THAILAND - Former premier Thaksin Shinawatra's legal adviser yesterday rejected as groundless a news magazine's report that Thaksin's former wife was in Myanmar recently to meet an astrologer and perform a rite of magic.
However, Noppadon Pattama also added that there was nothing wrong if Khunying Pojaman na Pombejra did actually go to Myanmar, as had been reported. "She did nothing illegal," he said at the ruling Pheu Thai Party's headquarters.
The Irrawaddy reported on Friday that Pojaman, during her recent trip to Myanmar, paid a visit to Yangon-based astrologer San Zarni Bo to seek advice for Thaksin's "smooth re-entry" to Thailand and to ask about his business concessions in Burma. The man is one of Burma's most famous astrologers, it said.
The news magazine also quoted a source close to the matter as saying, "The political situation is not good in their country, so they wanted to do some yadaya for internal peace and Thaksin's return to the country."
Yadaya is a form of magic practised in Myanmar to ward off evil spirits and weaken one's enemies.
"She also asked about their oil-related business concessions in Burma's Tenasserim Division," the source was quoted as saying.
Thaksin and Pojaman also stopped at Kaba Aye Pagoda (World Peace Pagoda) during their trip to promote peace in Thailand, the newsmagazine reported. "The pagoda seemed to be a perfect place for Thaksin to perform the yadaya numerological rituals, as the Sixth Buddhist Council was once held there," it said.
Thaksin had visited Myanmar last April over the Buddhist New Year, when he met with the commander-in-chief of Myanmar's armed forces, General Min Aung Hlaing.
According to the newsmagazine, the ex-premier holds property in Dawei, the southernmost town in Tenasserim Division, where a special economic zone is planned and the multimillion-dollar Dawei deep-sea port project is under construction.
The Irrawaddy, based in Chiang Mai, was founded in 1992 by Burmese exiles living in Thailand.