Thaksin Seen Visiting City Pillar Before Leaving for Chiang Mai

Early on Thursday morning, former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra visited the City Pillar Shrine in Bangkok, looking healthier before heading to his hometown of Chiang Mai.

Thaksin arrived at the shrine, which is open to the public from 6:30am to 6:30pm, in a black Mercedes-Benz van at 5:19am.

Accompanying him were his youngest daughter, Paetongtarn Shinawatra, the leader of the Pheu Thai Party, and her husband, Pitaka Suksawat.

The convicted former prime minister approached the sacred site wearing a face mask and neck brace. Markedly, the 74-year-old no longer required an arm brace or wheelchair, a sign of health improvement since his parole.

During his visit, Thaksin paid homage to the city’s guardian spirits by offering gifts, placing offerings, and attaching gold leaf, as well as tying color bands around a replica of the pillar.

He departed after 26 minutes, avoiding the press since reporters were prevented from getting close to the shrine, guarded by the police.

Thaksin was scheduled to fly to Chiang Mai in the north on his private jet from Don Mueang airport at 7am, with plans to return to Bangkok by Saturday.

On the morning of February 18, Thaksin was discharged from Police General Hospital where he had been treated for severe, potentially fatal illnesses for six months, after his return to Thailand on August 22, 2023.

The judiciary determined his eligibility for parole, considering his age over 70, his serious health condition, and the fact he was deemed to have served a portion of his sentence during his hospital stay.

Upon his return to Thailand on August 22, 2023, Thaksin was taken to the Supreme Court, receiving an eight-year prison sentence for three charges.

Initially placed in Bangkok Remand Prison, he was transferred to Police General Hospital later that night or early the next morning for advanced medical care for serious conditions, including chest pain, hypertension, and low blood oxygen levels.

A royal pardon in September 2023 reduced his eight-year sentence to one year.