August 21, 2023
BANGKOK – Thaksin’s youngest daughter Paetongtarn Shinawatra had announced earlier that her father would be landing at Don Mueang International Airport at 9am on Tuesday.
Tuesday is also the day Parliament will convene to vote for the next prime minister.
Panwadee Tantisirin, a key red-shirt leader in the Northeast, told local media on Sunday that “people have been waiting for Thaksin’s return for 17 years. When we learned of his return home, we were delighted”.
She said that at around 8pm on Monday, 10 buses and 15 vans will be bringing red-shirt supporters from Khon Kaen to Bangkok.
Dismissing speculation about Thaksin cancelling this trip as he has done nearly 20 times before, Panwadee said he will return without any hitches.
She said Thaksin’s return is a blessing because only he can solve Thailand’s economic problems.
She added that red-shirt supporters must go greet Thaksin to thank him for his devotion to the people of Thailand, as evidenced by several measures he introduced during his tenure, including the 30-baht healthcare scheme.
However, Thaksin cannot expect a red-carpet welcome as he will be taken to prison to serve his 10-year jail sentence over three corruption cases dating back to his time in office.
The former PM has been living in self-imposed exile since 2008 after his government was ousted in a military coup led by General Sonthi Boonyaratglin on September 19, 2006.