Thailand denies paying Tony Blair $810,800 to speak
BANGKOK (AFP) - Thailand has denied that it will pay former British Prime Minister Tony Blair 20 million baht (S$810,800) to speak at an upcoming government-sponsored forum in Bangkok on bridging the kingdom's festering political divides.
A lawmaker from Thailand's opposition Democrat party last week alleged that the big sum had been put aside in the budget to pay the controversial ex-premier, a claim refuted by the government.
Several dignitaries will take part in the one-day "unity forum", a foreign ministry spokesman said on Saturday, adding none "will receive any extra pay".
Thailand will only "offer them air tickets, accommodation and transportation while they are here", spokesman Manasavi Srisodapol added.