Former Prime Minister Thaksin To Return to Thailand in August

Ex-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is scheduled to land at Don Mueang airport on August 10, according to a post made by his daughter Paetongtarn “Ung Ing” Shinawatra on Instagram on Wednesday.

“I can’t quite believe what I am typing, my father is returning on Aug 10 at Don Mueang airport,” Ms. Paetongtarn posted on the occasion of her father’s 74th birthday.

As per the prime ministerial nominee of the Pheu Thai Party, she has missed only three of her father’s birthdays, the most recent being this year, due to numerous preparatory activities.

“(Our family) is both glad and worried, but we always respect our father’s decisions,” Ms Paetongtarn stated in her post.

She sent heartfelt wishes to her father, expressing hope for his well-being and security, as well as his ability to realize his dream of routinely escorting his grandkids to school.

In her post, Ms. Paetongtarn also mentioned that her father, as a prime minister, was renowned for his numerous national contributions, but he also encountered challenges and unfair treatment.

She added that Thaksin had disclosed his intention to return to Thailand since the early part of the previous year.

On his birthday, Thaksin engaged in a video call from overseas while his admirers conducted a merit-making ceremony in his honuor in Ubon Ratchathani.

Attendees included local residents, and both present and past Pheu Thai MPs from the northeastern province.

He shared with them that he would no longer be celebrating his birthday outside Thailand after this year.

“In several days I will be home and I look forward to visiting all of you in Ubon (Ratchathani)… I thank the people of Ubon for your support towards me and the Pheu Thai Party,” the ousted prime minister declared.

“We will be closer after my return. The economy, after Pheu Thai becomes government, should significantly improve,” Thaksin assured.

Thaksin has been in self-imposed exile since he was overthrown by a military coup on September 19, 2006, apart from a short visit to the country in 2008.

In his absence, he was sentenced to a cumulative 12 years of imprisonment in four cases by the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Political Position Holders.

In the initial case, Thaksin was convicted for misuse of power in facilitating his then-wife Khunying Potjaman na Pombejra’s acquisition of state-owned land in Ratchadaphisek for a price below market value.

This led to a two-year prison term. The 10-year statutory limitation on the court decision expired in October 2018.

In the second case, the former prime minister, deemed a fugitive, received a two-year sentence for his role in the misconduct involving the two- and three-digit lottery scheme.

In the third case, Thaksin was sentenced to three years in prison for misuse of his position to authorize a 4 billion baht loan to Myanmar via Thailand’s Export-Import (Exim) Bank.

These funds were utilized to buy equipment from a telecom firm owned by his family.

In the final case, Thaksin received a five-year sentence when the court determined that he used nominees to hold shares in Shin Corp, a telecom company – an act forbidden for any political office holder.

The statutory limitations for the judgements related to the second, third and fourth cases have not yet expired.