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Military calls on both sides to reconcile

Assistant Army chief General Paiboon Koomchaya yesterday held a meeting with 36 key members of the Pheu Thai Party, the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) and the People's Alliance for Democracy to give them information and attempt to persuade them to change their political attitude.

Those invited to the meeting included some of the people still being detained by the junta and some who have been released such as former acting premier Niwattumrong Boonsongpaisan, former foreign minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul, former PM's secretary-general Suranand Vejjajiva, Worachai Hema, Padung Limcharoenrat, Phumtham Wechayachai and Sondhi Limthongkul.

An NCPO spokesman said the council had not frozen the money of people who had defied it by not reporting as ordered, including former interior minister Charupong Ruangsuwan and activist Sombat Boonngamanong.

Investigators would continue to look for them.

Officers had contacted neighbouring countries to find people who had fled, the spokesman said.

The spokesman said former education minister Chaturon Chaisang was being detained at Bangkok Remand Prison prior to being taken to a military court.

The spokesman said legal expert Verapat Pariyawong, who was summoned on Wednesday, had contacted the NCPO to notify that he was abroad.

Verapat on Wednesday night posted on Facebook that he was in the UK. He also posted video clips saying he faced threats by an unknown group of armed men and had safety concerns about coming back to Thailand.

Separately, troops yesterday handed over former Pheu Thai MP Prasit Chaisisa to police after he allegedly committed lese majeste during a speech to red shirts on May 7.

Prasit was brought from the Weerawat Yothin Army camp in Surin and handed over to officers at Chokechai Police Station in Bangkok at about 5am.

Prasit reported to the Surin camp on Saturday and was detained for three days at an Army camp in Nakhon Ratchasima before being returned to the former.

The Criminal Court approved a 12-day extension of his detention. His wife and daughter turned up at the police station to be close to him.


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