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UPDATE: Father and brother traveling to Thailand to speak to Saudi 18 year old

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UPDATE: Father and brother traveling to Thailand to speak to Saudi 18 year old | The Thaiger

The father and brother of a the Saudi 18 year old, whose plea for asylum is making international headlines, are travelling to Thailand later today to give their accounts to the UN refugee agency, the Thai Immigration police chief said on Tuesday.

But Immigration Chief, Surachet Hakparn says, if they wished to speak to Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, who ran away from her family during their trip to Kuwait, it would be up to the girl.

Surachet will act as a mediator in their talks with the UN High Commission for Refugees representatives, if the meeting goes ahead.

“I believe the father and brother of al-Qunun want to give information to the UNHCR for it to have both sides of the story. I think this will be fair to both sides.”

He was speaking after meeting Abdalelah Mohammed Alsheaiby, the charge d’affaires at the Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Bangkok, while discussing Thailand’s stance on al-Qunun’s high profile case.

Al-Qunun was detained on arrival at Suvarnabhumi Airport during transit while en route to Australia. She alleged that she was being subjected to physical and psychological abuse by her family.

She planned to seek asylum in Australia and expressed fears that she would be killed if she were sent back to Saudi Arabia by Thai Immigration officials who had detained her at the airport.

Surachet claims that she was stopped at the request of her family who alerted the Saudi Embassy in Bangkok.

Meanwhile, the UN refugee agency says that it has taken into its care the Saudi woman who made the desperate plea for asylum after being apprehended at Suvarnabhumi Airport.

The agency says in a statement that it will take “several days” to assess her claims before taking further steps. The refugee agency also applauded Thailand for its decision to halt their deportation of Al-qunun and allow UNHCR staff to talk to her and assess her status.

“We are very grateful that the Thai authorities did not send back Al-qunun against her will and are extending protection for her,” said UNHCR’s representative in Thailand, Giuseppe de Vicentiis, in the statement.

SOURCES: The Nation

 



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Bangkok

BKK taxi driver returns 400,000 baht to Danish tourist

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BKK taxi driver returns 400,000 baht to Danish tourist | The Thaiger

Usually maligned, it’s great to post a good-news story about Bangkok’s taxi drivers. A capital city cabbie is being praised after returning a bag containing 400,000 baht to a Danish tourist.

T News reports that Somsri Ralat picked up the Danish tourist and his Thai wife at BKK airport and was taking them to their Hotel in Bang Yai yesterday afternoon.

But after they arrived, and the taxi had departed, they realized they left a bag containing cash and documents in the back seat of the taxi.

Back in the taxi, when he arrived back at Suvarnabhumi, the driver contacted staff to ask for help in tracking down the couple.

A couple of hours later the couple were re-united with their bag at the airport.

Managing Director of Suvarnabhumi Airport Suthirawat Suwannawat says Mr Somsri was a credit to Thailand and his actions would be good for the country’s image among foreign tourists.

Of course he was only doing the right thing but often taxi drivers get a bad rap for their behaviour. And the bad stories get most of the media space. So it’s nice to have a happy ending to this taxi story.

It wasn’t reported but one of the pictures indicate Somsri was rewarded for his honesty.

Passengers who leave personal belongings in the back of a taxi they have taken from Survanabhumbi can contact the Taxi Service Center, on 02 132 0360 or the AOT Contact Centre on 1722, 24 hours a day.

SOURCE: TNews

BKK taxi driver returns 400,000 baht to Danish tourist | News by The Thaiger BKK taxi driver returns 400,000 baht to Danish tourist | News by The Thaiger

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Bangkok

Siam Songkran Festival lights up this year’s Songkran in Bangkok

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Siam Songkran Festival lights up this year’s Songkran in Bangkok | The Thaiger

Sick of running around Bangkok with your 200 baht Tesco water pistol? Combine the annual water festival with a world class music festival instead.

Welcome to Siam Songkran, Thailand’s newest four-day Songkran festival set to be held April 12 – 15 at Bangkok’s largest city centre entertainment zone, SHOW DC Arena.

A time of tradition, Songkran is also a time of fun with family and friends, and Siam Songkran is set to blend Thai and Western cultures with a packed music and entertainment program and the largest water fight in Bangkok.

Held over four days with four outdoor zones and two huge stages showcasing live music from the biggest acts in Thailand and around Asia. Headliners include Yellow Claw, Afrojack, Coone and Crisis Era, while many others will perform such as Dolf, Zatox, Darren Styles and more.

#SIAMSongkran tickets can be purchased online at www.siamsongkran.com and range from 1,500 baht for a single day pass, to 6,400 baht for a VIP 4 Day Pass. For those looking for the ultimate festival experience, special VVIP Packages are available from 100,000 baht (for 6 pax) to 385,000 baht – the first festival pack with a pool suite.

Powered by SHOW DC, Clubbing Asia, One and Zaap, Siam Songkran will take place April 12 – 15 at SHOW DC.

Siam Songkran Festival lights up this year's Songkran in Bangkok | News by The Thaiger

Link for further details HERE.

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TAT expects 2.3 million tourists for this year’s Songkran

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TAT expects 2.3 million tourists for this year’s Songkran | The Thaiger

The Tourism Authority of Thailand is expecting more than 2.3 million local and foreign tourists will join the various Songkran celebrations this year. They say that should generate 20 billion baht+ in revenue for tourism and tourism-related services.

TAT’s Governor Yuthasak Supasorn says 300,000 international arrivals are expected to celebrate the five day festival starting April 12, along with two million locals who will travel to celebrate Songkran this year. Songkran falling on a weekend this year will also bolster local tourism numbers.

The number of Songkran-specific visitors is up this year, partly because of the growing popularity of the festival internationally and the government extending the holiday to five days this year, now starting on April 12 (although ‘Songkran, the Thai New Year, is actually on April 13).

Songkran festival extended HERE.

He admits that the bad publicity about the poor air quality in the northern regions is a problem, especially around Chiang Mai which has become a big international visitor favorite over recent yers.

Chiang Mai is one of nine provinces in the North struggling with smoke haze, mostly because of open-air burning of farm waste and rubbish, and localised bush fires. The heavy smog has caused temporary suspension of flights between Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son although flights into Chiang Mai have been unaffected so far.

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