(14 January) The Department of Consular Affairs at Chaeng Wattana Road has closed down due to anti-government protests in the area.
The announcement came a day after supporters of the People′s Committee for Absolute Democracy With the King As Head of State (PCAD) have occupied the road in front of the Government Complex, where the Department is located.
Mr. Sek Wannamathee, spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the closure would be "temporary". He added that passport registration can be obtained at the Department′s district offices in Bangna and Pinklao in the meantime.
However, he said, due to the closure of the Department′s headquarters on Chaeng Wattana Road, only 2,500 new passports can be issued per day "until normalcy returns".
Furthermore, Mr. Sek added, passport registration offices in provinces outside Bangkok would be closed down, since these provincial offices would not be able to connect with the database stored at Chaeng Wattana headquarters.
Citizens wishing to obtain new passports who have no urgent needs are asked to wait and let the Department process the more urgent cases, Mr. Sek said.
"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is evaluating the situation everyday to decide when the Department of Consular Affairs can be re-opened," the spokesman said.
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