Thaksin, Yingluck spotted in Singapore

Thaksin, Yingluck spotted in Singapore

Fugitive ex-prime ministers Thaksin (left) and younger sister Yingluck Shinawatra, spotted recently in Japan in this photo spread on social media, were seen Tuesday in Singapore.
Fugitive ex-prime ministers Thaksin (left) and younger sister Yingluck Shinawatra, spotted recently in Japan in this photo spread on social media, were seen Tuesday in Singapore.

Fugitive former prime ministers Thaksin and sister Yingluck Shinawatra were in Singapore on Tuesday, in a rare sighting after their recent visits to China, Hong Kong and Japan.

Thaksin and Yingluck were seen at a hotel in Singapore having a conversation with a group of men, unidentified but probably Pheu Thai Party members.

The sighting was a day after lawmakers from Thaksin's Pheu Thai Party said they had flown to Hong Kong at the weekend to meet him. They said Thaksin had called for party unity ahead of an approaching general election.

Thaksin, who is based in Dubai, still looms large over Thai politics. His parties, by several names, have won every election since 2001.

Yingluck fled from Thailand last August, just before the Supreme Court was to find her guilty of negligence in mismanaging the rice subsidy scheme and sentence her to five years in prison. The ruling was read later, in absentia.

Sources in the Pheu Thai Party say she is based in Britain.

Thaksin was convicted in absentia in 2006 on conflict of interest charges.

The two have been in Asia since the beginning of the month, said party members, and have visited China, Japan and Hong Kong before travelling to Singapore on Monday.

Prayuth Siripanich, a Pheu Thai Party member and its former representative for the province of Maha Sarakham, said 10 lawmakers flew to Hong Kong on Saturday and returned on Monday.

"Thaksin asked lawmakers to be united and not to break that unity," Prayuth told Reuters. "He asked that lawmakers meet their constituents because the election is fast approaching."

Piyapong Klinpan, a spokesman for the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), told reporters in Bangkok that "relevant agencies", including police, were following Yingluck and Thaksin.

He did not give further details.

Thaksin and Yingluck are in Singapore at the same time as army chief General Chalermchai Sittisart who was there to receive an award from Singapore's defence ministry.

Chalermchai told reporters before leaving Bangkok that he was not going to meet the Shinawatras while in Singapore.


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