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Divisive ex-Thai leader marks birthday on Twitter

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Breaking News. Image: GoodManPL (Pixabay).

Thailand’s deposed leader Thaksin Shinawatra marked his 61st birthday Monday with tweets from exile that called for peace, a day after a grenade exploded in downtown Bangkok that left one person dead and 10 wounded.

There have been no claims of responsibility for Sunday’s blast at a bus stop in a busy shopping district, which coincided with a parliamentary election that pitted a jailed leader of recent pro-Thaksin protests against a government candidate who narrowly won.

Authorities have declined to speculate whether the bombing was related to Thailand’s continued political turbulence in the wake of the street demonstrations that paralyzed much of the capital for weeks. During two months of unrest that ended with an army crackdown May 19, almost 90 people died — mostly protesters — and more than 1,400 were hurt.

“I am 61 today,” Thaksin tweeted. “I want to see good things happening in our country and am prepared to cooperate with all sides.” He did not elaborate.

“Please do not resort to violence. I don’t like it. I disagree with it,” Thaksin added. The ex-leader and former tycoon is widely believed to have financed the so-called Red Shirt anti-government movement.

Asian Correspondent

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