Thaksin returns to Thailand after 17 months

February 29th, 2008 - 12:20 am ICT by admin  

Bangkok, Feb 28 (Xinhua) Thailand’s former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra arrived here Thursday morning from 17 months in self-exile after a bloodless military coup had ousted his administration in September 2006. Thaksin arrived by Thai International Airways flight TG 603 from Hong Kong that landed at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport at around 9:45 a.m.

Amid tightened security, thousands of supporters were waiting excitedly but peacefully outside the airport to welcome the ex-premier.

About 70 supporters, including former officials of the now defunct Thai Rak Thai Party that he had founded, accompanied Thaksin. The party was dissolved after the Sep 19 coup in 2006 toppled Thaksin’s government.

Thaksin had said earlier that he came back to fight a series of corruption and abuse of power charges against him and his family and would quit politics forever.

Since the coup, which took place when Thaksin was attending the UN assembly in New York, the telecom-tycoon-turned-politician had been mostly living in Britain where he also owns the Manchester City Football Club.

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