After an extended period of 17 years living in self-exile, except for a brief visit to Thailand back in 2008, the former prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, has landed at Don Mueang Airport this morning at 9am, as promised on his X account 2 days ago.
Welcoming his arrival were his 3 children – including Paetongtarn, a prospective PM candidate from the Pheu Thai party, as well as representatives from assorted political factions. There were also plenty of ‘red shirts’ that turned out to greet him.
After arriving on the Shinawatra family jet Thaksin, flanked by his children and security personnel, exited the private jet terminal to offer his respects to a portrait of HM the King and Queen, before briefly meeting with his supporters.
There were plenty of waves and “wais” acknowledging the well-wishers.
Meanwhile, another Thai prime minister in exile, Yingluck Shinawatra, expressed her understanding and support for her elder brother’s decision to return to Thailand. She extended her best wishes and hopes for a safe return on her Facebook page.
She said she understood Thaksin’s feelings of solitude, melancholy and longing for Thailand during his prolonged exile, saying she appreciated that his choice to return must have been pondered over a long time.
In a final note, she promised Thaksin that she possessed the strength to “take care of herself after her six year stint abroad”, also in self-exile, after fleeing the country over trumped up charges from the military that kicked her government out of office in May 2014.