The fence-mending attempt by Pheu Thai Party adviser Chavalit Yongchaiyudh has hit a road block after receiving the cold shoulder from the People’s Alliance for Democracy.
Chavalit has offered to talk with PAD coleader Chamlong Srimuang in a bid to reconcile the red and the yellow shirts. But Chamlong said yesterday he was too busy to schedule a meeting.
“The most important reason is, however, many from Chavalit’s party have continued to lambaste Pa (chief royal adviser General Prem Tinsulanonda),” Chamlong said, explaining why he deems it inappropriate to meet Chavalit at this juncture.
He said as a former secretary general to Prem, he could not talk to Chavalit amid the verbal spat, hinting at the lack of conducive climate for reconciliation. He said his last private meeting with Chavalit took place a day before the latter adopted the Pheu Thai banner. The meeting took place between two old acquantainces without any official capacity, he added.
Aside of talking about old times when the they crossed path in their military and political career, Chavalit raised two talking points, he said.
First, Chavalit tried to persuate him to resume his political activities in a political party, he said. Second the two exchanged views on organic fertiliser, a nonpolitical topic.
In regard to his partisan interest, he said he told Chavalit that his priority was about social and charitable works and that he was already an active supporter of the New Politics Party on a nonmember basis.
Chamlong ‘no’ to Chavalit’s approach
Maj-Gen Chamlong Srimuang, a key member of the People’s Alliance for Democracy, revealed on Tuesday he had turned down Chavalit Yongchaiyudh’s approach for him to return to politics.
Gen Chavalit made the approach two days before he applied for Puea Thai membership, he said.
Maj-Gen Chamlong said in a statement that two days before Gen Chavalit joined Puea Thai the former prime minister sent an aide to ask him if they could meet.
When they met on the following day Gen Chavalit said, without mentioning any political party, that Maj-Gen Chamlong should return to politics.
Maj-Gen Chamlong said he told Gen Chavalit he was involved in social work and was running many projects for charity and had no time.
“I told him that although I fully back the New Politics Party I have refused to become a member for the same reason,” he said.
Maj-Gen Chamlong said other retired military oficers were free to join any political party they wished, provided they adhere to their oath to protect the country’s three main institutions.
Gen Chavalit and Maj-Gen Chamlong were both close aides of Gen Prem Tinsulandonda when he was prime minister.
While Gen Chavalit played an important role in the implementation of Gen Prem’s policies, notably PM’s Order No 66/23 against Communism, Maj-Gen Chamlong was the PM’s secretary-general.