Thaksin does not fear coup at home
Prime minister will relax in London ahead of Cuba trip
Thai Rak Thai Party deputy leaders Somsak Thepsuthin, right, Thamarak Isarangura, centre, and Sukavich Rangsitpol join 200 other party members at a dinner for northeastern candidates at the Chao Phya Park Hotel in Bangkok. Somsak recently backed deputy le
Caretaker Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has cancelled his plan to return directly to Bangkok after attending a summit of Asian and European leaders in Finland and will instead take a break in London before flying to Cuba to attend a meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) nations.
"I'm not requesting asylum," he joked yesterday with a Thai News Agency reporter covering the
Sixth Asia-Europe Meeting in Helsinki.
One of Thaksin's daughters is studying in the United Kingdom and the family has a mansion in London.
Government Spokesman Surapong Suebwonglee said yesterday the prime minister's decision to cancel his return to Thailand had nothing to do with rumours of a possible military coup back home.
Surapong said that Thaksin, who yesterday attended the last day of the summit, had initially planned to return to Bangkok at 9am this morning and leave for Cuba tomorrow.
But a personal health problem, along with the prospect of a long return journey ahead of the flight from Bangkok to Cuba a day later to join the NAM summit, prompted the caretaker prime minister to take a day off in London instead, Surapong said.
Thaksin will now fly to London and spend a leisure day there before heading to Cuba, the spokesman added.
The prime minister will also attend the United Nations General Assembly meeting from November 14 to 22 in New York, Surapong said.
Thaksin had assigned caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Chidchai Vanasatidya to chair the weekly Cabinet meetings in his absence, the spokesman said.
After a brief visit to Tajikistan, Thaksin flew to Finland on Saturday against the backdrop of continued political turmoil - and even talk of a military coup to oust him - at home.
Meanwhile, Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva blamed Thaksin for spreading the rumour about a possible military coup, saying he believed Thaksin has a hidden agenda in spreading such talk.
"Citizens want to see the country return to peace, so Thaksin should be careful with his words," he said.