Maybe not officially.
But I find his statement, “They [the Red Shirt demonstrators] did not demand anything for me or on my behalf,” hard to swallow.
It’s a well-known fact that, on an administrative level, the fugitive ex-premier called to speak with the former Red leaders frequently. Among the protesters themselves, judging from the Thaksin paraphernalia they sported, like the face masks that resemble his mug, as well as their signs and banners, Thaksin was, and has always been, very much on the protesters’ minds. Plus, the former leaders have openly declared they received funding from the multibillionaire. There has been some talk that the Red movement was starting to move away from Thaksin but, nevertheless, I don’t think his support can be doubted. Thaksin is trying to claim the most marginal involvement possible – and I, for one, don’t buy it.
Thaksin also says, “The government should be mindful that these protesters are Thai citizens. Please do not harm them.”
Harm them? Since the surrender of some of their leaders yesterday, Red demonstrators have set fire to 27 different public and government buildings around Bangkok, as well as provincial centers in other areas. Where is their respect for their fellow “Thai citizens”?
At this point, those doing the most harm are the protesters rioters themselves.