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No updates on health of convicted former PM Thaksin

Thaksin Shinawatra returns to Thailand
PHOTO: Thaksin Shinawatra returns to Thailand in August 2023

No news is not good news, say the government’s critics, with calls mounting for an update on the health of Thaksin Shinawatra. The convicted former PM was arrested on his return to Thailand on August 22 and incarcerated at Bangkok Remand Prison.

But that didn’t last for long. Less than 24 hours later, he was transferred to the Police General Hospital due to chest pains, high blood pressure, and low blood oxygen. Following some initial reports on his condition, the updates started to peter out and then it all went quiet…

The Bangkok Post reports that it’s now been 100 days since Thaksin’s transfer to the Police General Hospital. With accusations of preferential treatment swirling, former election commissioner and government critic Somchai Srisutthiyakorn, is demanding an explanation.

Posting on his Facebook page yesterday, Somchai says the government faces a potential crisis, potentially affecting PM Srettha Thavisin’s leadership.

“(Thaksin) has been in a VIP room at the Police General Hospital for 100 days. If the government can’t clarify the truth about this privilege, the issue will become a crisis for the government and also the premier.”

With Thaksin long seen as the “godfather” of the governing Pheu Thai Party, the lack of clarity surrounding him is affecting trust in the government. Somchai adds that the silence risks causing serious damage to the country’s justice system.

“Parties come and go, but when the public does not trust the political institution and the justice system, the issue is more serious. A lack of clarification can damage the justice system as a whole.”

Also taking to Facebook to call for a Thaksin update is Pichit Chaimongkol, leader of the Network of Students and People Reforming Thailand.

“This is the 100th day of justice being distorted.”

Meanwhile, the leader of the Pheu Thai Party and Thaksin’s youngest daughter, Paetongtarn Shinawatra, denies her father will receive a royal pardon on December 5.

December 5 is an important date in the Thai calendar, commemorating the birthday of His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. It is also both Thailand’s National Day and Father’s Day.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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