Pitak Siam leader denies aiming to "freeze" Thailand

BANGKOK - The Pitak Siam group has never called for the country to be closed to outsiders but only wants to stop corrupt politicians, Gen Boonlert Kaewprasit said on Sunday morning.

Gen Boonlert Kaewprasit (file photo)

He said this before launching convoys of vehicles in a campaign for the people to join the planned rally at the Royal Plaza on Nov 24 in a show of force against the government for turning a blind eye to acts of lese majeste, acting as a puppet of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and allowing corruption to become widespread without proper suppression.

"I've never called for the country to be closed or frozen for a period. I only want to stop corrupt politicians," said Gen Boonlert, also known as Seh Ai. 

Gen Boonlert, a classmate of Privy Councillor Surayud Chulanont, former prime minister of the interim government after the Sept 19, 2006 coup, reaffirmed that there would not be a siege of parliament or any use of weapons when the group rallies on Nov 24. He believes the government will not allow a third-hand party to cause problems.

On a proposal for the government to invoke the Internal Security Act to control the rally, Gen Boonlert said in his opinion it was only a way of stopping the people from expressing their opinion.

Pheu Thai Party spokesman Prompong Nopparit said Pheu Thai was concerned that some political groups or parties might use their canvassers to get more people to join the anti-government rally.

Pheu Thai Party spokesman Prompong Nopparit (file photo)

"If Pheu Thai finds out that any politicians or parties are involved in such a campaign, the party will file a petition to get them dissolved," Mr Prompong said.

He said Gen Boonlert needed to revise his activities and aim to topple the Pheu Thai-led government because a recent survey shows that 94% of the polled were against his move to "freeze" Thailand for a period.

"Pheu Thai is worried that a 'third hand' will create unrest [during the rally] so we ask protesters to help monitor suspicious people," the spokesman said.

Thai Chamber of Commerce chairman Pongsak Assakul said the anti-government rally, if peaceful, would not hurt the economy.

"If the protesters abide by the law and don't cause trouble to the people and the government, the Thai economy won't be affected.

"There are similar rallies in other countries but I personally don't want to see more division in Thailand," Mr Pongsak said.

Related search: Pitak Siam, anti-government, rally, Gen Boonlert, Pheu Thai, economy, Thailand

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