Thaksin prepares to welcome Hun Sen

Thaksin prepares to welcome Hun Sen

Daughter sheds light on father’s condition in response to speculation about how ill he is

Thaksin Shinawatra relaxes outside his home in Charan Sanitwong Soi 69 in Bang Phlat district of Bangkok on Sunday, shortly after his discharge from Police General Hospital. (Photo: @Ingshin21 Instagram)
Thaksin Shinawatra relaxes outside his home in Charan Sanitwong Soi 69 in Bang Phlat district of Bangkok on Sunday, shortly after his discharge from Police General Hospital. (Photo: @Ingshin21 Instagram)

Thaksin Shinawatra is preparing to welcome another former prime minister on Wednesday when Hun Sen flies in from Cambodia to visit the parolee at his Bangkok home.

Thaksin and Hun Sen have developed a strong friendship over many years and the former Cambodian strongman reportedly decided to visit Thaksin at his home out of a personal concern for his health.

Thaksin is now officially on parole after serving half of a one-year prison sentence — reduced from eight years under a royal pardon — for conflict of interest and abuse of power while in office prior to 2006.

The state of the ex-premier’s health has been the subject of endless speculation since he was discharged on Sunday from Police General Hospital, where he was being treated for a variety of conditions.

Corrections officials and doctors have said little over the past six months about exactly what was ailing the 74-year-old, in keeping with patient confidentiality. But on Tuesday Thaksin’s daughter Paetongtarn shed some light on her father’s condition during a meeting with members of the Pheu Thai Party, which he founded and she leads.

The neck brace and the sling worn by Thaksin in the photo his daughter posted on her Instagram account? They’re not props, a Pheu Thai spokesman assured the public.

Danuporn Punnakanta said Ms Paetongtarn told the gathering that the neck brace was for cervical spondylosis, a degenerative spinal condition common in the elderly, and the sling was for tendonitis.

While in hospital, Thaksin had surgery to repair a frayed tendon, which has healed slowly because he did not have an opportunity to exercise, the spokesman quoted Ms Paetongtarn as saying.

Those conditions aside, Thaksin was already considerably weakened by three bouts with Covid-19, and is still experiencing the effects of “long Covid”, said Mr Danuporn.

The spokesman said Thaksin was now looking to regain his health so that he could "give advice to politicians”, according to local media reports.

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