By OLAN LERTRUDTANADUMRONGKUL
FORMER prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra celebrated her 48th birthday yesterday by wishing for love, warmth and forgiveness among Thais.
I want to see the atmosphere in the country be warm, to see Thailand, the land of smiles, be full with love and warmth and everyone to be forgiving. If we have such an atmosphere, everyone will be happy. I wish everyone happiness,” she said after marking the day with a religious ceremony.
Yingluck joined her friends and family to make merit in the morning at Wat San Suk in Min Buri. She was also accompanied by members of the Pheu Thai Party, such as Niwatthamrong Boonsongpaisan, Poomtham Wechayachai and Karun Hosakul.
The abbot of the temple, Phra Kru Kosol Wimolkij, jokingly told her not to run off and he invited her to celebrate the naming of Wat San Suk as a royal temple.
Yingluck, who is facing a criminal case related to her administration’s rice-pledging scheme and could be jailed for up to two years, responded firmly that she would not run away and would join the celebration.
Asked if her brother, fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, had wished her a happy birthday, she said he called her and did so on Saturday.
“I’m now a full citizen. My normal life has resumed. I’m fairly happy. I have more time for myself and my family. I get some rest and meet old friends as well as exercise,” she said.
When Yingluck’s entourage arrived at the temple, they were welcomed by the temple’s members and other locals. They sang happy birthday and gave her flowers all the way to the ubosot.
Yingluck freed 3,000 birds to make merit and her supporters shouted that they wished she would become as free as the birds. A table was arranged by the supporters so that people could write birthday wishes and for the launch of the “Forever Yingluck” campaign, with pot plants featuring Yingluck’s picture being given away as gifts.
The supporters will take photos of themselves holding the pot plants and post them on Yingluck’s official Facebook page. The campaign aims to boost the |number of “likes” on the page from three million to five million. The participants’ names will be randomly picked and they will be given souvenirs like the book “Think Like Yingluck”.
Meanwhile, Sansern Promjiak, secretary-general of the National Anti-Corruption Commission, yesterday announced the dates on which Yingluck and some of her former cabinet members must report to the NACC to acknowledge the charges they face over the alleged improper disbursement of compensation to red-shirt protesters.
The official letters have been sent to the accused and they must report to the NACC between June 9-30, he said.
He reiterated that so far no one had reported. Yingluck had requested and been given permission to delay reporting until June 30.