Banned from pol­i­tics, for­mer Thai leader goes on tour

Pakistan Observer - - INTERNATIONAL -

BUENG KAN ( Thai­land)— As Thai­land’s ousted prime min­is­ter Yingluck Shi­nawa­tra made her way through a line of fans, some cried, oth­ers screamed and a few em­braced her.

“She touched my hand! She touched my hand!” one woman yelled at a Bud­dhist tem­ple in the ru­ral north­east where sev­eral hun­dred peo­ple came to see her Mon­day.

This was not a po­lit­i­cal cam­paign stop. If it had been, the gen­er­als who ousted Yingluck two years ago never would have let it hap­pen. She’s banned from pol­i­tics, and the mil­i­tary govern­ment has banned the en­tire coun­try from try­ing to sway vot­ers, who will de­cide Aug. 7 whether to ac­cept a new con­sti­tu­tion drawn up by the junta.

Yingluck says she’s sim­ply greet­ing and thank­ing her 5 mil­lion Facebook fans for their sup­port, but she ap­pears to be hop­ing that by tour­ing the coun­try, she can gal­va­nize sup­port­ers with­out say­ing a po­lit­i­cal word. “She will show to her op­po­nent and also to the pub­lic that, ‘ We are still here and there is a huge sup­port for us,’” said Kan Yueny­ong, ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of the Siam In­tel­li­gence Unit think tank. “I think this is very im­por­tant mes­sage, a hid­den mes­sage, that she would like to send to the pub­lic.”— AP

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