Sonthi raps PAD

The 2006 coup leader Gen Sonthi Boonyaratkalin says he expects pro- and anti-government protests on the weekend to pass without violence.

Gen Sonthi warned however that in future there would probably be more attacks like the grenade blast in Bangkok on Thursday that killed one anti-government demonstrator and wounded 29.

He criticised PAD leaders for a lack of strategy, and predicted more attacks against protesters in future.

"Bomb attacks against PAD will happen again and will continue," he said.

"If PAD core leaders are not strong enough it will be difficult to fight. They must know their enemy as well as know themselves - they must assess themselves whether are ready to fight with Thaksin," he said.

He added that the PAD needed to "make more friends and reduce their enemies".The People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) group, which has occupied Government House since August, has called for a blockade of parliament on Sunday following the attack.

"It's unlikely that Sunday's mass protest will turn into violence because that's negative to the government and violence could open other options," he told the AFP news agency in an interview.

With speculation about a possible coup still swirling after months of political turmoil, Sonthi said military intervention was unlikely at this stage but he could not rule it out.

"A coup is not the means and it's not possible now," Sonthi said.

"As matter of fact, there are chances to mount a successful coup and at this time some factors are already there. But many factors are still not yet there, therefore to stage a coup is not easy," he said.

Sonthi toppled the Thaksin Shinawatra government in September, 2006, accusing the premier of widespread corruption and of disloyalty to the monarchy. (AFP)