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Former Thai PM Thaksin says lock-down was not the way to deal with Covid-19

Maya Taylor



PHOTO: Thaksin Shinawatra - Frank Franklin/AP

Former, and currently fugitive, PM Thaksin Shinawatra says he believes the lock-down introduced in Thailand to stop the spread of the Covid-19 virus was not the way to go. He maintains current restrictions are hurting the economy and their introduction was a mistake.

Nation Thailand reports that Thaksin was speaking to BBC Thai when he criticised the measures put in place by the current administration. He says he’s been listening to the thoughts of various experts, both medical and academic, and claims many countries don’t understand the virus.

Citing his experience in managing both the SARS and bird flu outbreaks while he was PM from 2003 to 2005, he says the country’s economy should not face such a significant threat as a result of restrictive lock-down policies.

He praised the Pheu Thai party for sending aid to poverty-stricken people in the north-east of the country. During the 2003 SARS outbreak, Thaksin shipped stocks of hand sanitiser to the same region, which is home to his most ardent supporters. He also says that he approves of Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, the former leader of the now defunct Future Forward party, who has donated medical supplies to various hospitals around the country.

Despite his comments, he maintains he doesn’t want to get involved in Thai politics, saying he is simply concerned for the Thai citizens currently suffering financial hardship.

Thaksin has been living in exile since being ousted by a military coup in 2006. In 2008, following a trial “in absentia”, the ruling junta found him guilty of corruption and sentenced him to two years’ imprisonment. The military did much the same by staging another coup when Thaksin’s sister Yingluck Shinawatra was removed from office then tried on charges of corruption in a rice-pledging scheme. Yingluck vanished days before the sentence was handed down and also now lives overseas as fugitive.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand


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1 Comment

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    Saturday, May 16, 2020 at 7:35 am

    He is obviously leaning form the tremendous success from US and UK in dealing with COVID-19.

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