PAD may consider peace talks

The People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) yesterday insisted that only the group and the government should be involved in any dialogue to end the ongoing political conflict.

However, key PAD leader Chamlong Srimuang said they would consider a mediator that is acceptable to both sides.

"The government should send an authorised person, not just anyone, to take part in the talks," Chamlong told reporters during a press conference at Government House.

The PAD and its supporters have occupied the compound for more than two months, forcing Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat, his deputies and the PM's Office Ministers to set up office at the Don Mueang Airport.

Chamlong said yesterday that he was not against the efforts made by groups like the King Prajadhipok Institute to initiate peace discussions.

He also said the PAD would temporarily remove its blockades on Rajdamnoen Avenue during the royal funeral of Her Royal Highness Princess Galyani Vadhana between November 14 and 19.

"We will open the blockades only when necessary. We are more concerned about the safety of our people," Chamlong said, adding that recently there have been more attacks against the PAD.

The latest attack occurred early yesterday when a hand grenade was thrown onto Orathai Bridge, near the PAD protest site at Government House. There were no reports of injuries.

Police Colonel Vibulyuth Santadvej, superintendent of the Nang Lerng police station, said investigators were questioning PAD guards and soldiers stationed near the explosion site.