Deposed Thai PM Vacations in Bali

DENPASAR ~ Deposed Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra arrived in Bali this week for a holiday.

Thaksin, who was shopping in Hong Kong with his wife on Tuesday, was whisked at the airport on Wednesday to a limousine and left in a convoy of cars without speaking to waiting reporters.

The convoy headed for the luxury Sheraton resort in the tourist area of Nusa Dua south of the airport.

“He will be there for vacation for about five or even seven days,” Thaksin’s lawyer Noppadol Pattama said.

He could not say whether Thaksin’s wife, Pojaman, would be staying there with the fallen premier to celebrate her birthday on November 22.

After leaving Bali, Thaksin planned to return to China or another nearby nation, Noppadol said.

Thaksin was in New York when a coup occurred, and then flew into self-imposed exile in London, where he has a residence.

This month the former premier has been staying in China.

Military-backed Prime Minister Surayud Chulanond said last week that Thaksin should return to Thailand only after elections that have been promised for late next year.

Thailand has been under martial law since the September 19 coup. The junta has been reluctant to lift it, despite international pressure, for fear that Thaksin’s supporters could start an anti-coup movement.

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