Thaksin Shinwatra’s personal secretary and Thai government sources have denied media reports claiming death threats were made against the controversial ousted former prime minister during his trip to Cambodia over the New Year holiday.
Thailand’s The Nation newspaper yesterday reported that Thai Defence Minister General Sukampol Suwannathat had said Thaksin had cancelled a trip to visit a market because of a death threat and instead flew to visit Hun Sen’s father, Hun Neang.
But Thaksin’s personal secretary Noppadol Pattama told the Post yesterday: “We are not aware of any death threats or assignation attempts against Dr Thaksin.
“Preparations went well and no nasty incidents took place during his stay in Cambodia. We are thankful to Prime Minister Hun Sen for taking such good care of Dr Thaksin,” he said.
Prak Chan Thoeun, deputy commander of military police in Siem Reap, called the reported death threats “completely exaggerated information”.
Jarupan Kuldiloke, the spokeswoman of Thaksin’s Puea Thai party, said by email yesterday that Sukampol Suwannathat had been misquoted and that “red-shirt” leader Nuttawut Saikua had also denied any threats had been made.
“It is a local red shirts leader in Chiangmai said this news. But nobody else have heard about the assassination [threat],” the email said.
The “red shirts” is the common name for the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship, the political pressure group that allies itself with Puea Thai, which now holds power in Thailand under the leadership of Thaksin’s sister Yingluck Shinawatra.
Thaksin was greeted by tens of thousands of adoring red-shirt supporters over the weekend in Siem Reap, where he pledged to return home soon before leaving the country on Monday.
He was ousted during a bloodless coup in 2006 and later fled the country after being found guilty of corruption.
To contact the reporter on this story: David Boyle at [email protected]