Bangkok, Feb 28 (UNI) Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra who today ended 17 months of self-exile abroad said he had no political ambitions and had returned to deny corruption allegations against him.
Addressing a press conference this afternoon at a Bangkok hotel where he is staying under a heavy security cover, Mr Thaksin said he wanted to return to Thailand the day after the military ousted him on September 19, 2006, but was advised by the coup leaders to stay abroad.
''I have to return to prove my innocence and restore my reputation that has been unfairly tarnished,''he said.
The former Thai prime minister was earlier granted bail by the courts on his return on two separate charges of corruption during his term in office.
''I will not return to the political stage. I am 59 this year, so I just want to enjoy the last stages of my life with my family, in my country. I will die on Thai soil,'' he added.
Mr Thaksin said he would devote himself to social work and developing national sports and education.
''I and my family have suffered from injustice but this can not be compared to the hardship befallen the people who are the worst victims of political rivalry,'' he said.
UNI XC ARB DS1510