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Anti-Govt Protesters In Libya Loot Thai Workers' Camps

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Anti-govt protesters in Libya loot Thai workers' camps

By The Nation

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Amid political chaos and violent suppression of anti-government protesters in Libya, rioters have looted Thai workers' camps, relatives of the victims in Thailand say.

Udon Thani native Buariwan Meechart said her husband Pranit was among a group of Thai workers stranded at a location where there was only one meal of rice soup served each day, after he and fellow workers fled their camp.

Another Udon Thani native, Pan Khanthaphaet, the mother of an unnamed Thai worker, said her son called her after Libyans robbed him of his belongings while he was driving.

"My son pleaded for his life and he was lucky that the robbers did not find his phone hidden in a trouser pocket, so he could call me," she said.

Kanthalas Prakobmitr, a Nakhon Ratchasima native, said a camp where her husband worked had been overrun by rioters. He had not called her since Tuesday, due to the lack of mobile-phone signal.

At another work camp that housed 156 Thai workers, more than 1,000 rioters looted belongings and food. The Thais contacted relatives in Thailand asking to be evacuated and immediately issued with replacement travel documents after they were destroyed in fires started by the rioters.

Unruen Bunsanong, the wife of a worker at the camp, said the Korean employer promised to transport all workers by truck to an Egyptian border town at around noon yesterday. She was unable to confirm if the group had made it to Egypt.

There are 23,600 Thais working in Libya. They will have to be evacuated over land and sea, since Libyan airspace has been closed by the government.

The largest contingent of Thai workers in Libya - more than 2,000 people - are from Nakhon Ratchasima, while Udon Thani natives make up the second largest portion, with 1,703.

The Labour Ministry, working with 30 employers, has chartered four ships, each carrying a minimum of 1,400 people, to evacuate all Thai workers to Malta. The ships are now docked at Tripoli and Benghazi, where 9,000 Thais are staying after fleeing from their camps.

The journey from Benghazi to Malta takes 14 hours, while from Tripoli it takes 12 hours, said Suphoj Bunjaroen, director-general of the Department of Employment. "The decision on when the evacuation begins rests with the Foreign Ministry," he said.

Deputy Foreign Ministry spokesman Jessada Katawethin said the ministry was almost ready to order the evacuation, which had been prolonged because it was verifying employment contracts with Thai and foreign employers to prevent possibly breaches of contract.

The Foreign Ministry is also working with authorities in Greece and Italy to secure permission to use a number of Libyan seaports owned by companies based in both countries in the sea evacuation. The workers will be transferred from Malta to the two countries, from where they will be flown back to Thailand, with possible visa leniency during the evacuation.

A number of Thai Airways planes and two Royal Thai Air Force C-130 cargo planes are ready to carry out aerial evacuations, but the military aircraft has a seven-hour fuel limit. A trip to Libya takes at least 18 hours.

"Each C-130 can carry around 90 to 110 passengers. The aerial evacuation will soon be decided and finalised by the government," Jessada said.

More than 3,000 Thais went to work in Libya last year alone. There are 33,000 Thais working in the Middle East, sending home remittances of more than Bt55 billion each year, according to a Labour Ministry report.

The Labour Ministry has set up a call-centre service, available on 085-481-0243-5 around the clock, in addition to its regular service on 1694. As of yesterday, 300 calls had been made. The situation in Libya is being constantly updated on TGN5, a 24-hour satellite channel operated by Army-run Channel 5.

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-- The Nation 2011-02-24

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This is terrible. It's not going to end well over there I'm afraid. I hope these poor people get out of there safely! Kudos to all those assisting in the evacuations! Hopefully the Thai people will begin to understand that what happens in places like these do actually have an impact at home. Just wait until the nut case over there lights up the oil fields! Hopefully the US is working behind the scenes to take him out but Obama has never really showed any stones when it comes to standing up to foreign leaders. Where's Ronald Reagan when we need him!

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Obama has never really showed any stones

What do you mean? He whined and apologized to Iran and the Muslim terrorists much to the disgust of American voters. THAT takes some stones. :bah:

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Obama has never really showed any stones

What do you mean? He whined and apologized to Iran and the Muslim terrorists much to the disgust of American voters. THAT takes some stones. :bah:

What does this story have to do with Obama? You right-wingers never miss an opportunity for a cheap shot, do you? If you want anyone to take your comment seriously, please provide a reference for this "apology" that you claim Obama delivered to Iran or to muslim terrorists. Or better yet, try to stay on topic.

Back to the topic, it is worth asking whether these looters are "anti-government protesters" or just common criminals taking advantage of a chaotic situation.

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strange to see that Europe is flooded with illegal immigrants from Africa and getting benefits without ever working one day; while Thai workers are attracted to go work overthere ?

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This is terrible. It's not going to end well over there I'm afraid. I hope these poor people get out of there safely! Kudos to all those assisting in the evacuations! Hopefully the Thai people will begin to understand that what happens in places like these do actually have an impact at home. Just wait until the nut case over there lights up the oil fields! Hopefully the US is working behind the scenes to take him out but Obama has never really showed any stones when it comes to standing up to foreign leaders. Where's Ronald Reagan when we need him!

Why does the USA have to intervene and why do you expect the USA to intervene? The Europeans are the ones purchasing the oil. The Europeans were the ones selling weapons and expensive commercial goods.

There is nothing here that warrants anything more than evacuation support for US nationals. The US citizens that chose to work in a country that has a leader responsible for the murder of US nationals should not expect US troops to die on their behalf. Other westerners that went to Libya, a nation with a lengthy history of human rights abuses, did so for their own personal benefit. They wanted the big fat pay cheques and the tax benefits. They should call their own countries. Libya is of limited strategic interest to the USA at this time. It is the EU that has the worries of African illegal refugees and that has to make nice with North Africa. Let the EU crap its pants and assume the burden of peacekeeping.

The Thai government chose to support Libya. Let the Thai government deal with its decisions.

Edited by geriatrickid

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Now they know what its like to be robbed and cheated on as foreigners by the locals. B) Wow that's a turnaround.

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Libyans in Thailand will pay for these acts against the Thais! They will pay...your bar fine will now be doubled. You will be over charged on everything you buy....

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There are 33,000 Thais working in the Middle East, sending home remittances of more than Bt55 billion each year, according to a Labour Ministry report.

That's $55,000 per year per person they're sending back, they can't be making that much.

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I hope they all get out safely.

I hope they bring some oil back to Thailand with them. Palm oil might do nicely.

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This is terrible. It's not going to end well over there I'm afraid. I hope these poor people get out of there safely! Kudos to all those assisting in the evacuations! Hopefully the Thai people will begin to understand that what happens in places like these do actually have an impact at home. Just wait until the nut case over there lights up the oil fields! Hopefully the US is working behind the scenes to take him out but Obama has never really showed any stones when it comes to standing up to foreign leaders. Where's Ronald Reagan when we need him!

Better let the Arabs clean up their own mess. Most wars in the Middle East (and most other places) that have involved Americans or other westerners have ended in disaster and/or years of killings and violence.

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"More than 3,000 Thais went to work in Libya last year alone. There are 33,000 Thais working in the Middle East, sending home remittances of more than Bt55 billion each year, according to a Labour Ministry report."

So......the average amount sent home by a Thai working in the Middle East is more than 1,666,667 Baht per annum. That's equivalent to US$55,556.

How is it possible that Thai workers, after living expenses, have that kind of disposable income?

Me thinks the Labour Ministry might be fibbing.

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This is terrible. It's not going to end well over there I'm afraid. I hope these poor people get out of there safely! Kudos to all those assisting in the evacuations! Hopefully the Thai people will begin to understand that what happens in places like these do actually have an impact at home. Just wait until the nut case over there lights up the oil fields! Hopefully the US is working behind the scenes to take him out but Obama has never really showed any stones when it comes to standing up to foreign leaders. Where's Ronald Reagan when we need him!

Why does the USA have to intervene and why do you expect the USA to intervene? The Europeans are the ones purchasing the oil. The Europeans were the ones selling weapons and expensive commercial goods.

There is nothing here that warrants anything more than evacuation support for US nationals. The US citizens that chose to work in a country that has a leader responsible for the murder of US nationals should not expect US troops to die on their behalf. Other westerners that went to Libya, a nation with a lengthy history of human rights abuses, did so for their own personal benefit. They wanted the big fat pay cheques and the tax benefits. They should call their own countries. Libya is of limited strategic interest to the USA at this time. It is the EU that has the worries of African illegal refugees and that has to make nice with North Africa. Let the EU crap its pants and assume the burden of peacekeeping.

The Thai government chose to support Libya. Let the Thai government deal with its decisions.

I just read Le Monde (French newspaper). Open critics on the head of Sarkozy and Berlusconi, the weapons dealer with Libya.

The EU (most of the "Northern states") tries to act for the support of Libya as a whole, blocked by the bloodbrothers of Khadafi.

The evacuation operations start, EU citizens, Turkish, Egyptians and even Chinese workers, I read nothing about the 20000 Thai workers.

Edited by lungmi

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"More than 3,000 Thais went to work in Libya last year alone. There are 33,000 Thais working in the Middle East, sending home remittances of more than Bt55 billion each year, according to a Labour Ministry report."

So......the average amount sent home by a Thai working in the Middle East is more than 1,666,667 Baht per annum. That's equivalent to US$55,556.

How is it possible that Thai workers, after living expenses, have that kind of disposable income?

Me thinks the Labour Ministry might be fibbing.

This obviously includes the take that the agents; probably on both ends, deduct from the wages.

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"More than 3,000 Thais went to work in Libya last year alone. There are 33,000 Thais working in the Middle East, sending home remittances of more than Bt55 billion each year, according to a Labour Ministry report."

So......the average amount sent home by a Thai working in the Middle East is more than 1,666,667 Baht per annum. That's equivalent to US$55,556.

How is it possible that Thai workers, after living expenses, have that kind of disposable income?

Me thinks the Labour Ministry might be fibbing.

Maybe 55 billion Baht is the amount for Thai workers in the entire world, not just the Middle East. 150,000 people each sending $1000 per month would work about right and is more reasonable.

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