BANGKOK, Jan 22 – Ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra visited Luang Prabang, the UNESCO World Heritage Site for Laos PDR, on Jan 19-20 for merit-making before returning to Dubai and did so without any political agenda, his legal adviser Noppadol Pattama said on Sunday.
Mr Noppadol said the visit had nothing to do with political issues, in particular the latest cabinet reshuffle of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, Thaksin’s sister.
“He only mentioned that the reshuffle would strengthen the government’s stability, as it would be able to facilitate work in solving the country’s post-flood problem,” his legal adviser said.
Ousted in the 2006 coup, the twice-elected prime minister has mainly stayed in Dubai during his self-imposed exile after he was sentenced in absentia to a two-year jail term for violating conflict of interest laws while securing a prime piece of Bangkok property for his then-wife at a below-market price.
Regarding criticism that the appointment of Nalinee Taveesin as Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office was the result of her close ties with Thaksin, Noppadol said he had no knowledge of their relationship, but said Ms Nalinee was a capable person who had been before elected a Bangkok senator.
Noppadol said he was confident that Ms Nalinee would be able to clarify to the public the accusations that she was on a US blacklist owing to alleged business links to Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe.