Thaksin's appearance 'just a coincidence'
BANGKOK - Former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra's appearance at a muay Thai event in Macau on Sunday night that was broadcast live on state-run Channel 11 was just a coincidence, Pheu Thai Party spokesman Prompong Nopparit said on Monday.
- Published: 10/12/2012 at 02:39 PM
- Newspaper section: topstories
Prompong Nopparit (Photo by Surapol Promsaka na Sakolnakorn)
"The people who are criticising Thaksin's appearance are those who have a hidden political agenda," Mr Prompong said.
He said the air time was leased to a private company in advance, just like other broadcast rights for sporting events in general, and no one in the government or Pheu Thai intervened in the broadcast.
"The appearance of Thaksin was a coincidence. He was attending an economic seminar in Hong Kong and he was invited by a close associate to preside over the muay Thai event," the Pheu Thai spokesman said.
He believed that Channel 11 did not know beforehand that Thaksin would appear at the event. However, it was not unusual for the former premier to show up at events, because he had not caused trouble for anyone.
"Thaksin is a Thai man and he has the right, as a Thai person, to show his loyalty [to the monarchy]," Mr Prompong said.
Suriyasai Katasila, the Green Politics group spokesman and an anti-government activist, said Thaksin's appearance last night did not happen by chance.
"I think that a political group and Channel 11 executives colluded" about broadcasting Thaksin's presence and speech, he said.
"This is definitely not a coincidence. There must have been preparations in advance because Thaksin was reading from a script when giving his speech.
"Thaksin was using this event to clear and protect himself," Mr Suriyasai said.
He called on Channel 11 chief Thirapong Sodasri to show responsibility for his failure to properly administer his station by resigning.
He said the Green Politics group will file a petition against people behind this broadcast with the National Anti-Corruption Commission this week.
Gen Boonlert Kaewprasit, left, and Thaksin Shinawatra (Photos by Chanat Katanyu and Bloomberg)
Former Pitak Siam leader Boonlert Kaewprasit said on Monay the audio clip which the Pitak Siam group claimed was the voice of Thaksin insulting the monarchy was authentic.
Gen Boonlert, also known as Seh Ai, said the audio clip, played during the anti-government rally by Pitak Siam on Nov 24 was not doctored as claimed by Thaksin during his speech in Macau screened live on TV Channel 11.
The retired general said he was not afraid if Thaksin decided to sue him.
"I think that Thaksin is dying to return to Thailand and that he is selfish for using state-run TV, paid for by people's taxes, to express his 'loyalty' [to the monarchy].
"I suggest to him that he return home, pay respect to His Majesty the King, surrender and go to prison, and accept the Thai law, so he can then ask for a royal pardon," Gen Boonlert said.
He said he would not take legal action against Channel 11 because he had no authority to do so, but he would continue the fight against Thaksin.
"If Thaksin wants to return home and is still rich, he can hire people to stage a coup for him," he said.
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- Writer: Online Reporters
- Position: Online Reporters