More stories of hardship and danger from Thai workers returning from Libya.
Thai workers rest in a hangar at Benghazi port waiting for a boat to flee Libya yesterday. AFP
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Thais tell of perilous escape
Another group of 117 Thai workers have arrived at Suvarnabhumi airport after being evacuated from Libya.
The workers said their flight from the North African country was fraught with hazard. They had to endure the plunder of their possessions and travel with insufficient food and clean water to Egypt where a chartered flight was waiting for them.
"We used cotton wool to absorb water and squeezed it into a bottle. We had to strain filth from the water," Supi Sripatnet, 30, told the Bangkok Post on his arrival at the airport yesterday afternoon.
The Si Sa Ket resident was worried about the fate of his father, a younger brother and cousins who are still trapped in the Libyan capital of Tripoli.
Somchai Isamel, 63, who worked for an oil refinery company in the northern district of Darnah, said there were up to 10 looting raids in just one night and he was stripped of all his possessions.
"One thief poked a knife at me, demanding my mobile phone and all my money," he said.
The situation was still bad with many Thai workers battling to cross deserts to safety, he said.
Labour Ministry spokesman Sutham Natheethong said officials were having difficulty getting to the workers as there were no Thai diplomats on labour affairs to coordinate the aid effort.
"We're almost unable to do anything," he said.
"The Foreign Ministry has only a few officials there while Thai labourers are scattered around separate worker camps."
Most concern was for those in Tripoli and the eastern city of Benghazi, Mr Sutham said.
Thai ambassador to Libya Opas Jantarasab said there were 4,000 Thai workers in an evacuation camp in Tripoli. All are safe but face trying living conditions.
He expected all to be able to return to Thailand this week.
Labour Minister Chalermchai Sri-on said he would ask the cabinet to allocate 340 million baht in emergency funds to help the labourers.
Most of the money would go towards compensating the workers who will be given 15,000 baht each, he said.
Meanwhile, the first evacuation ship chartered by the Thai government yesterday left from an Italian port for Tripoli to pick up 2,000 Thai workers to Rome.
"If weather conditions are good, it will take only 27 hours to reach Tripoli from Italy," said permanent secretary for foreign affairs Theerakul Niyom.
Thai Airways International would be able to send planes to pick up other Thai workers and fly them back to Thailand later this week, he said.
The ministry is coordinating with the ambassadors of European countries located near Lybia, such as Italy, to help the Thai workers by allowing them entry so they could be returned home.
hangar – a large building in which aircraft are kept โรงเก็บเครื่องบิน
port – an area of water where ships stop, including the buildings around it ท่าเรือ
flee – to leave a place or person quickly because you are afraid of possible danger หนี อพยพ
perilous – very dangerous เต็มไปด้วยอันตราย, ซึ่งไม่น่าปลอดภัย
evacuate – to leave a place because it is not safe อพยพออกจากพื้นที่
fraught with – filled with something unpleasant เต็มไปด้วยปัญหา, เต็มไปด้วยอันตราย, เต็มไปด้วยความยากลำบาก
hazard – something that is dangerous and likely to cause damage สิ่งที่เป็นอันตราย
endure – to suffer something difficult or unpleasant in a patient way over a long period of time อดทนเพื่อให้ผ่านเวลาหรือเหตุการณ์ที่เลวร้าย
plunder – to steal things from a place, especially using force during a time of war ปล้น, ปล้นสดมภ์, ขโมย
possessions – things owned ทรัพย์สมบัติ
insufficient – not enough ไม่เพียงพอ
chartered – hired especially for the use of a particular group เช่าเหมาลำ
absorb – to take in a liquid, gas or other substance form the surface or space around ซึมซับ ดูดกลืน
squeeze – to press something firmly, especially with your hands คั้น, บีบ
strain – to pour food, water, etc. through something with very small holes in it, for example a sieve, in order to separate the solid part from the liquid part เทของเหลวผ่านที่กรอง,กรองออก
filth – dirt that is especially unpleasant, usually because there is a lot of it
fate – the things that happen or will happen to someone ชะตากรรม
trapped – to be in a dangerous or unpleasant situation from which it is difficult or impossible to escape ถูกกับดัก
refinery – a factory where a substance such as oil is refined (= made pure) โรงกลั่น
looting – stealing things from buildings, houses or shops, especially during a war or after a disaster การปล้นสะดม
raid – using force to enter a place suddenly การจู่โจม, การโจมตี, การเข้าตรวจค้น
strip – to take away from ปล้นเอาไป ริบเอาไป
thief – someone who steals something. An instance of stealing something is called a theft ขโมย
poke – to quickly push your fingers or another object into somebody/something แหย่ (นิ้ว, ไม้ ฯลฯ)
situation – all the circumstances and things that are happening at a particular time and in a particular place สถานการณ์
battle – to try very hard to achieve something difficult or to deal with something unpleasant or dangerous ดิ้นรนต่อสู้, มุ่งมั่นฝ่าฟัน
desert – a large area of land with few plants and little water and where the weather is always dry ทะเลทราย
diplomat – an official whose job is to represent their government in a foreign country นักการทูต
labour – work, especially hard physical work งานที่ใช้พละกำลัง
labourer – a person whose job involves hard physical work that is not skilled, especially work that is done outdoors กรรมกร, ผู้ใช้แรงงาน
affairs – political, social, and economic events that are happening now กรณียกิจ, กิจธุระ
coordinate – to organise the different parts of a job or plan so that the people involved work together effectively ประสานงานกัน
aid – help; assistance ความช่วยเหลือ
scattered – spread over a large area กระจัดกระจาย
separate – forming a unit by itself; not joined to something else ซึ่งแยกออกจากกัน
concern – a worry ความกังวล
ambassador – a senior official who lives in a foreign country and represents his or her own country there เอกอัครราชทูต
trying – annoying or difficult to deal with ที่ยากลำบาก
conditions – the circumstances or situation in which people live, work or do things เหตุการณ์, สภาพการ, สถานการณ์
cabinet – the group of government ministers who make and approve government policy คณะรัฐมนตรี
allocate – to officially give something to someone จัดสรร, จัดแบ่ง
emergency – an unexpected situation involving danger in which immediate action is necessary เหตุฉุกเฉิน
funds – money needed or available to spend on something เงินทุน
compensate – to pay money to someone because something bad has happened to them ชดเชย
meanwhile – at the same time ในเวลาเดียวกัน
permanent – in a position for a long time; not temporary ถาวร
located – where something is ตั้งอยู่
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