It was indeed a momentous event as Thai vocational trainees, cloaked in black, disembarked from their flight from Israel at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Samut Prakan province. On hand to receive them was none other than Siripong Angsakulkiat, the vice-minister of education, who dutifully stood sixth in line from the left.
While the arrival of the trainees was a relief, the news from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was less comforting. In a recent press briefing, it was disclosed that additional Thais sustained injuries in Israel amidst the escalating tensions with Hamas. The injury count has ominously climbed by two and now stands at 18. Quelling any rising panic, the ministry maintained that the death toll and the count of abducted Thais, which lingers at a chilling 30 and 19 respectively, have not witnessed any spikes.
Drawing the nation’s attention, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin took to the podium on that same Sunday and assured that the Thai authorities are leaving no stone unturned in their efforts. Tortuous negotiations are underway, even leveraging personal connections, to bring the abducted Thais back to safety.
The Department of Consular Affairs revealed that between October 11th and 22nd (that fateful Sunday), a significant number of Thai nationals had returned home. A fleet of 15 flights witnessed the arrival of 2,608 individuals seeking the comfort and security of their homeland from the turbulence in Israel.
An intriguing development on that Sunday was the return of seven Thai vocational students. It seems these determined individuals, along with their guardians, chose prudence over perseverance. They decided to terminate their internships prematurely, deeming their safety paramount. However, 71 of their peers decided to showcase their resilience by deciding to remain in Israel. They chose to brave the circumstances and complete their internships, informed the Education Ministry with a note of respect.