Thaksin birthday speech calls for unity first
- Published: 26/07/2013 at 02:46 PM
- Online news:
Former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra has called on Thai people to reconcile their differences for the sake of the country in a video posted online marking his 64th birthday on Friday, July 26,
The video was uploaded to the video-sharing website YouTube by his son Panthongtae "Oak" Shinawatra on Thursday night.
In the video, Thaksin said he was ousted by a military coup when he was 57 years old and had stayed abroad. Two years later, he returned briefly to Thailand.
"At the time, I thought that I should probably make merit on my 60th birthday abroad because they would definitely come to get me," Thaksin said.
"Now, I'm 64 and I have not returned home since, but the most important thing is that my brothers and sisters have not forgotten me."
By "brothers and sisters" he was referring in context to his red-shirt supporters.
Thaksin said he often felt lonely and missed Thailand and his family, but his friends and supporters regularly visit him in Dubai.
"People say that the best Thai restaurant in the world is at my home in Dubai, because of the delicious food from different provinces brought by my visiting brothers and sisters," he said.
He said he wanted to return home but he had to persevere because there was "some kind of duty" that he must do.
"I'm worried for Thailand. There are problems that can be solved but we left them unsolved due to the lack of trust and the rifts between us.
"If we turn and talk to each other, create unity and discuss ways to deal with the problems in the country's best interest, I'm confident that our country will prosper again," Thaksin said.
He said national reconciliation is a top priority, not when he will come back home. If the conflict continued it would affect neighbouring countries' confidence in and respect towards Thailand.
The video on YouTube received mostly negative responses from netizens.
However, the two most "liked" comments were written by a poster who went by the name CkW38 and Chawalit Peeree.
CkW38 wrote, "This is very touching that I almost cry, you animal!!!!"
The other wrote, "You [Thaksin] said you went to watch the opening of the Olympics in China. Why did you flee? Why didn't you return? Who's hunting you? You just decided to run away. Are you confused?"
As of Thursday afternoon, the comment and "like and dislke" sections were disabled.
Noppadon Pattama, Thaksin's legal adviser, said on Friday that prominent members of the ruling Pheu Thai Party had flown to Hong Kong to give birthday wishes to the former premier.
"The Pheu Thai members did not discuss the amnesty bill issue with Thaksin," Mr Noppadon said.
He said his boss had been in China and left to take a vacation in Hong Kong, and was expected to return to China by the end of this week.
Thaksin's son Oak posted a message on his Facebook page, saying one of the coup makers who previously sided with his father and later became his opponent had said that it would take no longer than six months for Thai people to forget Thaksin after the Sept 19, 2006 coup.
"Seven years have passed, the people who love justice still love my father and want him to return home," Oak said.
About the author
- Writer: Online Reporters
Position: Online Reporters