1st group of Thai students, workers, officials leave Tripoli


BANGKOK, July 31 — The first group of 41 Thais evacuated Libya today and are scheduled to arrive Bangkok tomorrow, according to the Thai Minisry of Foreign Affairs.

Sihasak Phuangketkeow, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, quoted the Thai embassy in Tripoli as reporting that about 40 Thai workers, eight Thai students and some embassy officials already left Tripoli to Djerba, Tunisia but three Thai students delayed their departure due to educational concerns.

He said officials were trying to convince them to prioritize their safety.

Mr Sihasak also said that the director-general of the Department of Consular Affairs, five other foreign ministry officials and two labour officials would leave for Tunisia tonight to coordinate the travel of Thais in Tunis and Djerba, and that Thai medics would follow suit.

Mr Sihasak confirmed that the embassy in Tripoli would continue to operate to facilitate the evacuation.

The embassy has asked Thai workers to leave Libya beginning July 15.

Evacuees from Tripoli would go to Djerba by road while those from Benghazi would go by sea. Evacuation by land, sea and air is planned, he said.

Thongchai Chasawath, director-general of the Department of Consular Affairs, said commercial aircraft would carry evacuees from Tunisia to Dubai where they would board Thai Airways International flights to Thailand.