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Thai ambassador ‘disappointed’ with govt for refusing Kerala flood relief

Thailand had proposed government-to-government assistance but it was “politely refused” by India, ambassador Chutintorn Gongsakdi said.

india Updated: Sep 14, 2018 23:17 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Thailand,Thai companies,Kerala flood
An aerial view shows partially submerged road at a flooded area in the southern state of Kerala.(REUTERS)

Thailand’s ambassador to India Chutintorn Gongsakdi has expressed his disappointment over procedural issues in accepting foreign assistance for relief work after floods wreaked havoc in Kerala in August .

The ambassador posted a tweet on Thursday evening, in which he referred to the issues with the offer of foreign help.

Thailand had proposed government-to-government assistance but it was “politely refused” by India, Chutintorn said. Business-to-government assistance by Thai companies registered in India was then proposed by the authorities. He claimed he was “politely advised not to be present at handing over” ceremony where the companies would handover the relief amount. The ambassador said he has asked Thai companies registered in India to proceed without his presence.

“I saw the suffering & I knew the private sector wanted to contribute. I just tried to find a way while respecting host government’s guidelines. I believe in perseverance... I hope they contribute the Rs 54,00,000,” he said in reply to a tweet.

India does not accept foreign aid for relief work and had sensitised its foreign missions to convey the message to their respective governments.The contribution from Thai companies was to be handed over to the Resident Commissioner of Kerala in New Delhi. The amount would be donated to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.

The ambassador also posted a letter from the embassy to Thai companies expressing the envoy’s inability to attend the functions to hand over the relief supplies.

The ministry of external affairs did not respond to a query about the envoy’s tweets.

Rs 1,236-crore spent on relief work: Minister

An amount of Rs 1,236 crore has so far been spent by the Kerala government on relief works to overcome the devastation caused by the deluge last month, industries minister EP Jayarajan said on Friday.

First Published: Sep 14, 2018 22:48 IST