Thaksin 'likely to get OK' for CM visit
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Thaksin 'likely to get OK' for CM visit

Thaksin: Itinerary needed
Thaksin: Itinerary needed

Former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who has been released on parole and is now on probation at home, will likely be permitted to make a short trip to his hometown of Chiang Mai, the Department of Probation said.

Paetongtarn Shinawatra, Thaksin's youngest daughter who is named as his probationary sponsor, can submit a formal request to a probation officer at the closet probation office asking on Thaksin's behalf for permission to travel to Chiang Mai, Montree Bunyayothin, deputy department director-general,  said on Wednesday.

Mr Montree was responding to reports in which Ms Paetongtarn was quoted as saying her father would like to travel to Chiang Mai to pay respect to his dead relatives at the Shinawatra family's graveyard.

A detailed itinerary and the exact reason as to why Thaksin needs to travel is required to be submitted along with the request, he said.

If the proposed trip is short and will help the 74-year-old ex-premier heal mentally and physically, the travel request should be approved, Mr Montree said.

In this case, it will be considered a temporary change of accommodation about which the probation officers concerned need to be notified in advance, he said.

Mr Montree, however, refused to confirm if Thaksin or his probationary sponsor had already submitted a travel permission request, saying simply the information was confidential.

Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, meanwhile, declined to comment on whether Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin's next planned visit to Chiang Mai would coincide with Thaksin's trip to the northern province.

In another development, Pichit Tamul, a leader of supporters of Thaksin and the red-shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) in Chiang Mai, said red-shirt supporters in the North are looking forward to welcoming Thaksin back upon hearing about his possible visit.

They had been waiting for him for 17 years, said Mr Pichit in his capacity as the coordinator of UDD supporters in the 17 northern provinces.

Red-shirt supporters are considering organising a Lanna-style homecoming ceremony for Thaksin when he visits the family's graveyard near Wat Rong Tham Samakkhi in San Kamphaeng district, said Mr Pichit.

The UDD, however, will have to ask for permission from the Shinawatra family first about the ceremony because Thaksin is still on probation and various curbs are in place, he said.

Meanwhile, Democrat Party list-MP Jurin Laksanawisit warned fugitive former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra against seeking to return to Thailand without serving a single day in prison as did Thaksin.

"Ruin the country's justice system no more because that could become the last straw for the people who already hold strong feelings [against Thaksin allegedly receiving privileges over other prisoners]," he said.

"Their choosing to remain silent doesn't mean they don't feel the pain [of what happened]."

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