Count me out of reconciliation, Thaksin tells junta

Thaksin Shinawatra has urged Thailand’s ruling junta to stop blaming him for political violence, adding he wants no place in the military government’s ongoing reconciliation efforts.
 
On 31 March 2017, the exiled former Prime Minister condemned the junta on his Facebook page for its failure to handle the country’s economy. He said that even though he fled the country 11 years ago, the junta to this day still claims he is involved in all incidents of political turbulence, from the 2015 bombing at the Erawan Shrine to atrocities in the Deep South of Thailand.   
 
Thaksin confirmed his loyalty to the Thai monarchy and stated that he has never had any intention to cause political turmoil. He believes the real threats to Thailand’s constitutional monarchy come from coups d’état and the junta itself. 
 
The ex-PM also urged those in power to ignore him in the junta’s ongoing political reconciliation programme.
 
“On the junta’s reconciliation process, I plead to all sectors to keep me out of the equation. No one has to offer me help,” read Thaksin’s post. “And please don’t prolong ‘conflict’ just to find a pretext for remaining in power.”
 
The junta’s reconciliation programme kicked off on 14 February. Key political parties, movements and other interest groups were invited to talks with the junta-appointed reconciliation commission, comprising mostly military officers. Regional forums are being hosted across the country to collect public opinion.
 
But the transparency of public participation is in question since the media and mobile phones are prohibited during the talks. Participants are barred from recording discussions. 
 
 
Thaksin has been living in exile since the 2006 coup (Photo from Thaksin’s Facebook)