Muslim Democrat Party MPs are calling on Pol Lt Gen Somkid Boonthanom to refuse his promotion to assistant national police chief
Update (11:30): Post Today is reporting that Pol Lt Gen Somkid Boonthanom is apparently taking the advice of the Democrat MPs and giving up his position.
Somkid asked to sacrifice post
Muslim Democrat MPs want Saudi row defused
Muslim Democrat Party MPs are calling on Pol Lt Gen Somkid Boonthanom (photo) to refuse his promotion to assistant national police chief as a gesture to help defuse tensions with Saudi Arabia.
The MPs’ request is in stark contrast to statements by Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, the party leader, and Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban, the party’s secretary-general, in support of the officer’s promotion.
Riyadh is unhappy with the promotion of Pol Lt Gen Somkid, one of five suspects who have been indicted over the disappearance of Saudi businessman Mohammad al-Ruwaili in Thailand 20 years ago.
The Saudi embassy has been accused of dragging its feet in the granting of visas to Thais wanting to make the annual haj pilgrimage this year, but it says technical problems are to blame for the delays.
Deputy Foreign Ministry spokesman Thani Thongphakdi said 392 Thai Muslims whose visas had been held up were processed yesterday afternoon by the Saudi embassy.
Saudi charge d’affaires Nabil Hussein Ashri also confirmed to the ministry that the 10,000-plus Thai Muslims who had applied for visas would be able to travel to Mecca on time.
But the Culture Ministry claims more than a thousand applications are being held up due to the embassy’s shortage of staff.
Muslim Democrat MPs from the South discussed the embassy’s delay in granting visas to haj pilgrims at a party meeting yesterday.
Jae-aming Tortayong of Narathiwat said he thought the difficulties were linked to the controversy surrounding Pol Lt Gen Somkid.
Mr Jae-aming said the dispute over Pol Lt Gen Somkid should not be allowed to hinder pilgrims’ applications for visas to Saudi Arabia.
He called on Pol Lt Gen Somkid to forego the post of assistant national police chief in favour of better ties between the two countries.
Asi Mahamadyankee of Satun said Pol Lt Gen Somkid should make a sacrifice and not take the new job. His refusal to accept the assistant chief position would be the best solution for all, the MP said.
Satun Islamic Committee chairman Ibrahim Adam said about 13,000 Thais were planning to go on the haj to Mecca this year. About 8,000 of these were from the 14 provinces in the South.
Mr Ibrahim said many Muslims were concerned about the Saudi embassy being closed because of the worsening ties between the two countries following Pol Lt Gen Somkid’s promotion.
They were worried they might have to go to a neighbouring country such as Laos or Cambodia to apply for a visa to enter Saudi Arabia.
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sacrifice – to give up something important or valuable, so that you or other people can have or do something else เสียสละเพื่อส่วนรวม
post – a job in a company or organisation ตำแหน่งการงาน
row – a serious disagreement about an issue between people, organisations or countries การทะเลาะวิวาท
defuse – to make a situation more relaxed by making people feel less angry or less worried ทำให้มีอันตรายน้อยลง, ทำให้ตึงเครียดน้อยลง
gesture – something that you do or say to show a particular feeling or intention ท่าที
tensions – the feelings caused by a lack of trust between people, groups or countries who do not agree about something and may attack each other ความตึงเครียด
stark – clear, often in an unpleasant or frightening way ชัดเจน ทนโท่
contrast – a noticeable difference ความแตกต่าง
suspect – a person who is thought to have committed a crime ผู้ต้องสงสัย
indicted – officially accused someone of a serious crime ฟ้องร้อง
embassy – a group of officials who represent their government in a foreign country สถานทูต
accuse – to say that someone has done something wrong or committed a crime กล่าวหา
drag your feet – to do something very slowly because you do not really want to do it
grant – to officially give something ให้
annual – happening once a year ประจำปี
pilgrimage – a journey that a person makes to a holy place (a person making a pilgrimage is a pilgrim) เดินทางแสวงบุญ
delay – when you have to wait longer than expected for something to happen, or the time that you have to wait ความชักช้า, ความยืดยาด
hold up – to cause something to be delayed ทำให้ล่าช้า
process – to deal with a document officially so that something can happen ทำให้ผ่านกระบวนการ,ปฏิบัติการ,จัดการ
charge d’affaires – an official who represents the government of their own country in a foreign country when there is no ambassador there เจ้าหน้าที่การทูต (กระทรวงต่างประเทศ)
apply – to make a formal request for permission to do or have something ขอ (noun form: application การขอ)
due to – because of เนื่องจาก
shortage – when there is not enough of something การขาดแคลน
linked – connected เชื่อมโยง เกี่ยวกับ
controversy – a strong disagreement, especially about a public policy or moral issue ความขัดแย้ง ประเด็นข้อขัดแย้ง
surrounding – to be closely connected with a situation or an event เชื่อมต่อกัน เกี่ยวข้องกับ
dispute – a serious disagreement ข้อโต้แย้ง
hinder – to hamper; to stop someone or something from making progess or developing ขัดขวาง
forego (or forgo) – to decide not to do or not to have something ยอมละทิ้ง
in favour of – preferring to choose someone or something that you believe is better
concerned – worried about something มีความกังวล
ties – relations; connections ความสัมพันธ์