Pitak Siam leader absolutely abandons political activity


BANGKOK, Nov 26 – Retired Gen Boonlert Kaewprasit, self-deposed leader of the Pitak Siam group, stood firm today that his decision to totally call it quits from political activity was his own choice.

He ruled out an allegation that he was paid by  former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, now in exile abroad, to call off the anti-government rally in Bangkok on Saturday.

Gen Boonlert stood down as Pitak Siam leader immediately after he went on stage at the Royal Plaza on Saturday evening to instruct the demonstrators to disperse to avoid casualties. He admitted that the turnout was lower than expected while many were blocked by police from entering the rally site.

His disappointment was intensified by two rounds of tear gas attacks on protesters during the day.

He also announced his resignation as president of the Military Cadet Alumni Foundation, saying he was disillusioned with some army officers who earlier promised to support the rally but did nothing.

Looking back to the Saturday’s failed protest, Gen Boonlert said he made the crucial decision after learning that the demonstrators were numbered by policemen and they (demonstrators) could be killed or injured if they insisted on breaking the police barricade.

He said the Pitak Siam group will remain its existence to fight pending legal cases.

As for a report that Prasong Soonsiri, former secretary general of the National Security Council and anti-government activist, will assume the Pitak Siam leadership in organising a rally after Dec 10, Gen Boonlert told reporters to directly ask Sq Ldr Prasong.

“Gen Boonlert is dead. I don’t know what to do when the country is in the present state and laws are siding evils. I will absolute not join any rally,” he declared.