Sondhi rules out rally to counter UDD

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Sondhi Limthongkul has denied the People’s Alliance for Democracy will hold a counter-rally against the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship.

Mr Sondhi dismissed comments by PAD coordinator Suriyasai Katasila that the group would stage a comeback and mount a counter-rally against the UDD.

He said Mr Suriyasai’s comments made at the weekend did not represent the views of the PAD’s five leaders – himself Maj Gen Chamlong Srimuang, Pibhop Dhongchai, Somsak Kosaisuk and Somkiat Pongpaiboon.

Mr Suriyasai might have felt too strongly about the UDD when he made the comments, and any plans to organise a rally against the anti-government group were too important for him to carry out alone, Mr Sondhi said.

The PAD will not make any political moves for the time being.

Mr Sondhi urged supporters to keep a close watch on the political situation and listen only to official resolutions by the PAD’s five leaders.

“It is clear that the red-shirt movement wants to clear the name of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra,” he said.

“The alliance has confirmed that it will not come out to fight with them.”

The duty of coping with red-shirt protesters rests with the government and the authorities, Mr Sondhi said.

But he then criticised Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban and PM’s Office Minister Sathit Wongnongtoey for not doing enough to control the UDD.

He said the PAD would watch from the sidelines and it was up to the government and army to handle the protests.

Bangkok Post,  April 7, 2009

PAD Not to Confront Red-shirts in Tomorrow’s Rally

 core leader of the People’s Alliance for Democracy has vowed that the group will not protest against the Democratic Alliance against Dictatorship, because some parties would like to use a confrontation between the two groups as an excuse to use force to break up the red-shirt anti-government protest.

Sondhi Limthongkul, one of the core leaders of the People’s Alliance for Democracy, or PAD, said on his ‘Good Morning Thailand’ talk-show on ASTV that some would like to see a confrontation between the PAD and the anti-government red-shirt protesters.

Sondhi said some people would like to engineer the conditions under which Army Chief General Anupong Paojinda and Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban could disperse the anti-government protest with force.

Sondhi added that he and other PAD leaders will only monitor the DAAD’s continuing protest, which is expected to escalate tomorrow, because they believe it is time for the government, Army and police to resolve the crisis.

However, he insisted that the PAD has not given up its long fight against ousted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, and that PAD networks across the country are ready to mobilize if the government fails to stop the DAAD.

Sondhi also struck back at General Anupong for his recent criticisms of the PAD, saying the group has struggled to protect the country’s institutions and to see justice done.

He said General Anupong’s priority is remaining in power and protecting Defense Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan and National Police Chief Police General Pathcarawat Wongsuwan

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