Surapong believes deporting Indian businessman won’t affect Thai-Indian relations


BANGKOK, Feb 7 – Caretaker Deputy Prime Minister/Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul said he believed the deportation of Indian businessman Satish Sehgal will not negatively affect Thai-Indian relations.

Mr Surapong, chief advisor of the Centre for Maintaining Peace and Order (CMPO), said the agency’s meeting today is discussing on the deportation of Mr Satish, former president of the Thai-Indian Business Association and a key leader of the anti-government People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), and issuing arrest warrants for those disrupting the election.

The CMPO chief advisor said that he is certain the deportation will not affect the two countries’ relations, for the Thai and Indian prime ministers maintain good relations and India is a democratic country. He is also certain that the deportation will not affect trade and investment between the two nations.

Pol Maj Gen Anucha Ramayanand, deputy spokesman for the Royal Thai Police Bureau, said the matter is for the Immigration Bureau to consider who has the right to stay in Thailand, followed by another committee chaired by the permanent-secretary for Interior and the cabinet respectively.

Under the currently-imposed Emergency Decree, the caretaker prime minister or her representative could order a foreigner’s deportation under reasonable circumstances if he/she plays a part of instigating emergency situations. However, the accused foreigner has the right to appeal at court according to law.

Meanwhile, Chumsilp Sottipridavong, Mr Satish’s representative, submitted a letter to Nirand Pitakwachara, president of the national civil and political rights sub-committee, asking for a probe of CMPO director Chalerm Yubamrung who announced the deportation order.

The letter stated that such announcement strongly violated Mr Satish’s basic human rights as well as affected his business and caused him defamation and life insecurity. Mr Satish has not had any political activities during the Emergency Decree enforcement, the latter noted.

Dr Nirand said he will write a letter to Mr Chalerm, asking him for legal leniency on the case as well as inviting him and Mr Satish himself or his representative to clarify the matter next week.

In a related matter, CMPO agreed that nationwide immigration checkpoints prohibit 19 PDRC leaders with arrest warrants to leave the country, while Mr Satish’s deportation could take affect today or by tomorrow morning at the latest.

CMPO will announce its list of 136 PDRC financial sponsors by next Monday.