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Thailand or Bali? Thaksin Picks Paradise

Deposed Thai Prime Minister Takes a Holiday in Bali

(11/19/2006) In New York City on September 19, 2006 when opposition forces staged a bloodless coup in Bangkok, Former Thai Prime Minister Taksin Shinawatra has spent most of the time since that date ensconced his London home avoiding the attentions of an inquisitive world press.

Purported to be one of Thailand's richest men, the former police official is currently a man on the move, enjoying visits to Hong Kong, China and the island of Bali. Unwelcome for the moment in Bangkok where coup leaders and the Monarchy would find his presence extremely problematic, the disgraced former Prime Minister arrived last week on board a Cathay Pacific flight from Hong Kong where he was whisked through customs and immigration formalities and driven to a five star hotel in Bali's Nusa Dua Complex. In the days after his arrival he also managed to squeeze in a round of golf at one of Bali's premier courses.

In the company of a young lady, believed to be his daughter, when seen traveling from the airport to his hotel, the former Prime Minister is expected to stay for as long as one week in Bali before traveling on to Mainland China or Perth Australia.

Meanwhile, Thai military junta leader Surayud Chulanond has publicly indicated that Taksin would only be allowed to return to his homeland after new elections can be held, scheduled to take place sometime in the coming 12 months.