Ready to help but no coup: Gen Anupong
By The Nation

The armed forces will be unfaltering in safeguarding the country as well as the monarchy and will be quick to step in at any signs violence, but there will be no seizure of power because doing so will not end the political turmoil, Army chief General Anupong Paochinda said yesterday.

"Every commander in the armed forces has agreed that a coup is not the right way to resolve the current predicament," he said.

The military will not intervene in politics though soldiers will be ready to assist police should violence break out between rival crowds, he said, noting that at this juncture authorities had detected no sign of aggression.

The People's Alliance for Democracy is threatening to unseat the government.

All three wings of the armed forces are ready to help stop clashes, he said.

First Army Region commander Lt-General Kanit Sapitak said he was optimistic the situation would not get out of control because Thais were unified in their support for the King regardless of their differing political opinions. Kanit said his office was closely monitoring the situation, and had seen no signs thus far of any bloodshed. He refused to speculate on how the crisis would end, saying he was not a policymaker but a soldier. He sidestepped the question on military intervention, saying the army chief alone could not make a decision on whether or not to stage a coup.