APRIL FOOLS' DAY
Rumours that Thaksin Shinawatra had died in a road accident and a southern militant leader had been arrested sent many scurrying to find out more yesterday, only to discover they had been duped by April Fool jokes.
Thaksin's Twitter page, which had been inactive for more than four months, came back to life yesterday as the ousted premier sought to clarify he had not been killed in a car accident in Dubai and was still alive and well.
``There was no such accident,'' Thaksin said on his Twitter page (@ThaksinLive) yesterday afternoon in response to the rumours about his death.
Spreading bad rumours about people was what some Thais did to folks they disliked, Thaksin tweeted.
``We'd better not mind them so that we will live a long life. A lie once a year is better than many lies all year round,'' he said.
Thaksin last communicated to his legions of supporters through Twitter in November last year.
The de facto leader of the Pheu Thai Party also told his Facebook followers he plans to share his experiences with them by writing about his frequent trips around the world.
``I've seen many good things that will benefit Thais. I fear they may disappear, so I have to tell them through Facebook,'' he said.
His son, Panthongtae, expressed his unhappiness regarding the rumour, describing it as ``too harsh'' and said ``my dad will not be patient much longer''.
Mr Panthongtae said on his Facebook page that his father had already flown back to Thailand, in an apparent attempt to retaliate against those who spread rumours about Thaksin's death.
He joked that Thaksin was on his way to Chiang Mai where he planned to contest a by-election later this month in place of his younger sister Yaowapa Wongsawat.
The other rumour yesterday claimed Masae Useng, a key leader of insurgent group Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) Coordinate, was arrested while visiting the Motor Show at Impact Challenger Hall in Muang Thong Thani.
Mr Masae was said to be carrying 50 million baht in cash and looking to buy a car when he was detained, before being sent to the 11th Military Circle in Bangkok.
The National Security Council (NSC) came out to deny the report about the militant leader's arrest.
NSC secretary-general Paradorn Pattanatabut said: ``This must be one of those April Fool jokes.''