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Irrawaddy

Potjaman seeks fortune telling in Myanmar

Photo : Irrawaddy Magazine

Photo : Irrawaddy Magazine

Kaba Aye Pagoda

Kaba Aye Pagoda

The former wife of ex-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra paid a visit to one of Burma's most famous astrologers during a recent trip to the country, Irrawaddy Magazine reported on Friday.

Earlier this month Potjaman Na Pombejra, who was reportedly visiting Myanmar with Thaksin, went to see Rangoon-based astrologer San Zarni Bo to seek advice for her former husband's wishes to return to Thailand and to ask about his business concessions in Burma. The couple divorced in 2008 after more than three decades of marriage.

The political situation is not good in Thailand, so they wanted to do some "yadaya" for internal peace and Thaksin's return to the country, a source close to the matter told The Irrawaddy on Friday. Yadaya is a form of magic practiced in Burma to ward off evil spirits and weaken one's enemies. "She also asked about their oil-related business concessions in Burma's Tanintharyi [Tenasserim] Division."

The source said Thaksin and Potjaman stopped at Kaba Aye Pagoda (World Peace Pagoda) during their trip to promote peace in Thailand. The pagoda seemed to be a perfect place for the 66-year-old ex-prime minister to perform the yadaya numerological rituals, as the Sixth Buddhist Council was once held there, the magazine said.

Thaksin also visited Burma last April over the Buddhist New Year, meeting with the commander in chief of Burma's armed forces, Gen Min Aung Hlaing, it reported.

Thaksin holds property in Dawei, the southernmost town in Tenasserim Division, where a special economic zone is planned and the multimillion-dollar Dawei deep-sea port project is under construction.

Thaksin’s latest visit to Burma was reported last week with photos showed him at a temple taking part in a merit-making ceremony. His former wife was not in the photos.

Unconfirmed reports said he was visiting to attend a supernatural ceremony in Mandalay to fight back against two leaders of the People's Democratic Reform Committee, Suthep Thaugsuban and Luang Pu Buddha Issara, who have undertaken a campaign to unseat his sister, caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

Meanwhile a Kaba Aye Pagoda official said he was not aware of Thaksin's presence at the pagoda because the ex-prime minister had not made an official visit.

"Probably, he slipped into the pagoda among other visitors, we don't know," Tun Win, a trustee member, told The Irrawaddy.

This is not the first time Thaksin has sought astrological advice from a soothsayer. According to an AFP report last year, he went to see another famous Burmese astrologer, ET, before he was ousted in a 2006 coup. At the time he was working in the telecommunications industry and wanted to ask about his prospects for power.


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