132 Facts About Thaksin Shinawatra


Thaksin Shinawatra served in the Thai Police from 1973 to 1987, and was the Prime Minister of Thailand from 2001 to 2006.


Thaksin Shinawatra founded the Thai Rak Thai Party in 1998 and, after a landslide electoral victory, became prime minister in 2001.


Thaksin Shinawatra was the first democratically elected prime minister of Thailand to serve a full term and was re-elected in 2005 by an overwhelming majority.


Thaksin Shinawatra declared a "war on drugs" in which more than 2,500 people were killed.


Thaksin Shinawatra's government launched programs to reduce poverty, expand infrastructure, promote small and medium-sized enterprises, and extend universal healthcare coverage.


Thaksin Shinawatra took a strong-arm approach against the separatist insurgency in the Muslim southern provinces.


Thaksin Shinawatra called snap elections that were boycotted by the opposition and invalidated by the Constitutional Court.

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Thaksin Shinawatra was overthrown in a military coup on 19 September 2006.


Thaksin Shinawatra's party was outlawed and he was barred from political activity.


Thaksin Shinawatra has since lived in self-imposed exile except for a brief visit to Thailand in 2008.


Thaksin Shinawatra was sentenced in absentia to two years in jail for abuse of power.


Thaksin Shinawatra's great-grandfather, Seng Saekhu, was an immigrant from Meizhou, Guangdong, China, who arrived in Siam in the 1860s and settled in Chiang Mai in 1908.


Thaksin Shinawatra's eldest son, Chiang Saekhu, was born in Chanthaburi in 1890 and married a local named Saeng Samana.


Thaksin Shinawatra's father, Loet, was born in Chiang Mai in 1919 and married Yindi Ramingwong.


In 1968, Loet Thaksin Shinawatra entered politics and became an MP for Chiang Mai.


Thaksin Shinawatra opened a coffee shop, grew oranges and flowers in Chiang Mai's San Kamphaeng District, and opened two cinemas, a gas station, and a car and motorcycle dealership.


Thaksin Shinawatra lived in the village of San Kamphaeng until he was 15, then moved to Chiang Mai to study at Montfort College.


Thaksin Shinawatra was later elected prime minister on 3 July 2011.


Thaksin Shinawatra received a doctorate in criminology at Sam Houston State University.


Thaksin Shinawatra lectured at the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities of Mahidol University in 1979.


Thaksin Shinawatra was a member of the 10th class of the Armed Forces Academies Preparatory School, and was then admitted to the Thai Police Cadet Academy.


Thaksin Shinawatra received a master's degree in criminal justice from Eastern Kentucky University in the United States in 1975, and three years later was awarded a doctorate in criminal justice at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas.


Thaksin Shinawatra then marketed a romance drama called Baan Sai Thong, which became a popular success in theatres.


In 1988, he joined Pacific Telesis to operate and market the PacLink pager service, a modest success, though Thaksin Shinawatra later sold his shares to establish his own paging company.


At that time, Thaksin Shinawatra had a good relationship with Chalerm Yoobumrung, the minister of the Prime Minister's Office, who was in charge of Thai press and media.

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In 1989, Thaksin established a data networking service, Shinawatra DataCom, today known as Advanced Data Network and owned by AIS and TOT.


Many of Thaksin Shinawatra's businesses were later consolidated as Shin Corporation.


In 1990, Thaksin founded Shinawatra Satellite, which has developed and operated four Thaicom communications satellites.


In 1999, the Thaksin Shinawatra family spent some one billion baht establishing Thaksin Shinawatra University in Pathum Thani.


In 2000, Thaksin Shinawatra acquired the ailing iTV television station from the Crown Property Bureau, Nation Multimedia Group, and Siam Commercial Bank.


Thaksin Shinawatra entered politics in late 1994 through Chamlong Srimuang, who had just reclaimed the position of Palang Dharma Party leader from Boonchu Rojanastien.


Thaksin Shinawatra left Palang Dharma along with many of its MPs in 1996, and founded the populist Thai Rak Thai party in 1998.


Thaksin Shinawatra introduced a range of policies to alleviate rural poverty.


Thaksin Shinawatra launched the country's first universal healthcare program, the 30-baht scheme, as well as a notorious drug suppression campaign.


Thaksin Shinawatra embarked on a massive program of infrastructure investment, including roads, public transit, and Suvarnabhumi Airport.


Twelve years later, after Thaksin Shinawatra was removed from power, Chamlong Srimuang expressed regret at getting "such a corrupt person" into politics.


Thaksin Shinawatra ran for election for the first time for the constitutional tribunal and lost.


Thaksin Shinawatra joined the government of Banharn Silpa-Archa and was appointed Deputy Prime Minister in charge of Bangkok traffic.


Many have claimed that Thaksin Shinawatra's move was designed to help give Chamlong Srimuang a boost in the June 1996 Bangkok Governor elections, which Chamlong returned from retirement to contest.


Thaksin Shinawatra announced he would not run in the subsequent November 1996 elections but would remain as leader of the PDP.


On 15 August 1997, Thaksin Shinawatra became Deputy Prime Minister in Chavalit Yongchaiyudh's government, after the Thai baht was floated and devalued on 2 July 1997, sparking the Asian financial crisis.


Thaksin Shinawatra founded the Thai Rak Thai party in 1998 along with Somkid Jatusripitak, PDP ally Sudarat Keyuraphan, Purachai Piumsomboon, and 19 others.


Nonetheless, Thaksin Shinawatra opted for a broad coalition to gain total control and avoid a vote of no confidence, with the Chart Thai Party and the New Aspiration Party, while absorbing the smaller Seritham Party.


Thaksin Shinawatra became Prime Minister of Thailand on 9 February 2001.


However, Thaksin Shinawatra transferred the shares he owned to his domestic staff and other nominees in order to conceal his ownership.

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Later, the Constitutional Court ruled 8 to 7 that Thaksin Shinawatra did not have any intention in the matter.


However, there is still a part of society that is skeptical of the court's decision and sees Thaksin Shinawatra as disrupting the justice process, leading to the complaint and removal of four Constitutional Court judges.


In 2011, the Truth for Reconciliation Commission of Thailand released a final report after two years of work, stating that all political crises were caused by the "Thaksin Shinawatra stock hiding case" in which the Constitutional Court acted unlawfully.


Seven judges of the Constitutional Court ruled that Thaksin Shinawatra was guilty of the charges, while six other judges ruled that he was not guilty.


However, the Constitutional Court then included the votes of the two judges who had ruled that the case was not within their jurisdiction, but had not ruled on the substance of the case, and added them to the votes of the six judges who had ruled that Thaksin Shinawatra was not guilty.


Thaksin Shinawatra was the first prime minister of Thailand to complete a full term in office, and his rule is generally agreed to have been one of the most distinctive in the country's modern history.


Thaksin Shinawatra initiated many eye-catching policies that distinguished him from his predecessors.


Thaksin Shinawatra's cabinet consisted of a broad coalition of academics, former student leaders, and former leaders of the Palang Dharma Party, including Prommin Lertsuridej, Chaturon Chaisang, Prapat Panyachatraksa, Surapong Suebwonglee, Somkid Jatusripitak, Surakiart Sathirathai, and Sudarat Keyuraphan.


Thaksin Shinawatra's government designed its policies to appeal to the rural majority, initiating programs like village-managed microcredit development funds, low-interest agricultural loans, direct injections of cash into village development funds, infrastructure development, and the One Tambon One Product rural, small, and medium enterprise development program.


Thaksin Shinawatra helped legalise Thailand's massive underground lottery system numbers game to be run by the Government Lottery Office.


The Thaksin Shinawatra government privatised MCOT, a large television and radio broadcaster.


Thaksin Shinawatra initiated the ICL program to increase access to higher education, whereby needy students could secure a loan to support their studies from vocational to university levels.


The programs were merged and the income limit modified after Thaksin Shinawatra's government was overthrown.


Thaksin Shinawatra was one of the first supporters of Nicholas Negroponte's One Laptop Per Child project, with the Thai Ministry of Education committing to purchase 600,000 units.


Thaksin Shinawatra initiated the controversial "One District, One Dream School" project, aimed at developing the quality of schools to ensure that every district had at least one high-quality school.


Thaksin Shinawatra pushed for greater weighting of senior high-school grades in the hope of focusing students on classroom learning rather than private entrance exam tutoring.


Thaksin Shinawatra initiated two key healthcare policies: subsidised universal health care in 2002 and low-cost universal access to anti-retroviral HIV medication.


On 14 January 2003, Thaksin Shinawatra launched a campaign to rid "every square inch of the country" of drugs in three months.


In energy policy, the Thaksin Shinawatra government continued the Chuan Leekpai government's privatisation agenda, but with important changes.


Whereas the Chuan government's post-Asian financial crisis policies sought economic efficiency through industry fragmentation and wholesale power pool competition, Thaksin Shinawatra's policies aimed to create national champions that could reliably support stronger economic growth and become important players in regional energy markets.

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Thaksin Shinawatra initiated a policy to encourage renewable energy and energy conservation.


Thaksin Shinawatra was widely criticised for his management of the situation.


Thaksin Shinawatra announced an escalation of military and police activity in the region.


In July 2005, Thaksin Shinawatra enacted an Emergency Decree to manage the three troubled provinces.


In March 2005, Thaksin Shinawatra established the National Reconciliation Commission, chaired by former Prime Minister Anand Panyarachun to oversee efforts to bring peace to the troubled South.


The Thaksin Shinawatra administration assigned a government committee to study the report, but nothing came of it.


Thaksin Shinawatra blamed Malaysia's jungle that has occasionally been used to train Islamic militants to cause violence in the south and Indonesia for being an inspiration to the militants.


Thaksin Shinawatra transformed the role of provincial governors to that of active policy managers.


The Thaksin Shinawatra era saw the opening of a number of government one-stop service centres to reduce red tape for anything from investment to utilities and ID-card processing.


Thaksin Shinawatra initiated negotiations for several free trade agreements with China, Australia, Bahrain, India, and the US.


Thaksin Shinawatra announced that Thailand would forsake foreign aid, and work with donor countries to assist in the development of neighbours in the Greater Mekong Sub-region.


Thaksin Shinawatra was repeatedly attacked for acting undiplomatically with foreign leaders and the international community.


Thaksin Shinawatra was keen to position Thailand as a regional leader, initiating various development projects in poorer neighbouring countries like Laos.


Thaksin Shinawatra energetically supported his former foreign minister Surakiart Sathirathai's somewhat improbable campaign to become UN Secretary General.


The airport was opened a week after Thaksin Shinawatra's government was overthrown.


In 2008 Thaksin Shinawatra was sentenced to two years' imprisonment in absentia over a corrupt land deal.


Thaksin Shinawatra criticised Thaksin's wealth and extravagance, contrasting the alleged opulence of the premier's house and the humbler, agrarian roots of many of his supporters.


Shortly after, he condemned his opponent's self-proclaimed affinity with ordinary people, the "phrai", arguing that Thaksin Shinawatra was far closer to the "ammart", or the traditional elites in Thailand's army, bureaucracy, and political parties.


Thaksin Shinawatra's government was accused of exerting political influence in its crackdown on unlicensed community radio stations, and Thaksin Shinawatra brought defamation lawsuits against critical journalists.


On 23 January 2006, the Thaksin Shinawatra family sold their entire stake in Shin Corporation to Temasek Holdings.

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Thaksin Shinawatra was the target of accusations of corruption for selling forbidden national assets such as national utility company to a foreign entity in exchange for personal profits and kickbacks.


Thai laws at the time disallowed the sale of integral assets of national importance to the public or to any foreign entity, but Thaksin Shinawatra amended the laws to allow such sale.


Thaksin Shinawatra announced the dissolution of parliament on 24 February 2006.


Thaksin Shinawatra was attacked for calling for snap elections, which in effect prevented any member of parliament from changing parties.


Thaksin Shinawatra had announced on 4 April 2006 that he would not accept the post of prime minister after parliament reconvened, but would continue as caretaker prime minister until then.


Thaksin Shinawatra then delegated his functions to caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Chidchai Wannasathit, moved out of Government House, and went on vacation.


In press interviews in exile, Thaksin Shinawatra was to insist on his technical majority.


The Thaksin Shinawatra government faced allegations of corruption, authoritarianism, treason, conflicts of interest, acting non-diplomatically, and muzzling of the press.


Thaksin Shinawatra was accused of tax evasion, lese majeste, and selling assets of Thai companies to international investors.


Thaksin Shinawatra was charged for concealing his wealth during his premiership.


Thaksin Shinawatra returned to Thailand on 28 February 2008, after the People's Power Party, which he supported, won the post-coup elections.


Thaksin Shinawatra is a supporter, and alleged bankroller, of the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship.


In 2009 it was announced that Thaksin Shinawatra had obtained Montenegrin citizenship through that country's economic citizenship program.


Thaksin Shinawatra departed New York for Great Britain, where he had family.


Thaksin Shinawatra went on CNN to publicly deny any involvement in the bombings.


The AEC accused Thaksin Shinawatra of issuing an unlawful cabinet resolution approving the spending of state funds to buy rubber saplings.


Thaksin Shinawatra's Cabinet had approved the relevant executive decree in 2003.


Thaksin Shinawatra became briefly popular with fans, especially after appointing Sven-Goran Eriksson manager of the club and bringing in prominent players.


In May 2007, Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont said Thaksin Shinawatra was free to return to Thailand, and he would personally guarantee Thaksin Shinawatra's safety.


Thaksin Shinawatra was set to be tried for alleged violation of stock-trading and land sale laws.

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On 28 February 2008, Thaksin Shinawatra arrived in Bangkok after 17 months in exile.


Thaksin Shinawatra stated that he would not re-enter politics and wished to focus on his football interests.


Thaksin Shinawatra sought political asylum in the United Kingdom, claiming his political enemies were interfering with the judiciary.


Thaksin Shinawatra now denied he was seeking political asylum in Britain.


Thaksin Shinawatra had reportedly considered sanctuaries such as China, the Bahamas, Nicaragua, and several other countries in South America and Africa.


In December 2008 Thaksin Shinawatra obtained a residency permit for Germany which was withdrawn on 28 May 2009 when the German government became aware of the arrangement.


Guido Westerwelle, German foreign minister, lifted the travel restriction banning Thaksin Shinawatra from entering Germany on 15 July 2011 after the election victory of Thaksin Shinawatra's proxy party.


In mid-April 2009, violent protests of mostly Thaksin Shinawatra supporters calling themselves the National United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship led to the cancellation of the ASEAN summit in Pattaya and a declaration of a state of emergency in Bangkok.


Thaksin Shinawatra had given encouragement at UDD rallies via satellite and phone-in link, at one point calling for a "people's revolution".


Thaksin Shinawatra supported protests by the UDD against the Abhisit Vejjajiva government, demanding Thaksin Shinawatra be allowed to return free from all the earlier corruption charges.


Thaksin Shinawatra denied leading the UDD, claiming he only gave them "moral support".


On 4 November 2009, it was announced that Thaksin Shinawatra had been appointed as special advisor to the Cambodian government and Hun Sen and stated that Cambodia would refuse to extradite Thaksin Shinawatra because it considered him a victim of political persecution.


Sok An, a member of the Council of Ministers and Deputy Prime Minister of Cambodia, said Thaksin Shinawatra's appointment is a decision internal to Cambodia and "conforms to international practice".


Thaksin Shinawatra requested the Cambodian government to pardon Sivarak, and he was pardoned by King Norodom Sihamoni and expelled.


The prosecution claimed that Thaksin Shinawatra abused his powers five times while premier.


The judges did not find that Thaksin Shinawatra was guilty of malfeasance.


Thaksin Shinawatra noted how the Thai stock market rose to the benefit of many companies, not just his, and claimed that all charges against him were politically motivated.


Thaksin Shinawatra thanked his supporters for not protesting while the verdict was being read, and implored them to use non-violent means in the future.


Pojaman na Pombejra insisted that tens of billions of baht of her wealth had been given to her children and relatives well before Thaksin Shinawatra took office in 2001 and denied that her children and relatives were nominees of her and her husband.


Thaksin Shinawatra denied having any control over Ample Rich and Win Mark, two firms that the AEC had accused of being her nominees.

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In spite of Pojaman's claim, Thaksin Shinawatra was the authorised signature for Ample Rich through 2005, making him the only individual authorised to withdraw funds from the company's account until he transferred the authority to his children, four years after he took office in 2001.


Thaksin Shinawatra was charged with illegally concealing billions of baht of his wealth by transferring ownership of Shin Corp.


Thaksin Shinawatra tearfully told the Constitutional Court that it was an honest mistake before the Court acquitted him on the charges.


Panthongtae and Pinthongta Thaksin Shinawatra were accused of being nominees of their parents.


Thaksin Shinawatra stated he had a written agreement proving the transfer to his son.


Thaksin Shinawatra said that the money from her mother was a "birthday present".


The list of national honours received by Thaksin Shinawatra has been arranged as per the Thai honours order of precedence.