Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya said yesterday he would fully exercise his authority by all means to bring fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra to justice in Thailand.
A group of Thai officials would be dispatched to Dubai next week to inform officials about the Thai government’s concern, as Thaksin regularly used the Gulf state as a base to phone-in and provoke his red- shirted supporters, he said.
Representatives of the Attorney-General’s Office were talking with their counterparts in Hong Kong to conclude an extradition treaty, enabling the government to detain Thaksin if he appeared in the territory, he said.
“I speak frankly, this is a struggle between two ideologies. We want democracy, monarchy and constitution but they [Thaksin’s group] don’t,” Kasit told a meeting of the ruling Democrat Party.
“It is not a normal power struggle; it means the future of the institution [monarchy], which has lived with us for hundreds of years,” he told the party’s members.
“It is a great danger. It’s time for us to fight. Let’s ask ourselves what we want to see [happen]. I’m ready for the fighting,” the minister said.
The Foreign Ministry has instructed all its embassies around the globe to feed correct information about the monarchy and the government’s policy to the international community, he said.
Since Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva’s speech at Oxford University early this month, articles in foreign media had shown they have a better understanding about Thailand, he said.
Fugitive academic Ji Giles Ungpakorn who is on the run from lese majeste charge has no credibility anymore, he said.
The minister referred to the leftist academic because he understood that Ji, together with Thaksin, championed the changing of Thailand to a republic state.
Members of the Democrat Party at the meeting also questioned Thaksin’s phone-in tactics which are now floating much speculation about who masterminded the 2006 coup.
Minister attached to the Prime Minister’s Office, Satit Wongnongtaey, said the government was closely monitoring Thaksin’s moves and had found some officials had helped the former prime minister arrange a video |link from abroad to the red-shirted rally.
Chatuporn Promphan, leader of the red-shirted Democracy Alliance Against Dictatorship rejected Satit’s allegation, saying there were no |government officials helping Thaksin.
“We are examining if officials have done anything illegal or used the government’s resource to help Thaksin,” he said. Thaksin made calls by video link to his supporters who have surrounded Government House since last week, to rise up against the government. Over the weekend, he accused many senior people in the Privy Council, the military and justice, of prompting the military coup to oust him and used juridical activists to indict him.
Talks planned with Dubai
Officials plan to hold talks with Dubai as part of efforts to extradite Thaksin Shinawatra, Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya says.
Officials and prosecutors have held talks with Chinese and Hong Kong authorities about pursuing the former prime minister and would shortly speak to officials in Dubai.
“Prosecutors and the Foreign Ministry talked to Hong Kong and China recently about the extradition and will talk to Dubai next week,” Mr Kasit said at the annual meeting of the Democrat party yesterday.
Thaksin jumped bail before the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions jailed him for two years after finding him guilty of breaking the conflict of interest law.
It found he used his power to influence a land purchase by Khunying Potjaman Damapong, who was his wife at the time, from the Financial Institutions Development Fund in 2003.
The pair later divorced in Hong Kong.
Mr Kasit has talked with officials in countries where Thaksin stays, as the Democrat-led government wants to bring him back to face justice.
He said his ministry had asked the Council of State to consider whether to revoke Thaksin’s passport, but the state legal arm declined to consider it, arguing it is a political issue.
The ministry has revoked his diplomatic passport. (Bangkok Post and AFP)