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Page last updated at 19:16 GMT, Tuesday, 21 October 2008 20:16 UK

Thais views: Thaksin declared guilty

Thailand's fugitive ex-PM Thaksin Shinawatra has been given a two-year prison sentence for corruption. He says the verdict was politically motivated.

He was ousted in a coup in 2006, but protests over his influence on the current Thai government has led to violent clashes. BBC News website readers in Thailand have been sending their views on the ruling.

UMNUAY SAE-HAU, ECONOMIST, BANGKOK
Umnuay Sae-hau at a demonstration in Bangkok
Umnuay Sae-hau thinks the sentence should have been longer.

I felt very happy to hear the news, but I wish the sentence had been longer. Other people have been given longer sentences, and two years in prison is rather short. So I think he got off lightly.

Other charges against him are pending, but I doubt he will be back in Thailand. If he does, maybe there will be other legal procedures.

I have been attending the protests by the PAD (People's Alliance for Democracy) in the last few months. I was there when the police killed two or three people. I think the protests have achieved some good results, including the former prime minister being sentenced to prison.

People are fairly happy that at least he was sent to prison. There are quite a few supporters who are very bitter about what has been going on. Most come from the countryside.

I am not attending the rally now, but I am watching the protests on the street on television. They are there, even if it's raining.

LAKKANA KITTIRATANAWIWAT, BANGKOK

Thaksin was a very successful businessman but he didn't have enough ethics to be a prime minister. Being rich doesn't make you a good ruler, you need to have more ethics than other people.

He should be extradited and sentenced very soon. The UK should send him back to Thailand and not allow him to stay there.

The court decided to send him to prison and it doesn't matter if Thaksin says it's fair or not.

I am quite open to Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat and I expect him to show with his actions that he is not like Thaksin.

CHANCHAI JAIDEE, BUSINESSMAN, BANGKOK

I belong to the majority of Thai people who love democracy and side with the rightful and democratically elected government.

Thaksin's wife, Pojamarn, was found not guilty in the same case even though this case was about Pojamarn winning the bid to buy land from the Bank of Thailand. But Thaksin was found guilty because he happened to be the spouse of Pojamarn.

We are ashamed of the low standards of our court that just sentenced former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to two years in prison on ethical grounds, not legal grounds.

A placard outside the court sums it all up: Thaksin has been found guilty because the poor love him!

The powers that be in Thailand could not stand the fact that Thaksin was widely loved by the poor because he had done so much to better the plight of the poor in Thailand.

In Thailand the prime minister has no power. Two years ago, the Thai prime minister could not return to his homeland after a coup d'etat. Two months ago, our prime minister was stripped of his office for a petty offence as hosting a cooking show.

We are saddened by the fact that the media people - television stations and newspapers - have not dared to speak the truth.

VASU INNADDA, STUDENT, BANGKOK

The Supreme Court made the right decision. Thaksin has to pay for what he has done. I don't mind if they sentence him to one, or two or three years of prison. All I care about is that he was declared guilty.

I am a PAD supporter and have been attending some of the protests. I think it will influence the movement and will help them go further on what they want. It ensures that we are fighting for the right thing.

I don't think that the prime minister will quit, he will never quit, but I do hope there is some change in the government. I didn't support the military coup, but I do think that this government is not right to rule the country.


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