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Thaksin divorces wife: Thai media
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Thailand's former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has ended his 32-year marriage with wife Pojaman, Thai media reported Saturday.

Bangkok Post newspaper reported that Thaksin had told the ruling People Power Party (PPP) MPs at a dinner in Hong Kong Friday night that he had divorced Pojaman, "in order to make everybody feel comfortable," according to a PPP MP who attended the dinner.

The divorce was sealed at 11.00 a.m. Friday at the Thai consulate in Hong Kong, the source said.

Thaksin's announcement shocked everyone at the table. Pojaman was not present, said the MP.

The report also cited a "high-ranking government source" as confirming that the couple had signed the divorce papers at the Thai consulate in Hong Kong.

The divorce came less than a month after the Supreme Court sentenced Thaksin to two years in jail for abuse of power and acquitted Pojaman over conflict of interest charges in the a Bangkok land deal case in 2003.

The indiction prompted the United Kingdom to cancel entry visas for Thaksin and his wife.

A political observer said that the divorce could be legally motivated to protect the couple's assets, which are mostly held in the name of Pojaman, according to the Bangkok Post report.

Thaksin and Pojaman married in 1976 and have one son and two daughters, all grown up. The couple has been seen very close.

Thaksin was ousted in a coup in September, 2006 and went into self-exile in London before his and Pojaman's visas were revoked.

Thaksin reportedly flew to Dubai Friday night after the dinner with PPP MPs.

(Xinhua News Agency November 15, 2008)

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