Protest businessman faces deportation

The Indian-born chairman of the Thai-Indian business association is facing deportation for his participation in anti-government People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) protests.

The Centre for Maintaining Peace and Order (CMPO) on Tuesday told a news conference that it had asked the Royal Thai Police Office (RTPO) to expedite the arrest of PDRC leaders on charges of insurrection, leading demonstrators to occupy government offices, and obstructing election voting. 

The centre also said it would ask the RTPO and Immigration Bureau to have chairman of the Thai-Indian business association Satish Sehgal deported from Thailand since he is a foreign national who had colluded with PDRC leaders in breaking laws on several occasions, including violating the emergency decree.

Mr Satish has appeared as a speaker on stage at PDRC rallies.

Last week, Department of Special Investigation chief and CMPO member Tarit Pengdith said he will provide information about foreign nationals who have joined the protest to immigration police for background checks. Mr Tarit accused Mr Satish of defying the emergency decree. 

But Mr Satish said he did not understand why the CMPO was targeting him, claiming that he had stopped all involvement in PDRC protests and rally stage appearances since the 60-day emergency decree was enforced on Jan 22. 

He said he criticised the caretaker government over economic issues in his capacity of the chairman of Thai-Indian business association while appearing on stage, but never harangued anyone. 

Mr Satish was born in India but has been living in Thailand for 55 years and regards himself as a Thai person.

He has served as a ministerial adviser to six governments, including administrations led by Chuan Leekpai, Thaksin Shinawatra and Abhisit Vejjajiva.      

“When I went to negotiate with the Indian government, I sat on the Thai bench and always protected Thailand’s interests," Mr Satish said. "I helped Thai-India trade value increase from one billion to ten billion baht, not to mention my continuing charity work. For my work records, I never take tea money or bribes. So I want to ask, do I really deserve this?"

Mr Satish added that he is yet to be informed of the details of the allegations the DSI is filing against him. 

Share your thoughts

Discussion 1 : 09/02/2014 at 01:31 AM
In every country I know, a man wielding a machete and threatening mass murder would be arrested, not a peacemaker who united Buddhists, Hindus and Moslems behind him ! Why is it trongankam in Thailand ?
Discussion 2 : 05/02/2014 at 06:11 PM
Living 55 Years in a country, paying taxes and then deportation without any reason is a good lesson?
Discussion 3 : 05/02/2014 at 09:40 AM
In my opinion, it would be all right if this gentleman expresses his good-faith opinion based on his business and economic point of views. It is Unfortunate that he joined Suthep's movement which is " in plain view" trying to to overthrow a democratically elected government. It's not only against Thai law, but also against the laws of any democratic countries for a foreign national to join any entity that attempts to subvert a legitimate government. Conversely, if a Thai person did the same thing in India in like situation, the consequence could be worse. I hate to speculate.
Discussion 4 : 05/02/2014 at 09:34 AM
We are ambassadors of our country and guests here - It is up to us to respect the laws of this country, regardless of who is in power. If we don't like it, we have the option to leave
Discussion 5 : 05/02/2014 at 09:31 AM
Deportation of a foreigner from thailand means he can never come back. A good lesson to learn for him.
Discussion 6 : 05/02/2014 at 09:23 AM
55-years living in Thailand,worked for 3-previous gvt.and facing deportation for giving his opinion on economics...Amazing Thailand,you will make many friends abroad with such a ruling.
Discussion 7 : 05/02/2014 at 07:32 AM
I wonder whether he was ever given the same opportunity to be a citizen as Thais get in other countries: In Australia for instance a Thai has the opportunity to be a citizen after two years of residence; and it does not have to be consecutive time. Also in the same country you do not need to be a citizen to buy a house and land. You are also not threatened with deportation for disagreeing with government policy, even if you entered the country in the first instance as an illegal entry. Oh for that kind of freedom for all in Thailand. Dream time I suppose.
Discussion 8 : 05/02/2014 at 06:22 AM
I have lots of issues with the PDRC and it would be easy for new tinsel happy with this news. That being said, this is a scary development for us foreigners living here.
Discussion 9 : 05/02/2014 at 05:45 AM
It depends on which side you are supporting. If you are pro-Thaksin, you might be rewarded a citizenship of Thailand. But if you are with the opposition, you face deportation, just like this gentleman. Lesson? Pick your side wisely!
Discussion 10 : 05/02/2014 at 01:37 AM
I have no time for the PDRC, but I certainly don't think that this Indian guy should be deported for purely expressing his point of view, Jail Suthep now!!
Discussion 11 : 05/02/2014 at 12:12 AM
I think you'll find you can own a house - but not the land ir sits on...
Discussion 12 : 04/02/2014 at 11:56 PM
Well, he can have his 49 % share of the company. The rest is Thai. May be his wife, or or or, but sure Thai
Discussion 13 : 04/02/2014 at 11:35 PM
This Thaksin Regime is all about autocracy and sometimes tyranny. It is the first thing that needs to go before Thailand can move on to a better place.
Discussion 14 : 04/02/2014 at 11:12 PM
This'll scare foreign investment into politically unstable Thailand. Thai economy is significantly run on foreign money! Remember the global saying "Politics is dirty & dangerous!" You have to speak really carefully in Thailand .C riticising or saying the "unmusical" can lands you in jail or deportation. Living, investing and even married there all your life, you'r not equal to a Thai. Xenophobic politics?! I wonder, how could he own any business without Thai passport. Foreigners can't own even a private house.
Discussion 15 : 04/02/2014 at 11:03 PM
Any foreign national, no matter their country of origin, no matter their political affiliation, should think long and hard about getting involved in Thai politics. Personally I thing this possible prosecution of Khun Sathit is over the top. Apparently he thought because he was on the "right side" in this political conflict, he would be immune from scutiny. And he is well connected. A possible mistake on his part, and all the other farangs who marched and blew whistles and thought it all great fun and games....
Discussion 16 : 04/02/2014 at 10:57 PM
Low hanging fruit is always the easiest to pick, but doesn't always taste the best or bring the most benefit.....go after the big fish, forget about the small fry's.

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