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Key Thaksin supporter parts ways with Red Shirts

BANGKOK, Feb 5 (TNA) –  A staunch supporter of convicted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Friday said he would not join any move with
the anti-government Red Shirts activists after his idea about the people’s army was shunned by its key leader.

Gen Panlop Pinmanee, retired deputy chief of the Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) and a member of the opposition Puea Thai Party, announced his decision after key leader of United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) Jatuporn Prompan had said the planned establishment of the people’s army is not related to the Red Shirts.

Gen Panlop said the announcement of the UDD leader was unacceptable as the National People’s Army for Democracy was intent to prevent any clash among groups of people.

The former senior military officer said he met Mr Thaksin in Dubai to share his idea about the people’s army and Mr Thaksin agreed with him that Thais should not harm one another. He planned to discuss the matter with the UDD leaders after returning from Dubai.

However, after Mr Jatuporn said that the idea did not represent the view of the Red Shirts, Gen Panlop said he decided not to join any Red Shirt movement.

“If there is any violence similar to last April chaos, don’t call me to help,” he said.

Gen Panlop said he believed that violence will definitely occur if up to a million Red Shirt supporters are mobilised to join a rally in the capital as the UDD leaders said, adding that people who will join the rally cannot accept what they branded as the government’s double standards and can’t stand injustice.

“They want to oust the government and call for a fresh election,” he said.

“However, the ongoing problem will not have an effect on work in the Puea Thai party.”

Gen Panlop added that Mr Thaksin told him he has been treated unfairly regarding his Bt76 billion (US$2.3 billion) frozen assets as he acquired them before he entered politics.

The court is scheduled to rule whether authorities can seize the fugitive former prime minister’s frozen assets on February 26.

The former premier told me he wants to return to Thailand, said Gen Panlop, but legal action against him must be ended first.

Following rumours that Mr Thaksin will travel with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen who plans to visit the Thai-Cambodian border areas near the ancient Preah Vihear temple thisweekend, Gen Pallop said if the ex-premier accompanies Mr Hun Sen, he may come to see for himself how to develop the overlapping zone for the benefit of the two neighbouring countries.

Gen Pallop also said that he does not believe that Mr Thaksin will change his nationality to Cambodian as earlier reported, because he is Thai, while asserting that the ousted premier has never financed the moves of the Red Shirts. (TNA)

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