Thailand's Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont said on Saturday that he is unworried about current publicity moves by ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra, and that he saw the discredited leader as merely struggling hard because serious legal cases against him are about to be brought to trial.
Surayud said in a weekly television program broadcast by state- run TV Channel 11 that he was unperturbed by statements by Thaksin broadcast live on three community radio stations this week because the contents of the interview could not arouse any sympathetic sentiment among listeners in the Thai public.
Some local media reported Saturday that Thaksin had already inked a deal to buy an English Premier League football club, Manchester City, following negotiations with the football club's manager.
However, the Bank of Thailand said on Wednesday that it had not been asked by the ex-PM to transfer 6 billion Baht (about 171 million U.S. dollars) in cash in his accounts from Thailand to buy Manchester City.
"I think that Thaksin is worried about the court cases against his family which are about to start now. His struggling shouldn't be considered as a political offensive," Surayud said, affirming that the government is not on the defensive. Our responsibility is to ensure that unrest doesn't occur (in the country)," Surayud said.
Thaksin, who has moved between Asia and London after he was ousted in the coup, has plenty of cash which could enable him to conduct political activities, said Surayud, adding that the criminal court which is handling cases against him and his family members would be the one who decides his fate.
Denying rumors that he has avoided bringing serious charges against Thaksin because of a secret deal, Surayud said he accepted the premiership to create a climate of reconciliation in Thailand and did not want to cause more rifts in the country.