Wednesday, March 8, 2006

Army Chief Urged To Resolve Crisis For The King.

Political impasse proving to be a burden for His Majesty, General Sonthi Boonya-ratglin said. The Army chief Tuesday March 7, urged Thais to end the political impasse which paralyzing the country, out of concern for the Monarch. "His Majesty would be very unhappy while we are having this problem," General Sonthi said.

The time had come for people to get together in an effort to end the crisis. “Thais should have gratitude for the King; everyone must love each other" in order to end the damaging confrontation, he said.

The Army was not worried that the anti-government rally planned for next Tuesday March 14, as every party would try to avoid violence, he said.

National Police spokesperson Achirawit Suphan-phesat said he submitted a personal letter to Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra asking him not resume his post even if he wins the April 2 election. The police lieutenant general said his letter had one key suggestion - that the Democrat and Chat Thai parties must also contest the general election.

The other conditions in his letter were that any party winning the majority of House seats should set up a reform committee to push through whatever legal amendments were needed within one year, and that the caretaker government overseeing the reform process should call another election.

"With all these made available, the country can still go on without a royally-appointed prime minister needed. We don't have to bother His Majesty the King to intervene [under the Constitution] but all the problems can be solved peacefully," he said.

Restoring calm would facilitate the celebration this year of the 60th anniversary of the King's ascension to the throne, he said.

Yesterday he repeated that the demonstrations were taking their toll. "I am not speaking on behalf of the government, but all 220,000 police assigned to duty. They have been very tired because they work all day and night while the protests against the premier seem to never end."

The Civil Servants Association, meanwhile, has urged bureaucrats not to take sides.” Civil servants must be neutral, refrain from associating with proponents or opponents of the government and continue to do their job," association chairman Jadul Apichatabutra said in a statement circulated yesterday.

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