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Thaksin's powerful friends in the West

Re: "US unimpressed by year-long road map to elections", Politics, June 1.

News that the US government has dismissed as unacceptable the plan by Army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha to delay elections in Thailand for a year comes as no surprise.

The US was closely linked with former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra even before he came to power in 2001. In 1998 Thaksin invited then-president George HW Bush to Bangkok as his personal guest.

A few months later the Carlyle Group, one of the largest assets-management groups in the US, with investments spread all over the world, appointed Thaksin a member of its Asia Advisory Board.

It was clear that Bush, who was a senior member on the Carlyle Asia Advisory Board at that time, was responsible for Thaksin's appointment as an adviser.

Thaksin has enjoyed close links with American politicians and business tycoons ever since.

This is why some accuse Thaksin of being too "chummy" with Western powers for Thailand's own good.

Vint Chavala

Bangkok


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