66-year-old American, Geoffrey Giuliano, has lived in Thailand for 20 years near Pattaya. Both he and his son are out of money and will soon be out of time and on the streets of Jaipur in India if a solution is not found to his problem. Mr Giuliano has been told by the UN and Thai consular officials in New Delhi that he cannot return to Thailand aboard repatriation flights as he is not a Thai national. His 12-year-old son has lived with him since he was born and the US man has full custody after the boy’s mother severed ties with him and married a Thai man.
An American father of a Thai 12-year-old boy has written urgently to Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan ocha asking for his help as the ‘family of two’ are on the verge of being thrown out of their hotel accommodation in India after being stranded there due to closure of Thailand’s airspace to passenger flights on April 4th last. The American has been told that because he is not Thai, he cannot accompany his son Eden on any planned repatriation flights home at this time.
A 66 year old American and his 12-year-old Thai son are the latest people to be challenged by the Thai government’s decision to limit repatriation flights to Thai nationals only.
As we speak, Geoffrey Giuliano and his 12-year-old son are staying in a hotel in Jaipur, Rajasthan. The father and son are surviving on cheese and crackers during India’s extended and stringent lockdown. The only shop in their area they have access to is seldom open and has limited provisions made even more limited by their lack of funds.
The American father is worried that he will soon be asked to pay the hotel bill or leave the accommodation which, for now, is their refuge.
This would leave the father and son homeless.
Contacted the UN who were polite but unhelpful
Mr Giuliano has been in contact with the United Nations in India and the Thai Embassy in New Delhi.
He has been told that his 12-year-old son Eden is eligible for a repatriation flight to Thailand but he, as an American citizen, is not.
The desperate circumstances of both father and son is a far cry from their comfortable and affluent life near Pattaya where Mr Giuliano and his son Eden live.
‘In Pattaya, we have a new car, a lovely condo as I have lived in Thailand since 2002,’ the US man said on Monday from their room at the Blue Beds Hotel in Ashok Nagar, Jaipur in Rajasthan state.
Came to India on a two week holiday to make an audiobook recording and for dental surgery
The American and his son came to India for a two-week holiday before flights were cut off.
The main purpose of the trip was for Eden to produce audiobooks at a recording studio in a village called Vrndavana which is approximately 4 hours from New Delhi.
Eden, even though he is only 12 years old, is quite well known as an audiobooks reader and has worked with his father on audiobook projects since he was young.
The Thai Examiner has seen evidence of Mr Giuliano’s retirement visa in Thailand valid up the 9th October 2020 and his multiple-entry permit also granted with it in August 2019.
His son Eden also has a Thai passport issued in December 2018 and valid until December 2023.
US man has full custody of his son
The US man has full custody of Eden who he says has been raised culturally as an American Thai since Eden’s mother married a Thai man.
‘She wanted to adopt my son. I said no and she gave him to me and made a new life. So I only have Eden and Eden only has me. He was mostly raised in the USA,’ he says. ‘He speaks no Thai and although he has a Thai passport, he is culturally American.’
Eden has been the centre of Mr Giuliano’s life
He explains that he has with him custody documents to his son who has been the centre of his life since he was born. The thought of being separated from him is unbearable.
‘Thailand is my home, my country, my son was born here and we love it. I never drink, smoke, go out or eat meat, I stay home as a retired person and raise my son. We help each other. We are a family of two.’
Risk being left homeless on the streets of India where ‘police beat anyone with sticks who venture out’
Right now, Mr Giuliano, who before his retirement was an author, is concerned that both he and his sons will be left on the streets of India during the lockdown.
‘What we want is permission to return home. We are running out of money, food and can’t really pay for hotels in Jaipur, Rajasthan. The difficulty is here we are on the verge of being asked to leave the hotel regarding payment and there is no place to get any real food beyond chips or crackers in the area. The police beat anyone with sticks who ventures out.’
US man says he forgot to bring his Kasikorn Bank debit card as it was a short trip to record a book
The American says that he banks with Kasikorn Bank in Thailand and that his funds and money are held there.
The trip to India was to be a short one to record the audiobooks and for the US man to have some dental work done. This was postponed as the virus emergency began on the Indian subcontinent.
Mr Giuliano says he forgot to bring his debit card.
Money and food are running out
‘We only came here for two weeks. Money and food are running out. Everything we own and our money is in Thailand. We are trapped in a hotel. Can you please help us? We need permission for me to accompany him as he is a child of a single-parent home,’ he says.
The American says he is also prepared for 14 days quarantine and other conditions on arrival in Thailand if they can only get back.
Washing clothes in the sink
He explains that the situation is growing increasingly desperate for him and his son who has been washing the same clothes now for two weeks as there are no laundry services.
Food is limited in the area with electricity and internet intermittent. Cannot pay $15 a day for hotel.
The electricity and internet in the area is also unreliable and service intermittent.
‘Our money comes from abroad to the Kasikorn Bank. We were only coming for a short trip. I forgot to bring my debit card. We have been taken in by a hotel but can’t pay for it at $15.00 a day,’ the American explains.
The food is limited and too expensive here. There is only one shop to buy food nearby and it’s almost never open. We are hungry. I don’t eat so Eden can.’
Ban on inbound passenger flighted extended to end of May by the government on Monday
Thailand, just today, has extended its inbound passenger flight ban for another month until May 31st.
This father and his son cannot last that long.
Mr Giuliano has written to the Prime Minister, Prayut Chan ocha, pleading his case for him and his son to be allowed to return together to Thailand on the next repatriation flight.
If you wish to assist Mr Giuliano and his son. His PayPal ID is: firstname.lastname@example.org.