Thaksin Wants to Return
The former Prime Minister of Thailand Thaksin Shinawatra has spoken and said that he will “never” give up on returning to Thailand. However he does continue to say that he will stay out if he sees that the country is moving forward and that the government shows respect for the voice of the people.
He said so as he was speaking from the Metropolitan Club in New York City. There he was interviewed about topics ranging from Donald Trump to his financial assets.
Thaksin and the military
The former Prime Minister is currently living in exile from his home country after the military took power in a coup 2006. During the interview he slammed, as he has done before, the Thai junta’s proposed constitution. He claims that it will “drag the country backward” and he feels that the junta is bullying both him and his supporters.
He also talked about how he now have to use his Montenegro passport to travel and that he can go anywhere in the world “except Thailand”. The military junta revoked his Thai passport and they also seized a majority of his assets, ato ne time he described his family’s wealth as modest, saying that it is about US$1 billion.
When Thaksin was working in the government he and his family frequently got accused of corruption by their opponents. Now he says that if he would be allowed back in Thailand he would have no part in any of its politics.
Is that a promise he can keep? Right now it seems as if we might not find out for a while.
A spokesperson for the current government commented on his previous public statement, saying that Thaksin is “a person without credibility who thinks he is above the law.” The former P.M on the other hand has a message to his junta opponents, he wants them to talk to him.
When I was backpacking in Thailand I got to hear a lot about this subject. It was not openly discussed often at all but when one-on-one some Thais I met told me their honest opinions about it.
What I came to understand was that some liked Thaksin a lot and some are very happy that he is gone. I guess that is kind of usual but I also learned that most of them were happier now after he was gone. They said that even though they can not express themselves freely about the military without being at risk of repercussions, the country feels safer than it was before and that the corruption is slowly decreasing.
All in all they claimed to be happier now, arguing that they rather feel safe to live rather than safe to speak. After all, speaking they can do at home. I guess that is easy to understand even though it seems so different from what I am used to in Sweden.
Hopefully Thailand will be allowed to progress no matter who is leading it, even though the power of course should be in the hands of the people.
Do you think that Thaksin will be allowed back to Thailand? Leave a comment.