Bt1m prize money to get Thaksin

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A prize money of Bt1 million was offered yesterday to bring to Thailand fugitive ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra, who was blamed for the ongoing political conflict.

A group of people, calling themselves “United Siam”, made the offer at a press conference at the Rajabhat Suan Dusit University. The group includes retired bureaucrats, senators, academics and business people.

General Somjet Bunthanom, one of the members of the Council for National Security formed after the September 2006 coup, said yesterday that the offer was aimed at preventing the country from getting into another crisis.

“It’s clear that Thaksin is the root cause of the problems. So we are offering the prize money of Bt1 million to anyone who can bring Thaksin to be prosecuted in Thailand,” he said.

The general said the money would be paid by business people who “see Thaksin as a severe threat to the country and its people”.

The group also issued a statement accusing Thaksin and his red-shirt supporters of insulting the monarchy, publicly and clandestinely. The group called on members of the public to rise up against the red shirts.

Thaksin, who has been in exile overseas, over the past week addressed his red-shirt supporters gathering outside Government House in his nightly video linkup. He has heavily criticised certain privy councillors, in particular Privy Council President Prem Tinsulanonda, and threatened a “people’s revolution”.

Senator Somchai Sawangkarn, who is part of the group, said during the press conference that “some broken-hearted communists and politicians who lost their power” were part of the movement that was campaigning against the monarchy.

“We would like to call on the public to denounce the acts by Thaksin and those people who have violated the monarchy with the goal of inciting a civil war and overthrowing the establishments,” he said.

By The Nation
Published on April 7, 2009

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