Thai Rath, Thailand‘s most powerful newspaper, just reported this morning that the USA proposal to Thailand for NASA to use the U-Tapao base to observe weather, is a “Political Trap” to get rid of the Yingluck government.
Thai Rath said the law in Thailand requires all policy related to foreign affairs, that could impact Thailand’s sovereignty, to go through Parliament-otherwise, someone could lodge the complaint to the court for the disbandment of the politician involved.
- “It is the Constitutional Court we are talking about,” said Thai Rath, repeatedly, several times, perhaps as a way to warn the Yingluck government, that the Constitutional Court, is part of the Thai establishment, that is looking for way to get rid of the Yingluck government.
- “All the Constitutional Court have to say is “May Impact” and that would be the end of the Yingluck government, reported Thai Rath.
The usage is a proposal initiated by Thailand’s last government of Abhisit, but there is a great fear with the Ultra Royalist Yellow Shirts, that NASA, would use the facility for national security propose, and as a bargaining chip to let Thaksin into the USA.
- The Thai council on national security is studying the usage and have not made a comment on the usage.
Meanwhile, Thailand’s foreign minister, said he received a letter from NASA, saying if approval does not come within a few weeks, it would cancel the request to use U-Tapao. The Thai parliament is currently, out of session.
The following is from Wikipedia:
U-Tapao Rayong International Airport (IATA: UTP, ICAO: VTBU) (Thai: ท่าอากาศยานนานาชาติอู่ตะเภา), also spelled Utapao and U-Taphao, is a joint civil-military public airport serving Rayong and Pattaya, cities in Thailand. It is approximately 90 miles (140 km) southeast of Bangkok, near Sattahip on the Gulf of Siam. It is located south of route 3 (Thanon Sukhumvit) at km 189, about a 45 minute drive from Pattaya (Thailand’s most popular beach resort).
Due to the blockade of Bangkok’s airports by opposition protesters, U-Tapao briefly became the main air gateway to Thailand between November 26 and December 5, 2008.
During the Vietnam War U-Tapao was a military base for the United States Air Force B-52 Stratofortress bombers, known as “Bi-hasip-sawng” to the local people. U-Tapao was a front-line base along with the other US bases at Korat, Udon, Ubon, Nakhon Phanom and Takhli. The USAF B-52 made regular sorties over Thailand’s eastern neighbors, especially North Vietnam, carrying an average of 108 bombs of 500 and 750 pounds per mission. Entertainer Bob Hope used to visit the base every year between 1964 and 1972 with his USO Christmas show.
Airlines including AirAsia, Air France, Air Madagascar, Aeroflot, ANA, Asiana, Austrian Airlines, Bangkok Airways, Cathay Pacific, Cebu Pacific, China Airlines, El Al, Emirates Airline, Etihad, Ethiopian Airlines, Eva Air, Garuda Indonesia, Hong Kong Express, Iberworld, Indian Airlines, Iran Air, Japan Air Lines, Jet Airways, Jetstar, Kenya Airways, Korean Air Lines, KLM, Kuwait Airways, MAI, Mahan Air, Malaysia Airlines, Philippine Airlines, Qatar Airways, S7 Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Vietnam Airlines, Thai Airways International, Turkish Airlines, Thai AirAsia, Orient Thai, Tiger Airways, Transaero and Vladivostok Avia arranged special flights from and to U-Tapao to ferry international passengers stranded because of the seizure of the Suvarnabhumi Airport. Several governments including Italy, Macau and Spain also sent chartered flights to evacuate residents.
As many as 100,000 passengers were stranded in Thailand until early December. Although its runway can accommodate large aircraft, U-tapao’s terminals are not designed to handle more than a few flights a day. Travellers were subject to many hardships, and since the security was not up-to-date, some US-bound flights were diverted to Japan in order to make the passengers go through a supplementary security-check.
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