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German govt clears HM King's visits

Demonstrators show the three-fingered salute during a protest outside the German embassy on Monday. (Reuters photo)

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BERLIN/BANGKOK: The German government has cleared Thailand's King of breaching its ban on conducting politics while staying there, according to a parliamentary source.

Thai protesters asked Germany on Monday to look into whether His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn, 68, had conducted state business, such as the signing of royal commands and the annual expenditure act, while staying on German soil.

Germany has said it would be unacceptable for the King to conduct Thai politics there and in response to concerns expressed in parliament, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas had said the European power continued to look into his visits to Bavaria.

Following a meeting of the Bundestag's foreign affairs committee, the source said the government had briefed lawmakers that it believed the King was permitted to make occasional decisions, provided he did not continuously conduct political business from Germany.


"The German government has taken the view that it is not yet of the opinion the Thai king has continuously conducted business," the source said.

Asked about the status of the King, the government told the committee he had a visa that allowed him to stay in Germany for several years as a private person and also enjoyed diplomatic immunity as a head of state.

Thailand's political crisis has made the King's presence a challenge for Germany but revoking the visa of a visiting head of state could cause a major diplomatic incident, the source said.

Vocabulary:

brief : to give someone instructions or information - แจ้งให้ทราบ, รายงาน, สรุป

diplomatic : relating to relations between countries - เกี่ยวกับการทูต

diplomatic immunity : a situation where someone working for a foreign embassy cannot be taken to court and punished for breaking the law in the country where he/she is working - ความคุ้มกันทางทูต

head of state : the official leader of a country who is sometimes also the leader of the government - ประมุขแห่งรัฐ ผู้นำของรัฐ

incident : something that happens, usually something bad - เหตุการณ์

occasional : happening or done sometimes but not often - ซึ่งเป็นครั้งคราว

parliament : the group of people who are elected to make and change the laws of a country; the building where members of parliament meet. - รัฐสภา

revoke : to officially say that something is no longer legal - เพิกถอน

soil : land owned by a country - พื้นดิน

state : country - ประเทศ

unacceptable : that you cannot accept, allow or approve of - ซึ่งไม่สามารถยอมรับได้

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