Thailand’s Thaksin to take refuge in Nicaragua?

Nicaragua has issued a passport for Thailand’s former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, Thai authorities have verified. The document allows Thaksin—wanted in Thailand on charges of inciting the recent political riots—to travel internationally. His previous passport had been revoked, and he is currently in hiding. During the protests, he hopped from Australia, China, Hong Kong, Dubai and Cambodia in his private jet, issuing video messages to his followers. The Thai ambassador to Mexico met with the Nicaraguan ambassador to that nation April 17, to convey the message that the Thai government does not wish to see Thaksin using any country as an off-shore base to destabilise the Kingdom. The Thai ambassador also requested Nicaragua extradite Thaksin, although Thailand and Nicaragua have no extradition treaty. (Electric News Paper, Singapore, April 19; Thai News Agency, April 17)

Meanwhile, in a sign of Nicaragua’s own potential for renewed political violence, the country’s Prosecutor General Hernan Estrada, a close ally of President Daniel Ortega, was grazed by bullets when a gunman on a motorcycle fired at him near his home in Managua April 6. “This was a criminal act,” Nicaragua’s National Police chief Aminta Granera said (rather obviously). Speaking at a press conference where she was flanked by Estrada, who was briefly treated at a hospital, Granera blamed “some religious leaders” and “some media outlets” for inciting violence against Ortega. (Reuters, April 6)

See our last posts on Thailand and Nicaragua.

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