'Thai leader Thaksin seeks Pacific asylum'
Thaksin Shinawatra, the ousted prime minister of Thailand, is touring the Pacific seeking political asylum, according to a report Thursday on the Fiji-based Pacnews website.world Updated: Jul 09, 2009 09:58 IST
Thaksin Shinawatra, the ousted prime minister of Thailand, is touring the Pacific seeking political asylum, according to a report Thursday on the Fiji-based Pacnews website.
Thaksin and an entourage were given the full VIP treatment when they flew Monday into Fiji on a private jet and reportedly met the Pacific island state's military strongman, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, in the capital Suva.
The talks included other Fiji government officials, including investment authorities, Pacnews reported, but no details of the discussions were revealed. All media outlets in Fiji are subject to strict censorship by the military regime.
Currently based in Dubai, Thaksin reportedly spent a night at Suva's Holiday Inn hotel before flying to the island kingdom of Tonga.
Foreign media reports say that Thaksin is looking for asylum in a country that does not have an extradition treaty with Thailand, where in 2008 he was sentenced in absentia to two years in prison and his passport revoked.
Thaksin became prime minister of Thailand in 2001 when his Thai Rak Thai party won a general election. He was re-elected in 2005, but was deposed by the Thai military in a September 2006 coup.