Friday, November 21, 2008

Thai former PM Thaksin or ex-wife might return on Dec. 25

BANGKOK, Nov. 20 Xinhua -- Thailand's ruling People Power Party MP Pracha Prasopdee on Thursday hinted that either former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra or his ex-wife Pojaman might return from exile on or before Dec. 25, a Thai media reported.

    "Just carefully monitor Thaksin's phone-in on December 13 and see what will happen on December 25 when someone is supposed to arrive by a THAI flight from Hong Kong to Bangkok's Suvanabhumi Airport at 9:45 a.m. (0245 GMT)," Pracha Prasopdee told The Nation news website in an interview.

    Pracha said Thaksin's opponents should respect the justice system, otherwise the situation might trigger bloodshed.

    If Thaksin returns, the authorities are obligated to arrest and send him to jail but before doing that, they should take precautions because a large number of supporters will turn up to rally behind him, he said.

    He said he saw no reason why Thaksin would not be willing to serve his jail term.

    If the country is to overcome its political predicament, all sides should support the passage of a legislation granting amnesty to rival camps, he said, arguing that the draft legislation should be on a fast track for debate at the next House session in January.

    The amnesty would allow a fresh start for all sides, including the People's Alliance for Democracy and is the only hope to overcome turmoil, he said.

    Thaksin was ousted in a coup in September, 2006 and went into self-exile in London before his and Pojaman's visas were revoked.

    Thaksin was now believed in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

    Thaksin and Pojaman reportedly ended their 32-year-old marriage last Friday at the Thai consulate in Hong Kong.

    On Oct. 21, Thailand's Supreme Court for Political Office Holders sentenced Thaksin to two years in jail for abusing his powers as prime minister in 2003 by allowing his wife to bid on a plot of land put up for public auction.

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