Prem not backing new crisis plan: aide

Privy Council president Prem Tinsulanonda "only listened" to a proposal to end the political turmoil by a group calling itself Rattha Bukkhon (State Citizens) during their meeting on Friday but did not agree with nor commit to any of their suggestions, his close aide Lt Gen Pissanu Putthawong said on Sunday.

Gen Pissanu made the remark after Gen Saiyud Kerdphol, leader of Rattha Bukkhon, which is made up of retired soldiers and former state officials, told reporters that Gen Prem had agreed with his group’s idea of seeking His Majesty the King's discretion in pulling the country out of the crisis and asked him to draft a royal command to that effect.

Gen Pissanu said Gen Prem had learned about Gen Saiyud’s interview with the press and did not complain. “He said he merely listened to him [at their meeting] and did not make any oral promise to him,” he quoted Gen Prem as saying. 

“People should be able to consider for themselves what objectives Rattha Bukkhon has because it has tried to give comments linking Gen Prem to the group on several occasions,” Gen Pissanu said.   

Gen Pissanu said the statesman invited Gen Saiyud for talks because he wanted to hear his detailed proposal, know who were in his group and what was the group’s objective, adding the two were friends. 

“Gen Prem listened to him and only expressed minor opinions. He asked and then listened; he did not agree, oppose or give any assurance, especially asking the Rattha Bukkhon to draw up a proposal or royal command. 

“Gen Saiyud made the claim himself,” Gen Pissanu said, adding that he understood the former supreme commander did so because he wanted to see an end to the protracted political problems. 

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