The new role of Royal Turf Club secretary-general Gen Boonlert Kaewprasit as the leader of the Pitak Siam group - which recently staged an anti-government mass rally in Bangkok - has prompted political observers to link the military veteran with the ammart, or pro-establishment elites.
The link is understandable. Gen Boonlert is a classmate of Privy Councillor Surayud Chulanont, former prime minister of the interim government after the Sept 19, 2006 coup, when they both studied at the Armed Forces Academies Preparatory School's Class 1. The privy councillor is also president of the Royal Turf Club where the Pitak Siam anti-government rally took place.
Both generals have dismissed the alleged links. Yet some observers are still calling Gen Boonlert a new political figure and another Sondhi Limthongkul, one of the core leaders of the yellow-shirt People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) movement.
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