Navy chief sees light at end of tunnel

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BANGKOK, Dec 4 – The Thai armed forces have totally ruled out a coup to end the political turmoil, navy chief Narong Pipathanasai said today.

Admiral Narong said the talk between Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban on Sunday was coordinated by leaders of the three armed forces at the initiative of the supreme commander.

“The armed forces have discussed the political conflicts and agreed that they would definitely not stage a coup based on lessons learned in the past,” he said.

Adm Narong said the political situation has improved and should soon be back to normal, and that the dialogue has eased the tension.

He said academics and politicians knowledgeable in politics and administrative system must jointly find an appropriate solution for Thailand with recommendations from the private sector.

“They have to find a way for co-existence to avoid violence in the future. The military does not have a political role,” he indicated.

The government and protesters have announced a truce tomorrow to mark His Majesty the King’s birthday.

Mr Suthep announced that the protest movement will resume Friday.

Adm Narong said a future dialogue, if possible, could be arranged by the supreme commander who earlier summoned leaders of the three armed forces for a discussion.

“The three armed forces will neither be involved in politics nor play a role in the protests. We believe there is a resolution (to the crisis). We are not at a dead-end,” he said.