Thaksin slams 'tyranny' in cryptic tweet

BANGKOK • Fugitive former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra hit out at "tyranny" yesterday via a cryptic tweet quoting a French Enlightenment thinker - in his first comments since his sister, Yingluck, also a former premier, was reported to have fled overseas.

Thaksin yesterday broke a long public silence, issuing tweets in both English and Thai that quoted 18th-century French philosopher Charles de Montesquieu.

"Montesquieu once said 'There is no crueller tyranny than that which is perpetuated under the shield of law and in the name of justice'," he wrote on his Twitter account.

It is the first time Thaksin has used Twitter in over two years, in an apparent swipe at the junta. His message quickly went viral on Thai social media and was retweeted over 4,000 times within five hours.

One striking endorsement came from Princess Ubolratana, the oldest daughter of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Thaksin's youngest daughter Paetongtarn reposted his tweet on her Instagram page under which Princess Ubolratana wrote: "I agree!!! Su Su". (Su means "fight" in Thai).

"That tweet after so long reflects Thaksin's anger," said former Thai diplomat Pavin Chachavalpongpun. "I suspect Yingluck and Thaksin will continue to find political space in Thailand (from overseas)... they want to take revenge" on enemies, he added.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 31, 2017, with the headline 'Thaksin slams 'tyranny' in cryptic tweet'. Print Edition | Subscribe