Without naming him in person, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Tuesday effectively told fugitive ex-PM Thaksin Shinawatra to return home to fight court cases against him if he believed in his innocence.
General Prayut said that people living in self-exile overseas and escaping from Thai law were just "second-class citizens" in their host countries.
He also criticised the media for presenting news about "someone who committed wrongdoing and fled the country to live overseas". "Why did you care about him? You would do better caring about someone who is working for the country now," Prayut said, without naming anyone.
"Please don't give credit to people who attack their own country. They were born Thai, but now live in another country as second-class citizens," he said.
"They should come back and fight the legal cases against them. The justice system can ensure justice for them. If they believe in their innocence, they should come back," he stressed.