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PM: Rally Is Okay If Peaceful
Source: http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/politics/318105/pm-rally-is-ok-if-lawful
Source Date: Thursday, October 25, 2012
Focus: Institution and HR Management
Country: Thailand
Created: Oct 24, 2012

The Pitak Siam group has the democratic right to hold an anti-government rally on Oct 28 as long as it is peaceful and lawful, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said on Wednesday.

Ms Yingluck said she was ready to listen to opinions aired at the rally and was not worried about it.

The Pitak Siam group, led by Gen Boonlert Kaewprasit, plans a protest rally at the Royal Turf Club on Sunday to attack the government.

National police chief Pol Gen Adul Saengsingkaew said he believed the rally would not turn violent, speaking after he and Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung talked with Gen Boonlert over lunch.

Mr Chalerm did not give details to reporters after lunching with Gen Boonlert. He said only that Gen Boonlert agreed that the rally would not drag on beyond 6pm, and the police chief would facilitate the rally.

No political issues were raised during the talks, which generally concerned retelling of old stories, he added.

Gen Boonlert had made it clear that the rally "to stop crisis and catastrophe" is intended to expose former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra's influence over the "puppet government" of Ms Yingluck and that he would have staged a coup by now if he was in the position to do so.

Deputy Prime Minister Yutthasak Sasiprapa, who is in charge of security affairs, said that according to Pol Maj-Gen Chanchai Phuthong, 2nd Army deputy commander, the rally on Oct 28 would likely be joined by a group of national development participants, who were former communist insurgents who defected to the authorities a long time ago.

He said there are five groups of "national development participants" and those joining the rally belong to a group of 300-400 people who had already received assistance and compensation from the government while Gen Surayud Chulanont was prime minister.

The other groups were unlikely to attend, according to Gen Yutthasak.

Army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha said he did not mind the rally but Gen Boonlert and other organisers should not speak of the army in an unfavourable way.

Former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said Gen Boonlert's mentioning of another coup was from his own mouth and his opinion was not supported by the Democrat Party, which adheres to democracy.

Mr Abhisit said everone must act within the scope of the law and allow the country's problems be solved through democratic means, and the government must be open to examination.
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