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Thai Cabinet Endorses Thaksin Amnesty Plan: Reports

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Thai cabinet endorses Thaksin amnesty plan: reports

BANGKOK, November 16, 2011 (AFP) - Thailand's cabinet has endorsed a controversial amnesty decree that could pave the way for the return of fugitive ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra, local media said Wednesday.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who is Thaksin's younger sister, has yet to confirm or comment on a move that already attracted harsh criticism from the opposition.

The draft, which needs to be approved by King Bhumibol Adulyadej, would grant an amnesty to "convicts who are at least 60 years old and are sentenced to under three years in jail", according to the Bangkok Post English daily.

Amnesties are granted each year on the king's birthday on December 5.

Thaksin, who was ousted by the army in a 2006 coup, is 62 years old and lives in self-imposed exile in Dubai to avoid a two-year prison term for corruption.

Political novice Yingluck, 44, led the Puea Thai party to victory in a July election on the back of her brother's popularity among Thailand's rural poor and is widely seen as his political proxy.

She was absent from Tuesday's cabinet meeting because she was visiting a flood-stricken province, reports said.

The return of Thaksin, a deeply divisive figure in Thailand, would likely anger his foes in the Bangkok-based elites in the military, palace and bureaucracy and could spark further turmoil after years of violent protests.

It would also come at a politically sensitive time for Yingluck who has faced strong criticism in recent weeks for her handling of Thailand's worst flood crisis in half a century.

The reported amnesty plan was immediately criticised by the opposition Democrats, whose own amnesty decree last year excluded corruption convictions.

"It shows that what they have done is intended to help one person," Democrat deputy party spokesman Sakoltee Phattiyakul told AFP, predicting the move would make for a "tense" political situation in the kingdom.

"Because even though the floods are not yet over, the cabinet still approved the decree," he said.

After his sister's election win, Thaksin said setting foot back in Thailand was not a priority, but he has previously expressed hopes to be at his daughter's wedding in December.

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-- (c) Copyright AFP 2011-11-16

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Good old PTP use the cover of the floods to bring back Baig T. The red supports will be here soon telling us how great this will be for Thailand. Ying luck should man up and tell dear brother he is on his own and she being the PM will do what is best for Thailand.

Edited by moe666

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I'm not exactly a fan of both sides and I think that bringing Thaksin back will not be in anyway beneficial to Thailand. It's a start of another crisis.

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Wow this is unbelievable. Millions still affected by the flood and now we see where this government's priorities lie. The country can be in shambles but they don't care as long as they can bring their beloved leader back. Shameful! :angry:

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"convicts who are at least 60 years old and are sentenced to under three years in jail"

That's not even the least subtle...!!!!

:ph34r:

Edited by CockneyGit

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Finally they let the cat out of the bag and show their true colors.

What was PTP's top priority again: reconciliation???

Best of luck to Thailand. You're goin to need it.

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I am so ashamed that the Thai people actually voted for this charade government. That the Thai people actually can accept a dangerous idiot like Chalerm to be a DPM. That this government has the nerve to tell us that what they discuss in the cabinet meeting is secret (<deleted>). I am so ashamed.....

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Three posts have been deleted.

2) Not to express disrespect of the King of Thailand or anyone else in the Thai royal family, whether living or deceased, nor to criticize the monarchy as an institution. Speculation, comments and discussion of either a political or personal nature are not allowed when discussing HM The King or the Royal family. Discussion of the lese majeste law or lese majeste cases is permitted on the forum, providing no comment or speculation is made referencing the royal family. To breach this rule will result in immediate ban.

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It's the way they did it that sums this mafia up.

Yingluck sneaks off to Singburi and states that "Oh it's dark now, my helicopter can't fly in the dark because it has no radar so I can't return for my cabinet meeting"

Army says "of course that model has radar and so does the other helicopter that is on standby"

Chalerm the magnificent holds the meeting kicking out all but a select few cronies. Meeting is "secret" - well all know why. Meeting agrees to this amnestty.

When cabinet is asked about the meeting the outcome is silence, no comment or Plodprasop "I can't say, it's a secret"

Yingluck, when asked, says "Don't ask me what they did - I wasn't there"

Absolute disgrace.

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I am so ashamed that the Thai people actually voted for this charade government. That the Thai people actually can accept a dangerous idiot like Chalerm to be a DPM. That this government has the nerve to tell us that what they discuss in the cabinet meeting is secret (<deleted>). I am so ashamed.....

keeping things in secret sounds like they took a cue from Dick Cheney. if you watch the government meeting, the room is totally empty, where is the government? in a time of crisis the government is still working on putting money in their pockets and bringing back the master scammer. hopefully the people will wake up, but somehow I doubt it. chok dii muang thai. man jam bpen :jap:

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Wow this is unbelievable. Millions still affected by the flood and now we see where this government's priorities lie. The country can be in shambles but they don't care as long as they can bring their beloved leader back. Shameful! :angry:

what's shameful is the man who did more positive things for thailand than anyone in recent history was couped out of office and forced into exile.

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