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Thaksin's address to supporters on Today's Truth- cancelled?
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    Thaksin's address to supporters on Today's Truth- cancelled?

    Thaksin to address supporters during mobile Today's Truth
    By The Nation

    Former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra will make a phone call from London to speak his heart on November 1 during a mobile Today's Truth talk show at the National Stadium on November 1, he told Reuters.

    He gave an interview to Reuters that he had cancelled his plan to issue a statement on the conviction against him in the Ratchadapisek land case but would instead make a phone call to talk to his supporters during the talk show.

    The talk show is hosted by People Power Party MP Chatuporn Promphan and some other leading members of the Democratic Alliance Against Dictatorship, including Veera Musigapong.

    The No 1 programme will be the second mobile one.

    Supreme Commander Songkitti Jakkrabatr said Saturday that he had not been informed about the Thaksin's plan to make the phone call to the TV programme yet.

    Thaksin on Tuesday was found guilty by the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Holders of Political Office for having committed conflicts of interest in the Ratchadapisek land case. He was sentenced in absentia to two-year imprisonment.

    The former prime minister told Reuters that he would talk about 20 minutes during the programme.

    Thaksin said he had not yet applied for a political asylum in England and he could use his tourist visa to enter and leave the country with convenience.

    He said he had been invited to become an advisor in certain countries and some of the countries also offered him their citizenship.

    Thaksin said he would definitely not return to Thailand now because he would be arrested upon returning to the country. He added that the coup makers had planned all of these unfortunate events against him to prevent him from returning to Thailand.

    Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva Thursday urged former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra to accept the ruling against him and refrain from dragging the judiciary into the political conflicts.

    Abhisit said Thaksin should give priority to the interest of the motherland instead of inciting the people with motive to protest his own interest.

    He said such an instigation would cause the country to suffer.

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    Re: Thaksin to address supporters during mobile Today's Truth

    PM: Thaksin talk show appearance 'irrelevant'

    (BangkokPost.com) - Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat said ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra's plan to phone in to a TV talk show on Nov 1 will not affect the stability of the government because they are irrelevant matters.

    He also said he knows nothing about the plan that former deputy police chief Pol Gen Salang Bunnag will surround Government House, which has been occupied by People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) supporters since late August.

    He only said that any gatherings should be held under the rule of law, and should not give rise to chaos in the country.

    On Thursday, Mr Somchai and his wife left Bangkok to join the Asia-Europe Summit (Asem) in Beijing.

    He hopes to discuss the border dispute with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on the sidelines of the Asem summit.

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    Re: Thaksin to address supporters during mobile Today's Truth

    Spokesman: Date of Thaksin phone-in plan not set

    The plan of ousted Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra who was earlier this week convicted to two years imprisonment over a land purchase deal to telephone his supporters in Thailand from London to a gathering organised and hosted by political talk show in a stadium here on November 1 is not yet concluded, government spokesman Nattawut Saikuea said.

    Mr Nattawut said in principle Mr Thaksin has full rights to speak his hear out to the public as he is a Thai citizen.

    The gathering, organised by talk show programme "Today's Truth" aired on government-run NBT, is scheduled to be held at Rajamangala National Stadium on November 1.

    The hosts of the programme are People Power Party MP Chatuporn Promphan and several leading members of the pro-government group the National United Front of Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) including veteran politician Veera Musigapong.

    Mr Nattawut himself formerly hosted the show but stopped when appointed as government spokesman.

    Asked whether an address by Mr. Thaksin would worsen the political climate in Thailand, Mr Nattawut said the programme will be held inside the stadium with a specific time and those attending it would be unarmed so chaos is not expected as the crowd would be manageable.

    Mr Thaksin's plan for the phone in gathering is still under consideration by the organiser and nothing is yet final.

    Meanwhile, Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat, a brother-in-law of Mr Thaksin, said earlier he believed it would be a personal matter and no one should violate Mr Thaksin's rights.

    Mr Somchai, who also holds the defence minister's portfolio, said he believed his government's image would not be affected should Mr Thaksin address the gathering on that day.

    On Tuesday' Thailand's Supreme Court Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions sentenced Mr Thaksin, ousted in a bloodless coup in September 2006, to two years in jail while his wife was judged not guilty regarding the Bangkok land purchase deal.

    Mr Thaksin was found guilty of violating Articles 100 and 122 of the National Counter Corruption Act.

    The law bars government officials, including prime ministers, and their spouses, from involvement in or having interests in contracts with the government agencies under their supervision.

    The court also ruled that an arrest warrant be issued for Mr Thaksin whom it charged with being guilty of conflict of interest, while the warrant imposed earlier on his wife would be waived.

    Mr Thaksin told Reuters news agency after the court ruling that he would not issue a statement regarding the conviction but would instead telephone his supporters in Bangkok. (TNA)

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    Re: Thaksin to address supporters during mobile Today's Truth

    Thaksin will be allowed to talk longer than 20 minutes


    People Power Party MP Jatuporn Promphan said former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra would be allowed to talk longer than 20 minutes during a talk show programme on NBT on November 1.

    Jatuporn, a host of the Today's Truth programme, said Thaksin would be allowed to talk longer than 20 minutes to be able to cover all what he wants to talk.

    He said the mobile talk show of the programme at the national stadium would not lead to any violence.

    The Nation

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    Re: Thaksin to address supporters during mobile Today's Truth

    Thaksin's TV speech cancelled

    UDD EXPECTS TENS OF THOUSANDS TO ATTEND GATHERING

    BANGKOK POST REPORTERS

    The United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) has abruptly cancelled a plan to broadcast a speech by ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra live on television next Saturday.

    People Power party member Jatuporn Promphan did not explain the change in plan, saying only that the political talk show Kwam Jing Wan Nee (The Truth Today) would not on air on Saturday on state-owned NBT, formerly Channel 11.

    Mr Jatuporn, who co-hosts the programme with government spokesman Nattawut Saikua and Veera Musikapong, said Thaksin's remarks to supporters will instead be posted on http://www.todayfact.com and will air on NBT after Saturday.

    The change comes amid growing criticism of Thaksin's decision to talk to his supporters from London.

    Critics believe it will lead to more political tension.

    The last UDD gathering, held while the mobile political talk show took place on stage, was on Oct 11 at the Thunder Dome in Muang Thong Thani. It was broadcast on the television station.

    That gathering drew about 10,000 Thaksin fans. Organisers expect many more people to attend on Saturday at the bigger venue, Rajamangala stadium.

    Thaksin was sentenced to two years in jail in absentia by the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions last Tuesday. He was convicted for abuse of power in the Ratchadaphisek land deal.

    About 500 UDD members last night moved from Sanam Luang to the Defence Ministry to air their opposition to any attempt by the armed forces to stage a military coup.

    UDD members were with former deputy police chief Salang Bunnag last Wednesday when he announced his intention to surround Government House to force the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) to give up its occupation of the venue.

    The PAD was stepping up security measures in the wake of Pol Gen Salang's threat by enlarging its tyre barricade at Ratchadamnoen Nok avenue near Makkhawan Rangsan bridge, to prevent the blockade of Government House.

    The protest group had dismantled its stage near the bridge, which leaves Government House as its only stronghold.

    Police should not get involved in Pol Gen Salang's campaign, PAD co-leader Pibhop Dhongchai said.

    PAD seized Government House on Aug 26 and refuses to relinquish it until Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat stands down and efforts to rewrite the charter are aborted.

    Pol Gen Salang yesterday attended a merit-making ceremony with more than 200 pro-government demonstrators in Chiang Mai. He said his blockade plan was still alive and details would be finalised soon.

    Mr Pibhop and PAD coordinator Suriyasai Katasila said former members of the now-defunct Thai Rak Thai (TRT) party and former activists supported Pol Gen Salang.

    But former TRT leader Chaturon Chaisaeng denied that, saying no TRT members or activists backed Pol Gen Salang's bid to take back Government House.

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    Re: Thaksin's address to supporters on Today's Truth cancelled

    Jatuporn says Thaksin will definitely talk live on NBT programme


    People Power Party MP Jatuporn Promphan, a co-host of the Today's Truth programme on NBT, said Monday that former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra will make a phone call from London to speak during the mobile talk show on Saturday.

    Jatuporn said the mobile talk show will be held at the Huamark Stadium from 5 pm to 10 pm and Thaksin would speak in the subject of "Today's Truth Against Coup and Thailand's Future".

    He said some 1,000 policemen would be deployed to keep order at the stadium and some 500 student activists would also help monitor the situation.

    The Nation

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    Re: Thaksin's address to supporters on Today's Truth cancelled

    One man's fate should not overshadow entire society
    By Avudh Panananda
    The Nation

    The buzz of anticipation about his phone-in from London may prove more exciting than the actual message of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, scheduled for Saturday.

    The phone-in ploy to grab publicity is nothing new. After the 2006 coup, Thaksin stole the limelight from the junta by generating excitement about his planned telephone call to the anti-coup crowds at Sanam Luang.

    Thaksin's call was hyped up for weeks by the media, although his speech turned out to be a rehash of past remarks and received scant attention from the crowds.

    Following his October 21 conviction over the Ratchadaphisek land case, Thaksin has once again been up to his old tricks.

    Like moths attracted to lights, his supporters and opponents are again falling prey to generate huge publicity by speculating on what Thaksin will say. The excitement of the anticipated message has conveniently diverted attention from the convicted wrongdoing and punishment meted out to him.

    Although the Supreme Court penalised him with an unequivocal verdict of conflict of interest, the fugitive ex-premier is hard at work to whitewash his wrongdoing in the court of public opinion.

    It is really bizarre that opinion-makers appear more obsessed with the convict himself than with the lesson to be drawn from the crime committed.

    There is nothing unusual for a convict to insist on being innocent, or to blame everything but oneself, but it would be an anomaly if society were to allow the political polarisation over Thaksin to blur the sense of right and wrong.

    For more than two years, differing views on the land case have been aired time and again. It is unlikely that Thaksin can or will say anything new on the matter. So is it justified to make a fuss over what he will say?

    From his written and verbal statements, Thaksin has not disputed his guilty verdict. He just complains about circumstances leading to his predicament.

    It is evident that Thaksin got into trouble because of politics. Although opposing camps try to politicise the judicial review on the land case and other litigation involving him, his verdict has purely and simply addressed legal issues without political overtone.

    In other democracies, politicians are willing to assume responsibility for a breach of ethical standards or risk facing the voters' backlash. Thai leaders appear indifferent to righteousness and can often cling to office by the patronage system with their constituents.

    Therefore, Thai laws have several specific provisions on ethics, good governance and transparency. Other countries uphold such rules by their political traditions instead of having to legislate them.

    The anti-graft law's Article 100 penalises Thaksin for conflict of interest. Foreign leaders might have resigned if their wives were caught invoking the clout of office to win a lucrative deal with a state agency.

    The punishment meted out to Thaksin is applicable only to him and Cabinet members, if they too are found to have committed conflict of interest. It is part of the specialised law of good government.

    It is up to Thaksin to reflect on his performance in order to form a decision whether to obey the judicial decision. As a member of the billionaire's club, he can opt for a pampered life in exile in London. Or he can come clean by showing his remorse to serve out his two-year jail term in order to return to his roots in the motherland.

    The provision on conflict of interest had been enforced since 1999, before he came to power in 2001. This is not a frame-up to bring about his downfall as he tries to portray himself as a victim to win sympathy.

    The conflict-of-interest clause has no similar provision applicable to a British prime minister under English law, hence the extradition request to bring him back for imprisonment will likely be in vain.

    However Thaksin decides on where to live his life - in his London mansion or in a Thai jail - it is a personal decision. There is no reason to allow the fate of a private citizen to overshadow society.

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