Thaksin's Facebook post on the 12th anniversary of the coup that overthrew his government brought fast military counter-attack by government spokesman Lt Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd (inset).
Former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra has called for dialogue between old political rivals and also made a jibe at the country's backwardness that was immediately met with retaliatory remarks from the government.
In a Facebook message marking the 12th anniversary of the military coup that toppled his government, Thaksin said it would be in the national interest if old foes entered into a dialogue with each other. The exiled former leader looked back over the turbulent period since then, which also saw his sister removed from power, and asked whether Thailand was really better off regarding education, health care and the economy. He accused a small fraction of benefiting from the power shifts.
"There are some people who got rich from these two coups but there are several areas which have gotten worse and our beloved Thailand is viewed unfavourably by people around the world," the 69-year-old said on the eve of the anniversary of his ousting. "Hasn't our country suffered enough?"
In the past 12 years, there had been two coups, toppling the two most popular prime ministers in Thai political history, Thaksin wrote.
Government spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd said on Tuesday that Thaksin's latest message came as no surprise, given that an election is drawing near. Responding to the former premier's perceived jibe, he insisted that the people, not Thaksin, will judge if the country is backward or not.
"People can see for themselves [what state the country is in]. If a government is corrupt and is allowed to govern, that will lead the country into dire straits," he said apparently referring to Yingluck Shinawatra's rice-pledging scheme. He said the court's ruling in her case was based on graft charges and not politically motivated, especially since many people are on trial for conspiring in the corruption.
Thaksin fled the country in 2008 before the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions sentenced him to two years for a conflict of interest while prime minister in the 2003 purchase of state-owned land by his then-wife Khunying Potjaman na Pombejra.
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backward (adj): moving in a direction that means that no progress is being made - กลับสู่อดีต, กลับสู่สิ่งที่ผ่านมา
conflict of interest : a situation in which someone cannot make a fair decision because they will be affected by the results - ผลประโยชน์ทับซ้อน
conspire (verb): to work together to do/cause something bad or harmful - ร่วมกันวางแผนร้าย
corrupt (adj.): (people) willing to use their power to do dishonest or illegal things in return for money or to get an advantage - (ผู้)ทุจริต, (ผู้)โกง
coup : the seizure of power in a country by a group of people, usually members of the armed forces - รัฐประหาร
dialogue : formal discussion between two groups or countries, especially when they are trying to solve a problem, end a disagreement, etc - การสนทนา
dire : very serious or extreme - เลวร้ายมาก
eve : the day before - ช่วงค่ำก่อนวัน(งาน)
exiled : forced to live in a foreign country, usually for political reasons - ที่ถูกเนรเทศ
foe : an enemy or opponent - ศัตรู
fraction (noun): a small part of something - ส่วนน้อย, จำนวนเล็กน้อย
graft : corruption - การฉ้อโกง
jibe : an unkind or insulting remark - คำพูดเยาะเย้ย, คำพูดเสียดสี
oust : to force to leave a position of power - ขับออกจากอำนาจ
perceived : thought of or understood in a particular way - ได้รับการมองว่า
rice-pledging scheme : a government programme in which farmers sell rice to the government at a particular price, with the right to reclaim the rice if the market price goes higher - โครงการจำนำข้าว
straits : a very difficult situation especially because of lack of money -
topple : to force out of power; to cause to fall (also oust, unseat or overthrow) - โค่นอำนาจ
turbulent : changing often or difficult to control - ผันผวน