UPDATE: Top brass meeting is on, Suthep says

Anti Thaksin-regime rally leader Suthep Thaugsuban on Thursday evening said the supreme commander and leaders of the army, navy, air force and police have agreed to meet with him and other protest leaders on Saturday to hear an explanation of their "political reform" plans.

Mr Suthep, the self-appointed People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) secretary-general, revealed the meeting at a mass gathering of supporters at Democracy Monument on Ratchadamnoen Avenue.

He said PDRC leaders had sought a meeting with the military and police leaders before 8pm Thursday night but "liaison-related problems" had made it impossible. He then assigned Sakonthee Pattiyakul, a PDRC co-leader, to meet Supreme Commander Gen Thanasak Patimaprakorn and invite him to the proposed meeting in person.

“However, it turned out that Gen Thanasak had just accepted our request and suggested the meeting be held at 3pm on Saturday.

“I thank the supreme commander and the armed force leaders for allowing PDRC leaders to represent the people and to directly clarify the will of the masses and to explain why they have risen up to fight for changes in the country, instead of communicating with them through the press,” Mr Suthep said.

Meanwhile, Mr Suthep admitted that he thought the PDRC would have won the battle against the government on Dec 9 when masses of people held city-wide demonstrations. But he underestimated caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s stubbornness. He apologised to the protesters for the mistakes in his efforts to lead the anti-government movement.

"Anything that has gone wrong because of my miscalculation [of Ms Yingluck] I apologise for as I know pretty well that you all have waited for victory several times," he said.

The Royal Thai Armed Forces (RTAF) has issued a statement saying the PDRC's request to explain their reform plans would lead to an exchange of opinions that will bring about a peaceful solution.

The RTAF would invite representatives from state agencies, academics and all stakeholders to attend the forum where PDRC leaders would explain its national reform process which would be followed by a Q&A session.

An RTAF source said red-shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship representatives will also be invited to the talks and that Supreme Commander Gen Tanasak Patimaprakorn will act as moderator.

Related search: suthep, prayuth, Thanasak, anti-government, ratchadamnoen, pdrc

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