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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs           13   August  2011

Japan to allow fugitive Thaksin entry

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Japan apparently plans to issue a special entry permit to former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who has been in exile following a military coup in 2006, a report said on Friday.

The new Thai government of Yingluck Shinawatra, a younger sister of Thaksin, who took office on Monday, has requested the permit from Tokyo, Kyodo news agency reported, quoting Japanese government sources.

Mr. Thaksin, who served as Thai prime minister between 2001 and 2006 before being deposed in the coup, has been living in exile in Dubai to escape a two-year jail term from a corruption conviction.

Under Japanese law, convicted felons are normally denied entry into Japan and the law has been enforced on numerous occasions against many well-known persons, including many show business personalities who were convicted on drug charges.

Mr. Thaksin hopes to visit Japan August 22-28 with the main purpose of touring north-eastern areas devastated by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, Kyodo said.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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