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Ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra is in neighbouring Laos, but his waiting supporters were disappointed as his flight was diverted to another airport for safety reasons.
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Ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra waves to his supporters yesterday as he makes his way to a reception to give a talk to Lao businessmen at a hotel in Vientiane, the capital of Laos. PATTANAPONG HIRUNARD
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Thaksin at Thailand border
Yesterday, a large crowd including red shirts, foreign reporters and Pheu Thai Party members gathered at Vientiane’s Wattay international airport to welcome an important visitor.
Ousted Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra was scheduled to arrive there for a short visit.
Mr Thaksin did arrive, but to the disappointment of the crowd, his private jet did not land at Wattay. According to Udon Thani red-shirt leader Kwanchai Praipana, the Lao government changed Thaksin's arrival to a Lao military airport for safety reasons.
Red-shirt supporters of the former prime minister come prepared with facemasks of their hero. NOPPARAT KINGKAEO
His plane was diverted following reports of a plot to assassinate Thaksin, and the Lao government had to step up security for him, Mr Kwanchai said.
After his arrival, Mr Thaksin thanked the Lao government for providing security.
"I managed to escape four assassination attempts thanks to my good luck and a good luang por [an amulet],” he said
"But I won't let my guard down. God may think I am still useful and so lets me live on."
During a video address to his supporters, he said his return to Thailand would likely come this year.
"With your support, I'm likely to return home this year.
"You probably think I've said often I'll come home. If I can't, please come to get me," he said.
An estimated 2,000 people gathered in Nong Khai, just across the border, to hear the ex-leader speak.
"I would like to return to Thailand, would like all of you to receive me at an airport and spend a night in Nong Khai," he added.
Speaking after arriving in Laos, Mr Thaksin insisted he was not in conflict with Privy Council president Prem Tinsulanonda, and the pair could meet for reconciliation talks.
Adapted from a story in today’s Bangkok Post by Aekarach Sattaburuth & Nopparat Kingkaeo.
ousted – forced out of a position of power ขับออกจากอำนาจ
reception – a formal party at which important people are welcomed or congratulated งานตอบรับ
capital – the most important town or city of a country, usually where the central government operates from เมืองหลวง
border – the official line separating two areas, regions or countries เขตแดน อาณาเขต
reporter – someone whose job is to write articles or make broadcasts about events in the news ผู้สื่อข่าว, นักข่าว
scheduled – planned to happen at a particular time or day ตามตารางเวลา
disappointment – the feeling of being unhappy because something that you hoped for or expected did not happen or because someone or something was not as good as you expected ความผิดหวัง
arrival – when someone reaches where they are going (arrives) ขาเข้า การเข้ามา
divert – to make somebody/something change direction เบนเส้นทาง
plot – a secret plan to do something bad แผนการลับ
assassinate – to kill a famous or important person, especially for political reasons การลอบฆ่า
step up – to increase เพิ่ม
security – protection; safety from attack, harm, or damage ความมั่นคง, ระบบรักษาความปลอดภั, ความปลอดภัย
amulet – a small object that some people wear around their neck as a protection against evil, bad luck, disease etc เครื่องราง
let your guard down – to not be careful or prepared for something difficult or dangerous
address – a formal speech คำปราศรัย
estimated – thought to be a particular amount, size, etc. based on a guess or the best information available ประมาณการ
insist – to keep saying very firmly that something is true ยืนกราน ยืนยัน
conflict – an angry disagreement between people or groups ความขัดแย้ง
Privy Council – the group of appointed advisors to the King of Thailand สภาองคมนตรีไทย
pair – two people who are doing something together คู่
reconciliation – a new and friendly relationship with someone who you argued with or fought with การทำให้ปรองดองกันอีก, การสมานฉันท์