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Thai prime minister’s day in court

Thaksin Shinawatra

Is Thailand's prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra just an entrepreneurial businessman in a hurry, anxious to bring to the country the same benefits that he won in the telecoms business, where he became a US dollar billionaire and one of world's richest 500 people in quick time? Or does he just love power so much that he will do anything to keep it?

Bangkok's newspapers and political circles were full of both claims last month after the prime minister abruptly sacked the respected governor of the Bank of Thailand, Chatumongkol Sonakul.

Supporters of Thaksin claim that the central bank governor had to be removed because he did not support raising interest rates, which the government believes is a way of getting the economy moving.

Chatumongkol had fought fiercely for the independence of the central bank and had also clashed with the previous government of Chuan Leekpai.

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