In the Aftermath of an Attack: from the PM’s Desk
Following an unexpected confrontation by Hamas militants, Premier Srettha found himself right in the middle of a conflict, begging response, as he attended a crucial meeting with the Rapid Response Centre. Positioned within the confines of the Foreign Ministry, this meeting magnet drew collective intent towards the critical issue of evacuating Thai workers from the conflict-stricken areas.
High hopes were resting on the 32 ensuing flights, perceived as the transport guarding the safe return of around 5,700 Thais from Israel by the turn of the month. The cloud of concern, however, hung low with the realization that even this won’t suffice to meet the needs of all 7,500 Thai workers, eager and anxious in equal parts for their homecoming.
The convoy of these 32 rescue flights ranging from Nok Air, Thai AirAsia to India’s SpiceJet lighted the path towards the home turf. Premier Srettha had a wary eye on the likely swell in the count of Thai workers longing for a home return.
Enroute to comfort, some flights were being planned to fly directly from Tel Aviv to Bangkok, while others were to make a brief halt at transit points in Dubai, Jordan or Cyprus. Amidst this, major roadblocks to this evacuation mission were acknowledged, including the task of safely maneuvering the blue-collared souls from danger zones to safe houses, before they embark upon their journey home. Add to this was the unsettling reality of the limited number of flights at their disposal.
An Airbus A380 was thought of as a formidable solution, but the revelation by Thai Airways officials about the maintenance requirement of the dormant beast, due to prolonged disuse, hit a roadblock. Driven by urgency, relevant government agencies were delegated the responsibility of unearthing additional flights to materialize the evacuation vision.
“I openly vouch that government agencies are pushing the envelope across all channels to boost the flight count and ensure a safe return of all Thais within the current month,” shared a confident Sretha.
With all ports in Israel in lockdown, airborne evacuation seemed the only feasible solution. The ticking clock in the backdrop, the Thai embassy in Tel Aviv was striving to shelter about 400 Thais. Srettha shared, “Our government has extended its reach across all diplomatic channels, intelligence agencies, military contacts, and NGOs to secure the immediate release of the 17 Thai citizens held hostage.”
Adding to this, the Thai Foreign Ministry had been striving to negotiate with both Palestine and Israel, pushing for the release of the 17 fellow Thais at the earliest possible moment. Srettha, however, confessed to the lack of light shed on the time frame within which Hamas militants would release the Thai hostages. It was acknowledged that the militants weren’t picking out Thais exclusively as they’ve been taking other nationalities as hostages too. All this while, Thailand pledged not to waver around in its unbiased stand concerning Middle East conflicts. As an ardent proclaimer of harmony, peace is what it seeks and shall stand for, at all times.