21 Aug '11, 5am

Ousted Thai leader gambles on return to world stage

Ousted Thai leader gambles on return to world stage

BANGKOK: With his sister barely in office, former Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra has launched a high-stakes international charm offensive that analysts say threatens his allies' hold on power. The one-time billionaire tycoon, toppled in a 2006 coup, has overshadowed the first fortnight of Yingluck Shinawatra's premiership with a planned trip to Japan that has raised questions about his influence over the government. Thaksin, who lives abroad to avoid a two-year jail term for corruption, has angered the opposition with his scheduled August 22-28 visit that will include a tour of areas devastated by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Emboldened by his proxies' election win, Thaksin aims to send the message that he is the "de facto prime minister", said Pavin Chachavalpongpun, a Thailand expert at the Institute for Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore. But Pavin said the o...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/vi...

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Ousted Thai leader gambles on return to world stage: BANGKOK (AFP) - With his sister barely in office, fugitive

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