Bomb Explodes At Home Of Thai Royal Adviser
Bangkok, 9 March (AKI) - Amid mounting political tensions in Thailand, a bomb has exploded in the capital Bangkok at the home of a former prime minister and advisor to the king. Two people were injured in the blast Thursday including a British tourist. Reports say that the explosion occurred near a security post outside the home of Prem Tinsulanonda, a chief advisor to King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Prem was believed to be at home at the time of the blast and according to the police there was no warning given before the explosion. Prem, a former army commander-in-chief, was also Thai prime minister between 1980 and 1988.

Last month, in a speech about the king's guidelines on good governance, Prem is said to have slighted the Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra which angered Thaksin's supporters. Tension is high in Bangkok with rallies virtually every day calling for Thaksin's resignation.

The anti-Thaksin campaign has grown stronger since the Shinawatra family's 1.9 billion dollar sale of its controlling stake in telecommunications giant Shin Corp. to a Singaporean state-owned investment company in January. The deal angered the middle class in Bangkok, where protestors have demanded Thaksin's resignation over the tax-free sale of strategic assets, such as satellites.

However Thaksin - who has been accused of nepotism, corruption, conflict of interest and a despotic tendency in his methods of governing - still enjoys the support of the majority of the rural Thai population, and observers say that any election would probably end with his victory. In last year's election Thaksin's right wing populist Thai Rak Thai party, won 376 of the 500 seats. He also won the 2001 election. The Thai prime minister has called for snap elections for 2 April in an attempt to regain authority in the country. However some of the main opposition parties have already said that they would boycott the poll.
Posted by: Steve 2006-03-09