm

    The Thais have had a good run for the last 30 years, foreign investment, foreign tourism, foreign technology.
    But now soon they will go back to living like peasants, due to their stupidity and arrogance.
    Their restrictions are so oppressive and unjustified that Thailand is losing all the confidence they had with the people that put rice in their bowls.
    Who is going to risk investing in this despotic country now?
    what else are they going to dream up to bankrupt the country?

  6. Avatar

    Zigler

    Monday, June 29, 2020 at 6:41 pm

    Whats funny is that they say they don’t want to risk bringing the virus in..yet they continue to let their own come back from foreign countries, many of whom are infected and get quarantiened …so why not do the same for this small group of foreigners…The 1% snooty elite of Thailand are riding high on their horse now..suppressing many of their countrymen and women to stay in control..they think they don’t need foreign influence anymore except for cheap Chinese tourists and that they will get by fine…I sense another uprising in the near future…These people have had a taste of making good money and they certainly want it to come back..How much longer do you think they will tolerate this govt mentality of stupidity

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