New Europe comments on the invitation to Yingluck Shinawatra and the junta’s judiciary banning her from travel.
The European Parliament has expressed concern about the new military junta constitution and the delayed return to electoral democracy. In response, Yingluck was invited “to address the European Parliament on the political situation in the country.” The invitation was delivered in October, “co-signed by Elmar Brok, chairman of the EP Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Werner Langen, chair of the panel for relations with Southeast Asia and Asean.”
The junta was predictably unhappy. As the report notes:
The invitation led to a strong reaction from the Thai government, who did not even stop short of: (1) suggesting the invitation was fake, (2) suggesting that it was being set up, (3) slamming the Parliamentarians for not communicating only through the official channel of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and (4) expressing their dislike of the fact that the government had not been invited.
Now the Thai Supreme Court has denied this request to Shinawatra, and is set to remain in country until the end of her trial….
Brok and Langen have responded with letter to Thai Ambassador to EU. That “letter extends an additional request to allow the Thai government to tell its side of the story, and explains that the original letter they sent to Shinawatra is in fact authentic.” This letter was sent prior to Yingluck’s travel ban.
In a later report, also at New Europe, it is stated that Brok and Langen have “renewed their invitation to [Yingluck] Shinawatra, and reaffirmed the importance of such an exchange, reminding the Thai government that communications and exchanges with other officials also continue.”
They stressed “the importance of having an exchange of views with former Prime Minister of Thailand Ms Yingluck Shinawatra in a meeting at the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Delegation for relations with the ASEAN at the earliest.” They expressed surprise and deep disappointment “with the decision of the Thai authorities to block her appearance in an open debate in the European Parliament.” They called on the regime “to take appropriate and urgent action to enable Ms [Yingluck] Shinawatra to travel to Europe freely.”