Wed, Mar 29, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Bangkok denies ex-VP entry again

By Chang Kai-hsiang and William Hetherington  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) on Monday said that Bangkok had yielded to pressure from Beijing after she was barred entry to Thailand earlier this month for the second time in a year.

Lu said the ban is a breach of human rights.

Lu was first barred entry to Thailand in May last year when she traveled there to attend the Istanbul Summit.

Thai authorities at the time said her visa had been “postponed,” Lu said, adding that she was told she could attend subsequent conferences in the country.

Lu said she never expected that she would be denied entry again.

No explanation has been given by the Thai government for the refused entry this time, she added.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it is in discussions with Bangkok about the issue, adding that it hopes to boost cooperation with Thailand that would include allowing Lu to visit.

“To me, there is nothing amazing about Thailand,” Lu said, adding that she is considering whether “to take action against” the country.

“I am welcome in many countries around the world, so I do not really care” about being denied entry to Thailand, she said.

Lu said she hopes that the travel freedoms of Taiwanese will be respected as President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) government moves ahead with its “new southbound policy” — a set of measures aimed at boosting economic ties with India and Southeast Asian nations.

Lu said the Tsai administration has been promoting the policy through various slogans.

However, the government should “do the basics well and take concrete action if Taiwanese travel freedoms are obstructed,” she said.

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