BANGKOK: Billionaire ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra on Tuesday hit out at Thailand’s ruling junta, saying coups targeting his family have made the country worse off over the past 12 years, reports AFP.
His comments are among the most pointed criticism for some time and come days after the junta eased bans on political activities before a promised election next year.The Shinawatra clan—a wealthy and powerful family—has won every election since 2001 through populist platforms and welfare schemes that have angered Bangkok’s military-aligned elite.
Thailand’s modern history has been marked by attempted and successful coups. But the era since the putsch that toppled Thaksin in 2006 has been dubbed the “Lost Decade”, with street protests and instability a feature of political life.
Another coup in 2014 toppled a civilian government headed by Thaksin’s younger sister Yingluck, who fled the country.
Military leaders have argued that taking control has been necessary to restore stability.
But in a Facebook post at times emotional and accusatory, the exiled former leader looked back over the turbulent period and asked Thais whether they were really better off in education, health care and the economy. He accused a small fraction of benefiting from the power shifts.
“There are some people who got rich from these two coups but there are several areas which have gotten worse and our beloved Thailand has been been viewed unfavourably by people around the world,” the 69-year-old said on the eve of the anniversary of his ousting.