By: The Nation
Former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra's daughters will be leaving for Switzerland tonight, their close aides said yesterday.
Pinthongtha and Preathongthan Shinawatra will first stop over in Zurich before heading off for Germany to keep a previously arranged business engagement, the aides said, noting that the trip was purely business with no political connections.
Meanwhile Thaksin's ex-wife Pojaman na Pombejra, their son Panthongtae, will remain in Thailand though they plan to leave the country soon, the aides said.
Though the media is paying close attention to the whereabouts of key political figures, reasons about how they could be connected to the red-shirts' mass rally remain unclear.
Newin Chidchob, de-factor leader of the Bhum Jai Thai party, has reportedly left for London where, according to Pheu Thai Party's chief adviser Chalerm Yoobamrung, he has set up a war room to order a crackdown on the red shirts.
Bhum Jai Thai's spokesman Supachai Jaisamut, however, dismissed the allegations saying that Newin was just visiting his son in London and would return later this month.
He added that the party and the Interior Ministry, run by the party leader Chaovarat Chanweerakul, had no plans to disturb the demonstration if it was peaceful.
The opposition Pheu Thai Party, however, appeared busier than usual as the red-shirts prepare for the rally. Yongyuth Tiyapairat, a former executive of the now-defunct People's Power Party, was seen at the Pheu Thai headquarters yesterday, though nobody could explain why he had shown up now when nobody has caught sight of him there over the past year.
Yongyut is said to be a key figure connected with Thaksin though his role in the protest remains unclear.
Meanwhile, Shinawat Haboonpat, a key leader of the red group, said his group would take only three days to topple the government, adding that about 70 per cent of the Bangkok taxi drivers would be joining the rally and farmers would bring down heir e-taen tractors to Bangkok.