Gen Boonlert Kaewprasit's sudden decision to call off the anti-Yingluck Shinawatra government rally at the Royal Plaza on Saturday less than nine hours into the demonstration was a surprise to everyone.
The abrupt end has led to a spate of rumours. Was he paid by fugitive ex-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra? Were there conflicts in the Pitak Siam leadership? Or was it about the safety of his wife and children as Gen Boonlert, or Seh Ai, is known to be a family man. Perhaps the most convincing rumour was that Gen Boonlert received a phone call from his friend Gen Surayud Chulanont that forced the retired general to halt the rally. The decision was followed by Gen Boonlert's announcement that "Seh Ai is dead," as he stepped down as the Pitak Siam leader.
But Gen Boonlert has denied all those rumours.