UK Visas Revoked
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UK Visas Revoked

The Nation has the e-mail:
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The cancellation, which was decided while the couple were outside England, has been notified to airlines yesterday.
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/>The decision was made by the United Kingdom Border Agency, and the notification email was signed by Bangkok-based Immigration Liaison Manager Andy Gray.
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/>The email read:
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/>”Dear All,
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/>The United Kingdom Border Agency has revoked the UK visas held by the following Thai nations:
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/>Thaksin Shinawatra. Thai Passport Number D215863
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/>Potjaman Shinawatra. Thai Passport Number D206635
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/>The UK visas contained in the passports of the individuals listed above are no longer valid for travel.
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/>Airlines are advised not to carry these passengers to the UK”

/>Matichon reports a Thai Foreign Affairs spokesman as confirming the visa revocation based on what they heard from the UK authorities – AFP also have a report so we don’t need to rely on The Nation alone.

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BP: I have some familiartiy with immigration law (although not the UK law specifically). There is a difference between deportation (which I doubt the UK would have done) and granting someone entry once they have left. While he was in the country, he was ok, but once he left it was a different story. The two are not the same. Thaksin will probably challenge the visa revocation though or apply for a new visa.
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The Nation has more:

It was a big political blow for Thaksin, who was believed to be on his way from China to the Philippines yesterday. It was understood that the cancellation had to do with the recent court rulings that found Pojaman guilty of tax evasion and Thaksin guilty of breaking the conflict of interest law in the Ratchadapisek land purchase scandal.
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/>Their children’s British visas are still valid.
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/>He also claimed that many countries have offered him “honorary citizenship”, “which made me a bit sad because I could do many things for anybody else in the world, but nothing now for my country.”

The statement triggered a major controversy in Thailand, with Thaksin being accused of trying to drag HM the King into politics. The UK visa move, however, gave Thaksin’s statement a whole new perspective, making him sound more like someone desperate to find refuge rather than trying to provoke a political reaction.
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/>It is not immediately known, however, whether Thaksin was aware of the impending visa cancellation before he left England the last time.
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/>A source familiar with the UK legal and diplomatic thinking said the cancellation could have been based on “the different statuses” of Thaksin between the time he was issued the visa and now.
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/>The Supreme Court only found Thaksin guilty in the Ratchadapisek land case late last month, weeks after he fled Thailand during the Beijing Olympics. He fled with his wife, who only days earlier had been found guilty of tax evasion.
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/>England has been under the world community’s watchful eyes when Thaksin is concerned. Diplomatic observers have said a decision whether or not to give Thaksin asylum would generate strong ramifications on England’s relations with Thailand, as well as London’s reputations when democracy, foreign relations and legal principles are concerned.

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BP:  I don’t think diplomatic reasons were the reason behind it – just like the granting of the visa or allowing them to stay were not a snub in the face of the Thai judiciary, PAD etc.  When I say political reasons, I just don’t think the Home Office or the UK Minister were ordering someone to do this to save relations with Thailand. One could also argue that a revocation would damage relations the same way given Thaksin’s supporters outnumber the opponents. It was more likely a decision based on UK law and the facts – once he left, they would revoke his visa. Although, from a PR and political perspective, it can certainly be characterised as a “defeat”.
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I do wonder – we don’t know what visa he had – but whether the mention of offers of citizenship played the factor. This is relevant to the granting of refugee status or not deporting someone as well in the sense you are allowed to stay in a country when you have no where else to go, but if you do have somewhere else to go (i.e citizenship of another country, ability to travel) then this is a different matter. He has apparently been granted citizenship of the Bahamas so not sure how this plays into the mix – there is mention in this Bangkok Post article on an application for refugee status in the UK and terminating it in the last few days so the two might well be linked.