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'Time not ripe for homecoming', says Thai ex-PM Thaksin

Publication Date : 16-04-2012


Fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra yesterday reiterated his wish to end his life in exile and make a longed-for comeback to Thailand this year, which he said was marked by auspicious occasions for the Royal Family.

After leading red-shirt well-wishers in merit-making at Angkor Wat in Cambodia's Siem Reap, he told reporters his desire to return to his homeland was rekindled when thousands of red-shirt followers came to greet him over Songkran.

"I'm very happy to see that the people support me and are calling on me to return home," he said.

"I was moved to see men crying and telling me to go back home…the people love and have mercy for me a lot."

Even though he had been missing his country very much since Saturday when he met a lot of red-shirt devotees, the time was not yet ripe for a homecoming.

"I would like to wait until the situation has improved to the point that I can have noodles at a roadside shop," he said.

2012 was an auspicious year for the monarchy and Thais should stop quarrelling and the rifts should be patched, he said.

His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn would turn 60 and Her Majesty the Queen would turn 80 this year -- so it was a great year for Thais, he said.

There would be no new coup, as the military had learnt it would be useless for the armed forces to seize power.

The people and all sides, except the opposition Democrat Party, would like to see reconciliation realised.

His return would not put pressure on the government of his sister Yingluck to try to bring about reconciliation, as that was a matter for Parliament.

The Democrats would eventually find themselves isolated if they did not heed the people's wish for the nation to see unity and harmony restored.

Legal cases had been initiated against him and processed through an "unfair system" so he would not return to the country to serve a jail sentence. But he would not mind facing new investigations and trials if the cases were restarted under a fair judicial system.

If he returned to Thailand, it would not be to politics because his sister had been performing well as prime minister and she would be capably assisted by former Thai Rak Thai Party executives when they emerge from their five-year political ban next month, he said.


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