ODDBALL NEWS OF 2012
The rumour about an assassination plot against ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra lost credibility soon after it hit the news.
In a post on his Facebook page on Nov 4, Panthongtae Shinawatra, son of former prime minister Thaksin, says the arrest of a tribesman and seizure of weapons in Tachilek was possibly linked to an assassination plot against his father.
The reports emerged just before his visit to Myanmar in early November. Posting on his Facebook page, Thaksin's son, Panthongtae Shinawatra, claimed his father's life was in danger after a tribesman was arrested on Nov2 at a house near the Regina Hotel in Tachilek township where Thaksin was scheduled to stay.
Authorities also found a cache of war weapons including three rocket-propelled grenades, three sets of explosives, 10 M16 bullets, and one M16 magazine.
At first, security personnel from Defence Minister Sukumpol Suwannathat down to National Security Council chief Paradorn Patthanathabutr all denied any link between the arrest and any alleged plot to assassinate Thaksin.
However, when Panthongthae reasserted on his Facebook page that the arrest really did represent a fifth, foiled attempt on his father's life, and begged Thaksin to cancel his trip to Tachilek, officials began to take more notice. They also gave conflicting information about the arrest.
Lt Gen Paradon said Thai authorities would have to wait for the results of an investigation by the Myanmar authorities.
Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung sided with Thaksin's son. He said the rumour could be true and he had learned the case also involved the illicit drugs trade. Myanmar authorities denied the assassination possibility.
Eventually, Thaksin called off his visit to Tachilek and only went to Nay Pyi Taw.
His cancellation dashed the hopes of his supporters in the government who were hoping to take advantage of the opportunity to lobby him for seats in cabinet.
One supporter who failed to meet Thaksin was red shirt leader Jatuporn Prompan.
When the cabinet reshuffle was announced shortly after, he once again failed to make it to the coveted list.
About the author
- Writer: Aekarach Sattaburuth