Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Thaksin rules out serving jail term

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In his latest interview, former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra has ruled out serving jail term, saying he will have to "stand for justice" by not accepting 'unfair' legal action against him.

Speaking to Thai PBS in a special interview aired Monday night, Thaksin said he was not fighting for himself but for the justice system as a whole.

"I stand for justice," Thaksin said, using the English words in his Thai-language interview.

He said he could not accept the two-year jail term against him because he regarded that case was unfair for him from the beginning.

The Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Holders of Political Office ruled that Thaksin had abused his authority to help his ex-wife, Kunying Pojaman na Pomphet, buy a Ratchadapisek land prom.

"The case was not fair from the beginning," Thaksin said. "They made my political opponents the investigators against me. And the investigative panel was set up with an order by the coup makers, who toppled me."

Thaksin said he had actually been punished by having to live in exile for over five years.

When the interviewer asked him about what he thought his mistakes during his two terms as the prime minister, Thaksin apologised to Muslims in the southern border provinces for having using violence in dealing with violence in the deep South.

"When we are in power for a long time, sometimes we may use power too much," Thaksin said.

He said he was sorry for having resorted to violence in his attempts to return peace to the region.

During the interview, Thaksin mostly focused on the reconciliation.

He said he would follow the example of former rebel leader and former South Africa President Nelson Mandela to use sports as a tool to bring about reconciliation and unity in Thailand.

Thaksin said Mandela used rugby as a sport to reunite the nation but he would use the campaign to push Thai national football team as a campaign to create unity in the country.

Thaksin said he, as a victim, would be the one to start reconciliation.

He said he has already forgiven his political enemies.

When the interviewer asked him how could he have forgotten his enemies after they had done so much against him, Thaksin replied that he has learnt the way of detachment.

"Life is so short so why should we remain angry against each other," Thaksin said.

He said he was ready to show he had forgiven his enemies by inviting all of his enemies to have coffee with him in Dubai.

"I'll pay for their coffee. Let them meet me here," Thaksin said.

He said he was ready to meet both former Army chief Gen Sonthi Boonyaratglin and People's Alliance for Democracy co-leader Sondhi Limthongkul for a coffer session in Dubai.

He denied that Sondhi had already met him or talked to him over the phone.

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