PRIME MINISTER General Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday urged other countries to respect Thailand and its rights, particularly regarding action against Thai lawbreakers overseas.
He said they should cooperate with Thailand in sending back fugitive lawbreakers as Thailand did when it was asked to extradite wanted foreign criminals. His remarks came just days after fugitive former premiers Thaksin and Yingluck Shinawatra were reportedly spotted in Beijing.
Speaking to more than 55 envoys and representatives from international organisations, Prayut asked them to watch out for Thai wrongdoers who had fled abroad.
“When wrongdoers wanted in foreign countries are in Thailand, we make arrests, prosecute them and deport them to the countries of origins,” Prayut said in his speech at Government House.
“This should work vice-versa with every other country. We have due respect for the laws of foreign countries and they should respect ours as well. Thailand also has dignity and human rights,” he said.
At yesterday’s event to promote human rights as a national agenda, Prayut consistently slammed “two people living overseas” who he blamed for lacking respect for the judicial system.
“There are two people who make moves overseas and still stir up trouble in Thailand,” he said.
But the premier refused to refer directly to Thaksin and Yingluck. “I have no comment. It’s about foreign countries and related agencies. They’ve always worked, but it’s not every time that they can bring them [fugitives] back,” he said.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai said yesterday the government had received an unofficial report to confirm that Yingluck was in Beijing.
He said Prayut had not made any special instructions regarding the matter. “We do not consider this a matter of life or death,” Don told reporters at Government House.
Deputy national police chief Pol General Srivara Ransibhramanakul yesterday said he had instructed the Royal Thai Police’s foreign affairs division to ask Interpol about the latest situation regarding Thaksin and Yingluck. The Shinawatra siblings are both wanted under Thai law.
Srivara said Thai police wanted to know details about Thaksin and Yingluck’s travels in China, such as their flight itineraries, from where they flew, and what passports they had used. Also, he instructed the Police Forensic Science Office to determine whether the photo of Thaksin and Yingluck purportedly taken in Beijing recently was genuine.
He said the police were still seeking Yingluck for prosecution at home, as had been instructed by the government.
Yingluck fled Thailand last August and was later sentenced to five years in jail for negligence in a case stemming from her government’s corruption-plagued rice-pledging scheme.