ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Ousted Thai PM To Visit United States
According to Thaksin's lawyer and close aide Noppadon Pattama, the former premier will travel to Washington state on December 16 in response to an invitation of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE).
Thaksin is expected to present testimony on the violation of human rights during the April-May protests of the "red-shirt" UDD that led to a crackdown resulting in injuries and deaths.
Noppadon said CSCE is focusing their attention on the insurgency in Thailand's southern restive provinces, issues regarding press freedom and the imposition of the emergency decree in which the committee believes it limits the transparency of incident of the April-May crackdown.
He further added Thaksin has evaluated the safety of his trip, and revealed that it would be a good opportunity to provide another explanation of the incident.
Thaksin was ousted in a 2006 coup and lives in self-imposed exile to avoid a jail term for corruption. He fled Thailand in 2008 before he was sentenced in absentia to two years in jail. His whereabouts have been kept secret.
Thaksin remains a controversial figure in Thailand.
Thai courts have issued a series of warrants for the ex-premier for charges including terrorism -- an accusation linked to the red shirt protests.
The mass demonstrations in Bangkok descended into several bouts of bloodshed in April and May that left 91 people dead -- mostly civilians -- and some 1,900 injured, in a series of clashes between armed troops and protesters.
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