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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Thaksin leaves Dubai for Switzerland

Fugitive, ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra has left Dubai and is expected to join his daughters in Switzerland, said Panich Vikitsreth, Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs, on Saturday.

Mr Panich said in a telephone interview with the Thai News Agency that Mr Thaksin was not travelling to Cambodia as reported. He said the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government has informed Thailand that Mr Thaksin had left Dubai.

He added the UAE had acknowledged Thailand's request to ban Mr Thaksin, whose government was ousted in a bloodless coup in September 2006, from using the UAE as a springboard in attacking the Thai government.

“It’s still unclear which country Mr Thaksin is heading,” said Mr Panich, noting that the ousted premier was using Montenegro and Nicaraguan passports. It is believed that he would join his daughters who have travelled to Switzerland.

According to Mr Panich, Mr Thaksin’s ex-wife Pojaman Na Pombejra and her son journeyed to Hong Kong last week, while former prime minister Somchai Wongsawat, a brother-in-law of Mr Thaksin, has reportedly travelled to Cambodia.

Mr Thaksin’s latest movement comes as protesters of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship who are his staunch supporters are holding a major rally in the Thai capital to oust the coalition government of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and calling for a fresh election.
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Thaksin insists he's in Europe, not Cambodia


Thaksin Shinawatra last night told his red-shirt followers that he was currently in Europe, not Cambodia as speculated earlier.

During a phone-in to his supporters' People TV station, the fugitive former prime minister also dismissed a government report that the United Arab Emirates had expelled him.

Dubai, one of the seven emirates, has been Thaksin's residence over the past year.

Thaksin said he would phone in again today.

Meanwhile, the court yesterday approved an arrest warrant for Arisman Pongruangrong, a key red-shirt figure, for instigating riots.

Arisman last night joined the anti-government rally's main stage on Rajdamnoen Avenue along with other red-shirt leaders, who said he would surrender to the police on April 1.
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