Fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra tweeted his concern about the “livelihood of fellow Thai citizens” on Tuesday, on the 11th anniversary of the military coup that ousted his government.
“I hope the memory of what happened 11 years ago has not faded from the hearts of Thai people,” he said, in English, via his Twitter account @thaksinlive. “I am, and will always be, concerned about the livelihood of my fellow Thai citizens.”
On September 19, 2006, then-Army chief General Sonthi Boonyaratglin staged a coup against Thaksin’s elected caretaker government after two years of protests against the businessman-turned-politician’s administration over a series of alleged corruption issues.
Thaksin was ousted in mid-air while on a flight to New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly.
The coup was followed by a decade of political turmoil and short-termed governments and premiers, before General Prayut Chan-o-cha, as the then-Army chief, staged another coup in May 2014 and has ruled Thailand since.
The tweet, meanwhile, is the second time that Thaksin has made statements via his social-media account since his sister, former PM Yingluck Shinawatra, disappeared last month ahead of the verdict against her in a case stemming from her alleged negligence in her government’s management of a controversial rice-pledging scheme.
Yingluck was nowhere to be seen on August 25, when she was due to hear the ruling, leaving her former commerce minister Boonsong Teriyapirom to face a sentence of 42 years in jail for faking rice deals in relation to the scheme.
The whereabouts of Thaksin’s fugitive sister are still unknown.
Five days later, Thaksin quoted French philosopher Montesquieu, who said: “There is no crueller tyranny than that which is perpetuated under the shield of law and in the name of justice.”