Bangkok: Thailand`s former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra was on Thursday granted permission by the military junta to travel to Europe for a 20-day trip for the first time after the first woman premier was ousted in a coup.
Yingluck, 46, is expected to travel to Paris next week to attend the 65th birthday party of Thaksin Shinawatra, her elder brother and the fugitive former premier.
Thaksin`s birthday celebration is expected to be held on July 26. He has lived in self-imposed exile except for a brief visit to Thailand in 2008.
"The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) yesterday approved prime minister Yingluck`s request to leave the country because since the coup she has never shown that she was against the NCPO`s work," army spokesman Colonel Winthai Suvaree said.
"She has kept a low profile ever since," he said.
Yingluck was removed from office in a controversial court ruling and subsequently the army seized power on May 22 in a bloodless coup.
She was among hundreds of people summoned and temporarily detained by the junta.
Army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha has said the coup was necessary to restore order after half a year of anti- government protests and political turmoil that left at least 28 people dead and the government paralysed.
Since the coup, several people have been detained in an apparent crackdown on dissent by the junta.
Supporters of the coup alleged that the ousted government of Yingluck was controlled by her brother Thaksin, who was prime minister until his removal by the military in 2006.
The Shinawatra family enjoys strong support in rural and northern areas, leading to their successive election wins.
Yingluck, who was indicted for dereliction of duty could face criminal charges for a controversial loss-making rice subsidy scheme.\
The anti-government protesters also accuse Yingluck of acting as a proxy for Thaksin, who was ousted in the coup.