Thaksin Shinawatra has been outside Thailand, in self-imposed exile, since 2008. A military regime has been in power and more or less total control since 22 May 2014. Yet, if a report at the Bangkok Post is to be believed, the major threat to Thailand’s ruling elite and its military is none other than Thaksin.
The military junta has announced that it “will not allow politicians currently under military surveillance to travel abroad to meet … Thaksin…” on his birthday.
Army boss and junta member General Udomdej Sitabutr announced: “We won’t give them permission if we think their travel could instigate unrest…”.
As far as we are aware, none of these persons “currently under military surveillance” has been convicted of any crime.
But because this is a military dictatorship, it can make up “rules” as it goes along.
Even so, it is remarkable that these military bosses are so frightened of Thaksin in exile. Udomdej judges that it is “not right to go abroad and scheme to disrupt the work of the government. I am responsible for national security. I won’t let it happen…”.
Udomdej must have nightmares that Thaksin could mobilize against the regime. Not that there’s much evidence of this since the coup. Yet these military men seem a very frightened lot.