|Birth Day:||July 26, 1949|
|Birth Place:||Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Thailand|
|#8||Potjaman Na Pombejra||Spouse||N/A||N/A||N/A|
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Thaksin was a member of the 10th class of the Armed Forces Academies Preparatory School, and was then admitted to the Thai Police Cadet Academy. Graduating in 1973, he joined the Royal Thai Police. He received a master's degree in criminal justice from Eastern Kentucky University in the United States in 1975, and three years later was awarded a doctorate in criminal justice at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. Returning to Thailand, he reached the position of Deputy Superintendent of the Policy and Planning Sub-division, General Staff Division, Metropolitan Police Bureau, before resigning his commission in 1987 as a Police Lieutenant Colonel and leaving the police. His former wife, Potjaman Damapong, is the sister of Police General Priewpan Damapong and now uses her mother's maiden name. He is a former university lecturer at Royal Police Cadet Academy in 1975–1976.
Thaksin married Potjaman Damapong in July 1976. They have one son, Panthongtae and two daughters, Pintongtha and Peathongtarn. They divorced in 2008. Thaksin's youngest sister, Yingluck Shinawatra (Thai: ยิ่งลักษณ์ ชินวัตร; RTGS: yinglak chinnawat), is said to have entered politics in 2011 at her brother's request as leader of the pro-Thaksin Pheu Thai Party. She was later elected prime minister on 3 July 2011. Thaksin earned a doctorate in criminology at Sam Houston State University. Thaksin lectured at the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities of Mahidol University in 1979.
Thaksin and his wife began several businesses while he was still in the police, including a silk shop, a cinema, and an apartment building. All were failures and left him over 50 million baht in debt. In 1982, he established ICSI. Using his police contacts, he leased computers to government agencies with modest success. However, later ventures in security systems (SOS) and public bus radio services (Bus Sound) all failed. In April 1986, he founded Advanced Info Service (AIS), which started as a computer rental business.
Advanced Info Service (AIS) was given a monopoly contract by Thaksin's military contacts in 1986 and used the GSM-900 frequency band. AIS grew rapidly and became the largest mobile phone operator in Thailand.
In 1987 Thaksin resigned from the police. He then marketed a romance drama called Baan Sai Thong, which became a popular success in theatres. In 1988, he joined Pacific Telesis to operate and market the PacLink pager service, a modest success, though Thaksin later sold his shares to establish his own paging company.
The Shinawatra Computer and Communications Group was founded in 1987 and listed in 1990.
In 1989, he launched IBC, a cable television company. At that time, Thaksin had a good relationship with Chalerm Yoobumrung, the minister of the Prime Minister's Office, who was in charge of Thai press and media. It is a question whether Chalerm granted the right to Thaksin to establish IBC to benefit his close friend, seeing that the project had been denied by the previous administration. However, it turned out to be a money loser and he eventually merged the company with the CP Group's UTV.
In 1989, Thaksin established a data networking service, Shinawatra DataCom, today known as Advanced Data Network and owned by AIS and TOT. Many of Thaksin's businesses were later consolidated as Shin Corporation.
In 1990, Thaksin founded Shinawatra Satellite, which has developed and operated four Thaicom communications satellites.
Thaksin entered politics in late 1994 through Chamlong Srimuang, who had just reclaimed the position of Palang Dharma Party (PDP) leader from Boonchu Rojanastien. In a subsequent purge of Boonchu-affiliated PDP cabinet ministers, Thaksin was appointed Foreign Minister in December 1994, replacing Prasong Soonsiri. Thaksin left Palang Dharma along with many of its MPs in 1996, and founded the populist Thai Rak Thai (TRT) party in 1998. After a historic election victory in 2001, he became prime minister, the country's first to serve a full term.
Thaksin joined the government of Banharn Silpa-Archa and was appointed Deputy Prime Minister in charge of Bangkok traffic. In May 1996, he and four other PDP ministers quit the Banharn Cabinet (while retaining their MP seats), prompting a Cabinet reshuffle. Many have claimed that Thaksin's move was designed to help give Chamlong Srimuang a boost in the June 1996 Bangkok Governor elections, which Chamlong returned from retirement to contest. But Chamlong lost to Bhichit Rattakul, an independent.
Thaksin and the PDP pulled out of the Banharn-government in August 1996. In a subsequent no-confidence debate, the PDP gave evidence against the Banharn government, and in September 1996 Banharn dissolved Parliament.
On 15 August 1997, Thaksin became Deputy Prime Minister in Chavalit Yongchaiyudh's government, after the Thai baht was floated and devalued on 2 July 1997, sparking the Asian financial crisis. He held the position for only three months, leaving on 14 November when Chavalit resigned.
During a censure debate on 27 September 1997, Democrat Suthep Thaugsuban accused Thaksin of profiting from insider information about the government's decision to float the baht, but the next Democrat party-led government did not investigate the accusations.
Thaksin founded the Thai Rak Thai (TRT) ('Thais Love Thais') party in 1998 along with Somkid Jatusripitak, PDP ally Sudarat Keyuraphan, Purachai Piumsomboon, and 19 others.
In 1999, the Shinawatra family spent some one billion baht establishing Shinawatra University in Pathum Thani. It offers international programs in engineering, architecture, and business management, though it ranks quite low in international rankings.
In 2000, Thaksin acquired the ailing iTV television station from the Crown Property Bureau, Nation Multimedia Group, and Siam Commercial Bank.
After Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai dissolved parliament in November 2000, TRT won a sweeping victory in the January 2001 elections, the first held under the Constitution of 1997. At the time, some academics called it the most open, corruption-free election in Thai history. Thai Rak Thai won 248 parliamentary seats (more than any other party previously) and needed only three more seats to form a government. Nonetheless, Thaksin opted for a broad coalition to gain total control and avoid a vote of no confidence, with the Chart Thai Party (41 seats) and the New Aspiration Party (36 seats), while absorbing the smaller Seritham Party (14 seats). Thaksin became Prime Minister of Thailand on 9 February 2001.
Income in the northeast, the poorest part of the country, rose by 46 percent from 2001 to 2006. Nationwide poverty fell from 21.3 to 11.3 percent. Thailand's Gini coefficient, a measure of income inequality, fell from .525 in 2000 to .499 in 2004 (it had risen from 1996 to 2000). The Stock Exchange of Thailand outperformed other markets in the region. After facing fiscal deficits in 2001 and 2002, Thaksin balanced the national budget, producing comfortable fiscal surpluses for 2003 to 2005. Despite a massive program of infrastructure investments, a balanced budget was projected for 2007. Public sector debt fell from 57 percent of GDP in January 2001 to 41 percent in September 2006. Foreign exchange reserves doubled from US$30 billion in 2001 to US$64 billion in 2006.
Thaksin introduced a range of policies to alleviate rural poverty. Highly popular, they helped reduce poverty by half in four years. He launched the country's first universal healthcare program, the 30-baht scheme, as well as a notorious drug suppression campaign. Thaksin embarked on a massive program of infrastructure investment, including roads, public transit, and Suvarnabhumi Airport. Nevertheless, public sector debt fell from 57 percent of GDP in January 2001 to 41 percent in September 2006. Levels of corruption were perceived to have fallen, with Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index improving from 3.2 to 3.8 between 2001 and 2005. The Thai Rak Thai party won in a landslide in the 2005 general election, which had the highest voter turnout in Thai history.
During this period, Thaksin also served on the Asia Advisory Board of the Washington, D.C. based Carlyle Group until he resigned upon becoming Prime Minister in 2001.
Thaksin's economic policies helped Thailand recover from the 1997 Asian financial crisis and substantially reduce poverty. GDP grew from 4.9 trillion baht in 2001 to 7.1 trillion baht in 2006. Thailand repaid its debts to the International Monetary Fund two years ahead of schedule.
From 2001 to 2004, the number of people living with HIV/AIDS as well as the overall prevalence rate "noticeably declined".
A resurgence in violence began in 2001 in the three southernmost provinces of Thailand with their Muslim, ethnic Malay majority. There is much controversy about the causes of this escalation. Attacks after 2001 concentrated on police, the military, and schools, but civilians (including Buddhist monks) are also regular targets. Thaksin was widely criticised for his management of the situation.
A key component of Thaksin's administrative reform policy, the "CEO-governors" epitomised what was called his "transformation of the operating style of the traditional bureaucracy into a more results-oriented instrument that would be responsive." Piloted in 2001 and introduced in all provinces in October 2003, CEO-governors were put in charge of planning and co-ordinating provincial development and became accountable for overall provincial affairs. The "CEO governors" were assisted by "provincial CFOs" from the Ministry of Finance who reported directly to each governor. Governors were authorised to raise funds by issuing bonds and were given an intensive training course. After the coup, the junta reverted the role of governors.
Transparency International reported that Thailand's reputation for transparency among business executives improved somewhat during the years of the Thaksin government. In 2001, Thailand's Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) score was 3.2 (ranked 61), whilst in 2005, the CPI was 3.8 (ranked 59).
In an email to his supporters, Thaksin claimed that the court was used as a tool. He also noted how the Thai stock market rose to the benefit of many companies, not just his, and claimed that all charges against him were politically motivated. He thanked his supporters for not protesting while the verdict was being read, and implored them to use non-violent means in the future. Pojaman na Pombejra insisted that tens of billions of baht of her wealth had been given to her children and relatives well before Thaksin took office in 2001 and denied that her children and relatives were nominees of her and her husband. She also denied having any control over Ample Rich and Win Mark, two firms that the AEC had accused of being her nominees. In spite of Pojaman's claim, Thaksin was the authorised signature for Ample Rich through 2005, making him the only individual authorised to withdraw funds from the company's account until he transferred the authority to his children, four years after he took office in 2001. Some UDD members held a small protest in front of the court, but did not disrupt the ruling as the government had predicted they would. The UDD leaders announced that a large-scale protest was scheduled to be held on 14 March 2010.
Thaksin initiated two key healthcare policies: subsidised universal health care (UHC) in 2002 and low-cost universal access to anti-retroviral HIV medication (ARVs). Thaksin's 30 baht per visit UHC program won the praise of the general public, but was criticised by many physicians and officials. Prior to the program's introduction, a large portion of the population had no health insurance and only limited access to healthcare. The program helped increase healthcare access from 76% of the population to 96%. At its outset, UHC was reviled as a "populist" policy. Post-coup public health minister Mongkol Na Songkhla called the 30 baht program a "marketing gimmick". Nearly half of UHC patients were dissatisfied with the treatment they received. The program has downsides: excessive workloads for health care providers, crowded waiting rooms, and insufficient time spent diagnosing each patient, and costs have tripled from 56 million baht in 2006 to 166 million baht in 2019, but still remain below one percent of GDP. On balance, as a Bangkok Post columnist put it, "... the criticism was wrong. It has become the country's most valuable state welfare service,..."
On 14 January 2003, Thaksin launched a campaign to rid "every square inch of the country" of drugs in three months. It consisted of changing the punishment policy for drug addicts, setting provincial arrest and seizure targets including "blacklists", awarding government officials for achieving targets and threatening punishment for those who failed to make the quota, targeting dealers, and "ruthless" implementation. In the first three months, Human Rights Watch reports that 2,275 people were extrajudicially executed. The government claimed that only around 50 of the deaths were at the hands of the police, the rest being drug traffickers who were being silenced by their dealers and their dealers' dealers. Human rights critics claimed a large number were extrajudicially executed.
King Bhumibol, in a 2003 birthday speech, praised Thaksin:
Thaksin was accused of "policy corruption", such as infrastructure and liberalisation policies that, while legal "...abuse the public's interest,..." Supannee Chai-amporn and Sirinthip Arun-rue of the National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA) claimed that policy corruption caused the state to spend 5 to 30 percent more than it otherwise should have spent, costing the state an additional 400 billion baht. Thaksin critics point to more examples of corruption: the Thailand Board of Investment's (BOI) granting tax breaks worth a total of 16.4 billion baht to Shin Satellite for its iPSTAR project in 2003, and the Transport Ministry's decision the same year to abolish the minimum air fare of 3.8 baht per kilometre when Shin Corporation was about to consummate a joint venture with low-cost carrier AirAsia.
The AEC found Thaksin guilty of malfeasance for obstructing competition by imposing an excise tax on telecom operators. Thaksin's Cabinet had approved the relevant executive decree in 2003.
In June the Supreme Court denied Thaksin's request to travel to China and Britain, since his corruption case was set for trial and was ordered to surrender his passport after arraignment. In July the court assumed jurisdiction over the fourth corruption charge against Thaksin concerning soft loans to Burma. The court also agreed to hear allegations that Thaksin, his former cabinet, and three members of the current government broke anti-gambling laws by setting up the new state lottery in 2003.
The second, in October 2004, was the killing of 84 Muslim demonstrators at Tak Bai, when the Army broke up a peaceful protest. Hundreds of detainees were forced at gunpoint to lie shackled and prone in Army trucks, stacked like cordwood. The trucks were delayed from moving to the detainment area for hours. The 84 victims were reported to have been asphyxiated, crushed or died of overheating. The precise nature and cause of death have been subject to controversy and doubt because of lack of transparency and absence of depth in investigations made. There are other reports of many more deaths but these have not been substantiated.
Thailand joined the US-led invasion of Iraq, sending a 423-strong humanitarian contingent. It withdrew its troops on 10 September 2004. Two Thai soldiers died in Iraq in an insurgent attack.
Pintongtha also was accused of being nominee for her parents. She said that the money from her mother was a "birthday present". This birthday present was used to buy 367 million shares of Shin Corporation, which leaves her brother with the same amount. The AEC found the account has been receiving dividends from Shin Corp. There were no transactions between Pintongtha's account and her mother's account. However, the dividend money was used to buy SC Asset shares from WinMark to the amount of 71 million baht and shares from 5 real-estate firms from 2 funds in 2004 worth of 485 million baht.
Thaksin announced an escalation of military and police activity in the region. In July 2005, Thaksin enacted an Emergency Decree to manage the three troubled provinces. Several human rights organisations expressed their concerns that the decree might be used to violate civil liberties.
In March 2005, Thaksin established the National Reconciliation Commission, chaired by former Prime Minister Anand Panyarachun to oversee efforts to bring peace to the troubled South. In its final report in June 2006, the commission proposed introducing elements of Islamic law and making Pattani-Malay (Yawi) an official language in the region along with Thai. The Thaksin administration assigned a government committee to study the report, but nothing came of it.
Under the slogans "Four Years of Repair – Four years of Reconstruction" and "Building Opportunities", Thaksin and the TRT won landslide victories in February 2005 elections, winning 374 of 500 seats in parliament. The election had the highest voter turnout in Thai history. But his second term was soon beset by protests, with claims that he presided over a "parliamentary dictatorship".
After the 2006 coup, many of Thaksin's economic policies were ended, the OTOP program was rebranded, the Government Lottery Office's program was deemed illegal, and the government nationalised several media outlets and energy companies. However, economists from the Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI) published a report indicating that many of the populist policies had not boosted the economy and some were by coincidence.
After the 2006 coup, the military junta appointed a committee to investigate the anti-drug campaign. Former Attorney General Kanit Na Nakorn led the committee. Concerning the committee's results The Economist reported in January 2008: "Over half of those killed in 2003 had no links to the drugs trade. The panel blamed the violence on a government 'shoot-to-kill' policy based on flawed blacklists. But far from leading to the prosecutions of those involved, its findings have been buried. The outgoing interim prime minister, Surayud Chulanont, took office vowing to right Mr Thaksin's wrongs. Yet this week he said there was insufficient evidence to take legal action over the killings. It is easy to see why the tide has turned. Sunai Phasuk, a researcher for Human Rights Watch, a lobbying group, says that the panel's original report named the politicians who egged on the gunmen. But after the PPP won last month's elections, those names were omitted."
After the 2006 coup, the military junta-appointed Assets Examination Committee froze Thaksin's assets based on charges of policy corruption.
On 23 January 2006, the Shinawatra family sold their entire stake in Shin Corporation to Temasek Holdings. The Shinawatra and Damapong families netted about 73 billion baht (about US$1.88 billion) tax-free from the sale, using a regulation that made individuals who sell shares on the stock exchange exempt from capital gains tax. Thaksin was the target of accusations of corruption for selling forbidden national assets such as national utility company to a foreign entity in exchange for personal profits and kickbacks. Thai laws at the time disallowed the sale of integral assets of national importance to the public or to any foreign entity, but Thaksin amended the laws to allow such sale.
Thaksin announced the dissolution of parliament on 24 February 2006. General elections were scheduled for 2 April.
Thaksin had announced on 4 April 2006 that he would not accept the post of prime minister after parliament reconvened, but would continue as caretaker prime minister until then. He then delegated his functions to caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Chidchai Wannasathit, moved out of Government House, and went on vacation.
On 8 May 2006, the Constitutional Court ruled 8–6 to invalidate the April elections based on the awkward positioning of voting booths. The ruling was called a landmark case in "judicial activism". The Democrat Party, which had boycotted the April elections, said they were now ready to contest an October election.
Protests by the People's Alliance for Democracy massed in 2006, and on 19 September 2006 a military junta which later called itself the Council for National Security (CNS) replaced Thaksin's caretaker government in a coup while he was abroad. The Constitutional Tribunal dissolved the Thai Rak Thai party for electoral fraud ex post facto, banning him and TRT executives from politics for five years. The CNS-appointed Assets Examination Committee froze Thaksin and his family's assets in Thailand, totalling 76 billion baht (US$2.2 billion), claiming he had become unusually wealthy while in office. Thaksin and his wife had declared assets totalling 15.1 billion baht when he took office in 2001, although he had transferred many of his assets to his children and associates before taking office.
On 2 October 2006 Thaksin and his former deputy Somkid Jatusipitak resigned from the TRT. Chaturon Chaisang took over as party head.
On 31 December 2006 and 1 January 2007, several bombs exploded in Bangkok, killing three and wounding a number of bystanders. Prime Minister General Surayud Chulanont accused "those who lost power as a result of the military takeover" of masterminding the bombings, but did not directly identify Thaksin. Thaksin went on CNN to publicly deny any involvement in the bombings. The government did not make any arrests in the case.
Thaksin's diplomatic passport was revoked on 31 December 2006 after the junta accused him of engaging in political activities while in exile. Thai embassies were ordered not to aid him in his travels.
The judges decided to seize 46 billion differences in value of Shin Corp. shares from the date when he came to office and the value when the shares were sold to Singapore's Temasek Holdings in early 2006. Note that, Thaksin had declared around 500 million baht in assets and Pojaman had 8 billion to 9 billion baht while Thaksin served as prime minister. Nevertheless, during that period, Shin shares gained 121%, compared with a 128% gain in the benchmark SET index, while Siam Cement, one of Thailand's premier blue chip companies, gained 717%. The judges did not find that Thaksin was guilty of malfeasance. They also noted that any benefit to the government from Thaksin's policies was irrelevant to the ruling. The government reaped approximately 100 billion baht in increased revenue from changes in the concession agreements alone.
The TRT was dissolved on 30 May 2007 by the Constitutional Tribunal, which banned over 100 of its executives, including Thaksin, from politics for five years, based on charges that two party executives (Defense Minister Thammarak and Pongsak Raktapongpaisarn) bribed a smaller party to stand in the April 2006 election. The Democrat party was cleared on a similar charge.
In January 2007, the Financial Institutions Development Fund (FIDF) complied with an AEC request to file a charge against Thaksin and his wife for their purchase of four 772 million baht plots of land from the FIDF in 2003. The charge was based on an alleged violation of Article 100 of the National Counter Corruption Act, which prohibits government officials and their spouses from entering into or having interests in contracts made with state agencies under their authority.
In March 2007, the Office of the Attorney-General charged Thaksin's wife and brother-in-law with conspiring to evade taxes of 546 million baht (US$15.6 million) in a 1997 transfer of Shin Corporation shares.
On 21 June 2007, now out of office, Thaksin bought Premier League club Manchester City for £81.6 million. He became briefly popular with fans (who nicknamed him "Frank",) especially after appointing Sven-Göran Eriksson manager of the club and bringing in prominent players. Eriksson was later critical of Thaksin's running of the club, saying "he [Thaksin] didn't understand football – he hadn't a clue." He sold the club to investors from Abu Dhabi United Group in September 2008 for a reported £200 million.
In May 2007, Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont said Thaksin was free to return to Thailand, and he would personally guarantee Thaksin's safety. In January 2008 Thaksin's wife Potjaman was arrested on arrival in Bangkok but released on bail after appearing at the Supreme Court, with orders not to leave the country. She was set to be tried for alleged violation of stock-trading and land sale laws.
In 2008 Thaksin was sentenced to two years' imprisonment in absentia over a corrupt land deal. In a ruling that made him the first Thai politician ever to be convicted of corruption committed while prime minister, Thaksin was found to have violated conflict of interest rules in helping his wife buy land from a state agency at a seemingly low price.
Thaksin returned to Thailand on 28 February 2008, after the People's Power Party, which he supported, won the post-coup elections. But after visiting Beijing for the 2008 Summer Olympics, he did not return to hear the final supreme court sentence and applied for asylum in the United Kingdom. This was refused, after which he had to move about from one country to another. In October 2008, the Thai Supreme Court found him guilty of a conflict of interest and sentenced him in absentia to two years imprisonment.
On 28 February 2008, Thaksin arrived in Bangkok after 17 months in exile. Thaksin stated that he would not re-enter politics and wished to focus on his football interests. In March Thaksin pleaded not guilty before the Supreme Court in one of his two criminal corruption cases. He was ordered to report back on 11 April after the court granted a month-long trip to England.
On 10 August 2008, Thaksin and Potjaman violated their bail terms by attending the 2008 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony in Beijing. Stating that he wished to return to Thailand but claimed it was not currently safe for him and his family. Thaksin sought political asylum in the United Kingdom, claiming his political enemies were interfering with the judiciary. There is no evidence that he proceeded with his request and his asylum case was neither approved nor declined.
The Thailand Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions issued a second arrest warrant on 16 September 2008 against Thaksin over another of the four pending corruption cases and ordered suspension of the trial. Several more arrest warrants were issued over subsequent no-shows at various corruption trials.
On 21 October 2008, the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions ruled that Thaksin, while prime minister, abused his power to help his wife buy public land at auction, and sentenced him to two years in jail.
On 10 November 2008, a Philippine spokesman said his government would "politely" turn down any request for political refuge from Thaksin due to Manila's "friendly" relations with Bangkok.
The British Government Home Office, meanwhile, revoked Potjaman and Thaksin's visas due to their convictions, while the Bangkok British Embassy e-mailed airlines asking them to disallow either of them to board flights to Britain. In late 2008, Arabian Business reported that the UK froze US$4.2 billion of his assets in the UK. The UK government did not confirm or deny this claim.
Thaksin had reportedly considered sanctuaries such as China, the Bahamas, Nicaragua, and several other countries in South America and Africa. Reports said the Shinawatras were granted honorary citizenship by the Bahamas and Nicaragua, and were building a £5.5 million home in China. As of late-May 2009, he reportedly remained in Dubai. A spokesman claimed Thaksin was travelling on six passports, none of them Thai. In December 2008 Thaksin obtained a residency permit for (Germany) which was subsequently withdrawn on 28 May 2009 when the German government became aware of the arrangement. Thaksin then obtained status as a diplomat of Nicaragua. Guido Westerwelle, German foreign minister, lifted the travel restriction banning Thaksin from entering Germany on 15 July 2011 after the election victory of Thaksin's proxy party.
In mid-April 2009, violent protests of mostly Thaksin supporters calling themselves the National United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) led to the cancellation of the ASEAN summit in Pattaya and a declaration of a state of emergency in Bangkok. Thaksin had given encouragement at UDD rallies via satellite and phone-in link, at one point calling for a "people's revolution". Following suppression of the protests he claimed to have merely been offering "moral support".
In April 2009, Privy Councilor General Pichitr Kullavanijaya reported he had been informed by former US ambassador to Thailand Ralph L. Boyce that Thaksin had laundered 100 billion baht (US$2.8 billion) through Cayman Island bank accounts to organise the anti-government protests. Boyce himself said that he had "...no idea why he was cited as a knowledgeable source about where Thaksin may or may not have made deposits, and that he has no such information."
On 4 November 2009, it was announced that Thaksin had been appointed as special advisor to the Cambodian government and Hun Sen and stated that Cambodia would refuse to extradite Thaksin because it considered him a victim of political persecution. On 5 November 2009, both countries recalled their ambassadors.
On 11 November 2009, Sivarak Chutipong was arrested by Cambodian police for passing the confidential flight plans of Thaksin and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen to Kamrob Palawatwichai, First Secretary of the Royal Thai Embassy in Cambodia. Sivarak was a Thai engineer working in Cambodia for Cambodia Air Traffic Service, the private firm which managed air traffic control in Cambodia. Sivarak denied that he was a spy, and the Thai government claimed that he was innocent and that the incident was a Thaksin/Cambodian plot to further damage relations between the two countries. The Thai First Secretary was expelled from Cambodia. Sivarak demanded that former First Secretary Kamrob speak out and restore his damaged reputation by confirming he was not involved in a spy ring. Kamrob refused to provide comment to the press throughout the controversy, and Kasit's secretary, Chavanond Intarakomalyasut, insisted that although that there was no misconduct on the part of the First Secretary or Sivarak, there would be no statement from Kamrob.
The People's Power Party was later dissolved by the Supreme Court, but party members regrouped to form the Pheu Thai Party, which Thaksin also supported. Thaksin is a supporter, and alleged bankroller, of the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (aka "Red Shirts"). The government revoked Thaksin's passport for his role in the UDD's protests during Songkran 2009. On 26 February 2010, the Supreme Court seized 46 billion baht of his frozen assets, after finding him guilty of abnormal wealth. In 2009 it was announced that Thaksin had obtained Montenegrin citizenship through that country's economic citizenship program.
On 26 February 2010, the Thai Supreme Court was scheduled to render its verdict on whether to seize Thaksin's Thai assets, worth 76 billion baht frozen by the AEC after the coup. The AEC froze the assets under the authority of Announcement No. 30 of the military junta. Tensions ran high throughout Thailand. Tens of thousands of government security forces were deployed, particularly in routes leading to Bangkok. However, the UDD denied that it would rally on the date of the verdict. The nine Supreme Court judges had to make a judgment on accusations of abnormal wealth through policy corruption. Policy corruption, was defined by the court as the abuse of powers by implementing economic policies that, while in themselves legal and of potential benefit to society and the economy, also aided companies that were owned in part by the policy maker. The prosecution claimed that Thaksin abused his powers five times while premier.
Thaksin's police lieutenant colonel rank was revoked in September 2015.
Currently, Thaksin Shinawatra is 73 years, 2 months and 0 days old. Thaksin Shinawatra will celebrate 74th birthday on a Wednesday 26th of July 2023.
Find out about Thaksin Shinawatra birthday activities in timeline view here.