BANGKOK – THAILAND’S prime minister announced on Thursday that he had cancelled a visit to a northern stronghold of his rival, ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra, owing to security concerns.
Abhisit Vejjajiva was set to travel to the northern city of Chiang Mai for a commerce meeting on Sunday, but decided against the trip after receiving death threats, despite initially downplaying the security risk.
The cancellation highlights the political instability faced by Thailand, which has been wracked by rival street protests for months. Chiang Mai is a stronghold for Thaksin loyalists, known as Red Shirts, who want to see the former leader return from his self-imposed exile as he dodges a jail term for corruption.
One of the leading Red Shirts reportedly used his radio show earlier this month to threaten Mr Abhisit with a car bomb when he visited the city.