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  • The Shinawatra Clan | Taksin returned to Thailand

    Yingluck Shinawatra | Former Thai PM absolved of any wrongdoing
    Click image for larger version  Name:	Yingluck-Shinawatra.jpg Views:	0 Size:	62.9 KB ID:	4575

    According to an insider from the investigative panel of the National Anti-Corruption Commission, Thailand’s former PM, Yingluck Shinawatra, and her cabinet have been absolved of any wrongdoing in relation to the approval of around 1.9 Billion THB payment for all victims of political protests and the quelling of red shirt protests by troops from 2005 to 2010. They were absolved by an investigation panel of the National Anti-Corruption Commission last night.

    The inside source says the panel determined there wasn’t enough evidence to support charges of malfeasance in office toward the former prime minister as well as her 33 cabinet ministers. Further, the panel says the remuneration was paid to victims in a nonpartisan manner. The source says the panel could not locate evidence that proved the 1.9 Billion THB was used incorrectly or even partially embezzled by anyone in the cabinet.

    The cabinet did point out the ambiguity surrounding whether Yingluck’s government was in accordance with the regulations.

    The remunerations were a recommendation by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, established after the 2010 unrest. In the unrest, almost 100 people were killed in 2 months of violent protests by red shirt protesters who were opposed to the then government of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.

    The remuneration was for the families of the deceased, and the injured or unfairly detained during the political violence starting in 2005. Remuneration for a deceased family remember was 250,000 THB to help with funeral expenses. Also, 3 Mio THB for “psychological trauma” endured.
    Last edited by Licker; 08-18-2021, 06:16 PM.

  • #2
    Taksin Shinawatra | Former Thai PM issues death penalty warning to coup-makers

    Former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra last night fired a warning to the nation’s coup-makers that they could still face the death sentence in the future. Thaksin, who also turned his ire on current PM Prayut Chan-o-cha labelling him “a dictator” and someone “increasingly disconnected from reality,” says he hopes he will receive justice for the wrongs against him and punishment dealt to those who subverted the law.

    “I believe that one day we will have our own constitution. And according to the principle of law, retrospective punishment is not doable, but this government is using retrospective law against me, so I would like to warn them of a returning sword where all coup-makers will eventually face the death penalty,”
    The 72 year old ex leader is still wanted in Thailand for a number of charges that begun with a military coup in 2006. He then fled the country in 2008 after he was sentenced to two years in prison in an alleged corrupt land deal that helped his wife buy land from a state agency at a reduced price. Another two years in prison were added to that for mishandling a state lottery scheme he launched in 2003, and then he was sentenced to three more years for ordering the Export-Import Bank on a controversial loan to Myanmar in 2004.

    He also faced allegations of illegally holding shares in the state’s phone concessionaires, with penalties of up to five years in prison.

    Thaksin also commented against Prayut’s reaction to the latest gubernatorial election in Bangkok in which he shrugged off Chadchart Sittipunt’s and Pheu Thai’s success as non-threatening to his leadership. Pheu Thai won 19 out of 50 seats in the Bangkok council while the ruling Palang Pracharath Party only won two seats.

    “Even though other provinces are not like Bangkok, the tremor will definitely reverberate throughout the country. Saying that the results of the election do not reflect anything is like running away from reality…and the more a dictator a person becomes, the more he will turn his back on reality.”


    • #3
      Peathongtarn Shinawatra calls for ‘landslide win’ in Thailand’s General Election 2023
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      Peathongtarn Shinawatra, the daughter of exiled former Thai PM Thaksin Shinawatra, has repeated her call for supporters to vote for the Pheu Thai Party in Thailand’s upcoming general election. Addressing party members at her party’s general assembly on Sunday, she said only a “landslide win” would do.

      “Pheu Thai is ready to work after a House dissolution. A landslide win. That’s the only thing that Pheu Thai wants.”
      Pheu Thai is the leading opposition party. As the party’s “chief advisor on participation and innovation”, Panthongtae is pegged to become the party’s nomination for prime ministerial candidate, though she has not yet formally thrown her hat in the ring. Her aunt, Yingluck Shinawatra was the Thai PM before May 2014 when the Army staged another coup and installed the military-run NCPO.

      However, as the ‘heir’ of Thailand’s controversial political dynasty, Panthongtae aka “Head of the Pheu Thai Family” appears to be keeping her chances of running for the country’s top post alive. If elected, she promised that Pheu Thai would welcome home Thais who fled abroad when the military staged a coup in 2014. Both Yingluck Shinawatra and Thaksin Shinawatra live overseas in political exile. Among the party’s many plans for Thailand, she said they would develop a technology-driven nation capable of competing with the rest of the world.

      “When the day comes for Pheu Thai to return to power, we will get down to business of tackling the country’s problems.”
      Politicians are already in unofficial election mode ahead of the next general election, which pundits say Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha could call as early as November this year.

      Earlier, the Pheu Thai Party announced it would declare their candidate for PM once the House is dissolved, which they predict will happen later this year, prompting an election sometime in early January, according to the Bangkok Post. 35 year old Panthongtae says her goal is to win over the younger generation and convince them to support and join the party, which has won the most seats in every election since 2001.

      The party has concentrated its efforts on laying the foundation for tackling Thailand’s problems and making plans for the future. The party favours decentralisation of power, better public health services and the use of soft power.

      According to the party, Thailand’s agricultural industry should embrace the use of artificial intelligence to boost agriculture production, and a digital transformation is necessary to help combat government corruption. If the party wins the upcoming election, they would set a benchmark of boosting the number of international tourists by 80 million within 4 years (that would twice the number of tourists visiting Thailand than the last year of ‘full’ tourism in 2019).

      Pheu Thai Party’s leader, Cholnan Srikaew, informed supporters that only a large victory of 250 seats or more would allow the party to execute its plans and fulfill its objectives. Despite its popularity, the Pheu Thai Party has been dissolved twice by the military and Thai judicial system.


      • #4
        Thaksin's daughter takes Shinawatra brand to new Thai Generation

        She has half a million followers on Instagram, leads a glamorous lifestyle and describes herself as the "little girl" of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra - one of the most influential and controversial figures in modern Thai history. The 35-year-old Paetongtarn Shinawatra, the youngest of billionaire tycoon Thaksin's three children, is now launching herself into the country's deeply divided political scene ahead of a national election due by March 2023. The move brings the Shinawatras' influence to a new generation and sets the stage for the latest round in the ultra-rich clan's 20-year tussle with the kingdom's royalist-military elites. For now, Paetongtarn has a low-key role with the main opposition Pheu Thai party, but she is widely tipped to be named its candidate for prime minister when an election is called. The 72-year-old Thaksin, ousted as prime minister in a military coup in 2006, pops up regularly in Paetongtarn's social media posts hugging her baby or posing with his daughter over a bowl of noodles.

        Paetongtarn says that she draws strength from her father's "unwavering support" and insists that she will always be his "little girl". It is a sentiment that endears her to the legion of supporters, many of them poor and rural, who swept Thaksin to election victories in 2001 and 2005. "We need you. We miss your father," a well-wisher told her during campaigning for Bangkok local elections last month. But it will also raise the hackles of the powerful royalist and military elites who despise Thaksin and have long suspected him of manipulating the opposition to their political dominance from abroad. Parties linked to the tycoon have won the most seats at every Thai election since 2001, only to find themselves toppled by coups or court rulings preceded by massive street protests. Thaksin, the former Manchester City owner who built a telecoms empire with a fortune estimated by Forbes at nearly US$1.9 Billion, now lives in self-imposed exile in Dubai to avoid corruption charges he says are politically motivated. His sister Yingluck was elected PM in 2011, but was herself deposed by General Prayut Chan-o-cha in a 2014 coup.

        Despite her current placeholder role with Pheu Thai's inclusion and innovation committee, Paetongtarn makes no secret of her ambitions. "We can transform Thailand from a country that is riddled with debt, filled with misery, with no future in sight, into a country filled with opportunity and hope for us and future generations," she told AFP at a party conference last month. Prayut - who became prime minister in a controversial election in 2019 - is viewed as a poor economic manager and increasingly unpopular, particularly among the young, thousands of whom took to the streets in 2020 to demand democratic change. In a further sign of his weakening grip, the candidate Prayut backed for Bangkok governor was thrashed in last month's election, won resoundingly by a former Pheu Thai minister. This was a first taste of campaigning for Paetongtarn, who manages the hotel branch of her family's real estate company. Thaksin's five years in power saw an economic upturn and a boost for the rural poor, but critics say that the period was marked by graft, nepotism and authoritarianism.
        Paetongtarn insists that Thailand improved under his rule, and says that like her father, she feeds off adversity. "How could I not be proud of my dad after all he has done for our country?" she said. "Thanks to him, not only am I not afraid of criticism, but I see it as an opportunity for improvement."

        Given Prayut's unpopularity, and the lack of a charismatic alternative in the army-linked Palang Pracharat Party, Pheu Thai believe that they can win the election. Paul Chambers, of the Center of ASEAN Community Studies at Naresuan University in Thailand, said that the party was hoping to capitalise on the "perfect storm" facing the current government. Victory for Paetongtarn might also mean a way back to Thailand for the 72-year-old Thaksin. Last year, he vowed to return to the kingdom "through the front door". But despite the power of the Shinawatra brand, Pheu Thai and Paetongtarn face formidable hurdles to winning power. To become prime minister, a candidate must win a majority in the 500-seat lower house and the 250-seat senate. But under the constitution drafted by the junta in 2017, the senate is full of handpicked military loyalists. A similar scenario unfolded in the 2019 election - Pheu Thai won the most seats in the lower house, but the military-controlled senate allowed Prayut to form a coalition. "Whatever happens following the next election, the pro-military parties will do all they can to take office and try to legitimise why Pheu Thai should not form a coalition," Chambers says.


        • #5
          Brand Shinawatra – choice of a new generation?

          In today’s Bangkok Post, former senator and member of the National Reform Council Prasarn Marukpitak looks forward to the forthcoming election with still more than six months to go.

          According to Prasarn, Paetongtarn Shinawatra, youngest daughter of Thaksin, is increasingly popular, far more so than ageing veterans such as Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. Pheu Thai is now loudly protesting that it will win the election by a landslide and party darling Paetongtarn says she plans to bring her father home using judicial procedures.While a win may be on the cards, Prasarn suggests that the party could struggle to form a coalition. As a consequence, its dream of bringing Thaksin back from exile will remain unfulfilled. The Thai Raksa Chart Party once aligned itself with Thaksin and proposed Princess Ubolratana as prime minister, but the stratagem backfired — big time.

          Pheu Thai is no longer the fresh and vibrant party it was two decades ago. It has passed its prime. Even veteran politicians and founding members have jumped ship to pursue their own careers. This week, rumours have been floating around that real estate mogul Srettha Thavisin, president and chief executive of developer Sansiri Plc, could be Pheu Thai’s prime ministerial candidate in the next election. The mogul is an outsider, not a member of the Shinawatra clan. As such, he will not be trusted from within its ranks. Pheu Thai also faces challenges with the changing political landscape, where new parties are making inroads, namely the Bhumjaithai Party and Move Forward Party. Both are popular in northeastern constituencies, long known as Pheu Thai’s turf.

          Bhumjaithai is forecast to win 80-100 seats. It was widely reported that 30 MPs from other parties went to say “happy birthday” to Newin Chidchob, political strategist 0f the Bhumjaithai, on October 4, suggesting another batch of potential ship-jumpers are amassing ahead of the poll. The Democrat Party will have to fight tooth and nail to retain its stronghold in the southern constituencies, but it’s the up-and-coming parties that could prove the main obstacle to Pheu Thai’s “landslide”. The question is, which parties want to affiliate with the Shinawatra brand, approving the repatriation and re-empowerment of a fugitive who fled the country to escape jail? It was an attempt to pass an amnesty bill that doomed the Yingluck Shinawatra government (Thaksin’s younger sister), igniting the protests which led to the military coup. Of course, Thaksin is welcome to come home anytime, but he must still face justice, and Thai society will have to answer to the world as well as to itself. His dream will end up costing the country far too much.


          • #6
            Thaksin libel case to touch on Krue Se, Tak Bai massacres

            President of the National Assembly of Thailand Chuan Leekpai has acknowledged a libel charge he made about former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Chuan, who also serves as Speaker of the Thai House of Representatives, gave a lecture to members of the Democrat Party on October 28, 2012, blaming Thaksin for making “mistakes” regarding the Krue Se, and Tak Bai massacres in Thailand’s Deep South in 2004, during his administration. The 84 year old politician, a former Thai PM between 1992-1995 and from 1997-2001, was indicted on Tuesday for defamation in a suit filed by Thaksin, who claimed Chuan defamed him in that 2012 speech.

            Bizarrely, the case sat at the office of the public prosecutors for years, reported Thai PBS World, and was not taken to court until the prosecutor in charge of the case told Chuan that he wanted to see him on Tuesday, to acknowledge the charges, as the case is due to expire tomorrow. Ramet Rattanachaweng, an assistant to the House Speaker and spokesman for the Democrat Party, revealed that Chuan told him not to allow the case to expire “as a matter of principle.” Thaksin wants the police to charge Chuan with defamation and violation of the Computer Crimes Act. However, the police decided to indict Chuan for defamation.

            Remarkably, it appears Chuan wants the case to come to court because it will touch on the Krue Se, and Tak Bai massacres. Chuan added the massacres and Thaksin’s brutal anti-narcotic campaign launched in 2003 also will be raised during the trial. In the Krue Se Mosque in Pattani Province, 32 people were killed by Thai security. Many more people died in violent clashes between security forces and armed protesters in Songkhla and Yala provinces on February 28, 2004.

            In the Tak Bai incident on October 25, 2004, in Narathiwat, 78 protesters died of suffocation when they were forced to lie, face down on top of one another in the back of a truck by security forces, for a 150 kilometer journey to an army barracks in Pattani. Seven other protesters were also killed. Thaksin was adamant on his weekly interview on Clubhouse that “he had nothing to do with it.” He said he was playing golf at the time when he was told of a protest by hundreds of people to demand the release of a group of detainees held at the Tak Bai police station on charges of supplying weapons to Muslim insurgents.

            “The police asked for my instruction. I told them it could not be tolerated as the law must be law. That’s all I said.
            “I think six people died on the spot. Local authorities, police and to some extent the army, were responsible for what happened.
            “I knew arrests were made. But after that, I knew nothing. Nobody kept me updated until I found out later that many people had died.”
            Thaksin revealed he was later told by a Malaysian special branch police officer that the whole incident was staged by a group of military officers “who did not want me in power.”

            “Those who were responsible for this were military officers. After the protest in front of Tak Bai police station, everything was in the hand of the military. I knew nothing from that point on.”
            “As for compensation for those who lost their loved ones, go and ask Gen Prawit Wongsuwon, who was the army chief.”
            Deputy Prime Minister Prawit declined to comment yesterday in response to Thaksin’s claim that he must know how many families, of those who died, have been compensated in the Tak Bai tragedy. Gen Prawit said… “Go ask Thaksin!” The Krue Se and Tak Bai massacres are blamed for the unrest in the Deep South, which continues until today.


            • #7
              Pheu Thai Party under fire as Tuhao-Shinawatra connection exposed

              Opposition Pheu Thai Party is under fire after police found that many houses connected to suspected Chinese gangster Chaiyanat “Tuhao” Kornchayanant were built by a company owned by the Shinawatra family. On Wednesday, the Royal Thai Police raided 11 locations in Bangkok, including a luxury housing project in the La Salle area of Samut Prakan. The raids are part of an operation to smash a Chinese criminal network in Thailand led by Tuhao and his associates. Tuhao turned himself in to police on November 23 and has been denied bail. Police searched three houses in La Salle owned by a suspected nominee of Tuhao’s gang. Among the items taken away by police were three safes.

              The housing project consists of 66 units costing up to 60 Million THB (US$1.7 million). Chinese tourists were often seen at noisy parties in the house that disturbed neighbours. The houses were built by SC Asset Corporation, with its HQ in Shinawatra Tower 3, in Bangkok’s Lat Yao neighbourhood. Paetongtarn Shinawatra, the youngest daughter of former PM Thaksin, is the largest shareholder in SC Asset Corporation with 29%, followed by elder daughter Pintongta Shinawatra Kunakornwong with 28%. Khunying Potjaman Damapong, Thaksin’s ex-wife, is the fourth-largest shareholder with 3%.

              Police also raided a condominium worth over 100 Million THB (US$2.9 million) in the Charoen Nakhon area of Bangkok, where they seized a Porsche 911, two G-Class Mercedes Benz off-roaders, and one Toyota Alphard, according to Bangkok Post. Police believe Tuhao’s syndicate used a Thai nominee to purchase the homes in Samut Prakan, as well as a number of luxury apartments in Bangkok.

              According to Isara News Agency, Nudeeporn Phetphanomporn, daughter of former deputy prime minister Pol Gen Pracha Promnok, is the second-largest shareholder in a property rental company in Phuket of which Tuhao is the largest shareholder. Tuhao is married to Pracha’s niece. Nudeeporn is wife of Sarawuth Phetphanomporn, Pheu Thai MP for Udon Thani and deputy party secretary-general. Police have issued arrest warrants for three other suspects, including a former police inspector, believed to be executives of a company with Tuhao as chairman.
              Last edited by Xerxes; 12-03-2022, 03:27 PM.


              • #8
                Shinawatra’s daughter declares intention to be Thailand’s next Prime Minister

                In one of the worst-kept secrets in Thai politics, Paetongtarn Shinawatra announced her intention to be Thailand’s next prime minister over the weekend. The 36 year old declared her interest to run for premier under the Pheu Thai Party (PTP) in May’s General Election. The PTP was founded by Paetongtarn’s father Thaksin and is now in its third incarnation, Thaksin and her aunty, Yingluck Shinawatra, both led Thai governments before they were victims of army coups. But Paetongtarn appears to be fearless in the face of that future threat and does not feel intimidated by a political opposition that undermines the democracy it promotes and forces its democratically elected leaders into exile.

                It is worth noting that both Yingluck and Thaksin left the country to evade prison sentences imposed during the period of military rule. Is Paetongtarn ready to lead Thailand into a term of prosperity after almost three years of Covid-19 economic uncertainty? Speaking in northeast Thailand on Sunday, a rural stronghold of the Shinawatras, she said…

                “Yes, I am ready.

                “We want the party to win the election by a landslide so the promises we made to the people can be realized.”
                The PTP, which is highly favoured by both rural and urban working-class populations, won the majority of seats in the 2019 election but was unable to form a government. The removal of Shinawatra-loyal administrations through military or judicial means has contributed to the ongoing political crisis in Thailand that has persisted over the past 17 years.

                Paetongtarn consistently led in NIDA opinion polls last year as the top candidate for prime minister, far surpassing current PM Prayut Chan-o-cha. PM Gen Prayut has been in power since 2014, first as the leader of a military junta and then as prime minister chosen by Parliament following the 2019 election. The 68 year old premier maintains that he attained the role through fair means, however, his critics argue that the election was held under rules that were designed to secure his position.

                Recently, Prayut joined the new United Thai Nation Party as he seeks to continue serving as Thailand’s prime minister. It should be noted that Prayut has not yet dissolved parliament, and an election must be held by May. Paetongtarn and the PTP were out in full force electioneering ahead of the New Year’s Day celebration promising life-changing policies. The party was out and about the kingdom with its pre-election billboards and promises that included a 600-baht daily minimum wage for Thai workers.

                Other PTP policies include a 25,000-baht salary for graduates by 2027 and a reduction of agricultural products and utility bills. The gold-card universal health scheme will be upgraded, high-speed Internet will be available in every village and e-commerce will be promoted. The party also promises to stamp out widespread drug use throughout Thailand and develop a fully skilled labour force supported by the state.


                • #9
                  Fugitive Thaksin reveals his forthcoming return to Thailand, again

                  Thaksin Shinawatra, former prime minister, fugitive from justice and dynastic overlord, has spoken of his coming return to Thailand, and how it will happen without help from Pheu Thai or the ruling Palang Pracharath Party. The saviour’s coming will be announced by daughter Paetongtarn, herself an aspirant PM. The latest of many declarations on his forthcoming return to Thailand came during a discussion on the Clubhouse app Tuesday night. Clubhouse describes itself as “a new type of social network” where people come together to talk and listen in real-time.

                  Bangkok abounds with rumours that Palang Pracharat, and Pheu Thai have done a deal for Thaksin to return. But there have been plenty of rumours in the past and, with a general election in the offing, there are sure to be many more to come. The billionaire was fielding ultra-softball questions from supporters in a live session hosted by the CARE Kid Kluan Thai (Think and Move Thailand) Facebook page. Asked when he would return to Thailand, Thaksin revealed to shocked supporters that illness last year had disrupted his plans to return to the kingdom, not the warrants out for his arrest. Taksin had needed oxygen therapy and reportedly caught Covid-19 last year, but the patriarch gave few details of his ailing health. He said…

                  “I intended to do so and I sped up oxygen treatment before the year-end. But the situation remained dangerous and my children had concerns over my safety.
                  “Anyway, I can confirm that I’ll definitely return and I want to emphasise here that I won’t be seeking help from any political party, including Pheu Thai. It’ll depend on my own heart, so don’t worry about me.”
                  Thaksin told the faithful to listen carefully to his youngest daughter and anointed stand-in Paetongtarn, his chosen Pheu Thai candidate for prime minister at the next election. Complaining of persecution during his exile, he said he would return to defend himself. Thaksin said…

                  “Paetongtarn will announce when I’ll be back. I depend on myself. I won’t beg for help from Palang Pracharath. I can help myself and I’ll definitely return.”
                  Thaksin said he was confident that the “pro-democracy side,” or Pheu Thai, and the Move Forward Party, would win over 300 seats at the election, easing his coming return to Thailand. As a result, the pro-democracy faction would definitely win the election and form the next coalition government, he added. In 2006 while attending a UN meeting in New York, Thaksin was ousted in a military coup. He returned in April 2008 to a hero’s welcome only to flee from a corruption trial in August. He was sentenced in absentia to a total of 10 years in jail. An amnesty push by sister Yingluck sparked the street protests that led to the 2014 coup that brought Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha to power.


                  • #10
                    Not our problem – Paetongtarn dismisses father’s comeback

                    Paetongtarn Shinawatra, daughter of ex-PM Thaksin and Pheu Thai Party‘s chosen candidate for her father’s old job, said her father has to find his own way home. He will not need, and not receive, any help from the Pheu Thai Party. Paetongtarn – known by the pet name “Ung Ing” – dismissed her father’s comeback plans at a Pheu Thai campaign meeting in the northeastern province of Loei yesterday, saying that it was “not our problem.”

                    Thaksin has said many times that he will be returning home soon after a 15 years’ absence. Last week,the ageing plutocrat announced that only ill health had prevented him from returning last year and that he would be back soon after the election, regardless of the outcome. Thaksin was very clear that he would allow Ung Ing to announce the great date of his return, but his daughter doesn’t seem to know what he is talking about. Paetongtarn said…

                    “He has not said when he will return home. He has been abroad for several years now. He may be thinking of how to return. I respect his decision as he said he does not want to get the party involved.

                    “The party and I will focus on our election campaigns rather than trying to bring him back to Thailand.”
                    Paetongtarn dismissed reports about a deal with the ruling Palang Pracharath Party to facilitate her father’s comeback.During an online chat with fans last week, Thaksin was asked when he would be back home. He answered that he would be back in no time at all and without any help from the Palang Pracharath or Pheu Thai. The fugitive said…

                    “Ung Ing will be the one to announce when I will return to Thailand. No new [amnesty] law for me. No siding with Palang Pracharath either.”
                    Thaksin fled the country in 2008 when he was sentenced to two years in prison for assisting his then-wife, Khunying Potjaman to buy a prime plot of land at a heavy discount.


                    • #11
                      Pheu Thai Party candidate rejects collaboration with coup leaders

                      Paetongtarn “Ung Ing” Shinawatra, a Pheu Thai Party prime ministerial candidate, stated that the party has no intention of collaborating with those involved in the two previous coups. Paetongtarn, the youngest daughter of exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, outlined the party’s election campaign strategy along with other key members during a press conference. When questioned about her dip in popularity due to her party’s non-committal stance on forming a coalition government with political rivals after the May 14 General Election, Paetongtarn expressed her disapproval of military coups, specifically the previous two. These referred to the 2014 coup led by then-army chief Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha and the 2006 coup led by Gen. Sonthi Boonyaratglin, who was also the army chief at the time. Paetongtarn said…

                      “Take a look at my face. This is the face that dislikes coups. We previously refrained from giving a clear answer out of respect for the people since the election date was not yet finalised. But, if you ask me if we want to join hands with those involved in the two previous coups, the answer is clear―a resolute no.”
                      A recent poll released by the National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA) showed that the 69 year old PM continues to trail behind Paetongtarn and Pita Limjaroenrat of the Move Forward Party. Despite leading the poll with a 35.7% approval rating, Paetongtarn’s support has dropped from 38.2% since March. In contrast, Pita has seen an increase in support from 15.75% to 20.25%, while PM Prayut’s ratings have dropped further to 13.60%. Rumours persisted about a secret deal between the Pheu Thai Party and the Palang Pracharath Party wherein they would form a coalition government and nominate Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon as the next prime minister post-election.

                      Addressing these concerns, Paetongtarn noted that voters complained about the party’s election candidates not visiting their constituencies frequently enough, as well as the scarcity of campaign posters. To rectify this, the party has instructed candidates to be more proactive in campaigning and engaging with voters. Additionally, new posters outlining the party’s campaign policies, such as the 10,000-baht digital wallets, will be unveiled in line with regulations set by the Election Commission.


                      • #12
                        NACC Dismisses Charges on Thai Airways Shinawatra Corruption Case

                        The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) has dismissed charges against former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and three others in a corruption case related to Thai Airways International’s (THAI) acquisition of 10 Airbus aircraft between 2003 and 2004. According to an interview by former deputy transport minister Pichet Sathirachawal, the NACC has dropped charges against himself, the former prime minister, former THAI president Kanok Abhiradee, and former THAI board chairman Thanong Bidaya. The four individuals were initially accused of failing to perform their duties in the aircraft acquisition process, which a team of investigators believed was mismanaged and entailed unethical acts. These allegations are said to have resulted in a significant increase in THAI’s debts, adding to the airline’s ongoing financial problems.

                        Between 2002 and 2004, the former prime minister’s cabinet authorized THAI’s proposal to purchase ten A340-500 and A340-600 aircraft for a total of 53.5 billion baht. The procurement plan was submitted to the cabinet by former industry minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit at the time, as revealed in an investigative report. The former industry minister was removed from the investigation after evidence convinced the commission that he had no involvement in THAI’s purchase of the 10 planes.


                        • #13
                          Former PM Thaksin Shinawatra returns to Thailand after 17 years in Exile

                          Thailand's former PM Thaksin Shinawatra has been jailed upon returning to the country after 15 years in exile.

                          But many believe he has struck a deal that will keep him from serving more than a short period in prison. He arrived on Tuesday morning in a private jet, ahead of a vote for the next Thai leader - the frontrunner is from Mr Thaksin's Pheu Thai party. He has sentences of up to eight years outstanding from criminal cases he says were politically motivated. Mr Thaksin, Thailand's most successful elected leader, has long been feared by conservative royalists, who have backed military coups and contentious court cases to weaken him.

                          But now the brash, politically-ambitious telecoms tycoon is back - he landed in Bangkok's main airport to cheers from hundreds of loyal supporters who had gathered overnight to see him. Flanked by his two daughters and son, he emerged briefly from the airport terminal and paid his respects to a portrait of the king and queen. He was immediately taken to the Supreme Court where he was sentenced to eight years on the outstanding charges, and then to Bangkok Remand Prison. The department of corrections has said that he "is safe under the supervision of the staff".

                          Outside the Don Mueang Airport, 63-year-old Samniang Kongpolparn had been waiting since Monday evening to see Mr Thaksin. She, like many of the other supporters, had travelled from Surin province in the northeast, the stronghold of Mr Thaksin's party in past decades.

                          "He's the best prime minister we've ever had. Even though I won't get to see him today, I still wanted to come to show him support," she said. "I'm ok with them reconciling with the pro-military government, or else we're stuck with the senators. We don't want that."
                          Mr Thaksin's Pheu Thai party is expected later today to join a coalition government - a byzantine process which in three months has taken Thailand full circle. It began with the heady hopes of a new dawn led by the radical young Move Forward party, which won the most seats in the May election. Move Forward initially formed a partnership with Pheu Thai but it's now certain that the coalition will include almost everyone but the reformers, including two parties led by former coup-makers - a deal with its sworn enemies that Pheu Thai vowed it would not do.

                          Pheu Thai insists the two developments are unconnected. Few people believe that. It is true that Pheu Thai's hands have been tied by the unelected senate, a 250-seat constitutional landmine planted in Thailand's political landscape by the military junta which ruled for five years after a 2014 coup. And Pheu Thai's bargaining position was weakened by its poorer-then-expected performance in the election, when it lost a lot of support to Move Forward and for the first time was relegated to second place.

                          The senators, all appointed under the junta, are allowed to join the 500 elected MPs in voting for the new prime minister. Their thinly-disguised remit is to block any party which might threaten the status quo - the nexus of monarchy, military and big business which has dominated decision-making in Thailand for decades. Unsurprisingly they refused to back the Move Forward-led coalition with Pheu Thai, despite its commanding majority in the lower house. When it was Pheu Thai's turn to negotiate a new coalition, its need for senate support meant it had to take in some of its former opponents.

                          Thaksin Returns To Thailand | Thaksin Live | Thailand News Today Live | Bangkok News Today LiveFormer Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is expected to arrive...

                          However some Pheu Thai politicians argue that the party should have held out for a better deal, by refusing to be in a government with the most hard-line conservative groups. Any minority administration formed without Pheu Thai and Move Forward would quickly collapse, because the senators cannot join normal parliamentary votes on issues like the budget.

                          But the Pheu Thai leadership was not willing to wait; it even invited the ultra-royalist party United Thai Nation to join the coalition, whose leaders have in the past been virulently critical of the Shinawatra family and their supporters, and were instrumental in ousting the last Pheu Thai government led by Thaksin's sister Yingluck. That these two factions will now sit together in the same government is a mark of how far Thai politics has shifted.

                          In the end for the ultra-royalists the perceived threat posed by Move Forward, and by a younger generation of Thais demanding a conversation about the power and wealth of the monarchy, eclipsed their long feud with the Shinawatra family. For the Shinawatras, and Pheu Thai's more conservative, business-minded elements, getting into government again and guaranteeing the deal to bring Thaksin back, have been bigger priorities than worrying about the party's reputation.

                          But there are those, even within Pheu Thai, who are horrified by the cynical pragmatism of this deal. They are warning that the party will lose even more of its once-passionate grass-roots supporters, and lose, perhaps forever, the dominance it held over electoral politics in Thailand for two decades.

                          Thaksin Shinawatra, Thailand’s former prime minister, returned home on Tuesday, August 22nd, after spending 17 years in self-imposed exile under a looming prison sentences

                          Thaksin arrived at Don Mueang International Airport in Bangkok at around 9:00 AM today in his private jet. His return coincides with a parliamentary meeting to select Thailand’s 30th prime minister after the election on May 14th.2023 The Pheu Thai Party, which is closely associated with Thaksin, will propose its candidate Srettha Thavisin to hopefully take the top leadership role after parting ways with its former coalition led by the election-winning Move Forward Party.

                          Hundreds of Thaksin’s supporters had gathered at the airport since early morning to celebrate his homecoming. After stepping through the private jet terminal gate, Thaksin paid homage to the image of His Majesty the King on Thai soi for the first time in 17 years. He was surrounded by a crowd of Red Shirt supporters and Pheu Thai Party members.

                          Thaksin, 74, fled Thailand in 2008 to avoid serving jail time for corruption and misconduct charges. He had been ousted as prime minister by the military in a coup the previous year, and he vehemently argued that the charges against him were all politically motivated. Judiciary spokesman Sorawit Limparangsi said on Monday, August 21st, that Thaksin would be taken to the Supreme Court to hear the ruling after his arrival. The hearing will not be broadcast, and a press release will be issued after the hearing.

                          Thaksin faces jail sentences of 10 years in three cases in which he was convicted in absentia by the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions.
                          He is expected to be held at Bangkok Remand Prison while proceeding with judicial procedures.

                          Last edited by Micky; 08-22-2023, 02:45 PM.


                          • #14
                            Thailand's jailed former PM Thaksin Hospitalized after return from Exile

                            Thailand's former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra was moved to hospital overnight, officials said on Wednesday, over concern about his heart and high blood pressure on his first night in jail following his historic return from self-exile. The latest condition of 74-year-old Thaksin, the billionaire founder of the populist juggernaut Pheu Thai, was not clear on Wednesday and his representatives did not immediately respond to a request from Reuters for comment. The Corrections Department said in a statement Thaksin had felt chest tightness and high blood pressure and he was referred to Bangkok's police hospital around 2 a.m. on Wednesday.

                            Thaksin made his homecoming on Tuesday and was escorted to jail in dramatic scenes that stole the spotlight from political ally Srettha Thavisin, who was elected prime minister in a parliamentary vote later in the day. The Pheu Thai Party's Srettha was confirmed as prime minister having received royal endorsement, a parliament official said on Wednesday. Police said Thaksin was hospitalized because the prison was unable to guarantee he would get the right care. Thailand's former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, center, with his son Phantongtae and his daughter Pinthongta, arrives at Don Muang airport in Bangkok, Thailand, Aug. 22, 2023.

                            "The prison has assessed the situation and saw that it lacks doctors and medical equipment that can take care of the patient,"
                            Assistant National Police Chief Lieutenant General Prachuab Wongsuk told Reuters. The Supreme Court confirmed on Tuesday that Thaksin would have to serve eight years in prison after convictions for abuse of power and conflicts of interest. Thaksin was accompanied by eight prison guards when he was transferred during the night, Ayuth Sintoppant, director general of the Corrections Department told Reuters. The return of Thailand's most famous politician was met with celebrations by his supporters and with blow-by-blow media coverage of arrival in Bangkok on his private jet, and his transfer to prison soon after. His return and Srettha's surprisingly smooth ascent to the top job will add to speculation that the influential Thaksin had struck a deal with his foes in the military and political establishment for his safe return and, possibly, an early release from jail. Thaksin and Pheu Thai have denied that.

                            Ex-PM Thaksin’s special treatment risks unrest, warns senator

                            A cautionary note has been sounded by a senator who has advised the government to exercise equal treatment for all prisoners. The senator has expressed concerns that the special treatment accorded to Thaksin Shinawatra, the former prime minister who has been convicted, could potentially invite future complications for the government. The warning was issued on Tuesday during the second day of parliamentary discussions focused on the government’s policy statement. Thawil Pliensri, the senator, revealed that 74 year old Thaksin spent roughly 13 hours at Bangkok Remand Prison before he was shifted to the Police General Hospital. Thaksin has been receiving medical care in Royal Suite 1401, a private room on the 14th floor of the Maha Bhumibol Rachanusorn 88 Phansa Building. This was after he experienced symptoms of chest pain, hypertension, and low oxygen levels in his blood on the night of August 22, the same day he returned to Thailand and was incarcerated. Having spent over 20 days in the hospital, Thaksin has been permitted to receive up to 10 visitors daily. Furthermore, he has been granted a royal pardon that has significantly reduced his eight-year prison sentence to just one year. This has led Thawil to call on the government to ensure equal treatment for all prisoners.

                            “I implore the government to adhere to its principles and uphold judicial standards. The privileges Thaksin is being accorded may cause discontent among many, which may lead to unforeseen incidents in the future.”
                            In the meantime, Praphrut Chatprapachai, a legal expert and former candidate for the Democrat MP, has urged the government to take legal action against Thaksin. This comes in response to Thaksin’s violation of Section 112 of the Criminal Code, otherwise known as the lese majeste law. According to Praphrut, Thaksin gave a media interview in South Korea in 2015, which had implications related to the monarchy. This led General Udomdej Sitabutr, the former deputy defence minister and secretary-general of the now-defunct National Peace Keeping Council, to instruct the Judge Advocate General’s Department to sue Thaksin. The lawsuit was initiated by the Office of the Attorney-General (OAG). The Criminal Court accepted the case for trial in 2015 and issued an arrest warrant for Thaksin. As a result, Praphrut is now urging Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin to direct the police to continue the legal action against Thaksin. He warns that if the government fails to take action, it could expose a loophole that may be exploited by groups or individuals to demand the release of other inmates who violated Section 112. He warned that This could potentially lead to calls for amendments to Section 112 in the future, something many candidates and parties argued for in the recent elections.


                            • #15
                              HM the King grants royal pardon to Thaksin, reducing his prison sentence to one year

                              His Majesty the King has granted a reduction in Mr. Thaksin’s prison sentence to one year – the reduction is intended to enable Mr. Thaksin to contribute his knowledge, abilities, and experience for the benefit of the nation, society, and the people. His Majesty the King has granted a royal pardon to ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra, reducing his prison sentence from eight years to one year.

                              The 74-year-old Thaksin returned to Thailand from 15 years of self-imposed exile on Aug 22. He was sent to Bangkok Remand Prison on the same day to serve an eight-year prison sentence for abuse of power and conflicts of interest.

                              He was transferred to the Police General Hospital on the first night in jail due to his illnesses including chest pain and hypertension and has remained hospitalized since then. Outgoing deputy prime minister and justice minister Wissanu Krea-ngam yesterday disclosed that Thaksin’s formal application for a royal pardon had been filed.

                              The website of the Royal Gazette of Thailand has announced that His Majesty the King has granted a royal pardon to Mr. Thaksin. He was sentenced to a total of eight years in prison, with three years for one case, two years for another, and three years for a third case. He has already served 10 days of his sentence.

                              The announcement also mentions that Mr. Thaksin was the former prime minister who served the nation and the people, and demonstrated loyalty to the monarchy. He accepted responsibility for his actions, expressed remorse, and serve the punishment.

                              It is noted that Mr. Thaksin is currently of advanced age and faces health issues, requiring medical treatment from specialist doctors. In light of these factors, His Majesty the King has granted a reduction in Mr. Thaksin’s prison sentence to one year. This reduction is intended to enable Mr. Thaksin to contribute his knowledge, abilities, and experience for the benefit of the nation, society, and the people.