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Thaksin seeks and offers forgiveness

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra gets a kiss from her son while celebrating the Thai New Year in her hometown of Chiang Mai yesterday.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra gets a kiss from her son while celebrating the Thai New Year in her hometown of Chiang Mai yesterday.

Former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra yesterday used the occasion of Songkran, the Thai New Year, to apologise to those seniors whom he had "hurt" and also forgave those who had "hurt" him, while sending his good wishes to Thais on his Facebook page.

"I am a Buddhist and grew up in the environment and culture of northerners, so I always want to uphold this value [apologise and forgive],'' he said.

But Thaksin, who many believe to be the de facto leader of the ruling Pheu Thai Party, also expressed nostalgia and said he was homesick. "I am well, living abroad, but I miss home sometimes, though I'm starting to get used to it. It is during Songkran that I feel more homesick,'' he said.

Thaksin said Songkran Day is a good time to remove inauspiciousness from the body and mind. "We should at least have a day when we can start life afresh, in an auspicious way, and forget bad things and prejudices for the sake of the country and countrymen,'' he wrote.

His sister, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, also sent wishes to Thais via her Facebook page and through her weekly programme "Yingluck Government Meets the People", stressing on upholding family values, Thai culture and tradition. "Thais have worked hard the whole year. They can recharge their battery during Songkran,'' she said.

She urged Thais to celebrate Songkran without alcohol and dress discreetly.

Opposition leader Abhisit Vejjajiva wished all Thais safe travel during the Songkran festival, saying he believed Thai politics in April would be calm if the government does not push for the speedy passage of the amnesty bills and charter amendment.

Parliament will close on April 20 and reconvene at the end of May. He urged the government to let the legal procedure move step by step, saying he believed the government will campaign for national reconciliation after Parliament closes.




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