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Thaksin Shinawatra: Exiled in Dubai, but still he dreams of Thailand

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Former Thai PM Thaksin Shinawatra

Former Thai PM Thaksin Shinawatra. Photo: Thaksin Shinawatra / Facebook.


The Monday Interview: Ousted in a bloodless coup in 2006, the former PM is desperate to regain power – for his sister. Andrew Buncombe met him

Would you you like some durian?” A smile flashes across the face of Thaksin Shinawatra as he thinks of the notorious Asian fruit, famed for both its sweet taste and wrenchingly rotten smell. The former Thai prime minister has already served steamed pork balls, coconut noodles with green onion and a prawn and minced-pork curry, but he is adamant the meal will not be complete without this addition. He calls for one – thankfully it is not too ripe – and he appears content. “I always say the best Thai restaurant in Dubai is my home,” he chuckles.

The business tycoon and former owner of Manchester City football club is perhaps the world’s most famous political exile. Since being ousted from office in a bloodless coup in 2006, he has lived a peripatetic lifestyle, travelling the globe in his Bombardier Global Express jet in search of safe havens to continue his business operations and rally his supporters in Thailand. He has spent periods in Hong Kong, Singapore, China, Brunei, the UK (where he complained he could not find a decent barber), Nicaragua, Montenegro and Cambodia.

Read more: independent.co.uk

The Independent


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