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  Home > Thailand

Thaksin, 16 Years On: Coup Was A Stab In The Back

Soldiers relax on top of their armoured car on Ratchadamnoen Avenue on the night of Sept 19, 2006, as army leaders launched their coup against then-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. (Bangkok Post photo)


 September 19th, 2022  |  22:46 PM  |   435 views



Thaksin Shinawatra has revealed what he still feels and what he is looking forward to, 16 years to the day after he was purged from power by one of the many Thai military coups.


"The coup was mapped out behind my back. I was stabbed in the back by soldiers," he said in a Facebook message posted on Monday.


Sixteen years ago, on Sept 19 2006, then-army chief Gen Sonthi Boonyaratglin led a coup d'etat, overthrowing then-prime minister Thaksin while was out of the country attending the UN General Assembly in New York.


The coup came as Thaksin faced mounting rallies by yellow-shirted demonstrators demanding his removal over corruption and abuse of power allegations. Rumours had spread before long coup day that military leaders were intent on seizing power.


Months before the coup, Thaksin had hosted a lunch at Government House for the leaders of the armed forces, including Gen Sonthi, to gauge their support.


"I can assure you that soldiers will not interfere in politics or stage a coup. I want to make it clear that our stance is neutral,'' Gen Sonthi told reporters on emerging from the luncheon talks.


Gen Sonthi recalled the coup last year, and claimed it was a success because soldiers were greeted with flowers by people on the streets.


But in Monday's post, Thaksin called it a waste and said the country had lost opportunities for almost two decades as a consequence.


The ousted prime minister has spent most of his time in Dubai and said he hoped it would not be long before he returns home. "I will probably return soon to spend my time with my grandchildren, as well as sharing my knowledge and experience with Thai society for as long as my body and brain allow," he said.


The Pheu Thai Party is campaigning for an outright victory in the coming general election, hoping to  sweep Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha and the Palang Pracharath Party from power. The main opposition party is also using Thaksin's continuing popularity to attract voters.


Tipanan Sirichana, who doubles as deputy spokeswoman for the government and Pheu Thai, on Thursday warned that Pheu Thai was moving closer to being disbanded if it continued to bank on Thaksin in its bid to return to power at the next polls.


Thaksin could be seen as trying to wield influence over the party, which was a violation of the Political Party Act, she said.



courtesy of BANGKOK POST



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