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Thailand’s Senators Embark on Global Diplomacy Tour Before Term Ends: An 81 Billion Baht Mission

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As the sun prepares to set on the term of the 250 senators handpicked by the junta’s National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), a whirlwind of international travel is sweeping through their ranks. These aren’t your typical holiday jaunts, but rather a series of globe-trotting missions powered by a hefty 81 billion baht earmarked for fiscal year 2024, specifically for bilateral meetings and visits to countries far and wide. With the clock ticking down to their May 10 curtain call, some of these lawmakers are embarking on what could be their last acts of diplomatic outreach.

Leading this worldwide odyssey is the committee on military affairs and state security, under the seasoned leadership of General Boonsrang Niumpradit. They’re set to traverse the scenic landscapes of Kazakhstan and Georgia from May 2 to 9, in what promises to be a fascinating blend of military discourse and cultural discovery.

Not to be outdone, the committee on tourism, steered by the globe-trotting General Thanasak Pattimapragorn, is plotting a course through the picturesque settings of Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia, and Herzegovina from May 14 to 23. This excursion aims to stitch tighter bonds with these historic gems of the Balkans and maybe snag some delightful souvenirs along the way.

Meanwhile, a dual committee expedition, combining the keen minds of labour, helmed by Pol General Adul Sangsingkaew, and education, science, and innovation, under the guidance of Air Chief Marshal Prachin Jantong, sets its sights on New Zealand. From April 26 to May 3, this joint venture promises to merge the worlds of work and wisdom in the serene landscapes of Kiwi country.

The educational pilgrimage doesn’t end there, as Tuang Antachai, the chair of another committee on education, leads a quest to Guilin in China from May 11 to 16, and then on to the innovative frontiers of Finland, Sweden, and Estonia from May 27 to June 3, 2024. Thanks to an invitation from the Robbo Fund, this trip is all but assured to be an enlightening exploration of educational frontiers.

Yet, amidst these sprawling travels, the committee on independent organisations under the Constitution is deep in contemplation. They’re drawing up plans for bilateral meetings that could take them to the cultured locales of Austria, Slovenia, and Croatia. The details are still hazy, but the potential for groundbreaking discussions is clear as day.

Not to be counted out, the committee on monitoring, recommendations, and acceleration of national reform, helmed by General Singhsuk Singhphrai, the Senate’s first vice-chairman, embarks on a grand tour of Europe. Their itinerary from April 19 to 30 whisks them through the intellectual and political powerhouses of Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Finland, and Sweden.

In a surprising twist, Senator Seree Suwanpanont, along with his colleagues Satit Limpanon and Kamnoon Sithisamarn, have decided to sit this dance out. Voicing concerns over the prudent use of state coffers in these twilight days of their tenure, Seree has sparked a conversation that resonates far beyond the walls of the Senate. He suggests a novel approach for those with insatiable wanderlust: reaching into their own pockets to fund their study visits, thus sidestepping the public’s scrutinizing gaze.

As this saga unfolds, the Senate president remains a figure of stoic silence, opting to let actions (and inactions) speak louder than words. With the Senate’s term on the brink, this globetrotting adventure, filled with the promise of diplomatic discovery and cultural exchange, treads a fine line between official duty and opulent escapade. Only time will reveal the legacy of these final outings under the NCPO’s watchful eye.


  1. AnthroLover April 19, 2024

    This immense spending spree by the Thai Senate is nothing short of a scandal. Taking nearly 81 billion baht for globe-trotting when that money could significantly impact education or healthcare domestically is baffling.

    • Patriot_Thai April 19, 2024

      I think you’re missing the point of diplomatic missions. These senators are leveraging international relations to better our country’s stance on the global stage. It’s an investment in Thailand’s future.

      • EconMajor98 April 19, 2024

        An investment with a poor ROI. The number doesn’t justify the ends. How many diplomatic missions truly return in forms of tangible investments and improved bilateral relations worth the expenditure?

    • TravelBug April 19, 2024

      It’s fascinating to see the destinations. Unique choices for diplomatic missions for sure. Kazakhstan, Georgia, and the Balkans are a surprising itinerary. Wonder what the strategic interests there are.

      • GeoStrategist April 19, 2024

        Those regions are key for extending influence in less traditionally engaged areas. It’s smart; cultivating relationships with countries not in the immediate sphere of Western influence can open unexpected doors.

    • AnthroLover April 19, 2024

      Fair enough, but it’s the cost that’s troubling. Could these outcomes not be achieved through less extravagant means? Especially with video conferencing and digital diplomacy.

  2. SenatorialAide April 19, 2024

    As someone working behind the scenes, I can attest that these missions are meticulously planned to enhance Thailand’s strategic interests abroad. It’s not just about the immediate tangible returns but building a foundation for future diplomacy.

    • PolicyWonk April 19, 2024

      That’s a valid perspective, but how do you ensure accountability for expenses? Transparency is key in justifying these costs to the public. There needs to be a clear breakdown of spending and outcomes.

      • TransparencyFirst April 19, 2024

        Absolutely. The absence of detailed reports on the outcomes of such missions leaves too much room for speculation and accusation of mismanagement.

  3. SueSayer April 19, 2024

    Why is no one pointing out that this could be a final hurrah at taxpayer’s expense before their term ends? It’s quite convenient timing.

  4. BudgetHawk April 19, 2024

    81 billion baht is a staggering amount. Wondering if the Finance Ministry has performed any cost-benefit analysis on these trips. Public funds should be used with more scrutiny.

    • FiscalRealist April 19, 2024

      It’s difficult to place a value on diplomacy. Traditional cost-benefit may not apply. That said, prioritizing expenditure is crucial. Is diplomacy more important than domestic issues?

      • BudgetHawk April 19, 2024

        Exactly my point. It’s about priorities. With the number of pressing domestic issues, maybe it’s time to rethink how we allocate resources.

  5. EcoWarrior April 19, 2024

    Everyone’s focused on the cost, but what about the carbon footprint of all this unnecessary travel? In an era where climate change is a critical concern, should officials not lead by example and minimize their travel?

    • GreenTechie April 19, 2024

      While the environmental impact is undeniable, international relations require a personal touch that virtual meetings can’t replicate. Finding a balance is key.

  6. LoneWolf April 19, 2024

    Senator Seree Suwanpanont’s suggestion for officials to pay for their travels is refreshing. It tackles the concern of using public funds for such endeavors. If the mission is of personal interest, why not fund it personally?

  7. CultureVulture April 19, 2024

    Apart from politics and economics, consider the cultural exchanges these trips facilitate. They’re invaluable for fostering goodwill and understanding across borders.

    • Realist123 April 19, 2024

      Goodwill doesn’t pay the bills. While cultural exchanges are beneficial, they must be balanced with the economic realities of the country.

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