Thaksin ‘a man without a country’
Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra defied Thai government last night by leaving Dubai hours after his passport was revoked
Dubai-based 7Days newspaper reported that Thaksin has refused to accept that his passport is cancelled was due to fly to a secret location in Africa.
“The government can talk all they want but it’s not going to stop us. Every Thai person is entitled to a passport and it cannot simply be revoked,” a spokesman travelling with Thaksin said last night.
He said Thaksin was in very good form and relaxed. “He’s not all that worried, he’s really fine, given all that’s going on right now,” the spokesman said.
He talked to 7DAYS as Thaksin called for calm among thousands of his supporters involved in mass anti-government demonstrations.
“Basically, we cannot go into Thailand at the moment but he will travel on his passport to other countries.
“We are going somewhere in Africa, obviously I cannot say where,” the spokesperson said, adding that Thaksin expected foreign governments to continue to accept his passport.
The revocation of Thaksin’s passport stepped up the Thai government’s campaign against the billionaire former prime minister, who now lives in Dubai’s Emirates Hills.
He fled Thailand in 2006 after he was convicted of corruption charges and has claimed the trial was politically motivated.
This week the government placed new charges of incitement on Thaksin for allegedly stirring up the anti-government protests.
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has vowed to prosecute all leaders of the rallies, which largely disbanded on Tuesday after troops threatened to use force against thousands of demonstrators.
Government spokesman Panitan Wattana-yagorn said Thaksin’s passport was withdrawn for inciting protests that forced the cancellation of a summit of Asian leaders on Saturday
Thaksin to Take Refuge in Africa
Exiled former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra is reportedly living a luxurious lifestyle in Dubai, while asking the Thai government to compromise with him and his supporters and seeking help from His Majesty the King in resolving the conflict. Meanwhile, a source in Dubai says Thaksin is now leaving for Africa.
The ousted Thaksin is reportedly staying in a luxurious hotel in Dubai, where he granted an interview to Dan Noral from the Aljazeera news agency.
Thaksin, who is currently charged with inciting public chaos in Thailand, denied the accusations made by the Thai government. He said he was sorry that violence broke out during the red-shirt demonstrations, but said he could not take responsibility since he was not involved. Thaksin insisted that he repeatedly warned key red-shirt leaders to conduct their demonstrations peacefully.
The exiled PM, who was convicted of corruption and sentenced to two years in prison, again said that only compromise will end the conflict, and that the government needs to initiate that compromise.
Thaksin said he was not disappointed that His Majesty the King did not intervene in the political conflict, saying that the King is asked to get involved only in time of crisis.
However, when Thaksin spoke to French television’s ‘France 24’, he asked that His Majesty the King help resolve the political chaos despite the fact that his red-shirt supporters were the ones demonstrating and making demands over the past two weeks.
He claimed that His Majesty the King is the only one who can put an end to the ongoing political turmoil and restore harmony among Thais. Otherwise there could be more violent confrontations, he said.
Thaksin said he would only return to Thailand when an unbiased judicial system was in place to judge the cases against him. He claimed the current judiciary considers him an enemy.
Thaksin repeated that he does not want to become prime minister again since he is already 60 years old. However, he added that he is ready to work for the country if the people need him.
Meanwhile, Thaksin has been granted a Nicaraguan passport and named a special envoy by the Nicaraguan government.
Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega said he appointed Thaksin a special envoy because he believed Thaksin could help attract investment to the country.
However, the Foreign Affairs Ministry says a Nicaraguan ambassador to Thailand has denied news reports that Nicaragua has issued Thaksin a special passport.
Thaksin’s Thai passport was recently revoked for his role in provoking his red-shirt supporters to riot in the capital and in Pattaya over the past week
More recently, Thaksin’s spokesman reportedly told a Dubai newspaper that Thaksin has left Dubai for Africa because he feared for his safety in Dubai. The spokesman declined to name Thaksin’s destination.
The Australian–Fugitive Thaksin Shinawatra on move to Africa
News 24.com– Thaksin leaving Dubai