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This is no big joke: Immigration rising from the ashes like a phoenix!

Samui Times Editor

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This is no big joke: Immigration rising from the ashes like a phoenix! | Samui Times
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The Thai Immigration Bureau has welcomed tourists to Thailand for Songkran under the banner of a phoenix.

There appeared no hint of irony as Pol Maj-Gen Phrittipong Prayoonsiri and a welter of Suvarnabhumi airport officials stood on stage at the immigration hall to announce the “Withok 62” initiative was in place.

Withok is a bird that rises from the ashes – essentially a phoenix. 

This is no big joke: Immigration rising from the ashes like a phoenix! | News by Samui Times

Withok 62, after the year 2019, is a plan to ensure the safety and convenience of the large number of tourists expected at the airport over the coming days. 

The move follows the removal of immigration chief Lt-Gen Surachate “Big Joke” Hakparn last week and his subsequent re-positioning as an ordinary civil servant in the PM’s office.

Phrittipong handed out lots of garlands to tourists and promised safety and convenience for all though his spokesman Pol Col Cherngron Rimphadee.

No one mentioned the name Big Joke – but phoenix was on everyone’s lips. 

Some 1.6 million passengers are expected to pass through the airport in the ten days from April 9th to 18th.

The 162,000 passengers a day is nearly 7% up on last year. The expected average 1,097 flights per day at Suvarnabhumi is also a 7% improvement. 

The message from immigration, airport officials, tourist reps, customs officials and staff in traditional Thai yellow costumes was clear said TNA:

Welcome to our home for the holidays!

A huge sign proclaimed “Thai Immigration Bureau Songkran Festival”.

But the absence of any mention of the bureau’s former poster boy Big Joke and the irony of the phoenix message will not be missed on Thai watchers. 

Thai Visa / TNA

This is no big joke: Immigration rising from the ashes like a phoenix! | News by Samui Times
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