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Thai ex-PM to receive new Thai passport as New Year gift: Thai FM…Luang Thaksin returns to sender

BANGKOK, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) — The Thai government will soon re- issue a passport for fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra as a New Year’s gift, The Nation online reported on Friday.

Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul told reporters on Friday that the ministry is preparing to return Thai passport to former prime minister Thaksin.

Thaksin’s diplomatic passport was revoked in April 2009 by Foreign Ministry under pro-establishment Democrat Party government. The Democrat government claimed that the passport needed to be revoked as Thaksin violated passport issuing regulations, which state that the ministry can cancel or recall a passport if it can prove that a person has caused damage to the country.

In April 2009, Thaksin’s phoning-in to anti-Democrat government demonstration by Red Shirt camp was considered as inciting violence by the then Democrat government.

Thaksin was ousted in a military coup in 2006 and lives in exile to avoid a two-year jail term for a corruption conviction.

“When Thaksin’s passport was revoked, there was no order from the courts or the police to seize it,” Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul told reporters.

“I will therefore use my authority and proceed legally under the regulations of the ministry to issue a new passport to ex- premier Thaksin,” he said.

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