THE Shinawatra siblings, Thaksin and Yingluck, yesterday publicised their trip to the United States, where they said they had met some of their “politicians and businessmen” friends.
“I had opportunities to meet with my old friends [whom I have known] since I was student, a businessman and then a politician,” Thaksin wrote in his Instagram account, @thaksinlive, under a set of photos of him and his sister Yingluck.
The siblings visited Washington DC, New York City and Kentucky state, where they studied for their masters degrees at different times.
Thaksin added: “Visiting places where I once spent my life gives me indescribable happiness.”
While it is not the first time that the two fugitive ex-PMs have publicised their appearances together since Yingluck fled Thailand last year, this is the first time Thaksin has posted photos with his sister to his social media account. The 68-year-old former premier is normally active on Facebook but only posts to Twitter and Instagram on special occasions. He also rarely posts about his private life.
However, the Shinawatras’ lives can still be seen in the social media accounts of Thaksin’s three children – Panthogntae, Paetongtarn and Pintongta – who have often posted photos of their father and aunt enjoying their life abroad.
“Father sent us a photo of himself in a KFC restaurant in Kentucky, where he used to work part-time when he was a student there,” Pintongta wrote in her Instagram account @aimpintongta.
Both Thaksin and Yingluck went into exile to avoid jail terms following court convictions. Thaksin, who faces six arrest warrants, left Thailand in 2008 after his short return to Thailand following the victory of the Phalang Prachachon Party, the reincarnation of the Thaksin-founded Thai Rak Thai Party.
Yingluck made a dramatic escape last year, just a few days before she was due to hear the court’s ruling on a case stemming from her rice-pledging scheme. She was eventually handed a five-year jail sentence in absentia.
Yingluck was not seen for months until she was spotted in London last year while shopping, and later in Shanghai and Tokyo. Despite her appearances, Yingluck has yet to make any remarks in public. Yingluck was recently granted a 10-year visa by the UK, according to a BBC Thai report that cited her close aides.