6 June 2024

Thaksin Shinawatra, convict on parole, said in his first interview today after returning to Thailand that ‘Happiness is at home’.”

He was speaking during his visit to a cemetery in Mae Tha sub-district in Chiang Mai to pay respects to his late parents.

Thaksin was accompanied during the visit by his children, grandchildren, younger sisters and close relatives, among them Yaowapa Wongsawat, Monthathip Kowitcharoenkul and Yaowaret Shinawatra.

The former prime minister said he had not had chances to visit the cemetery for many years, because he was abroad, but, from now on, he will come every year.

Asked whether he is happy among his family, Thaksin said with a smile that he has found happiness among his loved ones, unlike the past six months in the Police General Hospital, when he felt depressed.

He said that his health has been improving, but he occasionally feels some pain in his back if he moves too much, adding that he needs to wear neck support, but not all the time.

Thaksin who was convicted on corruption charges said he is glad that that the people in Chiang Mai still remember “an old man like me”, as many welcomed him during his visit to the Warorot market.

Asked whether he will see Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, who is due in Chiang Mai this evening, Thaksin said former prime minister Somchai Wongsawat was the host of a dinner and Srettha is one of the guests.

As a former prime minister, Thaksin said he has a duty to provide moral support to Srettha and to offer advice upon request.

Regarding his youngest daughter, Paetongtarn, leader of the Pheu Thai party, Thaksin said he has always been indulgent with his children and has never forced them to do as he wishes.