Archive for the ‘coup’ Category

Thailand’s Thaksin Divorces for “Economic, Political” Reasons

November 15, 2008

Thailand‘s ousted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his wife have divorced after 32 years of marriage, his spokesman said Saturday.

Thai newspapers reported that Thaksin, who was in power from 2001 until he was toppled in a 2006 coup, finalised the separation from his wife Pojaman at the Thai consulate in Hong Kong on Friday.

The couple have been living in exile since August to avoid jail sentences in their homeland and last week had their British visas cancelled, leaving them searching for a new refuge.

 By Anusak Konglang, AFP

In this July 31, 2008 file photo, ousted Prime Minister Thaksin ... 
In this July 31, 2008 file photo, ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra of Thailand and his wife Pojaman, left, arrive at criminal court in Bangkok, Thailand. Thaksin and Pojaman, who married in 1976, divorced at the Thai Consul General Office in Hong Kong on Friday, the English-language Nation and Bangkok Post newspapers reported.(AP Photo/Apichart Weerawong, File)

“I have had it confirmed by a credible person in his team that Thaksin and Pojaman have divorced. But I have no details,” Thaksin’s personal spokesman Phongthep Thepkanjana told AFP.

There was no immediate comment from the Thai consulate or from Hong Kong authorities.

Telecoms billionaire Thaksin announced the divorce at a dinner of MPs from Thailand’s ruling People Power Party in Hong Kong on Friday night, the Bangkok Post reported.

The cause of the divorce was not immediately clear, but Thai sources and media reports said it was more likely to be for legal or financial reasons than personal ones.

A source close to Thaksin’s family in Thailand confirmed the report but said that it would be a “divorce on paper” for practical or economic reasons.

“Thaksin and his wife remain very close and they are even closer since their problems began in Thailand,” the source told AFP on condition of anonymity.

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Thailand: Britain Revokes Visa of Former PM Thaksin

November 8, 2008

Britain has revoked the visas of ousted Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his wife, Thailand‘s foreign ministry told AFP Saturday, after they fled to the UK to escape corruption allegations.

The ministry confirmed the entry ban after an airline official said the British Embassy in Bangkok had emailed all airlines informing them not to allow the couple to board flights to Britain.


“We have received confirmation from the British authorities that they have revoked former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his wife’s visas, but they did not give any explanation,” deputy foreign ministry spokesman Thani Thongpakdee told AFP.

Thaksin, ousted in a 2006 coup, fled to Britain in early August after his wife was convicted on tax evasion charges, saying he would not receive a fair trial in Thailand.

Thailand's deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra (R) ... 
Thailand’s deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra (R) and his wife Pojaman (L). Britain has revoked the visas of ousted Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his wife, Thailand’s foreign ministry told AFP Saturday, after they fled to the UK to escape corruption allegations.(AFP/File/Pornchai Kittiwongsakul)

He has since been sentenced in absentia to two years in prison for conflict of interest after helping his wife buy state-owned land when he was prime minister. Four other corruption cases are outstanding against him.

His exact whereabouts on Saturday were unknown, but local media reported he was travelling from China to the Philippines.

Embassy officials have refused to comment, but in the email to airlines, seen by AFP, Bangkok-based immigration liaison manager Andy Gray, from the UK Border Agency wrote:

“The United Kingdom Border Agency has revoked the UK visas held by the following Thai nationals: Thaksin ShinawatraPotjaman Shinawatra,” listing the pair’s passport numbers.

“The UK visas contained in the passports of the individuals listed above are no longer valid for travel. Airlines are advised not to carry these passengers to the UK,” the email said.

Thaksin’s Thailand-based spokesman said he could not confirm the ban.

“What I can verify is that Thaksin has not received any document from the British authorities concerning this issue…. But if it’s true Thaksin can clarify the matter,” said Phonthep Thepkanjana.

In October a British Home Office spokesman said Thaksin and his wife had applied for political asylum, but people close to Thaksin were later quoted in Thai media as saying that report was incorrect.

Thaksin’s critics in Thailand, supported by a group called the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), have occupied the grounds of the prime minister’s offices since August, accusing the current government of running the country on his behalf.

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Pakistan opposition meets amid anti-Musharraf protests

February 21, 2008

By Danny Kemp 

ISLAMABAD (AFP) – The widower of Pakistan‘s slain ex-premier Benazir Bhutto met political leaders to discuss forming a coalition on Thursday as police clashed with protesters opposed to President Pervez Musharraf.
Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf speaks to reporters at ... 
President Musharraf

Asif Ali Zardari was set to hold talks with ex-premier Nawaz Sharif on an alliance that could lead to the impeachment of Musharraf following the defeat of the president’s allies in parliamentary elections on Monday.

With other smaller parties on their side, they are close to the two-thirds majority they would need to seek Musharraf’s impeachment, leaving him in the most precarious position since he seized power in a 1999 coup.

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Thailand: New PM Also To Take Defense Minister’s Job To Deter Military Coup

February 4, 2008

(AP) BANGKOK, THAILAND: Thailand’s new prime minister said Sunday (3 Feb) that he will also become the defense minister in a soon-to-be unveiled Cabinet to deter the military from staging a coup against his government.

The cabinet, to be announced in the coming days, is expected to be stocked with close advisers, friends and relatives of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was toppled in a 2006 military coup.

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Thailand: Banned Book Indicates “Fascist-Like” Regime

January 11, 2008

The (Australia)
January 11, 2008

Thailand’s banning of a rare “warts and all” biography of revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej could risk an eventual explosion of pent-up political tension, an academic says.

“Banning books is usually something we associate with fascist and repressive regimes,” Australian anthropologist Annette Hamilton told a seminar on the book The King Never Smiles at an international Thai studies conference in Bangkok on Thursday.

“When silence is enforced for a long time, noise – when it comes – is deafening.”

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Thailand: Ex-Premier’s Wife Arrested

January 9, 2008

By Thomas Fuller
The New York Times
January 9, 2008

Pojaman Shinawatra, the wife of the ousted prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, returned to Thailand to fight corruption charges. She was met by the police after her flight arrived from Hong Kong, arrested, quickly released on bail, and ordered not to leave the country.

Analysts said her return — the couple have been living mostly in London and Hong Kong since a military coup in 2006 — signaled confidence that the political situation, still unsettled after a victory by Mr. Thaksin’s allies in elections last month, would turn in their favor once a new government has been formed.

Noppadol Pattama, a lawyer for the family, said Monday that Mr. Thaksin planned to return by mid-April. He is charged in the same cases as his wife, charges brought by the generals who carried out the coup.

Muhammad reports: Some In Pakistan Applaud Mrs. Bhutto’s Death; Some Mourn

December 27, 2007

Dear John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom

Dear Sir,

Whole Pakistan has plunged into complete choas after the killing of PPP Chairperson Benazir Bhutto in Rawalpindi. The reaction is very severe in various parts of the country including the tribal areas.

Presently the terrorists have been celeberating the killing of great leader of Pakistan as she was the last hurdle in their way.

What will be the future of Pakistan? No one knows as there is complete confusion all over the country.

The death of Benazir Bhutto, the last hope of people of Pakistan has been received with great shock and terror. At the moment there is terror everywhere. The administration is also confused as they do not know how to control the situation.

Dear Sir, please remember us in your prayers and good wishes. We have been needing your good wishes and sympathies and help. At the moment I am in Peshawar, the capital of North West Frontier Province where the situation is out of control as loud voices of firing can be heard from everywhere.

Again thank you very much,

Yours sincerely,

Muhammad Khurshid
Khar, Bajaur Agency,Tribal Areas Pakistan

Deposed Thai prime minister plans return

December 25, 2007
By RUNGRAWEE C. PINYORAT, Associated Press Writer 3 minutes ago

BANGKOK, Thailand – Deposed Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said Tuesday he was planning to return home from exile and might advise the victorious party in last weekend’s elections, sparking fears of another year of intense political conflict in Thailand.

Speaking in Hong Kong, Thaksin said he will “explore options” for a comeback between mid-February and April, but will not resume his political career after being ousted in a bloodless coup d’etat last year.

“I really want to go back as a normal citizen. Enough is enough for politics,” said Thaksin, who is legally barred from holding office, at a press conference.

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Thaksin Allies Apparently Win in Thailand

December 23, 2007
By DENIS D. GRAY, Associated Press Writer 

BANGKOK, Thailand – Former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, deposed, exiled and allegedly corrupt, was poised for a comeback-by-proxy as exit polls showed his allies won Sunday’s post-coup election.

With 80 percent of the vote counted, the pro-Thaksin People’s Power Party won 230 seats in the 480-seat lower house of parliament, the Election Commission said.

The rival Democrat Party won 161 seats.

Thaksin Shinawatra
ทักษิณ ชินวัตร
Thaksin Shinawatra

The outcome is likely to deepen the country’s two-year political crisis.

The information from Thailand‘s two leading polling agencies, however, differed on whether the pro-Thaksin People’s Power Party had won an absolute majority in the 480-seat lower house of parliament. The final results might still allow the PPP’s opponents to form a coalition government.

Thaksin was ousted in a bloodless coup in September 2006 but remains ….

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Thailand holds first election since coup

December 23, 2007
By DENIS D. GRAY, Associated Press Writer

BANGKOK, Thailand – Former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, deposed, exiled and allegedly corrupt, was poised for a comeback-by-proxy as his loyalists looked likely to win Thailand‘s national election Sunday.

Thaksin, ousted from power by a bloodless military coup 15 months ago, may also come back in person early next year, sparking fears of political turbulence and sharp polarization which has already plagued Thailand for two years.

The election, which is supposed to restore democracy after the coup, comes after almost two years of intense political instability that began with popular demonstrations demanding that Thaksin step down because of alleged corruption and abuse of power. The protest culminated in the coup.

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Thaksin Allies Apparently Win in Thailand