Thaksin accuses Thai govt of unfair treatment again

Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who fled into exile after being ousted in a coup and is now wanted on graft charges at home, has again accused the government of treating him unfairly, citing the latest demand for him to pay millions in back taxes as an example of harassment.

Thaksin's response to the demand in a Facebook post yesterday came after he was asked to pay back taxes and fines amounting to 17.63 billion baht (S$715 million) over the sale of 49.6 per cent of shares in Shin Corp to Singapore's Temasek Holdings in January 2006, shortly before he was removed from office by the military.

The Revenue Department taped a demand notice on the door of his old residence in Bangkok on Tuesday, three days before the statute of limitations for recovering the funds went into effect. Thaksin has 30 days to file an appeal.

The former premier, who now lives mostly in Dubai, said the tax demand was yet another example of him and his family being blamed and bullied, adding that officials "should not use miracles and go out of their way just to get rid of me".

He also addressed accusations that he was behind a plot to overthrow the constitutional monarchy.

AN ORDINARY MAN SERVING THAILAND

I am an ordinary man, from an ordinary family. And, today, I am still that ordinary man. I consider myself very lucky to be born in the reign of His Majesty the King and had served the country in various capacities for the past 35 years. And will continue to serve the nation, the religion and the monarchy that I hold in high respect for the rest of my life.

FORMER THAI PRIME MINISTER THAKSIN SHINAWATRA, on accusations over a plot to overthrow the constitutional monarchy.

"I am an ordinary man, from an ordinary family. And, today, I am still that ordinary man. I consider myself very lucky to be born in the reign of His Majesty the King and had served the country in various capacities for the past 35 years. And will continue to serve the nation, the religion and the monarchy that I hold in high respect for the rest of my life," he said.

Thaksin was ousted by a military coup in September 2006 while in the United States following widespread street protests in Bangkok. He returned home briefly in February 2008 to face corruption charges but violated a bail term by attending the Beijing Olympics six months later. He has not returned to Thailand since but continues to enjoy widespread support, particularly in the north-east of the kingdom.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 01, 2017, with the headline 'Thaksin accuses Thai govt of unfair treatment again'. Print Edition | Subscribe