PAD 'not going" to Parliament on Tuesday
By The Nation

The anti-government People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) decided on Monday not to head to Parliament Tuesday as constitutional amendment was not on the agenda, the group's leaders said.

Chamlong Srimuang and Piphob Dhongchai told a press conference the PAD had learned from First Deputy House Speaker Samart Kaewmeechai that Tuesday's parliamentary meeting would not discuss charter changes.

"When the matter is not on the agenda, we won't go there," Chamlong told reporters.

The press conference was held at Government House, which the PAD has occupied for almost two months.

Chamlong insisted his group did not resort to violence. "The PAD is not thuggish and we have never hired thugs to cause violence," he said.

He also said that the PAD was ready to take part in talks with any party.

"The PAD has never said we won't negotiate. We are not that aggressive. I was a soldier who took part in armed battles before. It's best when you don't have to fight," said Chamlong, who was a major general before leaving the military.

Chamlong said he had no concerns about a pro-government group's plans to mobilise a large gathering on November 1 at the Rajamangala Stadium.

He also warned that any violence against PAD supporters in Bangkok would lead to retaliation by its allies from the provinces. "We are more worried about the consequences," he added.

Chamlong, who led a massive demonstration against a coup leader becoming the non-elected prime minister in 1992, yesterday voiced support for a military coup that would lead to political reform.

"The PAD agrees to a coup that will bring new politics. If it is merely a change in political power, with the structure remaining unchanged, we won't support it," he said.

Samart said yesterday that today's House meeting would only discuss Thai-Cambodian negotiations on the border dispute.

The issue on constitutional amendment - previously on the agenda - was withdrawn as there was a plan to amend Article 291 to allow formation of a constitution drafting assembly, he explained.